- The Washington Times - Monday, September 24, 2007

PENNSYLVANIA

Bloomberg visits Flight 93 site

SHANKSVILLE — New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday morning remembered the victims of United Flight 93 in his first visit to the crash site, WJAC-TV in central Pennsylvania reported.

Mr. Bloomberg presented an American flag that flew over the World Trade Center to National Park Service officials. He visited the Somerset County field on his way to Pittsburgh, the fourth stop of a national fundraising campaign for the World Trade Center memorial, of which he is chairman.

The mayor spoke about the importance of remembering all the victims of September 11 and memorializing them.

“They’re people you don’t know, but they’re human beings just like you and me,” he said.

The tour started in Columbia, S.C., where the Bloomberg team picked up a 4-ton steel beam, which will be used to build the memorial at ground zero. At each stop, the fundraisers ask people to sign the beam and make a contribution. Mr. Bloomberg said the campaign is $25 million shy of the $350 million goal.

MAINE

New Yorker takes burrito title

SOUTH PORTLAND — A day trader and aspiring pizza chef known as “Eater X” munched through 103/4 burritos in a dozen minutes Saturday to win what was billed as the world burrito-eating championship.

“I love Mexican food,” Tim Janus, 30, of New York, said after his victory.

About 100 spectators watched the contest outside the Costa Vida restaurant, where about a dozen entrants competed for $3,000 in prize money. The 18-ounce burritos were made of rice, black beans, pork, cheese and a mild sauce wrapped in a tortilla.

The burrito record holder, Eric “Badlands” Booker, has retired from competitive eating and wasn’t on hand to defend his title. But other contestants well-known on the eating contest circuit appeared. Among them was Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas of Alexandria, Va., who finished second Saturday by downing 10 “Big Kahunas.”

CALIFORNIA

Charity chief charged with embezzlement

LOS ANGELES — The founder of a charity that resettles African refugees in Los Angeles was charged with embezzling more than $1 million from the organization, prosecutors said.

Nigisti Tesfai, 53, was arrested Thursday after a four-year investigation, according to the district attorney’s office. Prosecutors said Miss Tesfai used her position as executive director of the African Community Resource Center to misappropriate public funds and embezzle the group’s assets.

She faces 25 criminal counts, including conspiracy, embezzlement, forgery, filing false tax returns, fraud and grand theft.

Three other persons, including Miss Tesfai’s boyfriend and brother, also face charges in the case.

Miss Tesfai was being held on $1.5 million bail and was scheduled to appear in court today. If convicted, she could face 15 years in prison.

CONNECTICUT

Wandering bull attacks house

KILLINGLY — An escaped and raging bull attacked a neighbor’s home, tearing off siding, ripping down part of a fence and damaging a car.

Wayne Johnson said he found the bull in his yard Friday morning. It had wandered in from a nearby farm.

“He was crazy,” Mr. Johnson said. “The thing was ripping my house apart.”

Mr. Johnson called police, who called the state Department of Agriculture. They suggested finding the farmer who owns the animal.

Eventually, a neighbor was able to lure the bull away with a bag of grain and led the animal back to its pasture.

Mr. Johnson said he has no idea what caused the bull to become so aggressive.

“My house isn’t red,” he joked. “It’s grayish blue.”

FLORIDA

Subtropical storm forms in Atlantic

MIAMI — Subtropical Storm Jerry formed yesterday in the Atlantic Ocean but posed no immediate threat to land, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 5 p.m., Jerry was located about 1,060 miles west of the Azores, with top sustained winds near 40 mph.

Forecasters said the storm was moving north at about 6 mph and is expected to remain over open waters, far west of the Azores.

Subtropical storms are hybrid systems that get energy from warm waters like tropical ones but also from colliding warm and cold air masses like more common storms over land.

Jerry is the 10th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Its winds extended outward about 105 miles.

In the Pacific, Ivo was downgraded from a tropical storm to a depression early yesterday, the Hurricane Center said.

INDIANA

Man accused of stealing teeth

YORKTOWN — A man accused of snatching another man’s false teeth straight from his mouth during a fight has been charged with robbery.

Robert Henry Stahl, 62, was charged Thursday in Delaware Circuit Court with felony robbery and battery causing bodily injury, a misdemeanor. If convicted of robbery, he could face two to eight years in prison.

Billie Townsend, 56, told police that he went to a bar July 27 to pay Mr. Stahl money he owed him, then Mr. Stahl asked him to go outside and started punching him repeatedly.

During the fight, Mr. Stahl reportedly put Mr. Townsend in a headlock and removed his false teeth.

“He said, ‘You ain’t getting these back,’ ” Mr. Townsend told police.

Mr. Stahl did not attend Thursday’s hearing, and prosecutors did not seek a warrant for his arrest. Another hearing was scheduled for Oct. 22.

KANSAS

Tornado death toll climbs to 12

GREENSBURG — A man who was struck by debris and suffered brain damage when a tornado destroyed this town in May has died, making him the 12th victim of the storm, his family said.

Max M. McColm, 77, of Liberal, was staying with his daughter, Beverly Volz, while recovering from shoulder surgery when the tornado hit May 4.

Mr. McColm’s grandson, Ross McColm, of Lakewood, Colo., said his grandfather was hit in the head with a large piece of metal. He fell into a coma and was taken to a Wichita hospital. At the end of June, he was moved to a long-term acute care center in Overland Park.

He regained partial consciousness in mid-July and was told his daughter had died, said his son, Matthew McColm, also of Lakewood, Colo. Mr. McColm died Wednesday, his family said.

WISCONSIN

Cat came back after three months

GREEN BAY — More than three months after disappearing during a tornado, Smoky the cat was reunited with his owner.

Smoky was last seen June 7, before a tornado destroyed Wanda Ploeger’s mobile home in rural Riverview, scattering her belongings.

She was at work that evening and couldn’t find her kitty when she returned.

The cat’s owner, who has been staying with her ex-husband, said she knew Smoky was out there somewhere. She’d go out late at night to look for Smoky because that’s when he liked to go out, she said.

While driving Sept. 15 about 2½ miles from where her trailer used to be, Smoky’s owner saw a white streak and asked the driver to stop the truck along the highway. The cat had gone over the hill so she crouched on the hill and called until it came to her.

Smoky had dropped about three pounds and is now seven pounds. He also is taking antibiotics for an abscess, which he might have suffered while fighting, she said.

WYOMING

Rabbit ordinance has council hopping

POWELL — A proposed city ordinance limiting the number of rabbits per household has some City Council members in this northern Wyoming community hopping.

The council gave initial approval last week to an ordinance that limits rabbits to three breeding pairs a household.

“I know that rabbits are very big in Powell, and it’s about time we got something like this on the books,” Mayor Scott Mangold said.

Council member Tim Sapp doesn’t agree.

“I’ve talked with a number of my constituents, and a lot of them aren’t 100 percent sure they’re for letting rabbits in Powell,” Mr. Sapp said.

The bunny battle started with a complaint by a resident, aptly named David Haire. He is convinced that rabbits raised by his neighbor’s 10-year-old daughter made him sick.

“I got the little-girl crowd against me,” Mr. Haire said after raising the issue with the City Council.

The ordinance still needs final approval from the council.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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