- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 7, 2009

Palin celebrates Seward in N.Y.

AUBURN, N.Y. | Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is in upstate New York to help Auburn town officials celebrate their inaugural Founder’s Day and 50 years of Alaska statehood.

Mrs. Palin will take part in a parade and speak later Saturday at a fundraiser at the Seward House, which is organizing the event.

Alaska and Auburn are linked through William Seward, who lived in Auburn and was secretary of state under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. Seward negotiated the deal to buy Alaska from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million.

But June 6 has no historical significance for Auburn or Alaska. Alaska became a state in January 1959. Seward Day, an Alaskan state holiday, falls on the last Monday in March.

Man charged with threatening Obama

SALT LAKE CITY | Authorities have arrested a man who purportedly told bank tellers while cleaning out his savings account in Utah that he was on a mission to kill President Obama, a federal prosecutor said Saturday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara Bearnson said Daniel James Murray, 36, was arrested in Laughlin, Nev., by the U.S. Secret Service and Las Vegas metropolitan police.

Mr. Murray was charged Thursday with conveying threats while talking to tellers last month at Zions First National Bank in St. George, Utah.

Miss Bearnson said Mr. Murray was arrested Friday and was in federal custody in Nevada. She said he likely will get a court date there Monday.

Mr. Murray is originally from Rexford, N.Y.

He was described by his father and former neighbors in Rexford as troubled but not dangerous, known for strolling down a street wearing a cape while talking to himself.

“He’s sick. He’s been sick for about 10 years,” Michael Murray, his father, told the Times Union of Albany, N.Y.

In charging documents filed Thursday, the Secret Service said Daniel Murray made bizarre statements while opening - and then closing within weeks - an $85,000 savings account.

On May 27, as a teller counted out bills no larger than $50, Mr. Murray delivered a rambling discourse on the probability of economic and social disorder, ending with “We are on a mission to kill the president of the United States,” a bank employee told the Secret Service.

Saltwater fishermen balk at registry

BOURNE, Mass. | Starting in 2010, federal law requires all of the nation’s saltwater fishermen to be registered, whether they fish from a boat, dock or the Cape canal’s rocky borders. In most states, the registration will come with an annual fee of about $10 to $25.

But the new requirement has met stubborn resistance in the Northeast.

Of the 21 coastal states in the continental United States, five haven’t approved a registry: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and New Jersey, even though the National Saltwater Angler Registry was originally supposed to be in place in January.

Many fishermen believe the fees won’t stay low and will ultimately fund free-spending state governments.

Specter draws cheers, jeers

PITTSBURGH | Sen. Arlen Specter is getting a mixed reception from organized labor as he mingles with Pennsylvania Democratic Party leaders in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Specter drew both cheers and scattered catcalls Saturday when he addressed a labor rally outside the hotel where he planned to speak before the Democratic State Committee later in the day.

The rally focused on a key labor bill that would make it easier for workers to unionize. Mr. Specter publicly opposed the measure before switching to the Democratic Party in April. He told the crowd Saturday that he is committed to finding a compromise that union members can support.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Bill George introduced Mr. Specter. He reminded the protesters that the fifth-term senator has been on their side over the years on many issues important to labor.

Illinois lawmaker, wife divorcing

NORTHBROOK, Ill. | Rep. Mark Steven Kirk’s office has announced that the Republican congressman and his wife are divorcing.

Mr. Kirk and Kimberly Ann Vertolli have been married eight years. Their divorce becomes final on Monday.

Mr. Kirk is in his fifth term representing Illinois’ 10th Congressional District in the suburbs north of Chicago.

He has said he’s considering running in 2010 for governor of Illinois or for the Senate seat held by Democrat Roland W. Burris.

Funeral held for slain doctor

WICHITA, Kan. | Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral honoring slain abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.

About 700 mourners filled the sanctuary of the College Hill United Methodist Church on Saturday, and about 200 others watched a closed-circuit television broadcast in another room.

The funeral also drew small groups of abortion protesters and counter-protesters.

Dr. Tiller’s Wichita clinic drew regular protests because it was among the few in the U.S. performing third-trimester abortions.

Also arriving at the church were about 50 motorcyclists from the American Legion Riders, honoring Dr. Tiller’s service in the Navy.

A large portrait of Dr. Tiller hung at the front of the church, and a wreath of flowers bore the words “Trust women.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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