- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 3, 2007

DELAWARE

Driver stabbed to death on school bus

NEWARK — A school bus driver was stabbed to death on her vehicle yesterday, just before she was to begin picking up children for their morning ride to school, state police said.

No children were on the bus at the time, authorities said.

Police said the woman was found in the driver’s seat of her bus about 6:45 a.m. after another driver reported that her bus appeared to be broken down on the shoulder of a highway. The woman suffered multiple stab wounds, state police Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh said.

MAINE

Wallet turns up 56 years later

LEWISTON — On April 11, 1951, sailor Val Gregoire, 18, was hit over the head while on shore leave in Boston. When he came to, his wallet — and his pants — were gone.

Mr. Gregoire’s widow and five children were familiar with the story, which became part of family legend. But now they have proof. The wallet was discovered by a demolition worker at Boston’s Paramount Theatre — 56 years to the day Mr. Gregoire lost it.

Richard Bagen of East Weymouth, Mass., was tearing down a wall when the wallet spilled out, said his wife, Kathy. The wallet held no money, but it contained Mr. Gregoire’s Navy ID, a copy of his Augusta birth certificate and more than a dozen photos.

Mrs. Bagen managed to track down Jeannette Gregoire, 75, of Lewiston, and mailed the wallet to her. Mr. Gregoire died in 2003 after complications from a kidney transplant. He was a retired firefighter in Lewiston.

NEBRASKA

State court puts hold on electric chair

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court yesterday stayed an execution over concerns about a new electrocution protocol in the only state that relies solely on the electric chair for capital punishment.

Carey Dean Moore had been scheduled to die for the 1979 murders of two Omaha cabdrivers. The high court issued the stay after receiving objections this week from state Sen. Ernie Chambers, Omaha Democrat, who wants the new process reviewed before anyone is put to death.

State Supreme Court Judge John Gerrard wrote that recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions “at least raised the question whether electrocution is constitutional.”

Nebraska’s last execution was in 1997. The state decided to use a single 20-second, 2,450-volt jolt instead of several shorter ones of varying voltage after a judge rejected the old practice. But backers and foes of the new method agree that it could leave the condemned’s heart beating well after the shock.

OREGON

Senate passes gay civil unions

SALEM — A bill giving Oregon homosexuals the benefits of marriage through domestic partnerships won final legislative approval yesterday.

The Senate endorsed the measure by a 21-9 vote, sending it to Gov. Theodore R. Kulongoski, a Democrat. The governor is a homosexual rights supporter who says he will sign that bill along with another one passed earlier to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The domestic partnership bill would enable same-sex couples to enter into contractual relationships that grant them the same benefits that state law offers to married couples. The measure won unanimous endorsement from the Senate’s majority Democrats, with two Republicans joining them.

The governor’s signature would make Oregon the eighth state, along with Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, Maine and Washington, to confer some official status, whether “marriage” or civil unions, on homosexual couples. New Hampshire lawmakers last week approved a civil unions measure that is expected to be signed into law soon. None of the laws affects federal benefits for married couples, including Social Security and joint filing of federal tax returns.

TENNESSEE

Tot dies in heat; father charged

CHATTANOOGA — A 1-year-old boy died after being left alone in a car for hours as temperatures soared into the 80s, and his father was charged with negligent homicide, police said.

Timothy Reid was found unresponsive by his father, Robert Reid, on Tuesday afternoon, nearly seven hours after Mr. Reid had parked the car and gone to work. Emergency workers pronounced the toddler dead at the scene and said the temperature inside the car was 142 degrees.

Mr. Reid, 43, was charged with criminally negligent homicide and aggravated child abuse and neglect, Lt. Tim Carroll said yesterday.

Police said Mr. Reid took his three other children, ages 6, 10 and 12, to school Tuesday morning and had intended to take Timothy to day care before driving to work. Investigators said Mr. Reid instead went to work and left the boy in the car seat. The boy was discovered when Mr. Reid went to his car to go pick up the children that afternoon.

UTAH

500 tacos offered as reward

BRIGHAM CITY — Crime-solving doesn’t get much spicier than this.

The owner of a Mexican restaurant is offering 500 tacos for information that leads to the arrest of the person who stole about $3,000.

“We’re offering a food reward because all the cash got taken,” said Joe Cottam, owner of Melina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant.

With tacos priced at more than $2, the reward is worth about $1,200, said Mr. Cottam, who discovered the theft April 24.

WISCONSIN

Owner found dead in house for sale

JANESVILLE — A couple checking out a house for sale were shocked to discover the homeowner dead in her bed. Authorities said foul play was not suspected.

Real estate agent Linda Chabucos-Galow stood in the dining room while Justin and Colleen McKeen walked through a house Monday night. Before long, she heard Mrs. McKeen scream. She peered into the bedroom and saw the body of Linda L. O’Leary, 55.

An autopsy determined that Miss O’Leary had been dead for two to three weeks, Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach said yesterday. The cause of death was under investigation, but the woman appeared to have died of natural causes.

WYOMING

2 climbers recovered after fatal fall

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK — The bodies of two climbers who apparently fell to their deaths on Grand Teton were recovered with the help of a helicopter, a park official said yesterday.

“They were roped together,” park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said. “We still don’t know what happened and how it happened.”

The two were identified as Alan Rooney, 38, and Jonathan Morrow, 28, both of Kelly, according to a National Park Service press release. They apparently fell sometime Sunday, the release said. The climbers were reported overdue at 8:20 a.m. Monday, and rangers spotted their bodies Tuesday. Unstable snow pack delayed recovery of the bodies until Tuesday evening, park officials said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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