- The Washington Times - Friday, May 11, 2001

Hate-crimes bill passes Texas House
AUSTIN, Texas — Its now up to Gov. Rick Perry to decide whether a bill enhancing penalties for crimes motivated by hate becomes law.
The Texas House yesterday accepted Senate changes to the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act, named for a black man who was dragged to his death in 1998. Mr. Perry has not yet said whether he will sign the bill.

Georgias Miller says hell stay with party
Sen. Zell Miller pledged yesterday to remain a Democrat, effectively ending a week of speculation that the Georgian might resign his seat and run as a Republican.
Mr. Miller apologized for confusing people with last weeks declaration that he would not switch parties "at this time."
"Im not going to switch to the Republican Party," he said. "I am saying it as plainly as I know how."

Cocaine found in Downeys system
LOS ANGELES — Actor Robert Downey Jr. had traces of cocaine in his system when he was arrested last month, authorities said yesterday.
The urine test that the 36-year-old actor voluntarily took revealed no other drugs in his system, said Lt. Dave Tankenson of the Culver City Police Department.
"It will be up to the DAs office on what charges to file," Mr. Tankenson said. "But we are recommending he be charged with a misdemeanor of being under a controlled substance."
Downey was arrested in Culver City last month. Downey, who was already on parole and also facing drug charges stemming from a November arrest in Palm Springs, could face up to a year in jail for his most recent arrest.

America got older during the 1990s
The median age of the U.S. population rose to 35.3 years in 2000, the latest census found. It was up from 32.8 in 1990, but down slightly from a 1999 estimate of 35.5.
Demographers have long predicted the overall graying of the population because of the aging of the baby boom generation. The baby boomers, at the time of their birth the largest generation in American history, last year celebrated birthdays ranging from 36 to 54.

Detective indicted in mob case
NEW YORK — A New York City detective was arrested yesterday and accused of removing shell casings from the scene of a mob hit to cover up the purported role of his cousin.
Michael Silvestri, 44, awaited arraignment in federal court on a charge of being an accessory to murder.
The charge stems from the shooting death of Joseph Conigliaro in Brooklyn in 1998 as he sat behind the wheel of a car.
Whitman plans civil rights initiatives
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christie Whitman is preparing a series of civil rights initiatives for her agency, including mandatory two-day training for 1,600 supervisors and managers nationwide.
The EPA has contracted with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to conduct the course.

Wifes death casts suspicion on Blake
LOS ANGELES — Actor Robert Blakes lawyer delivered two carloads of evidence to police headquarters yesterday and conceded for the first time that the former TV detective was under a "cloud" of suspicion in his wifes murder six days earlier.
Attorney Harlan Braun came to police headquarters at noon and unloaded three black steamer trunks, five suitcases and six file boxes crammed with relics of Bonny Bakleys life before she was fatally shot May 5 while sitting in Mr. Blakes car.
The attorney conceded that police considered Mr. Blake, 67, a suspect.


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