- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2007

CALIFORNIA

‘Munsters’ star De Carlo dies at 84

LOS ANGELES — Yvonne De Carlo, the beautiful star who played Moses’ wife in “The Ten Commandments” but achieved her greatest popularity on television’s “The Munsters,” has died. She was 84.

Mrs. De Carlo died of natural causes Monday at the Motion Picture & Television facility in suburban Los Angeles, longtime friend and television producer Kevin Burns said yesterday.

Mrs. De Carlo, whose shapely figure helped launch her career in B-movie desert adventures and Westerns, rose to more important roles in the 1950s. Later, she had a key role in a landmark Broadway musical, Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies.”

But for TV viewers, she always will be known as Lily Munster in the 1964-66 slapstick horror-movie spoof “The Munsters.” The series (the name reportedly derived from “fun-monsters”) offered a gallery of Universal Pictures grotesques, including Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster, in a cobwebbed gothic setting.

FLORIDA

Trailer residents to reap millions

BRINY BREEZES — Residents of this trailer-park town sitting on beachfront property have voted overwhelmingly to sell their community to a developer for more than $510 million, which could make most of them millionaires.

Some residents bought their homes for as little as $35,000.

The contract isn’t official — and residents don’t get any money until 2009. If the sale goes through, nearly every owner will get more than $1 million.

According to ballot results made public yesterday, about 80 percent of the owners cast ballots in favor of a deal to sell the town and its 488 mobile homes to Boca Raton-based Ocean Land Investments Inc., which plans to build high-end condominiums, a hotel and retail and commercial space.

MICHIGAN

University ends preference policy

DETROIT — The University of Michigan announced yesterday that it will comply with a new voter-approved ban on affirmative action and immediately stop considering race and sex in admissions.

The move was made in the middle of the admissions process for next fall’s freshman class. The university has begun sending out acceptance and rejection letters.

The state constitutional amendment approved by voters in November bans the use of race and sex preferences in public university admissions and government hiring and contracting.

After the amendment passed, the university put its admission process on hold and asked the courts that it be given until this summer to comply with the ban, saying it would be too disruptive to change its policies now. A federal appeals court said no.

NEW JERSEY

Federal sting yields illegal food from China

NEWARK — Close cooperation between the Departments of Homeland Security and Agriculture has prevented more than 1 million pounds of potentially tainted products from entering the food stream in the United States.

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday served search warrants at two New York City businesses. The investigation was in response to the threat of an outbreak of avian influenza.

The investigation began in late 2005 when the Agriculture Department asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to inspect sea cargo containers that were thought to contain illegal food such as poultry and meat from China.

CBP and ICE officers, working together as part of Operation Fowl Play, seized 50 shipments of food totaling 1,039,077 pounds, including poultry, fowl, meat, pork, vegetables and fruits. The seizures occurred in the Port of Newark.

“While these shipments contained illegal foodstuffs, they could have just as easily contained other contraband such as drugs or weapons,” said Kyle Hutchins, special agent in charge of the ICE office of investigations in Newark.

RHODE ISLAND

Teen girls, moms arrested in brawl

WOONSOCKET — Two women and their 13-year-old daughters were arrested after one woman drove her already suspended daughter to school to fight a teenage rival, police said.

Ana Rivera, 44, and Maribel Santiago, 34, are scheduled to be arraigned today on a charge of simple assault in connection with Monday’s fight. Their daughters and two other 13-year-old girls were charged with disorderly conduct and their cases were turned over to the Juvenile Detective Division.

Police reports said the girls began feuding two weeks ago and began fighting outside the school on Monday. At one point, the melee involved all four girls, both mothers and a teacher, police said.

TEXAS

Owner sentenced for bus explosion

McALLEN — The owner of the bus that exploded during the Hurricane Rita evacuation, killing 23 evacuees, was sentenced yesterday to five years of probation for mismanaging his fleet.

As part of his probation, a judge ruled, Global Limo Inc. owner James Maples can no longer work for any bus company. He will be confined for the first year — six months in a halfway house and six months at home with electronic surveillance — though he will be allowed to work.

Maples was acquitted Oct. 3 of the most serious charge of conspiring to falsify driver time logs so drivers could work longer than federal law allows. He was convicted of the two lesser charges, of poorly managing his fleet and not requiring drivers to fill out vehicle inspection reports.

The maximum prison sentence he could have received was two years.

Maples was fined $10,000, and his since-dismantled company was fined $100,000 and placed on probation for five years. The company was convicted of all three charges and faced a fine of as much as $500,000 on the conspiracy count and a $200,000 fine on each of the other two convictions.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa noted that the charges probably would not have come about had it not been for the explosion, which was not a factor at the trial.

The six-day trial stemmed from a federal investigation into the explosion, which occurred on a bus carrying Houston-area nursing home patients away from the approaching storm.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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