- - Thursday, October 28, 2010

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Levy computer yields data on park

Chandra Levy used her computer on the day she disappeared back in 2001 to find information on Rock Creek Park, where the man charged with her killing had a history of assaulting female joggers, an FBI agent testified Thursday.

Ingmar Guandique, 29, a native of El Salvador, is on trial for the murder and attempted sexual assault of Levy nearly a decade ago.

The Washington intern’s disappearance made headlines after she was romantically linked with then-California Rep. Gary A. Condit. He was once the main suspect, but police no longer think he was involved.

In testimony Thursday, FBI agent Jane Domboski said it took more than a month to retrieve the data off Levy’s laptop, which was broken. Police officers who had checked out Levy’s apartment when her disappearance was a missing-persons case had fiddled with the laptop before it was turned over to evidence technicians.

The data retrieved from the hard drive showed that Levy used a newspaper website to pull information on Rock Creek Park the day she went missing.

It was in Rock Creek Park that a year later, a man walking his dog in the woods found Levy’s remains scattered on rugged terrain off one of the park’s many trails.

MICHIGAN

GM, Chrysler: Plans to invest in new cars

LANSING | General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC announced plans to invest millions of dollars in U.S. plants Thursday to build new small cars.

GM said it will spend $190 million to build a new Cadillac at its Lansing Grand River plant. GM said it will add 600 jobs and a second shift at the plant, which has 1,100 workers and already is building the Cadillac CTS and STS sedans. The jobs will be filled by laid-off GM workers.

The car will be the smallest in Cadillac’s lineup and will compete with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3-Series, GM CEO Dan Akerson told employees at the plant, which is about 80 miles west of Detroit.

GM didn’t reveal the name of the vehicle or say when it will go on sale.

Chrysler said it will invest $600 million in its Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant to build new cars starting in 2012. The investment won’t create any new jobs, but the company said it will retain the 2,349 jobs currently at the assembly plant and a nearby parts-stamping plant.

Company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson would not say what new vehicle the plant will build. But it’s likely to be a replacement for the factory’s current products, Dodge Caliber and Jeep Compass and Patriot compact sport utility vehicles.

MISSOURI

Original hoops rules go on auction block

KANSAS CITY | It’s been nearly 119 years since James Naismith wrote down 13 rules for a new game he devised as a way to give youths at a Springfield, Mass., YMCA an athletic activity to keep them busy in the winter.

On Dec. 10, those rules — considered “the birth certificate of one of the world’s most popular sports” — will be put up for auction in New York and are expected to bring in at least $2 million. The proceeds are to go to the Naismith International Basketball Foundation, which promotes sportsmanship and provides services to underprivileged youths around the world.

Ian Naismith, the foundation’s founder and grandson of James Naismith, said it was a family decision to put the rules on the auction block and give the money to the Naismith charity.

“We need to take the money and work the money back into kids,” Ian Naismith told the Associated Press. “We call it recycling. With the economy going south the last couple of years, my stroke, my wife passing away, it was more important to me to have the game go back into the kids. It’s what Dr. Naismith wanted.”

James Naismith penned the 13 rules on Dec. 21, 1891, while he was a physical-education instructor at a YMCA training school in Springfield. His boss had given him two weeks to come up with a new indoor activity for his gym class, and he wrote down the rules on the eve of that deadline.

NEW YORK

Street harassment of women probed

NEW YORK | Whistles, catcalls and lewd come-ons from strangers are all too familiar to New York City women, who say they are harassed multiple times a day as they walk down the street. Now lawmakers are examining whether to do something to discourage it.

A City Council committee heard testimony Thursday from women who said men regularly follow them, yell at them and make them feel unsafe and uncomfortable. Advocates told stories of preteens and teenagers being hounded by adult men outside city schools and pleaded for government to address the problem.

“This is not our way of not being able to take a compliment,” said Nefertiti Martin, who testified at the hearing. “This is an issue of safety.”

Street harassment of women is as old as cities themselves and is common around the world, but the pushback against it is a more recent development. Volunteer activists in Cairo are planning to launch a website, Harrasmap, where women can instantly report cases of leering, groping and other sexual threats.

Soon, the group Hollaback, an organization formed five years ago to stand up to street harassment, will release a smart-phone app allowing women everywhere to do the same.

Hollaback told council members that women have left jobs, broken leases and skipped school all just to avoid incessant unwelcome advances from strange men they pass on their commutes.

From wire dispatches and staff reports