- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 28, 2007

CALIFORNIA

Stolen car crashes into truck, kills 1

LOS ANGELES — A stolen car crashed into a pickup truck, killing one person, after a sheriff’s chase yesterday, authorities said.

Deputies began pursuing a reported stolen car shortly after 7 a.m. but backed off, apparently because of safety concerns, Deputy Johnie Jones said.

But the suspect continued to flee and soon struck the pickup, killing the other motorist, Deputy Jones said. A 50-year-old man died at the scene, said d’Lisa Davies, a Fire Department spokeswoman.

Televised news reports showed a PT Cruiser wedged hood-first under the rear of a Toyota truck, raising its bed into the air. The entire front end of the Toyota apparently had been torn away.

The driver, thought to be armed with a handgun, fled and was arrested without incident about 90 minutes later, sheriff’s authorities said.

A passenger in the stolen car was detained and taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

COLORADO

Flawed meters accept penny fare

FORT COLLINS — The meter has expired on cut-rate parking at Colorado State University.

A glitch caused some campus parking meters to confuse older pennies for a quarter and dole out 30 minutes for just one cent.

The manufacturer, POM Inc. of Russellville, Ark., began replacing the bargain meters after campus police alerted the company. Police spokeswoman Jackie Swaro said she wasn’t sure how many of the university’s 674 meters had the flaw.

Police caught on after a lot of pennies showed up in the meters this past spring, the Denver Post reported. That happened after an item about the glitch appeared in the campus newspaper, the Rocky Mountain Collegian, on May 4.

The trick apparently worked only with pennies made before 1982, when the U.S. Mint switched to a lighter-weight coin with less copper content.

Terry Henderson, POM’s marketing manager, said she did not know what caused the glitch.

FLORIDA

Pilot, 23, ends round-the-world trip

OPA-LOCKA — A 23-year-old pilot landed his single-engine plane as onlookers cheered yesterday. He unofficially claimed to be the youngest person to fly solo around the world.

Before ending his three-month trip, Barrington Irving circled the Opa-locka airport and flew low along the runway as a band played. He smiled and waved as he climbed out of the plane in his tan jumpsuit, hugging and praying with friends and family.

Mr. Irving, an aerospace student who built his plane from more than $300,000 in donated parts, had left the Miami-area city March 23. In all, his continent-hopping journey covered about 27,000 miles.

He says he is the first black person as well as the youngest person to complete the journey alone, though it was not clear how the claims would be validated.

GEORGIA

Judge denies bail in teen sex case

ATLANTA — A man who had consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl when he was 17 is not eligible for bail while appealing his 10-year prison sentence, a judge ruled yesterday.

The ruling is likely to mean that 21-year-old Genarlow Wilson will remain behind bars for several more months at least.

In yesterday’s ruling, Douglas County Superior Court Judge David Emerson said Wilson’s conviction for one of the so-called seven deadly sins, under Georgia law, makes him ineligible for bail. He canceled a hearing that had been scheduled for July 5.

The Georgia Supreme Court is not set to hear his appeal of his term for aggravated child molestation until October. The justices, without explanation, denied a motion by state Attorney General Thurbert Baker to expedite the appeal.

LOUISIANA

Legislature approves cockfighting ban

BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Legislature yesterday approved a ban on cockfighting that will take effect in August 2008.

Louisiana is the last state in the country to allow cockfighting, a rural tradition in which specially bred roosters fight to the death while spectators place wagers on the outcome. State lawmakers resisted for years animal rights activists’ efforts to outlaw it, but relented this year on the condition that the prohibition take effect next year.

The bill now goes to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who is expected to sign it into law.

MICHIGAN

Man, 72, fights off would-be pickpocket

GRAND RAPIDS — Bill Barnes says he was scratching off a losing $2 lottery ticket inside a gas station when he felt a hand slip into his front-left pants pocket, where he had $300 in cash.

He immediately grabbed the person’s wrist with his left hand and started throwing punches with his right, landing six or seven blows before a store manager intervened and slammed the accused robber to the ground and held him there.

“I guess he thought I was an easy mark,” Mr. Barnes, 72, told the Grand Rapids Press.

He’s anything but an easy mark: Mr. Barnes served in the Marines, was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer and retired after 20 years as an iron worker.

Jesse Daniel Rae, 27, was arraigned Monday in Rockford District Court on one count of unarmed robbery.

NEW JERSEY

Five teens arrested in school pyrotechnics

TOTOWA — Five recent graduates were arrested in connection with pyrotechnic devices that prompted evacuations at a high school earlier this month, authorities said yesterday.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor James Wilson said the five males, all ages 17 or 18, were taken into custody Tuesday night or yesterday morning. He gave no details about their identities or what charges each might face, pending a press conference yesterday afternoon.

The devices were found June 13 in two second-floor lockers at Wayne Valley High School after a student noticed fuses hanging from one locker. About 1,400 students were evacuated. It was the day before the start of final exams.

The devices, 5 to 6 inches long, were removed by a bomb squad and detonated safely. Officials described them as “pyrotechnic devices,” but not dynamite or fireworks.

Surveillance tapes showed two hooded persons putting the devices into the lockers.

NEW YORK

Power outage cuts trains, traffic lights

NEW YORK — A brief power outage darkened a large swath of Manhattan and the Bronx yesterday, knocking out traffic lights, cutting subway service and forcing the evacuation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on one of the hottest days of the year.

Power was restored within about an hour, but that did not stop the city from experiencing some of the chaos it endured during blackouts last year and in 2003.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was evacuated, and visitors were forced to sit on the outside steps in the sweltering heat. Traffic lights up and down the east side of Manhattan and the Bronx, including the area around Yankee Stadium, went dark.

The city was in the second day of temperatures well over 90 degrees.

Consolidated Edison said the blackout affected 136,700 customers in all, or more than 500,000 people.

The cause was under investigation, but utility spokesman Chris Olert said it was some sort of transmission disturbance. He didn’t know whether the heat was a factor.

OREGON

Pilot’s body recovered after fighter jet crash

PORTLAND — The body of a pilot whose F-15 fighter jet crashed during a training exercise over the Pacific Ocean has been recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard, officials said yesterday.

The remains of Maj. Gregory D. Young, 34, of St. Helens, Ore., were found nearly 40 miles west of Cannon Beach in north Oregon, the Oregon Air National Guard said in a statement.

The plane crashed Tuesday afternoon during a training exercise that pitted four F-15s from Oregon Guard against four F/A-18s from a Marine Corps Reserve unit stationed near Fort Worth, Texas. Only seven planes returned.

The exercise was designed to sharpen fighting skills by giving the pilots experience in flying against a different kind of aircraft, officials said.

The cause of the crash was unknown. The Air Guard said an Air Force Safety Board would investigate.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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