- The Washington Times - Monday, April 12, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Dixie Carter’s death linked to cancer

LOS ANGELES | New details are emerging in the death of “Designing Women” star Dixie Carter.

Publicist Steve Rohr told the Associated Press on Sunday that Mrs. Carter died in Houston of complications of endometrial cancer.

Mrs. Carter died Saturday at age 70. Husband and fellow actor Hal Holbrook called it a “terrible blow” for their family.

The Tennessee native, with her unmistakable Southern accent and style, was a Broadway veteran before she landed a series of high-profile television roles that made her a national star.

She found perhaps her perfect part in Julia Sugarbaker, the wiser and wittier half of a pair of sisters who ran an Atlanta interior-decorating firm in “Designing Women,” a CBS sitcom that had a seven-year run on the network and an endless life in reruns.

FLORIDA

Astronauts win 2-hour bolt fight

CAPE CANAVERAL | Spacewalking astronauts had to pull out a hammer and pry bar while attaching a big, new tank full of ammonia coolant to the International Space Station on Sunday, successfully driving in a stiff bolt after two frustrating hours.

The 215-mile-high action unfolded on the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13.

Making their second spacewalk in three days, Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson banged and pulled and shoved, with no success, on the stuck bolt. They undid the good bolts and jostled the 1,700-pound, refrigerator-size tank in case it was misaligned. Finally, after they maneuvered the tank from a different angle, the troublesome bolt slid into place.

GEORGIA

FAA halts plane towing Woods taunts

AUGUSTA | An airplane that towed banners taunting Tiger Woods during the Masters golf tournament about his sex scandal has been ordered to stop until it undergoes minor repairs.

Kathleen Bergen, an Atlanta-based spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said Friday that FAA flight-safety inspectors issued the order after meeting with the plane’s pilot.

The single-engine Cessna made two flights near Augusta National as Mr. Woods played Thursday in the first round of the Masters, close enough that the banners could be read from the course.

Miss Bergen said the plane was flying for a company called Air America Aerial Ads based in Genoa, Ohio. She said inspectors were responding to a request by FAA air-traffic managers in Augusta. The plane was allowed to fly back to Ohio for the repairs.

Mr. Woods finished the tournament Sunday tied for fourth, five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson.

MARYLAND

Abu Ghraib MP unit to return to Iraq

CRESAPTOWN | The U.S. Army said Friday the reserve unit tarnished by what happened at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq has been mobilized for its first deployment since the scandal broke six years ago.

A spokesman said that the 372nd Military Police Company of Cresaptown is scheduled to go to Iraq, but those plans could change.

He said the unit will leave April 29 for one to three months of training at Fort Bliss, Texas, followed by deployment overseas.

The 372nd became internationally known in 2004 when seven of its members were charged in connection with the mistreatment of detainees at the prison.

All were convicted and six served prison time. The spokesman said the current unit includes few former members.

MICHIGAN

College offers money-back guarantee

LANSING | Even as Michigan endures the nation’s highest unemployment rate, jobs are available in select fields for people with the right skills.

Lansing Community College is so convinced the jobs are out there that it’s offering a money-back guarantee for students if they don’t get an offer of full-time work in the state within a year of finishing one of the four programs.

Pharmacy technicians, call center specialists, computer numerical control machinists and product quality inspectors are the highlighted hot jobs.

Under the six-week Get a Skill, Get a Job training program, participants will sign a contract agreeing to full attendance and completion of assigned work. Those who show a good-faith effort to find a job but fail will get a refund after one year.

NEW YORK

Drug informant freed from jail

BUFFALO | A former Mexican law-enforcement officer who became a drug informant for the U.S. has been freed from a federal detention center in New York.

Guillermo Ramirez Peyro, known as “Lalo,” won a legal victory last month when a Justice Department immigration board ruled against efforts to deport him to Mexico. The board said he would be tortured and possibly killed.

Ramirez was being held outside Buffalo in Batavia. His attorney, Steve Cohen, said he was put on a plane to New Mexico on Thursday night over Mr. Cohen’s objections. The lawyer wanted Ramirez to remain in New York while he tries to get a green card.

OHIO

Amid cuts, citizens told to carry guns

JEFFERSON | A judge is urging citizens to be vigilant and carry firearms because of budget cuts to the sheriff’s department.

Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Alfred Mackey told Cleveland’s WKYC-TV that the cuts mean citizens should arm themselves and watch out for their neighbors.

The northeast Ohio county is the state’s largest in area and is mostly rural. With deputies assigned to transport prisoners and serve warrants, one radio car is assigned to patrol 720 square miles.

PENNSYLVANIA

‘Filthy 13’ member dies at 88

PHILADELPHIA | John “Jack” Agnew, one of the original members of a U.S. Army unit that operated behind enemy lines in World War II and is often credited with having loosely inspired the movie “The Dirty Dozen,” has died at age 88.

Mr. Agnew belonged to the “Filthy 13,” an unofficial unit within the 101st Airborne Division. He was pronounced dead Thursday at Abington Memorial Hospital after becoming ill at his home in the Maple Village retirement community in Hatboro, his daughter Barbara Agnew Maloney said. He will be buried with full military honors Tuesday at Forest Hills Cemetery in Huntingdon Valley.

On D-Day, the “Filthy 13” parachuted into France to take a bridge over the Douve River. It was “a mission that would cost most of the men their lives,” according to an article in the winter 2008-09 edition of American Valour Quarterly.

Before the Battle of the Bulge, Mr. Agnew and other members of the unit were requested for pathfinder duty and parachuted into Bastogne, which was besieged by German forces. Mr. Agnew operated a beacon to help guide in planes carrying badly needed supplies. Though the unit’s members were not convicts like the movie’s characters, they had a reputation for brawling, drinking and spending time in the stockade.

Mr. Agnew was among those interviewed in a documentary, “The Filthy Thirteen: Real Stories from Behind the Lines,” that was included in a 2006 special edition DVD of “The Dirty Dozen.” In an interview Sunday, Mrs. Maloney said her father told her about 30 percent of the movie was true. “And, actually, the scene where they captured the officers, Dad said that was true, and he really coordinated that,” she said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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