- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 23, 2001

U.S. Airways probes hate crimes
U.S. Airways is investigating a third incident in which a hangman's noose was left in one of its offices, a company spokesman said yesterday.
The latest noose was found in the doorway of an employee break room in Pittsburgh, said Rick Weintraub, spokesman for the sixth-largest U.S. airline. Earlier this year, staff found nooses at U.S. Airways' Houston and Philadelphia operations.

Body identified as missing biologist
MEMPHIS, Tenn. A body found in the Mississippi River was identified yesterday as a Harvard University biologist who disappeared more than a month ago.
Don Wiley, 57, had been missing since Nov. 16, when his rental car was found abandoned with the keys in the ignition on a Mississippi River bridge at Memphis.
The body was discovered Thursday snagged on a tree near a hydroelectric plant at Vidalia, La., across the river from Natchez, Miss, about 300 miles south of Memphis. A wallet containing Mr. Wiley's identification was found on the body, police said.
Shelby County medical examiner O.C. Smith began an autopsy on the body Friday. The body was identified through dental records, police Lt. Walter Norris said.
Authorities said the cause of death may be determined in the coming week. No evidence of foul play was found in the car.

Platforms to give public better look
NEW YORK The city has started building public viewing platforms around the World Trade Center terrorist attack site to give visitors a vantage point.
"I think people should be able to see just how devastating it was," Phil Clark, 45, of Greenwich, Conn., said yesterday as he stood with his family on a corner a block from the site. "I think they have to see it."
But not everyone agreed the platforms would serve that purpose, since the debris of the leveled trade center is rapidly being cleared away.
"It will look like a construction site, not a destruction site," said Kathy Smith, 55, of New Providence, N.J. "In order to appreciate the destruction you had to see it when there was something there. Now it's just a hole."

31 would-be refugees from Cuba intercepted
MIAMI The US Coast Guard yesterday was holding 31 would-be refugees who had illicitly entered U.S. waters by speedboat from Cuba, officials said.
Among people removed from the dangerously overloaded speedboat were the two smugglers who tried to illegally transport the others into U.S. territory, authorities said.
Coast Guard officials intercepted the boat early Friday, after the vessel's engines stalled 17 miles east of Cape Florida. A Coast Guard spokeswoman said the speedboat apparently ran out of gas.

Man bites police dog
MIAMI An inebriated man arrested after a hit-and-run accident is in the doghouse in Pompano Beach, Florida, for biting a police dog coming after him, police said.
A very drunken Dana Michael Murphy, 28, was treated for reciprocal bites after he bit Vader, a Broward Sheriff's Office German shepherd, in the neck and eye after the incident late Wednesday in which Mr. Murphy rear-ended another vehicle, according to police.
Mr. Murphy faces eight charges including driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, burglary and injuring a police dog, considered a third-degree felony.
As for Vader, named for the "Star Wars" redeemed villain Darth Vader, he is resting comfortably, taking antibiotics and requiring eye drops.

Falling steel rod injures three passengers
NEW YORK Subway service was back to normal yesterday, one day after a section of steel reinforcing rod encased in concrete fell from the ceiling of a tunnel, puncturing a train car approaching a station. Three passengers were injured.
The rod and concrete hit the front car of a No. 5 train on Friday as the train was approaching a station near Battery Park in lower Manhattan, Transit Authority spokesman Al O'Leary said yesterday.

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