- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 10, 2001

FCC refuses to probe networks' election call

The Federal Communications Commission has refused to investigate the four television networks for "calling" Florida to Democrat Al Gore before the polls closed in the state on Election Day, according to an order released yesterday.
A Washington law firm, Smithwick & Belendiuk, filed in November a five-page complaint seeking an investigation into the practices of ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox to determine whether they subverted the public interest by initially projecting Mr. Gore won what turned out to be the decisive state.
"The mere fact that the networks incorrectly projected that Al Gore would receive Florida's electoral votes is not a sufficient basis to initiate such an investigation," the FCC said in an April 3 order made available yesterday.

Deal cut to release murder defendant

BOISE, Idaho A man who has spent 21 years in prison for murder including 14 years on death row will be allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge and walk free after winning a ruling that he was denied a fair trial.
Donald Manuel Paradis, 52, convicted of killing Kimberly Ann Palmer in northern Idaho, will appear at a hearing today and plead guilty to a charge of being an accessory in the slaying, prosecutors and defense attorneys said yesterday.
Paradis has maintained for two decades that he was not involved in the 1980 slaying but only helped his co-defendant move the 19-year-old woman's body to a ravine near Post Falls.

'Hollywood Madam' gets home detention

LOS ANGELES Former "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss admitted yesterday to having used methamphetamine, in violation of her supervised release from federal prison, and was sentenced to six months of home detention.
Fleiss, 35, who was arrested on March 29 for using methamphetamine and failing to take a mandatory drug test, told U.S. District Judge Consuelo Marshall, who presided over her 1995 trial, "I hope you don't see me in this courtroom again."
Fleiss was released from federal prison in 1998 after serving 21 months for money laundering and tax evasion convictions connected to her call-girl ring, which catered to the rich and famous.

Flood problems hit North Dakota

GRAND FORKS, N.D. This city, still recovering from a devastating 1997 flood, moved to protect itself once again yesterday from the rising Red River as spring snow-melt flooding hit sections of North Dakota and Minnesota.
Grand Forks officials said they would ask for help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to add an additional 2 feet to the top of an interim system of dikes built after the 1997 calamity, which saw most of the city of 50,000 swamped by floodwaters. In the midst of that flooding, a downtown fire destroyed several buildings.
In nearby Crookston, Minn., where the Red Lake River was running 11 feet above flood stage, officials began a voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas covering about 40 percent of the homes in the town of 8,000. The Red Lake River flows into the Red River.

Two planes collide at Boston airport

BOSTON Two airplanes getting ready for takeoff at Boston's Logan Airport collided yesterday morning, slightly damaging both aircraft and prompting an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, a spokesman for Massport said.

"There were no injuries but enough damage for the FAA to investigate it as an accident," the spokesman for the state agency that runs the airport said.

An American Airlines 767 bound for Orlando and a 737 Delta Shuttle headed for New York's La Guardia Airport made contact when the Delta jet pulled aside on the taxiway to let the American 767 pass. La Guardia had ordered the Delta plane to delay its departure.

"The 767 apparently clipped his right wing with the left horizontal stabilizer of the 737," the spokesman said.

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