- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 23, 2001

City marshal killed while serving eviction

NEW YORK — A woman who had not paid her rent for at least a year was charged yesterday with murdering a city marshal who tried to serve her with an eviction notice, according to a law-enforcement official.

Joanna Jones, 53, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Erskine Bryce, 66, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Miss Jones reportedly struck Mr. Bryce in the head with a blunt object and set his clothing on fire, the source said.

Bush appoints NEA acting chairman

President Bush has appointed Robert Martin, who heads the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mr. Martin will temporarily head the NEA until a replacement for current NEA Chairman Bill Ivey is found. Mr. Ivey steps down at the end of September. Ever since he announced his resignation in April, the White House has been unsuccessfully scouring the country in search of a replacement.

Strippers' acts protected, board says

CORONA, Calif. — It's unconstitutional for the state to tell topless dancers they can't touch themselves, a state appeals board ruled.

The decision, made public this week by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board, means that strip-club owners who serve liquor and beer can no longer be disciplined for allowing certain conduct by topless dancers unless it is ruled lewd or obscene.

Federal prosecutor killed in robbery

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A federal prosecutor from Chicago was shot to death and another was wounded during a robbery attempt near the University of South Carolina, where they were attending a training program.

The two assistant U.S. attorneys were about a half mile from the University of South Carolina campus Monday when they were approached by two robbers. The prosecutors ran and the robbers opened fire, police said.

Michael Messer, 49, was pronounced dead at a hospital. Gillum Ferguson, 51, was treated for a gunshot wound to the arm and released.

Pharmacist's assets may be frozen

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Federal investigators asked a judge yesterday to freeze $6 million in assets controlled by a Missouri pharmacist accused of diluting life-saving cancer drugs for chemotherapy patients.

In a motion filed in U.S. District Court, prosecutors said the severity of the charges against 48-year-old pharmacist Robert Courtney warranted the immediate freezing of $6 million in Mr. Courtney's personal and business assets, and the closing of the two pharmacies that Mr. Courtney owns.

Mr. Courtney has admitted to diluting the chemotherapy treatments for at least 30 persons. Investigators have said they do not believe Mr. Courtney has been truthful about the scope of the dilutions, and hundreds of cancer patients may have been victimized.

Teen-ager shot while picking fruit

CLEVELAND — A 13-year-old boy picking pears with friends at a garden center was fatally shot in a drive-by attack, police said. Witnesses said the gunman laughed.

Raymond Bozak ran into the garden center and said, "'I think I've been shot,'" owner Fran Cavotta said. "Then he collapsed." He was pronounced dead at a hospital less than an hour later.

Police said the attack appeared to have been random.

Jailed '60s radical denied parole

NEW YORK — Kathy Boudin, a revolutionary serving 20 years to life in prison for her role in a deadly 1981 security-truck robbery, was denied parole yesterday, officials said.

Boudin, 58, a former member of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after the robbery in Nanuet, N.Y., in which a security guard and two police officers were killed by gunmen.

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