- The Washington Times - Friday, August 2, 2002

NEW YORK

Mayor says city will ship trash by barge

NEW YORK Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said the city would start shipping its trash away on barges instead of by truck, but acknowledged it probably would not save the cash-strapped city any money.

The mayor's long-awaited report comes as the city faces escalating costs to transport 14,000 tons of residential garbage out of the city each day a task that became necessary after Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island was shut last year.

Since it began phasing out the landfill in 1997, the city has watched its disposal costs rise from $179 per ton to $263 per ton by last year, when it began relying on out-of-state landfills.


ILLINOIS

Leaders seek witnesses to mob attack

CHICAGO Pleading with residents to "break the code of silence," community leaders went door-to-door yesterday to find witnesses to the slaying of two men who were dragged from a van after an accident and beaten by a mob.

"So far, the community has not responded," said Najee Ali, a civil rights activist who helped organize the canvass. "It's up to the community leaders to provide guidance, to say it's OK to help law enforcement."

Police had a suspect in custody yesterday in the killings of Anthony Stuckey, 49, and Jack Moore, 62, but no immediate charges were filed.


ALABAMA

Suit charges abuse in girls' lockup

BIRMINGHAM A lawsuit over misconduct at Alabama's juvenile lockup for girls has swelled to include claims that more than three dozen young women were sexually abused, physically mistreated or denied medical care.

The accusations part of a federal lawsuit that has mushroomed to nearly 500 pages include claims that 10 girls had sex with workers at the center, some by force and one at age 12.

Only five girls and their mothers were involved in the suit when it was initially filed in June 2001 seeking $171 million.


ARKANSAS

Sales-tax proposal lacks ballot signatures

LITTLE ROCK A proposal that could have led to the elimination of the sales tax on groceries came up short of the signatures needed to place it on the November ballot, the Secretary of State's Office said Wednesday.

Susan Inman, director of elections for Sharon Priest's office, said the office found the initiative had 60,107 valid signatures out of 80,526 it checked. Supporters needed signatures of 70,601 registered voters to place the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot.

Backers will have 30 days to submit additional signatures to the office for verification.


CALIFORNIA

Parrish murals stolen from gallery

WEST HOLLYWOOD Two murals by renowned American painter Maxfield Parrish, valued at $2 million each, were stolen from a gallery, authorities said.

The paintings, measuring 5 feet by 6 feet, were believed taken from the Edenhurst Fine Art Gallery in West Hollywood sometime Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Sgt. Neill Murchison said Wednesday. He declined to disclose other details.

The oil paintings were being offered for sale through the gallery and were part of a collection of six.

Dubbed panel 3A and 3B, they depict two couples and an urn set against the backdrop of the Colorado mountains.


DELAWARE

Fire chars lumber mill

LEWES State fire investigators yesterday were trying to determine what started a Wednesday night fire that caused $1 million in damage to a Lewes lumber mill, the Wilmington News-Journal reports.

The blaze at the American Cedar and Mill Works Co. started at about 7:45 p.m. in the company's mill-works building.

Six fire departments and about 100 firefighters responded to the blaze. The fire also caused a miles-long traffic jam on busy Delaware 1 near Lewes.


FLORIDA

U.S. revokes citizenship of suspected Nazi

PENSACOLA Federal officials on Wednesday revoked the citizenship of a Florida man accused of participating in the mass killing of Jews during the Nazi occupation of Belarus in 1942 and 1943.

Michael Gorshkow, 78, of Panama City, had missed two deadlines to respond to a Justice Department civil complaint seeking to revoke his citizenship.

Mr. Gorshkow recently left the country and did not respond to the government's complaint, the department said. The Pensacola federal court entered a default judgment Monday.


HAWAII

Volcano enthusiasts bitten by centipedes

VOLCANO The spectacular flow of lava from the Kilauea Volcano is bringing out more than just tourists.

Centipedes are becoming a nuisance to tourists flocking to the Big Island to watch the lava, officials with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park said.

With large crowds gathering to watch the glowing lava flow into the ocean, many people are sitting on old lava flows that haven't been sat on in years, said Park Ranger Mardie Lane.

Monday night, at least 13 persons were bitten by centipedes.


INDIANA

Fire department seeks fitness-plan funding

INDIANAPOLIS To make its employees healthier, the Indianapolis Fire Department had to reveal some unflattering figures, according to the Star newspaper.

More than 80 percent of the department's 755 employees are considered overweight or obese.

Now, before you envision firehouses full of pants-stretching potbellies caused by poor eating habits, keep in mind the data can be somewhat imprecise.

But officials included the measurements in a proposal to the U.S. Fire Administration because they added weight to the department's argument for money to cover most of a $700,000 fitness and wellness plan for all 26 stations.

Thinking healthy is nothing new for the department, which banned tobacco in firehouses last year.


IOWA

Man to let advertisers tattoo his head

DE WITT Jeff Swanson is using his head as a billboard.

Mr. Swanson, 39, is offering to let an advertiser tattoo his head for $100,000.

He listed his offer twice on the Internet auction site EBay, and says at least one person has already called to express interest.

"I thought if the right person saw it and they had that kind of money, they might try to do it, maybe to get some publicity for themselves," said Mr. Swanson, who hangs hollow metal doors for a Davenport company.

The tattoo, which he would expose for a year, would be a first for the father of four young boys, who said he could invest part of the money for his children's college education.


LOUISIANA

State confirms West Nile death

BATON ROUGE The mosquito-borne West Nile virus has claimed its first confirmed U.S. victim this year, a woman in her 70s who died in Baton Rouge, a state health department spokesman said.

The woman, who was not identified, died Monday. She was one of 32 persons in Louisiana known to have West Nile, health department spokesman Bob Johannessen said Wednesday.

The department also is working to determine whether West Nile is the cause of two other Louisiana deaths, he said.

Before the woman's death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had confirmed 185 cases, including 18 deaths, since the first Americans were diagnosed in 1999. The virus was first detected in New York City and has been found in 34 states and the District of Columbia.


MASSACHUSETTS

Couple gives up free wedding prize

ATTLEBORO A couple who won a free wedding with their story of love amid financial hardship have given up the prize because the groom faces child-rape charges.

Dennis Cataloni, 31, and Kristie Weatherford, 22, voluntarily withdrew after the Sun Chronicle learned about the charges.

The newspaper was one of the sponsors of the contest that awarded them a $3,100 wedding.

Mr. Cataloni and Miss Weatherford said in their entry letter that they'd had to cancel multiple wedding dates because they couldn't afford a wedding that could accommodate both families. They were chosen over five other contestants but withdrew last week.

Mr. Cataloni pleaded not guilty after being indicted in April on six counts of rape of a child. The reputed violations occurred between December 1991 and December 1999 and involved a girl who was 7 in 1991, according to court records.


MONTANA

Wolves prey on pet llama

MISSOULA The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was in "lethal control mode" in the Ninemile Valley on Wednesday night, after wolves apparently killed a pasturing llama.

It was the fifth pet llama killed by wolves in the valley northwest of Missoula this year a statistic that wolf-recovery coordinator Ed Bangs said begs a response, the Missoulian reports.

"The right solution here is to look at something longer term, where we can have both domestic animals and wildlife," Mr. Bangs said. "We can't just keep sticking vulnerable animals out there and having them attacked and then killing the predators.

"We have to fix this thing for the long term."


NEVADA

Lawmakers OK deal in malpractice crisis

CARSON CITY Trying to end a health care crisis triggered by soaring malpractice-insurance rates, lawmakers yesterday capped pain-and-suffering awards at $350,000 in most lawsuits.

The vote ended after 4 a.m., following several hours of negotiations to resolve differences between rival Assembly and Senate measures that developed after the collapse of an early deal announced at the start of a special legislative session Monday.

The crisis has led some doctors to limit their practices or even leave the state. Nevada's top trauma center, located in Las Vegas, shut down for 10 days last month, while Las Vegas obstetrician Dr. Gloria Martin closed shop rather than absorb a bump in premiums last month from $23,000 to $80,000 a year.


NEW JERSEY

Two girls die in elevator accident

FREEHOLD A safety mechanism was taped over and not working when two little girls were killed in an elevator in a multimillion-dollar home, authorities said yesterday.

Someone taped over the sensor that would have kept the car from operating with the gate open, Monmouth County Prosecutor John Kaye said.

The victims of Wednesday night's accident were identified as Arelia Franco, 7, and her sister, Nanci, 6. Their father, Victoriano Franco, is the groundskeeper for the 10-acre Colts Neck estate.

The girls were lying down in the elevator with their heads partially across the threshold as the car ascended from the basement. They were killed when their heads were wedged against a piece of the elevator shaft.


OHIO

Base uses worms to devour food scraps

DAYTON Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has started using earthworms to devour tons of food scraps.

Over the past three weeks, the 300,000 worms have devoured 7 tons of food scraps. The base said it is saving money by not spending $100 a ton to dispose of the scraps. It also may use the worm waste as fertilizer to enrich the soil.


OKLAHOMA

Sting aims to stop underage smoking

Convenience stores, supermarkets and other retail outlets that sell tobacco products can expect more "stings," test buys and other stepped-up law enforcement efforts aimed at keeping cigarettes out of the hands of Oklahomans under age 18, officials said Wednesday.

The state could lose $8 million in federal funds earmarked for substance-abuse intervention programs if illegal sales are not reduced by Oct. 1, the Oklahoman reports.

"Most merchandisers want to obey the law, but we'll always have folks who'll place short-term profits over what they ought to do and need to do," said Gary Davidson, director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission.

Mr. Davidson said enforcement will increase immediately, and he expects more citations will be given to retail outlets that sell to minors.


PENNSYLVANIA

Court reinstates inmate lawsuit

PITTSBURGH A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit by prisoners who claimed their rights were violated by a federal law banning movies with ratings of R, X and NC-17.

Several prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution in McKean had filed the suit, saying that banning movies categorically based on ratings violates the First Amendment.

Last week, a panel of judges on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a lower court dismissing the suit.

Language prohibiting federal funding of R, X and NC-17-rated movies in prisons was included as an amendment to a 1996 spending bill.


TEXAS

Police find truck filled with illegals

SAN ANTONIO Authorities said they found a tractor-trailer rig containing as many as 100 illegal immigrants Wednesday after a witness reported screams coming from the trailer.

Thirty-two persons were in custody Wednesday. Two were sent to the hospital for treatment of dehydration, said Immigration and Naturalization Service spokesman Denton Lankford.

Police went to a truck stop at 1 a.m. Wednesday and found the immigrants, many of whom scattered after being released from the trailer.

The driver, Antonio Deleza, 48, of Laredo, was charged with driving without a license or insurance. Mr. Deleza was also being held by the INS on charges related to smuggling, police said. It wasn't immediately known whether he had a lawyer.


VERMONT

Federal law brings school choice to state

BURLINGTON Schoolchildren in six Vermont schools will be able to attend another school in their district starting this year, thanks to the federal education-reform law signed by President Bush this year, the Free Press reports.

Students at Wheeler Elementary School and Edmunds Middle School in Burlington will be able to attend other schools in the city. Students at four other Vermont schools White River School in White River Junction, Westshire Elementary School in West Fairlee, Molly Stark School in Bennington and Park Street School in Springfield will also be able to go to other schools in their districts.

Under the new law, students at schools deemed as needing improvement may move to another school in their district. The only schools that qualify are those receiving federal money to help economically disadvantaged students.


WASHINGTON

Activist convicted of assaulting ex-mayor

SEATTLE A black activist was convicted on Wednesday of hitting former Mayor Paul Schell in the head with a bullhorn during a community meeting, breaking his nose and shattering the bones around an eye last July.

James Garrett, who is also known as Omari Tahir-Garrett, had denied attacking Mr. Schell, who is white and lost his re-election bid last fall.

Garrett will be sentenced today. A jury convicted him of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon, which carries a penalty of up to 21 months in jail. A previous trial ended in a mistrial when two jurors held out against 10 prepared to convict the 56-year-old defendant, who also ran for mayor last fall.

Garrett has voiced frustration with the city for what he considers racist policies and for failing to support his efforts to establish a black heritage museum.


WEST VIRGINIA

National Alliance names chairman

CHARLESTON An Ohio man has been named chairman of the West Virginia-based white supremacist National Alliance, replacing founder William Pierce, who died last week of cancer.

Erich Gliebe, 38, of Cleveland, who was known as the "Aryan Barbarian" when he was a boxer, has headed the Cleveland unit of the National Alliance for 12 years.

Mr. Gliebe will move to the 400-acre Mill Point compound in Pocahontas County in the next few weeks, Bob DeMarias, the group's business manager, said Wednesday.


WISCONSIN

Deaths probed for link to deer disease

WAUSAU The deaths of three outdoorsmen from brain-destroying illnesses are under investigation by medical experts who want to know whether chronic wasting disease has crossed from animals into humans, just as mad cow disease did in Europe.

The men knew one another and ate elk and deer meat at wild-game feasts hosted by one of them in Wisconsin during the 1980s and '90s.

All three died in the 1990s.

There has never been a documented case of a person contracting a brain-destroying illness from eating wild animals with chronic wasting disease.

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