- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 29, 2007

ALABAMA

Boy bags beast bigger than Hogzilla

MONTGOMERY — Hogzilla is being made into a horror movie. But the sequel may be even bigger: Meet Monster Pig.

An 11-year-old boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog that his father says weighed a staggering 1,051 pounds and measured 9 feet, 4 inches, from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.

If the claims are accurate, Jamison Stone’s trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the 800-pound wild hog that was killed in South Georgia in 2004.

Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in eastern Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Monster Pig. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50-caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.

FLORIDA

Large lizard shot but eludes capture

CASSELBERRY — Police say they are sure they shot a 4-foot-long, 80-pound monitor lizard that had been lurking in an Orlando suburb for months. Still, neighbors aren’t ready to let their children or pets back outside until they see a carcass.

The lizard didn’t bite anyone, but police officers were authorized to kill it because of the danger it posed to small children and animals.

An officer shot the reptile twice Sunday but wasn’t close enough to catch it before the animal scampered into a retention pond, said Lt. Dennis Stewart of the Casselberry Police Department.

Authorities said the lizard was likely a pet that escaped or was dumped illegally. For months, it eluded wildlife officials and trappers.

ILLINOIS

Staph infections rise among poor

CHICAGO — Drug-resistant staph infections have spread to the urban poor, rising almost sevenfold in recent years in some Chicago neighborhoods, a study finds.

Researchers said the crowded living conditions of public housing and jails may speed the person-to-person spread of infection.

Called methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, these staph germs can cause skin infections that in rare cases have led to pneumonia, bloodstream infections and a painful, flesh-destroying condition. MRSA is hard to treat because the bacteria have developed resistance to the penicillin drug family. The study appeared in yesterday’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

INDIANA

Prosecutor brings music to judge’s ears

WEST LAFAYETTE — A special prosecutor could not have had worse timing for telling a judge that he had cleared him of theft for taking a college student’s ringing cell phone during a class.

Special prosecutor Rob Ives had just delivered his report Friday in Tippecanoe Superior Judge Les Meade’s crowded courtroom when his own cell phone began ringing.

Mr. Ives quickly left the courtroom, which has a posted sign instructing those entering to turn off their cell phones. Other attorneys waited nervously to see Judge Meade’s reaction. As it turned out, the judge liked Mr. Ives’ ring tone — the song, “I Fought the Law (and the Law Won).”

“It was the perfect ending to this little annoyance,” Judge Meade said.

Six weeks ago, Judge Meade was teaching a business law class at Purdue University when a student’s cell phone began ringing and Judge Meade took it away. Judge Meade said he intended to turn it over to the dean’s office. But the student called Purdue police. While Judge Meade was talking with officers, Richard Cosier, dean of Purdue’s School of Management, arrived and took the phone. He returned it to the student after lecturing him about rules against using cell phones during class.

NEW YORK

Man kills self after slaying, assault

WEST ISLIP — A man slit the throat of a woman who was baby-sitting her two grandchildren, sexually assaulted one of the children, then barricaded himself inside their home for 14 hours before shooting himself yesterday, police said.

The woman who lives at the home returned about 12:30 a.m. and found her 59-year-old mother dead in a pool of blood in the garage, Suffolk County police said.

Phillip Zagarella, 50, looming in a doorway with a rifle, yelled for the woman to get inside, but she ran to a neighbor’s home and called police to say her two children, ages 10 and 13, were still inside, said Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, a detective.

Police said they negotiated with Zagarella by telephone for hours and determined he was drunk. When police entered the home, Zagarella was dead.

OKLAHOMA

Flooding strands 1,500 park campers

OKLAHOMA CITY — Heavy rains pounded central Oklahoma on Sunday, sending swollen rivers and creeks over their banks and stranding hundreds of campers who came for the holiday weekend at a popular park.

About 1,500 campers at Turner Falls Park near Davis were stuck with their vehicles Sunday after flash flooding forced the closure of the only road leading into the campgrounds, park manager Tom Graham said. No injuries were reported.

Campers were able to escape on foot bridges, Mr. Graham said. A building inside the park was opened for rain-soaked campers to dry out, and the Red Cross delivered food and supplies.

PENNSYLVANIA

Drug bugs infest police evidence

ERIE — These weren’t just bugs. These were bugs on drugs.

Tiny drain flies infested 70 pounds of seized khat — an illegal, leafy drug — being held as evidence by Erie police, and they tried to infest the rest of the evidence room.

“We had no idea this stuff could carry bugs,” said police Lt. Mike Nolan.

The drug can be chewed or smoked and is common in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, but relatively uncommon in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Even though the trial hadn’t started, an Erie County judge agreed to allow the drug to be burned by police, and an exterminator was brought in to rid the storage room of the bugs.

Three men are awaiting trial on charges they possessed the khat, seized by police in March. Lt. Nolan said the case against them would proceed.

UTAH

Friends wrap house in newspaper

PROVIDENCE — Balloons apparently were boring. A young man returning home from a church mission in Mexico found his family’s home completely wrapped in newspaper.

“As soon as the headlights hit the house it was like, ‘What has happened?’ ” said Kelly Wigington, the father of Mormon missionary Brian Wigington. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The family returned from the Salt Lake City airport about 1:30 a.m. Thursday to find the unusual welcome-home decorations.

The pranksters were Brian Wigington’s friends, who volunteered to remove the newsprint. It took three hours to wrap the house.

“Some of these guys have too much free time on their hands,” Mr. Wigington said.

WASHINGTON

Vandals attack veterans’ graves

ORCAS ISLAND — Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans’ graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas, authorities said.

Forty-six flag standards were found empty and another 33 flags were in charred tatters Sunday in the cemetery, authorities said. Swastikas drawn on paper appeared where 14 of the flags had been.

Members of the American Legion on this island off Washington’s northwest coast replaced the burned flags with new ones Sunday afternoon.

The vandals struck again on Memorial Day after a guard left at dawn, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office said. This time, the vandals left 33 of the hand-drawn swastikas.

“This is not an act of free speech. This is a crime,” Sheriff Bill Cumming said in a statement released yesterday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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