- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

ARIZONA

Ex-sitter gets life for killing infants

PHOENIX — A baby sitter convicted of murdering three infants in her care nearly two decades ago was sentenced Friday to three consecutive terms of life in prison.

Amy Lynn Scott, 39, must serve 25 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Scott was convicted in March of three counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of three infants that she watched for eight months in 1989.

Authorities said all three babies — 2, 4 and 8 months old — died before reaching a hospital. A medical examiner listed their causes of death as sudden infant death syndrome.

But years later, detectives reopened two of the cases. In April 1997, seven forensic pathologists agreed that the babies were likely killed.

Scott was arrested in November 2004 after police used new medical advances to determine that she had suffocated the infants.

GEORGIA

Weather threatens to spread fire

WAYCROSS — Lightning strikes that started three new fires, winds expected to gust up to 30 mph and no chance of a soaking rain yesterday threatened to spread the wildfires that have charred more than 100,000 acres of forest, swampland and parts of the Okefenokee Swamp in southeastern Georgia.

Officials with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency are worried about the effect of the gigantic blaze on the wildlife in the swamp in a season that’s reserved for mating and birthing for many species.

The two largest — adjoining fires that started when a tree fell on a power line on April 16 — are mostly in Ware County next to the refuge and have burned more than 98,400 acres, or about 140 square miles.

One of the fires is 80 percent contained, but the other one is only 45 percent contained and firefighters worked through the night to put out three new blazes started nearby by lightning on Saturday, said Mickey Moore, a spokesman with the joint information center that has been monitoring the fires near Waycross for nearly three weeks.

ILLINOIS

Service offers tows for the intoxicated

NAPERVILLE — This new taxi service doesn’t come cheap, but it may be a bargain compared to the price of a drunken-driving arrest.

Smith Cos. plans to start a towing taxi service called NDUIT (No DUI Tonight) this week in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago. It will allow intoxicated drinkers to call for a ride home in a tow truck that will also haul their cars.

For an unscheduled pickup, the fee will be $85, plus $2 per mile. If someone has a hunch that he is going to overindulge, reservations are available for $65, plus the towing fee.

MISSISSIPPI

Workers install new bridge beams

BILOXI — Construction crews last week installed the highest beams of a new U.S. 90 Biloxi Bay bridge that will replace a span destroyed 20 months ago by Hurricane Katrina.

The bridge will reconnect Ocean Springs with Biloxi. One lane of the new north bridge is scheduled to open by November.

NEBRASKA

Angus calf born with six legs

LITCHFIELD — A days-old black Angus calf romps about a central Nebraska farm just like any other — only this one romps with six legs.

“He’s a real freak,” said Brian Slocum, who said the calf was born last week to one of his cows. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

The two extra appendages — one a front leg, the other a back — extend from the calf’s pelvic area. The longer of the two extra legs doesn’t quite reach the ground, and they don’t interfere with the calf’s mobility.

The unnamed calf also has organs for both sexes and a surgically supplied rectum.

David Smith, a veterinary specialist at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, said the calf’s twin sexes indicate that the embryos for what might have been fraternal twins likely fused during development, producing one calf with extra parts.

Such calves are rare, usually plagued with internal problems and don’t live long, cattle specialists say.

NEW YORK

Couple gets engaged on zero-gravity flight

NEW YORK — Alexander Loucopoulos wasn’t afraid he would drop the ring when he proposed to his girlfriend, but he did have another fear.

“I was afraid the ring would float really far away,” said Mr. Loucopoulos, 32, of New York City.

When he proposed Saturday to Graciela Asturias, 27, a space enthusiast, they were on a 90-minute zero-gravity flight aboard a Boeing 727.

“I asked if she’d marry me, and then the ring just floated in front of her as we floated in zero gravity,” he said. She said yes.

The trip cost $3,500 each and was organized by Space Adventures of Virginia, which also arranged for Charles Simonyi’s $20 million flight to space in April. Mr. Loucopoulos works as a banker in private equity and Miss Asturias is an architect.

“I would like our 10-year anniversary to be in orbit,” Mr. Loucopoulos said.

OHIO

Women vanish from shopping trip

LEBANON — Mary Ellen Walters and Ada Wasson set out from their retirement community for a routine day of outlet-store shopping, not telling anyone they planned a long trip or even asking anyone to feed Mrs. Walters’ beloved dog.

There hasn’t been a trace of them in more than two weeks.

Authorities, volunteers and relatives have driven up and down roads covering thousands of square miles of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and flown over the region. They’ve looked for credit card activity, studied store videotapes, checked under bridges and passed out thousands of fliers.

Warren County Sheriff’s Maj. John Newsom said there has been no indication of foul play.

Mrs. Walter, 68, and Mrs. Wasson, 80, are thought to have left the closely knit Otterbein Retirement Living Community on April 19, headed to a J.C. Penney outlet store in either Columbus or Carrollton, Ky., with Mrs. Wasson driving her 2000 Chevrolet Impala. They were reported missing three days later, when Mrs. Walters’ daughter came to pick her up for an evening out and found worried neighbors.

PENNSYLVANIA

Teen charged with killing boy, 5

PITTSBURGH — A 13-year-old is accused of killing a 5-year-old in the home where they both lived, a death the teen said happened while he was practicing wrestling moves on the boy.

The teenager told investigators that he was practicing wrestling moves on Tyeir Bruce on Thursday when he became unresponsive, police said. He initially said the boy had fallen down stairs, authorities said.

The boy died at a hospital, and a medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.

The victim’s multiple bruises and internal injuries were not consistent with someone who had fallen down steps, said police Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki.

The younger boy’s mother was not at home at the time. A man who was baby-sitting the boys was in a different part of the house, Cmdr. Stangrecki said.

The teenager, whose name was not released because of his age, was charged with criminal homicide Friday and taken to the county’s juvenile detention center.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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