- The Washington Times - Monday, June 9, 2008

ALASKA

‘Beach-combing’ pilot dies in plane crash

ANCHORAGE | A California pilot died when his small plane stalled and crashed as he was looking at a whale skeleton near a western Alaska village, the pilot of a companion airplane said.

Alaska State Troopers said Shaun Lunt, 33, of Loma Linda, Calif., was found dead at the scene of the crash Friday night. Mr. Lunt’s Piper Super Cub crashed near Jacksmith Bay, about 425 miles west of Anchorage.

Fellow pilot Loni Habersetzer said he and Mr. Lunt had been beach-combing from the air. Mr. Lunt saw a whale vertebrae and circled the bones.

Mr. Habersetzer safely landed his Super Cub nearby.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

FLORIDA

Four people dead, 2 hurt in shooting

TAMPA | Three people were fatally shot in a suburban home Saturday, and a man spotted fleeing the scene was fatally shot after he fired at two sheriff’s deputies pursuing him, authorities said.

Deputies had caught up to the suspect about a mile and a half from the house in the Carrollwood area when he shot from his vehicle and wounded the deputies, authorities said.

Jorge Orlando Bello Garcia then got out of the truck and attacked one of the deputies before a third officer fatally shot the suspect, authorities said.

Hillsborough County sheriff’s spokesman J.D. Callaway said investigators are searching for a motive.

The bodies of Gina Marie Lamantia-Bello, 44, who was the wife of the shooter, and Chris Artigas, 45, were found. Regina Ann Coffaro, 44, was taken to a hospital and died there, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Mr. Artigas, a captain and 23-year veteran of the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, was married with two sons and a daughter.

The wounded deputies were in fair condition Sunday.

CONNECTICUT

Yale OKs largest expansion in decades

HARTFORD | Yale University has approved plans for its largest expansion in decades, changes that will allow it to raise enrollment by 15 percent, school President Richard Levin announced Saturday.

The Yale Corp. authorized creating two new residential colleges that will increase student enrollment to 6,100, Mr. Levin said. It will be the New Haven university’s biggest expansion since it began admitting women in 1969.

The new colleges are expected to open in 2013.

FLORIDA

Facebook content endangers teachers

BOCA RATON | Several teachers in Palm Beach County may soon lose their jobs for posting questionable material on the Web site Facebook.com, officials said.

State Deputy Chancellor for Educator Quality Pamela Stewart said each of the teachers could lose their teaching certification for posting materials on the social networking Web site that their students could potentially access, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported June 1.

KANSAS

Workplace debate focus on pantyhose

WICHITA | A financial institution in Wichita appears to be a battleground in a growing war over pantyhose in the workplace, a company head said.

Mid American Credit Union President Jim Holt said his company has regulations requiring all female employees to wear pantyhose on the job, even when they are wearing pants, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

While such workplace rules have drawn the ire of women across the U.S., Mr. Holt has maintained the rule makes sense given the geographical location of his company.

“We’re not New York or San Francisco,” he explained. “We’re the Midwest.”

Yet a week ago, Mr. Holt relented on the clothing regulation after speaking with a female human-resources official who explained the outdated nature of leggings.

He told the Journal that while pantyhose would still be advised, all employees would be allowed to forgo wearing them.

NEVADA

Earthquake swarm picks up again

RENO | A months-long swarm of earthquakes picked up again Sunday as a string of minor temblors rattled Reno, causing downtown high-rises to sway and knocking items off walls and shelves.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or major property damage after about 20 minor quakes were reported on the western edge of Reno over 12 hours ending at about noon.

Magnitude-3.9 and 3.6 quakes struck within a minutes of each other shortly before 11 a.m. and were preceded by 3.2 and 3.0 quakes early Sunday, said researchers at the seismological laboratory at the University of Nevada at Reno.

Diane dePolo, a lab seismologist, said it was the strongest sequence of quakes in the past month and signaled a pickup in activity after a recent lull.

Seismologists had urged residents of northern Nevada’s largest city to prepare for a bigger event after a 4.7 quake on April 25, the strongest in a swarm that began Feb. 28.

NEW YORK

Stun guns added to officers’ belts

NEW YORK | The NYPD is expanding its use of the Taser stun gun, a common tool in the law-enforcement arsenal that has seen limited use in the nation’s largest police force.

Newer model Tasers are smaller, lighter and easier to carry in a holster, the main reason for the change, department spokesman Paul Browne said Saturday.

Starting Wednesday, thousands of police sergeants will begin carrying electronic stun guns on their belts. The NYPD has used Tasers since 1984, but policy called for sergeants to store the stun guns in their trunks while patrolling, rather than strapping the weapons to their hips.

“They were a little too cumbersome,” Mr. Browne explained. He said older Tasers were about the size and weight of a large flashlight and were less essential than other items police carry.

About 3,500 uniformed sergeants and other supervisors on patrol duty will be issued Tasers, costing about $500 each. The NYPD has 36,000 officers.

Police forces nationwide use stun guns as alternatives to guns.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Crocodile likely swam from Florida

ISLE OF PALMS | A crocodile captured in Isle of Palms may actually have swum to the South Carolina city from Florida, natural resources officials said.

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources official Steve Bennett said the 6-foot aquatic reptile, thought to be an American crocodile, could easily have traveled miles up the Atlantic Coast from the Everglades in southern Florida to Isle of Palms, the Charleston, S.C., Post and Courier reported Saturday.

“It’s not as ludicrous as you think. These are crocodile. They are not American alligators. These are saltwater animals,” Mr. Bennett said.

The crocodile was captured Thursday near a pier after managing to avoid trappers for weeks.

TEXAS

Medical helicopter crashes, killing 4

HUNTSVILLE | A medical helicopter on its way to a Houston hospital crashed in a national forest early Sunday, killing all four people aboard, authorities said.

Rescue crews struggled to find the wreckage in the dense Sam Houston National Forest. The cause is being investigated.

The PHI Air Medical helicopter was on its way from a Huntsville hospital when a missed check-in with dispatchers raised concern, PHI spokesman Jonathan Collier said. The chopper was found about 10 miles from where it took off, he said.

“This is a devastating loss,” Mr. Collier said.

Killed were flight nurse Jana Bishop, pilot Wayne Kirby and flight paramedic Stephanie Waters, all PHI employees. The name of the patient on board and the medical emergency involved were not released.

The crash occurred at about 2:45 a.m. about 70 miles north of Houston.

UTAH

City bans bikinis, other gear at pool

KANAB | The southern Utah city of Kanab has banned bikinis and other revealing gear at a city pool to earn a “G-rating,” residents said.

Kanab resident Linda Osborn said by banning bikinis, cutoffs and Speedos from the new city pool, area officials were building from their 2006 passage of a natural-family resolution, which defined what a real family should be, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Sunday.

“They want to give it a G-rating,” Mrs. Osborn said.

The Cowboy Water’n’ Hole is to officially open July 4, and the public uproar over the ban has left council members reconsidering the regulation.

“That was meant for thong bikinis and things like that,” Councilwoman Nina Laycook told the Tribune. “It was an oversight on our part.

“We’ll have to amend [the policy] from time to time.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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