- The Washington Times - Monday, July 19, 2010

ARIZONA

Latin nations want to join Arizona case

PHOENIX | Seven other Latin American countries want to join Mexico in supporting a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s immigration enforcement law.

Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru filed separate, nearly identical motions to join Mexico’s legal brief supporting the lawsuit filed by U.S. civil rights and other advocacy groups.

A federal judge formally accepted Mexico’s filing July 1 but did not rule on the latest motions filed late last week.

Mexico says the law would lead to racial profiling and hinder trade, tourism and the fight against drug trafficking.

The law is to take effect July 29. It requires that police conducting traffic stops or questioning people about possible legal violations ask them about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” they are in the country illegally.

CONNECTICUT

Suspect in teen’s killing is charged

WATERBURY | A 19-year-old Connecticut man has been charged with murder in the death of a teenager at a one-time religious attraction in Waterbury.

Francisco Cruz faces charges including capital felony that carries the possibility of the death penalty in the killing of Chloe Ottman, 16.

He was presented in Waterbury Superior Court on Monday and charged with murder, sexual assault and strangulation. He is being held on $5 million bail.

Court records say Mr. Cruz told police he had a crush on Miss Ottman and raped, strangled and fatally stabbed her when she rejected his advances. Miss Ottman’s body was found near the Holy Land USA site Saturday, a day after her family reported her missing.

ILLINOIS

Bail granted to ex-media mogul

CHICAGO | Conrad Black, the brash former newspaper magnate who lived extravagantly before his 2007 federal conviction for defrauding shareholders, may soon be released from a Florida prison after a federal appeals court granted him bail Monday.

The ruling from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals came weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court kicked Black’s fraud conviction back to a lower court.

Black, who renounced his Canadian citizenship to become a member of the British House of Lords, was convicted along with three other former executives from the media empire Hollinger International of swindling the company’s shareholders out of $6.1 million. He was acquitted of nine other charges.

It was not clear when Black, 65, would be released from the low-security prison in Coleman, Fla., where he has served more than two years of a 6 1/2-year sentence.

INDIANA

2,000 plastic ducks somehow got away

FORT WAYNE | A child advocacy agency is hoping to get all its ducks in a row after more than 1,000 plastic entrants in a charity duck race floated to freedom in northeast Indiana.

Stop Child Abuse & Neglect said 17,000 plastic ducks were dropped into the St. Joseph River in Fort Wayne during the June 19 fundraiser but that only 15,000 were retrieved that day.

Spokeswoman Jennifer Boen said about 1,000 of the rogue ducks have since been recovered, and that some of the others have been spotted as far away as Ohio.

The group said it is working with the Fort Wayne Water Department to catch the remaining ducks and that it wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize the beauty of the river.

LOUISIANA

WW II museum has heroic animals

NEW ORLEANS | Smoky the Yorkshire terrier, Lady Astor the pigeon and a host of horses and mules whose individual stories are lost to history are among war heroes and heroines featured in the latest exhibit at the National World War II Museum.

“Loyal Forces: The Animals of WWII” will run July 22-Oct. 17, featuring the four kinds of animals most often brought into the war, as they were used in all five theaters.

“There was a great love and loyalty between the soldiers and the animals they worked with,” said registrar Toni M. Kiser, who created the exhibit with archivist Lindsey Barnes.

MASSACHUSETTS

‘Great places’ list not so accurate

BOSTON | It turns out that some of Massachusetts’ greatest places aren’t so great after all.

To promote tourism, the Legislature last week released a list of the state’s top 1,000 attractions.

But the Boston Herald reports that some sites don’t exist anymore, some are closed to the public and some are listed in the wrong towns. The list also actually has 996 places.

The list includes the Baker Robinson Whale Oil Refinery in New Bedford, which has been gutted to make way for a hotel; and Worcester’s African Cultural Center and Ashland State Park, both of which are closed. St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Pittsfield was closed by the Springfield Diocese two years ago.

Tourism officials acknowledged some mistakes and said they did their best.

MARYLAND

Allowing own clergy at execution mulled

ANNAPOLIS | Maryland is considering becoming one of the few states to allow condemned inmates to choose a clergy member not employed by the state to be in the execution chamber when they die.

Corrections officials must balance some sensitive issues: Security during one of the gravest tasks undertaken by the state and religious freedom during a condemned person’s final moments.

Most of the 35 states with capital punishment allow an inmate to meet with clergy of their choice in the hours before an execution, but the majority require spiritual advisers to watch from outside.

Several states, including Maryland, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas, allow an official prison chaplain to be in the room during the execution.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Palin wrong about Kodiak Island

CONCORD | Sarah Palin incorrectly calls Alaska’s Kodiak Island the largest island in America in a Facebook post endorsing a Senate candidate in New Hampshire.

The Big Island of Hawaii is about 440 square miles larger than Kodiak, where Mrs. Palin and her family were headed Monday.

In endorsing Republican candidate Kelly Ayotte, Mrs. Palin also strayed a bit from the facts in praising her for having “won” a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

As state attorney general, Miss Ayotte defended a law requiring parental notification for teenagers seeking abortions. But it was repealed after the U.S. Supreme Court sent it back to a lower court.

Miss Ayotte is among seven candidates seeking the GOP nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Judd Gregg. Rep. Paul W. Hodes is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

NEW YORK

Slain paramedic in care-denial case

NEW YORK | Jason Green had already had gained notoriety last year as a New York City paramedic accused of walking away from an ailing pregnant woman who later died.

He regained the spotlight again Monday because of his violent death - gunned down on the streets of Manhattan after a fight outside a nightclub.

New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said Monday there was no evidence that the brutal slaying early Sunday in the SoHo neighborhood was payback for the death of the pregnant woman. He denied reports that investigators wanted to question her brother.

“There’s no interest in any of her family members,” he said.

Police, who were still seeking the shooter, were reviewing security videotape of the scene outside the club, Mr. Browne said.

OKLAHOMA

Order blocking abortion law extended

OKLAHOMA CITY | An Oklahoma judge granted an injunction Monday blocking enforcement of a state law that would require women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus.

Oklahoma County District Judge Noma Gurich set a pretrial hearing for Jan. 21 and directed that the state not enforce the law, which was passed by legislators this year. A temporary restraining order against the law had been in effect since May.

Judge Gurich handed down the ruling after a brief hearing attended by more than 50 people including about two dozen women in pink tops who are members or supporters of the Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice. The grass-roots organization opposes the law and other anti-abortion measures adopted by state lawmakers in recent years.

PENNSYLVANIA

2 skydivers die when chutes tangle

EAST STROUDSBURG | A 70-year-old skydiver from New York and a 75-year-old one from New Jersey were killed when their parachutes got tangled in Pennsylvania.

Theodore Wilson, of New Rochelle, N.Y., and George Flynn, of Colonia, N.J., tumbled about 75 feet to the ground after their open parachutes became entangled Saturday in the Pocono Mountains, state police said.

Mr. Wilson was pronounced dead Saturday at Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg. Mr. Flynn was critically injured and taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital; the Lehigh County coroner said he died Sunday. Authorities said both men died of blunt force trauma.

The men had jumped at Sky’s the Limit Skydiving at the Stroudsburg-Pocono Airport.

The company had no comment Monday.

TEXAS

$1 million raised by teen for hospital

MCKINNEY | A teenager has reached his goal of raising $1 million for the free Dallas children’s hospital that treated him as a child.

Ben Sater vowed to raise the money for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children before he went to college. The soon-to-be Austin College freshman has done so, with nearly $19,000 to spare.

Organizers announced Monday they’ve raised $1,018,842 for the hospital that treats children free of charge. They did it through golf tournaments for children ages 7 to 18 over the past eight years.

Mr. Sater was treated at Texas Scottish Rite for a condition called trigger finger, in which fingers lock or catch in a bent position. He had his first operation at age 3.

VIRGINIA

Air Force base to lose F-15 jets

HAMPTON | The Air Force is deactivating its 71st Fighter Squadron, and the last F-15 jet will leave Langley Air Force Base in mid-September.

The F-15C Eagle has been a familiar sight in the skies over the Hampton base for 34 years. Now the jets are being parceled out to other Air Force and Air National Guard units.

The squadron will be officially inactivated on Sept. 30.

The 71st was formed in January 1941, and fought against Axis forces in Algeria, North Africa, Italy and around the Mediterranean. Its pilots flew the distinctive P-38 Lightning, a twin-engine fighter that Germans referred to as Der Gabelschwanz Teufel, or fork-tailed devil.

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