- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 21, 2001

Ramsey surprises burglar at his home

ATLANTA John Ramsey, the father of slain 6-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, surprised a burglar in his home yesterday and fought with the man before the intruder fled, his attorney said.
Attorney Lin Wood said Mr. Ramsey was not seriously injured and was able to call police minutes after the intruder left. Mr. Wood said Mr. Ramsey saw the man leaving with two large bags but didn't know what was in them.
"Mr. Ramsey has a gun vault, and we suspect that some weapons were taken," said Deputy Police Chief C.B. Jackson.
Mr. Jackson said Mr. Ramsey was locked in a bathroom but was able to free himself and call police. No one else was at home at the time.

Congress criticizes testing of Osprey

Congressional investigators yesterday accused the Marine Corps of omitting key tests of its troubled MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft, warning Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that such cuts "represent widespread and systemic problems" in Pentagon programs.
Two MV-22 crashes killed 23 Marines in 2000 and the General Accounting Office, Congress' investigative arm, said in a report released yesterday that some omitted tests could have provided data on a problem implicated in an April crash in which 19 troops died.
After a second accident in December that killed four Marines, the Corps put off indefinitely a decision on beginning full-scale production of the hybrid helicopter, built by Boeing Co. and Textron Inc.
The new GAO report cast major doubt on the safety and reliability of the MV-22 "Osprey" and on the rigor of Marine Corps testing of the aircraft, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but tilts its rotors to fly like an airplane.

Man's body found in wheel well of jet

SAN FRANCISCO A frozen body was found in the wheel well of a U.S. Airways jet at the San Francisco airport after mechanics were called in to look at a reported hydraulic problem, officials said yesterday.
Airport spokesman Ron Wilson said the body was found on a Boeing 767 from U.S. Airways Flight 741, which originated at London's Gatwick Airport and made a stop in Pittsburgh before arriving at San Francisco on Monday evening.
"You can confine yourself up in that wheel well and hide pretty good, but there's no room up there when the wheel is retracted," Mr. Wilson said, adding that freezing temperatures and lack of oxygen while the plane was in flight could also have contributed to the man's death.
Officials described the body as as a black male about 30 years old, wearing blue coveralls

School officials pull Barbie experiment

BOULDER, Colo. School officials are reviewing a decision to ban a third-grader's science fair project that suggested students preferred a white Barbie doll over a black Barbie.
The student's father, David Thielen, said officials at Mesa Elementary School in Boulder, Colo., violated his daughter's right to freedom of speech and owed the girl an apology, the Denver Post reported yesterday.
In the science fair project, all 15 students in a fifth-grade class picked the white doll and in a second class nine of the 15 students picked the white doll.
The girl was told to take down her display about an hour after she put it up because officials at the school, which is more than 90 percent white, were concerned that it would upset minority students.

Firefighters battle 11,000-acre wildfire

POLK CITY, Fla. A central Florida wildfire had grown to 11,000 acres yesterday after closing part of a key east-west highway and forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes.
The blaze was only 20 percent contained, authorities said.
There was no immediate indication when authorities would reopen a 10-mile section of heavily traveled Interstate 4, which connects Tampa, Orlando and Daytona Beach.

Koch hospitalized with pneumonia

NEW YORK Former Mayor Ed Koch remained hospitalized with pneumonia yesterday but is expected to be released within a day or two, an aide said.

Mr. Koch, 76, suffered from shortness of breath and a fever while visiting friends in Connecticut, said Koch aide Mary Garrigan.

He later was taken by ambulance to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he is expected to rest until at least today, she said.

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