- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2002


Police say arrest foiled robbery plan

PORTSMOUTH Police arrested three men who they said were planning to storm a pharmacy yesterday, kill everyone inside and steal all the drugs.

Officers said they seized submachine guns and semiautomatic handguns with silencers, bulletproof vests and black tactical clothing with masks from the three on Monday.

The men were identified as Jay Howard, 24; his brother Jeff Howard, 21; and Charles Veillette, 32. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder, robbery and theft.

They entered no pleas at their arraignments yesterday in Portsmouth District Court. Bail was set at $1 million apiece.


Accused stripper pleads not guilty

TACOMA A 25-year-old stripper accused of luring a wealthy businessman to his death pleaded not guilty to a charge of being a fugitive from justice.

Prosecutors filed the charge against Brandi Lynn Hungerford. She faces first-degree murder, robbery and conspiracy charges in Arizona in the death of millionaire Rick Chance, known across five states as the TV pitchman for Empire Glass.

Mr. Chance, 44, was found fatally shot Aug. 9 in a Tempe hotel room.


Bluegrass family sticks together

HARRISON On the same day that the bluegrass group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver received word that they had been nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Awards for three awards, Doyle Lawson was recuperating in a Tennessee hospital after quadruple bypass heart surgery, the Daily Times reports.

The group has been nominated for "best entertainer group," "vocal group of the year" and "best gospel vocal performance of the year."

The 58-year-old Mr. Lawson, from Cookeville, Tenn., who has played with such bluegrass greats as Bill Monroe, and his band were scheduled to perform at the Northwest Arkansas District Fairgrounds in Harrison tomorrow night, but the group had to perform without him.


Missing girl found safe near Reno

RIVERSIDE A 10-year-old girl who disappeared yesterday from her home in central California was found safe in Nevada with a family friend who used to baby-sit her, authorities said. The man with her was arrested.

"The child is fine," Nevada Trooper Pat McGill said. "She appeared to be in very good health."

Nichole Timmons had last been seen when her mother put her to bed Monday night, according to police in Riverside. She was reported missing yesterday morning.

The girl was found with the family friend, Glenn Park, after the man's truck was stopped on U.S. 95 near Hawthorne about 130 miles southeast of Reno, authorities said. Mr. Park, 68, was taken to the Mineral County Jail in Hawthorne, Trooper McGill said.


Accused witness to ask for release

DENVER A Seattle man arrested in Denver as a material witness to terrorist activity will try again Friday to win his freedom.

James Ujaama, a 36-year-old Denver native and black activist, is being held in a city jail in Alexandria. He was taken into custody last month at a family home.

Federal authorities say they believe Mr. Ujaama supplied computer equipment to an al Qaeda terrorist camp in Afghanistan.

At a hearing Friday, Mr. Ujaama will challenge his detention as a material witness to a grand jury in Washington that is investigating the terrorist attacks, said his Virginia attorney, Greg Stambaugh.

"The whole material-witness custody situation his and others is bothersome in the context of both the Constitution and civil rights," Mr. Stambaugh said.


Officials see hope of drought relief

WILMINGTON State water officials are offering qualified, cautious optimism about the drought for the first time in weeks because of a forecast for rain, cooler temperatures and continued water conservation, the News-Journal reports.

A sprinkling of rain Saturday night bolstered some stream levels in Delaware, allowing utilities to reduce the amount of water drawn from Hoopes Reservoir, northern Delaware's only water-supply reserve. More rain was predicted for Monday night.

State officials said they were also cheered by reports that water use dropped significantly over the weekend, although they said that may be partly because of people leaving the area for vacations or day trips.


City fears losing its namesake

HERSHEY For many here, the notion that Hershey Foods Corp. would remain in the town built by chocolate magnate and philanthropist Milton S. Hershey, now dead, was as entrenched as the candy company's 97-year-old factory on Chocolate Avenue.

That notion died when the nation's largest candy-maker was put up for sale, leaving many residents wondering what the town will look like if a company with no ties to the Hershey legacy buys it.

"There won't be any town left if they move everything out," said Herman Good, 75, who, like many in this central Pennsylvania town, retired after a career in one of the company's chocolate factories. "You might as well call it a ghost town."


School has first day of single-sex classes

LOUISVILLE Without a snicker, or even a whisper, the eighth-grade boys listened as each of their classmates stood and pledged to study hard and earn high marks to get ready for high school.

Social studies teacher Wilma K. Spencer smiled. On the first day of single-sex classrooms at Southern Leadership Academy, her students had abandoned the wisecracks, the note-passing, the fighting, the flirting and the shyness, and were ready to learn.

"I think sometimes with the two genders together, they are so influenced by each other," she said. "They want to impress each other."


Court says no to sperm donor

SARASOTA A man who donated his sperm and fathered twin boys has no parental rights to visit or contact the children, a Florida appeals court has ruled.

Danny Lucas had sued Lori Lamaritata, asking for a larger role in their boys' lives than was defined in the sperm-donor contract they signed in 1994, which outlined visitation rights.

The 2nd District Court of Appeals in Lakeland said Friday that the visitation agreement was "not enforceable."

Florida law says sperm and egg donors must "relinquish all maternal or paternal rights and obligations with respect to the donation or the resulting children," the court said.

Experts in adoption and surrogate-parent cases said the ruling set a statewide precedent.


Guilty plea made in corruption case

ATLANTA A telecommunications executive pleaded guilty yesterday to bribing a top adviser to the city's former mayor.

Vertis McManus Jr., vice president of Spectronics Corp., admitted that he gave more than $50,000 to Larry Wallace, the city's former chief operating officer and one of former Mayor Bill Campbell's closest friends.

Atlanta-based Spectronics later received a $103,589 "reseller's fee" from the city when it purchased financial-management software from Oracle Corp. in 1999. City officials have said the payment was unnecessary.


Lava hits part of road untouched by past flows

VOLCANO, Hawaii Lava from Kilauea Volcano yesterday crossed one of the last remaining sections of road that had been untouched by previous flows.

Previous lava flows have covered Chain of Craters Road along the ocean to the east and west, leaving one small section untouched. The section of road is less than a mile long.

But at 8:20 a.m., lava touched the road, and by 11:10 a.m. had covered the section as it continued its flow to the sea, said David Jordan, a photographer who was one of three persons who viewed the lava crossing yesterday morning.

The lava then went down a set of steps that pedestrians once used to view the lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.


Mailbox bomber to plead insanity

CEDAR RAPIDS The man accused of planting pipe bombs in mailboxes in five states will use an insanity defense when he goes on trial Nov. 18, court papers show.

Jane Kelly, the lawyer for Luke Helder, filed a notice of such a defense with the court on Friday and notified the judge of her intent to use expert witnesses to testify to Helder's mental condition.

Mr. Helder, 21, is accused of putting 18 pipe bombs and anti-government letters in mailboxes in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas in early May. Six pipe bombs exploded in Iowa and Illinois, injuring four letter carriers and two residents.


Jury rules against dad in '96 shooting

ST. LOUIS A handgun that a mentally ill man used to kill his brother had been carelessly stored by their father, a jury ruled in ordering the father to pay $400,000 in damages to the victim's widow and daughter.

The jury's verdict last month against William Handley appears to be Missouri's first such civil verdict purporting negligent storage of a firearm, the Missouri Lawyers Weekly legal publication reported Monday.

In the lawsuit, Kenneth Handley's survivors accused William Handley of either providing his .38-caliber pistol to Kevin Handley or not preventing that man's access to the gun. He knew his son had mental problems and should not have had access to firearms, according to the lawsuit by Nancy Handley and her daughter, Diona.


Senator wants no aid for droughts in Farm Bill

BEATRICE Meeting with farmers and conservationists Monday afternoon on the front lines of the financial fight between drought relief and Farm Bill programs, Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson said he plans to keep federal hands seeking disaster assistance out of the Farm Bill's budget.

On his trip to Beatrice on Monday, Mr. Nelson stopped to take a look at a soybean field northwest of town.

The field, farmed by Lawrence and Dale Hagemeier of Beatrice, is part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, one of the many Farm Bill programs that are being investigated by Congress for potential cuts that would go toward drought-relief funding money that Mr. Nelson said can be found elsewhere.


Number of WTC dead revised to 2,819

NEW YORK While cautioning that it wasn't being called the final number, the medical examiner's office turned over a list of 2,819 victims' names to officials at City Hall to be used as part of the memorial service at the World Trade Center site next month.

Four names were cut from the death toll that had remained unchanged for months. The list released Monday includes the names of those whose remains have been identified, those presumed dead whose families have obtained a court-issued death certificate and about 90 people who are classified as missing.

The names will be read by former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, other dignitaries and victims' family members at a ground-zero memorial ceremony Sept. 11.


Mother arrested for kids' sunburns

STEUBENVILLE A woman was arrested on felony charges for purportedly letting her three children get so severely sunburned that they looked like they "were dipped in red paint."

Eve Hibbits was arrested a week ago on three counts of child endangerment, said Sheriff Fred Abdalla. She remained in jail yesterday, held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

Sheriff Abdalla said a deputy noticed that Mrs. Hibbits' 2-year-old daughter and 10-month-old twin boys had severely sunburned faces at the Jefferson County Fair.

"She pushed her kids around the fairground all day last Tuesday, and it looked like those kids' faces were dipped in red paint," he said. "There was no sunscreen or nothing on these children."

The children had second-degree sunburn and were treated with cold compresses, said Trinity Medical Center West spokesman Keith Murdock.


Man accused of planning deaths

COLUMBIA A man accused of killing four persons across the Carolinas planned the deaths weeks in advance, took target practice at passing cars and shot his first victim "to see if he had the stomach to do it," prosecutors said yesterday.

"He's someone who enjoyed killing," prosecutor Barney Giese said at a hearing at which bail was denied. "He killed once. He liked it, and he went back and killed three more times."

Quincy Allen, 22, is charged with four counts of murder in North Carolina and South Carolina. Mr. Giese said he admitted to the four killings.


Ranchers complain to interior secretary

RAPID CITY Ranchers told Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton that black-tailed prairie dogs are being given too much protection by the federal government.

At a meeting in South Dakota over the weekend, Mrs. Norton heard complaints from several ranchers who said prairie dogs devastate rangeland, threaten their livelihoods and damage wildlife habitat.

Mrs. Norton said "sound science" will determine whether prairie dogs are listed as a threatened species. She said the Interior department will work closely with South Dakota and other states developing their own prairie-dog conservation plans to avoid having the animals listed as a threatened species.


Dozens exposed to white powder

McALLEN Dozens of people underwent decontamination after being exposed to an unidentified white powder.

Authorities said two employees opened envelopes containing the powder at the offices of Hotels.com, next to a Sam's Club store.

Firefighters said the workers had an immediate reaction to the powder and developed hives. The Sam's Club store is being shut down as a precaution.


Accused lawyer has funky reputation

Theresa Olson is a devoted lawyer who fights for her clients and has a flair for drama some even say recklessness as she pulls out all the stops.

In nearly 16 years, she has become known as many things around the King County Courthouse. A tenacious advocate. A funky dresser. A fast and blunt talker. A rule bender. A critic of police, prosecutors and anyone else who stands in her way.

Yet an accusation against her has been making sordid headlines and fodder for talk radio, and it's threatening to end her career, the Post-Intelligencer reports. She is accused of having sex in a jail conference room with her client, a 26-year-old man charged with killing three persons.

A hearing this morning may decide who should represent Sebastian Burns now and just what details of the purported encounter should be made public.


Lawn-ornament swap was just a prank

CHIPPEWA FALLS All's well that ends well for two residents after a prank left them with impostors for concrete lawn ornaments.

Resident Clayann M. Geissler found a donkey lawn ornament in her yard where a bear had been, and July Blaeser, who lives on the other side of town, found a concrete bear where a donkey once stood.

Miss Blaeser said she thinks the switch was probably done by some kids who were bored. The women have agreed to a swap that will return the animals to their rightful places.

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