- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 17, 2007

CALIFORNIA

Terror list targeted by federal lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO — Civil rights lawyers sued the Bush administration yesterday over a Treasury Department terrorist watch list, asking a federal court to order the release of documents on the secretive program.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, which filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in U.S. District Court here, says the government list sometimes wrongly snags innocent people.

The lawsuit comes nearly two years after the attorneys’ group invoked the act to request documents from the Treasury Department on complaints from people mistakenly ensnared by the list, and department policies regarding the list.

According to the group, the department refused to provide its policies, asserting that they were not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, and said it did not track complaints. The lawsuit “demands immediate disclosure of the requested documents,” the group said.

Treasury Department spokeswoman Molly Millerwise said the department has several safeguards meant to avoid “false positives” and to make the list user-friendly.

COLORADO

Boy, 2, drowned by flash flood

DENVER — Searchers yesterday found the body of a 2-year-old boy in the South Platte River, several miles downstream from where he was swept away from his mother during a flash flood.

Jose Matthew Jauregui Jr.’s mother, identified by relatives as Elsha Guel, collapsed in tears as the boy’s body was carried to a waiting vehicle.

A construction worker spotted the body seven to 10 miles downstream from where the boy disappeared Monday night, authorities said. The mother had been out for her regular stroll with her son along a bike path that follows the South Platte downtown when a sudden thunderstorm dumped more than an inch of rain and sent a torrent of water down the river.

GEORGIA

Man, 106, becomes oldest league bowler

DECATUR — Bill Hargrove took three small steps and dropped the ball at his feet with a loud clunk. While it rolled slowly down the lane, he held up his right arm in a camera-friendly pose.

Good form — especially for someone who’s 106 and can’t see what he’s aiming at. Because he can’t see the pins at the far end of the lane, he relies on a teammate to tell him which ones are standing after his first throw.

At a well-worn strip mall in suburban Atlanta, Mr. Hargrove became the oldest league bowler in U.S. history yesterday. Leading off for “Bill’s Bunch,” he knocked down nine pins with his first throw and averaged 93 in the three-game match.

Mr. Hargrove surpassed the record that was held by 105-year-old John Venturello of Sunrise, Fla., a certified bowler until his death in 1993. Mr. Hargrove turned 106 last week.

ILLINOIS

Gun owner card issued to baby

CHICAGO — Bubba Ludwig can’t walk, talk or open the refrigerator door — but he does have his very own Illinois gun permit.

The 10-month-old, whose given name is Howard David Ludwig, was issued a firearm owner’s identification card after his father, Howard Ludwig, paid the $5 fee and filled out the application, not expecting to actually get one.

The card lists the baby’s height (2 feet, 3 inches), weight (20 pounds) and has a scribble where the signature should be.

With some exceptions, the cards are required of any Illinois residents purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition within the state. There are no age restrictions on the cards, an official said.

Mr. Ludwig, 30, of Chicago, applied for the card after his own father bought Bubba a 12-gauge Beretta shotgun as a gift. The weapon will probably be kept at Mr. Ludwig’s father’s house until the boy is at least 14.

MASSACHUSETTS

Same-sex ‘marriages’ valid, judge rules

BOSTON — The “marriages” of more than 170 same-sex couples from New York who wed in Massachusetts before last July are valid because New York had not explicitly banned same-sex “marriages,” a Massachusetts judge ruled.

Couples are barred from marrying in Massachusetts if their marriages would be prohibited in their home states. The New York Court of Appeals ruled against same-sex “marriages” on July 6.

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders had asked for clarification of the status of New York couples who “married” in Massachusetts before that ruling. Massachusetts became the first state in the country to allow same-sex “marriage” in May 2004.

Suffolk Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly ruled last week that those early “marriages” are legally valid.

But Michael Long, who heads New York’s Conservative Party, predicted that Judge Connolly’s ruling will not hold up in New York if same-sex couples press for “marriage” rights there.

NEW YORK

Banks, Clinton behind energy-saving buildings

NEW YORK — Five global banks will raise $5 billion in loans to make existing buildings up to 50 percent more energy efficient with New York, London, Tokyo, Johannesburg, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, among the first 15 cities to take part.

Under the plan, outlined yesterday by former President Bill Clinton, city governments and building owners will repay the loans plus interest with savings made from reduced energy costs created by the energy-efficient retrofit.

Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO and JPMorgan Chase have agreed to arrange $1 billion each for the Clinton Climate Initiative’s Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program.

The money will be used to fund the building makeovers at no net cost. It more than doubles the amount for energy-saving building retrofits, said the Clinton Climate Initiative.

Energy service companies Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Siemens and Trane, owned by American Standard, have agreed to boost capacity to allow them to do large numbers of building makeovers and will financially guarantee energy savings from the projects.

TEXAS

Suspect in killing arrested near border

HARLINGEN — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a man who claimed to be a Canadian citizen along the Rio Grande here this week who is wanted for questioning by Canadian and U.S. authorities for several slayings in Nova Scotia and New York.

The man, identified as Glen D. Race, was taken into custody on Tuesday when a Border Patrol agent assigned to the Harlingen Border Patrol station responded to suspicious activity near the Rio Grande.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said the agent, who was not identified, spotted the man and questioned him as to his citizenship — noticing a rifle in a bag that Mr. Race had in his possession.

Mr. Friel said as the agent reached to secure the rifle, a fight ensued and the agent wrestled Mr. Race to the ground. Mr. Race was arrested and transported to the Harlingen Border Patrol station for processing. The agent was treated and released for minor injuries received during the arrest.

Once at the station, Mr. Friel said a records check on the rifle found that it had been stolen from the scene of a homicide in Mooers, N.Y. New York State Police were contacted and said Mr. Race is a suspect in the homicide and have made arrangements to interview the subject for possible extradition to New York.

WASHINGTON

Trains derail, spilling fuel, disrupting Amtrak

TACOMA — Two freight trains derailed in western Washington early yesterday, disrupting Amtrak travel and spilling diesel fuel near a river a few miles upstream from the Nisqually Delta National Wildlife Refuge, officials said.

No injuries were reported, but Mark Davis of Union Pacific said at least two locomotives and a number of rail cars were off the tracks.

Diesel fuel was leaking from at least one engine near the Nisqually River, said Jenny Sharp, a spokeswoman for the DuPont Fire Department. She said that power lines were down and that most of the town of DuPont was without electricity.

It wasn’t immediately clear what started the derailments. Miss Sharp and Mr. Davis said a southbound train from Seattle to Chicago apparently derailed about 3:15 a.m. and bumped a few cars off the tracks from a northbound train from Portland, Ore., to Seattle.

The trains derailed about halfway between Tacoma and Olympia. Amtrak passengers were being bused between Seattle and Portland because of the blockage, a disruption that was expected to continue into today, according to an Amtrak press release.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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