- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2001

Former congressman is dead at 86

CHICAGO Former Illinois Rep. Frank Annunzio, who represented Chicago in Washington for 28 years, died yesterday. He was 86.

Mr. Annunzio, who had Parkinson's disease, slipped into a coma about a week ago, said family spokesman Dominic DiFrisco.

A Democrat who served in the U.S. House from 1965 to 1993, Mr. Annunzio was a shoeshine boy, high school teacher and labor leader before being elected to Congress, Mr. DiFrisco said.

Mr. Annunzio had lent his name to a campaign against the HBO series "The Sopranos."

"The congressman tried to make everyone aware of the positive aspects of the Italian-American community, and was puzzled and chagrined by the ceaseless efforts to depict us as wanton criminals," Mr. DiFrisco told WBBM Radio in Chicago.

Midwest storm causes blackouts, flooding

Damaging wind gusts eased across the upper Midwest yesterday in the aftermath of a storm that ripped down power lines and overturned tractor-trailer rigs, and flood preparations were under way as rivers started rising out of their banks.

Most power had been restored yesterday in hard-hit Wisconsin, where the wind had blacked out some 33,000 residential and business customers on Saturday. Wind gusted to as high as 79 mph in parts of the Midwest.

One woman was killed outside Chicago when the wind blew a tree onto her car, police reported.

The storm also produced locally heavy rain that combined with melting snow to cause flooding.

Redford firm sells child-labor goods

NEW YORK A mail-order firm owned by movie actor Robert Redford unwittingly sold items made by a company using unpaid child laborers to make some of its products, the daily New York Post reported yesterday.

The children reportedly are members of a sect based in upstate New York called Twelve Tribes.

The daily described the sect as a racist, isolationist religious group that forces young children to work alongside their parents in its various cottage industries.

The sect produces Common Wealth wood furniture, some of which has been sold through the Sundance catalog established by Mr. Redford in 1989.

The only Common Wealth-made item slated for sale in Sundance's upcoming catalog has been pulled.

Panel investigates New Jersey police bias

TRENTON, N.J. After six sessions that brought calls for the resignation of a state Supreme Court justice, a state Senate panel investigating racial profiling by the New Jersey State Police is turning its attention to black and Hispanic witnesses.

The committee plans at least two more hearings, said state Sen. William L. Gormley, the panel's chairman.

"They're going to tell us things they think we should know. We're going to listen," Mr. Gormley said.

Some lawmakers have called for Peter G. Verniero to step down from the New Jersey Supreme Court, saying evidence in the hearings so far showed that when he was attorney general he was aware that troopers targeted minority drivers at least three years before he conceded it publicly.

Bristol-Myers sued for blocking drug

NEW YORK A coalition of consumer groups has sued Bristol-Myers Squibb over the pharmaceutical giant's effort to stop another company from selling a low-cost generic version of its anti-anxiety drug BuSpar.

The Prescription Access Litigation project contends that Bristol-Myers Squibb illegally tried to maintain a monopoly on BuSpar after its original patent expired, the New York Times reported yesterday.

The coalition says its lawsuit is the first in which consumer groups have turned to the courts for help in fighting the soaring cost of prescription drugs.

The lawsuits were filed Friday in federal court in Manhattan and in state courts in New York, Florida and Maine. The group also plans to sue other manufacturers.

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