- The Washington Times - Friday, February 29, 2008

ARKANSAS

Student recovers after shooting

LITTLE ROCK — A student injured in a shooting at the University of Arkansas was recovering in a hospital yesterday and campus police said they have a suspect.

James Earl Matthews, 33, a junior studying radio, television and theater, suffered gunshot wounds to his midriff and buttocks and underwent surgery Wednesday.

“The outlook is good” for Mr. Matthews, Chancellor Joel Anderson of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock said at a press conference before a campus-wide assembly.

Mr. Matthews, of North Little Rock, was shot Wednesday on a sidewalk at the university and witnesses saw two men flee in a car.

University Police Chief Brad King said he hoped to have a warrant for one suspect later yesterday. The man, who was not identified, has a criminal record with the Little Rock police but Chief King would not disclose the criminal history.

Chief King said police were still trying to identify the second man.

The police chief declined to discuss what prompted the shooting.

CONNECTICUT

Suspected militant arraigned in robbery

HARTFORD — A suspected Puerto Rican militant pleaded not guilty yesterday to federal charges related to a $7 million robbery of the Wells Fargo armored-car depot in 1983.

Avelino Gonzalez Claudio, 65, is one of more than a dozen suspected members of the Puerto Rican nationalist group Los Macheteros thought by federal authorities to have planned and carried out the heist, one of the largest in American history.

Mr. Gonzalez, who was arrested earlier this month in Puerto Rico, answered “not guilty” to counts of robbery by force of a federally insured bank, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery, the interstate or foreign transport of stolen goods, and conspiracy against the United States.

The robbery in West Hartford was reportedly carried out by Victor Gerena, a Wells Fargo driver recruited by the independence group. Mr. Gonzalez is accused of helping Mr. Gerena and the half-ton of cash escape the United States.

The Macheteros are suspected of using the money to finance a series of bombings and attacks designed to promote independence for the U.S. territory.

NEW JERSEY

Man admits making fake threats

NEWARK — A former Wisconsin grocery clerk pleaded guilty yesterday to making Internet postings that falsely warned of terrorist attacks against seven National Football League stadiums in 2006.

Jake J. Brahm admitted he posted bogus information that so-called dirty bombs would be detonated at NFL stadiums hosting games Oct. 22, 2006.

Brahm had said the stadiums were in Miami; Atlanta; Seattle; Houston; Oakland, Calif.; Cleveland and New York City. He admitted the reference to New York was intended to indicate Giants Stadium, in East Rutherford, N.J., where the Jets played the Detroit Lions that day.

Brahm, 22, of Wauwatosa, Wis., pleaded guilty to a one-count indictment that was handed up exactly a year earlier. The charge, part of the Patriot Act, accused him of willfully conveying false information that the stadiums would be attacked by terrorists with weapons of mass destruction and “radiological dispersal devices.”

Brahm remains free on bail and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced June 5.

NEW YORK

Slain groom was involved in spat

NEW YORK — A groom gunned down hours before his wedding in a hail of 50 police bullets had argued with another man moments before his death, a witness testified yesterday at the trial of three detectives. That man might have been armed, according to witness testimony.

Hugh Jensen, a friend of groom Sean Bell and a prosecution witness, recalled Mr. Bell scowling at the unidentified man as the man stood by his black sport utility vehicle and struck a menacing pose by holding his hand to his side.

“Of course I thought he had a gun,” Mr. Jensen said while describing the angry encounter outside a Queens strip club where Mr. Bell had his bachelor party.

Mr. Jensen’s testimony under cross-examination appeared to bolster the undercover detectives’ claim that they resorted to deadly force because they suspected a gunfight was brewing.

Detectives Michael Oliver and Gescard Isnora face manslaughter charges in the Nov. 25, 2006, shooting. Detective Marc Cooper is charged with reckless endangerment.

OREGON

County holds mock election

McMINNVILLE — On the ballot this month in Yamhill County are questions such as whether the United States should purchase the Louisiana Territory and whether Paul Newman or Garth Brooks ought to be the national director of entertainment.

Just kidding!

The western Oregon county is spending $10,000 for a dry run of a new voting system. It is mailing mock ballots to voters for the March 11 ballot, hoping to work out any kinks in the system before a May 20 election in which the results will be real.

Oregon holds elections next month, but nobody submitted any questions for the ballot in Yamhill County. Rather than skip the election, the county decided to use it as a test of a new scanning system, as training for elections workers and as a warm-up for voters who will cast ballots in a real primary election in May.

The counting software replaces a 20-year-old system relying on a trio of optical scanners. The old system required voters to draw, with a pencil, a line completing an arrow on the right side of the candidate they chose. The new ballots require them to shade in a box to the left of the candidate’s name with a blue or black pen.

TEXAS

Lech Walesa to get pacemaker

HOUSTON — Nobel laureate and former Polish President Lech Walesa was treated for a clogged coronary artery and will have a heart pacemaker implanted today, doctors said.

Mr. Walesa was resting yesterday, a day after doctors at the Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vascular Center implanted a stent in the artery, hospital spokeswoman Erin Fairchild said.

Mr. Walesa, 64, has been in Houston this week undergoing tests to determine whether he needs a heart transplant. Doctors said they plan to install a pacemaker in Mr. Walesa’s chest today.

Miss Fairchild said the pacemaker is one of the things they will try to help Mr. Walesa avoid a transplant.

Mr. Walesa, a former Gdansk shipyard electrician, led a workers’ strike in 1980 that grew into the nationwide Solidarity freedom movement against Poland’s communist authorities, earning him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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