- The Washington Times - Monday, April 27, 2009

FLORIDA

Police: Stunned man killed deputies

PENSACOLA | Two deputies, who were killed by a soldier they were trying arrest on suspicion of beating his wife, exchanged multiple rounds with the man who began shooting while on the ground after he was shocked with a stun gun, authorities said Sunday, a day after the men were killed.

Interim Okaloosa County Sheriff Edward Spooner said between 30 and 40 rounds were exchanged between Joshua Cartwright, 28, and the two deputies.

Investigators were working to determine the extent of Cartwright’s military and militia weapons training, Sheriff Spooner said.

Cartwright was killed by deputies in a neighboring county after he fled a shooting range parking lot near Crestview, where he killed deputies Burt Lopez and Warren “Skip” York.

IDAHO

‘Hand of God’ available on eBay

COEUR D’ALENE | An Idaho man thinks the divine sign created in his backyard is worth at least a few earthly bucks on eBay.

Paul Grayhek, 52, of Coeur d’Alene, listed the rock formation he calls “Hand of God Rock Wall” on the auction Web site and had a high bid of $250 as of early Sunday, CNN reported.

The formation looks like a 9-feet-tall hand and appeared in Mr. Grayhek’s backyard after a rockslide. He said the shape and the fact that it showed up during Lent added up to a “symbol the hand of God in my life.”

“People think I’m some holier-than-thou person trying to get rich. I’m not,” Mr. Grayhek said. “The purpose is to spread the story of God, and eBay is just a vehicle.”

The winning bidder won’t get the actual rock formation but will have exclusive rights to it.

NEW JERSEY

3 charged in theft from boy’s benefit

BUENA | Three people face charges in the theft of an NBA player’s autographed photo that was being auctioned to benefit a New Jersey boy sick with a rare blood disorder.

The arrests came after a newspaper published an article Thursday about the incident at a charity event for 9-year-old Vineland resident Michael Barner.

Police said a Vineland couple and their friend told the boy’s relatives someone mistakenly put the framed photo into a prize basket one of them won. They said that person then tried to return the photo of Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard Willie Green, which the team had donated for the April 18 event.

But police said all three eventually admitted their roles in the scheme and face charges including theft and evidence tampering.

The theft charge carries up to 18 months in prison upon conviction.

NEW YORK

Funerals set in murder-suicide

GARDEN CITY | Friends of a Long Island family killed in a horrific spasm of violence are preparing to lay the mother and children to rest this week.

A wake will be held Monday, followed by a public funeral Mass on Tuesday for Betty Parente, 58, and her two daughters, Stephanie, 19, and Catherine, 11. A spokeswoman for the Park Funeral Chapel in Garden City said a private service would be held separately for William Parente, 59.

William Parente, a lawyer, fatally beat and strangled his family April 19, then took his own life. After the deaths, the FBI opened an investigation into reports that he was in a financial bind and may have owed millions of dollars to investors who are only now beginning to suspect they were scammed.

OHIO

Baton rounds fired at Kent State rioters

COLUMBUS | An end-of-year college block party spiraled out of control when police fired baton rounds and used pepper spray to break up hundreds of rioting students who sparked a string of street fires at Kent State University.

Video posted on the Internet shows students hurling furniture and street signs into the flames Saturday night as a SWAT team in riot gear converged on the crowd. Kent police said the party grew violent after one reveler was arrested and students began pelting officers with bottles, bricks and rocks.

“They were burning pretty much everything,” police dispatcher Rosemarie Mosher said.

At least 64 students were arrested, and several officers suffered minor injuries, Ms. Mosher said. Students gathered on front porches about 8:30 p.m. and began spilling into the streets on the unusually warm evening.

UTAH

Firefighting plane crashes, crew dies

SALT LAKE CITY | A converted military plane crashed Saturday in heavy fog in the mountains that frame the Salt Lake valley, killing three members of a private firefighting company, authorities said.

Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park said the plane was en route from Missoula, Mont., to Alamogordo, N.M., when it failed to clear a pass in the Oquirrh Mountains.

The crew members for Missoula-based Neptune Aviation were bound for southern New Mexico to help fight a nearly 30-square-mile wildfire, said Dan Ware, a spokesman for the New Mexico Forestry Division.

The wildfire, which was 20 percent contained, was threatening a home and several outbuildings and a power distribution line, officials said.

The sheriff identified the pilot as Tom Risk, 66, of Littleton, Colo., and the crew members as Mike Flynn, 59, of Alamogordo, and Brian Buss, 32, of Alberton, Mont.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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