- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 12, 2007

ALASKA

Air Force jets collide in flight

ANCHORAGE — An F-15 fighter jet crashed yesterday after colliding in flight with another military jet, which landed safely, military officials said. No one was seriously injured.

The pilot of the F-15C ejected safely and was taken to a military hospital, said Airman Jennifer Anton, a spokeswoman at Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks. The pilot did not have serious injuries, she said.

The other jet, an F-16C, landed safely, and that pilot was uninjured, she said.

It was not clear why the two jets collided at 11:23 a.m. during a training exercise about 90 miles east of Fairbanks in Alaska’s interior, Airman Anton said. A board of Air Force officers will investigate.

FLORIDA

Malnourished boy’s mother arrested

WEST PALM BEACH — A 10-year-old boy who weighed just 35 pounds when he knocked on a neighbor’s door pleading for food was being treated yesterday for malnutrition, while his mother was held on child-neglect charges, police said.

The Port St. Lucie boy, whose name was not released, knocked on a neighbor’s door Saturday night pleading for food. The woman gave the boy a peanut-butter sandwich and juice, then called authorities.

The average weight for a 10-year-old boy is about 85 pounds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kelleen Deon Murray-Auguste, 37, told authorities that her son had been living with his father in Haiti until about a month ago, when the father dropped him off in Florida and left.

“She says he was brought to her home in that condition,” Officer Robert Vega said. She did not seek medical treatment because she didn’t have health insurance, Officer Vega said.

GEORGIA

Voter-ID law challenge tossed

ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court threw out a challenge yesterday to the state’s voter-ID law, sidestepping a decision on whether the requirement is constitutional.

The unanimous opinion reversed a judge’s ruling in September that the law posed an unconstitutional burden on voters but did not speak to that issue, ruling instead that the plaintiff had no legal grounds to challenge the law.

After the lower court ruling, the State Election Board decided not to require voters to show a photo ID to cast a ballot in the November elections. With another challenge pending in federal court, it is still not clear whether the state can begin requiring voters to show identification at the polls.

IOWA

Butts charged in toilet-paper theft

MARSHALLTOWN — Police say Suzanne Marie Butts stole toilet paper from a central Iowa courthouse, and although they’re chuckling, the theft charge could put her in prison.

“She’s facing potentially three years of incarceration for three rolls of toilet paper,” Chief Lon Walker said, stifling a laugh as he talked to KCCI-TV about Miss Butts. “See, I can’t say it with a straight face.”

Workers had noticed the rolls disappearing from the Marshall County Courthouse much faster than usual, Chief Walker said.

Miss Butts, 38, was caught last week after an employee saw her taking three rolls of two-ply tissue from a storage closet, Chief Walker said.

Miss Butts, who has prior theft convictions, insisted that it was the first time she’d pilfered toilet paper, but she declined to answer further questions on her attorney’s advice.

NEW JERSEY

Court lets mother take girl to Japan

NEWARK — A divorced woman may move to Japan with her daughter over the wishes of the child’s father, even though he fears that Japanese law won’t allow him to enforce visitation orders, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The 7-0 decision upheld two lower court rulings in the case of Ronald and Erika MacKinnon, who separated in 2002 after 11 years of marriage. Their daughter, Justine, is 7.

Mr. MacKinnon said Japan is not among 79 nations that have signed the Hague Convention on abducted children, meaning that he would have no legal recourse.

Chief Justice James R. Zazzali noted that lower courts had agreed the child’s best interests would be served by moving to Japan with her mother, who has relatives there, according to court papers.

NEW YORK

Buffalo’s food fest requires healthy dishes

BUFFALO — For the first time in its 23-year history, the Taste of Buffalo, a foodie free-for-all attracting tens of thousands, is ordering restaurants to offer healthier options.

At least one item on each vendor’s menu must meet standards on fat, salt and cholesterol.

That means diners at the event, scheduled for the first weekend in July, will see mango sorbet and smoked chicken sandwiches among the hot fudge sundaes and bleu-cheese burgers, a low-fat cookie there with the cheesecake.

But will they bite?

“It’ll be interesting to see,” said Ania Gurnari, whose family-owned bakery, E.M. Chrusciki, has offered its sugar-coated “angel wings” and other pastries at the festival for more than 20 years.

Her father came up with a chewy spice cookie to meet the new healthy mandate, using applesauce to make it moist and sweet.

PENNSYLVANIA

Dump truck hits bus, injures 20

DUQUESNE — A dump truck hauling scrap metal ran into a commuter bus at a bus stop yesterday, pushing it into a utility pole and injuring at least 20 persons, transit officials said.

Passengers were getting off the bus in Duquesne, on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, when the bus was hit from behind, said Bob Grove, a spokesman for the Port Authority of Allegheny County.

The bus driver was taken to UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh with a head injury, Mr. Grove said. The truck driver and others on the bus also were taken to hospitals. None appeared to have life-threatening injuries, he said.

The accident remained under investigation, and no charges have been filed.

WASHINGTON

Hells Angels guilty in racketeering case

SEATTLE — Federal jurors convicted three current and former Hells Angels members yesterday of conspiring to run a motorcycle-theft ring that prosecutors blamed for the death of a man who lied about being a member of the club.

The jury deliberated for nearly 100 hours over 12 days after more than two months of testimony detailing brutal beatings that authorities said were meant to punish people who crossed the bikers.

One former member of the Spokane chapter, Rodney Lee Rollness, was convicted of murder, racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering and several other crimes, including trafficking in stolen motorcycles.

Another former Hells Angel, Joshua Binder, was convicted of conspiracy to commit racketeering and attempted interference with commerce by threats or violence, but jurors deadlocked on whether he was involved in the killing of Michael Walsh, who was fatally shot in 2001. The chapter’s president, Richard Allen “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel, was found to have committed several racketeering acts, including mail fraud and extortion.

From wire dispatches and staff reports