- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 29, 2002

KENTUCKY
Married couple is world's oldest
LEXINGTON A couple who said "I do" 83 years ago has been recognized officially as the world's oldest living married couple.
William and Claudia Lillian Ritchie, who were married on April 12, 1919, in Jeffersonville, Ind., received a certificate from Guinness World Records on Tuesday.
"I wanted to take care of her, that was the biggest part of it," said Mr. Ritchie, 104.
The Ritchies raised four children, two of whom have died. They have nine grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and 18 great-great-grandchildren.
While 98-year-old Mrs. Ritchie's memory is faltering and her husband has difficulty hearing, both were made aware of the record, said daughter Jewell Wagoner, 75.

NORTH CAROLINA
Prison guard fired for flag patches
ASHEBORO A prison guard says he was fired after he had U.S. and North Carolina flags sewn onto his uniform shirt and refused to remove them.
Bobby Hayes was fired last month as a corrections officer at the Randolph Correctional Center in Asheboro. He had been told to remove the patches from his state-issued uniform or turn it in.
"I'm a good officer, or I was," said Mr. Hayes, who worked for the state Department of Correction for two years. "Sometimes there are orders that should not be given, and that's one of them."
Mr. Hayes said he was told he was being fired for insubordination.
"They told me it might open the door for someone who might want to wear a neo-Nazi emblem," he said.

ALABAMA
Six found fatally shot
RUTLEDGE Six persons, including three teenage boys, were found shot dead at a rural house and a nearby mobile home, authorities and a relative of the victims said yesterday. A teenage girl and her infant daughter were said to be missing.
The bodies were found inside and outside the residences after sheriff's deputies were called to the scene about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, District Attorney John Andrews said.
He did not provide any information about a possible motive. He said there were no suspects, but authorities are looking for two persons who are believed to be witnesses. They were not identified.

ALASKA
Voters reject 'instant runoff' plan
ANCHORAGE Alaska voters rejected Tuesday a proposal to institute an "instant runoff" method of voting for most federal and state elections.
With about 90 percent of Alaska's 446 precincts reporting, 64 percent of voters had rejected the measure, the Juneau Empire reports.
Alaska League of Women Voters President Cheryl Jebe said preferential voting violates the principle of one person, one vote. She also said the measure was too confusing and too costly to implement.
"Alaskans are not ready to change their method of voting," she said. "This would have been a drastic change, with consequences we can't even begin to fathom."
The instant runoff process lets voters list their top choices for an office in descending order. If no candidate received more than 50 percent of the first-choice vote, the lowest vote-getter would be eliminated. Then the second-choice votes of those who picked the losing candidate would be added to the totals for the remaining candidates. The process would continue until one candidate received more than 50 percent.

CALIFORNIA
Video trade group sends gifts to Navy
LOS ANGELES About 10,000 Navy submariners are skateboarding, racing cars and playing hockey all thanks to a donation from the video game industry.
Each of the Navy's 72 subs has been given a video game console and about 20 top-selling games as part of the industry's post-September 11 effort to boost morale of troops fighting terrorism.
The donation comes from members of the Interactive Digital Software Association, a trade group for the video game industry. Consoles donated include Microsoft's X-Box, Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube.

COLORADO
Classroom yoga under scrutiny
ASPEN For now, some children in Aspen can't do yoga.
The yoga program at Aspen Elementary school has been put on hold while administrators and parents determine whether the meditation would bring religion into the classroom.
Principal Barb Pitchford said the program was proposed as a way to help children cope with the return to classes.
"In this day and age, children, I think, are overstimulated visually and auditorally," the principal said.

DELAWARE
ATM fees raise concerns
WILMINGTON Wilmington Trust Corp. is imposing fees on its own customers at 11 ATMs that aren't marked as being owned by a subsidiary of the state's largest retail bank.
The bank's customers paid about $150,000 in surcharge fees last year at eight unbranded automated teller machines at Delaware Park.
The fees from those machines, as well as two others in Delaware and one in Maryland, have served as a small but steady revenue source for Wilmington Trust as banks continue to rely more on fees than on interest income.

FLORIDA
Professor charged with keeping body parts
GAINESVILLE A University of Florida neurology professor was arrested after police found preserved heads, brains, arms and other body parts at his house, some stored in Tupperware containers.
Joseph James Warner, 49, was charged Tuesday with illegal storage and preservation of human remains and with domestic battery, both misdemeanors. He remained jailed yesterday on a $5,000 bond.
Mr. Warner told officers that he "conducted research at his home, including dissections of human and animal body parts," a police report said. The university said it fired Mr. Warner on Tuesday.

GEORGIA
Teen dies after foot race
DECATUR A high school student collapsed and died after completing a 5-kilometer cross-country race.
Cedar Grove High School Principal Sheryl Croft identified the girl as Shai Lauren Owens, a 16-year-old junior.
Shai was rushed to a hospital at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and pronounced dead two hours later. She died of complications resulting from an abnormal heart valve, said Greg Greene, a forensic investigator for the DeKalb County Medical Examiner's Office.

INDIANA
Alka-Seltzer factory sold for a buck
ELKHART Bayer Corp. is selling a former Alka-Seltzer factory for less than you would pay for a box of the fizzing tablets: $1.
But whoever buys the building may need to stock up on the tablets, since its maintenance costs of $6 million to $7 million a year could give anyone a case of indigestion.
For Elkhart Mayor Dave Miller, though, the news helped ease any concerns he had about the site.
"Bayer's willingness to essentially give the building to a qualified operator is probably the best news for the city of Elkhart," Mr. Miller said.

MAINE
Drought alerts call for water restrictions
PORTLAND With Maine's drought in its 16th month, some public water systems are asking customers to conserve by not watering lawns or flowers.
Drought alerts were sent to thousands of water users in the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District, the Portland Press Herald reports. The district, which draws water from Branch Brook, recently issued a "drought alert" that urged customers to cut their water usage.

MASSACHUSETTS
Inmate loses sex-change bid
BOSTON A federal judge yesterday rejected a bid by a male inmate to force the state to pay for a sex-change operation and hormone therapy to allow him to live as a woman.
Robert Kosilek, who was convicted in 1993 of strangling his wife, said he was being denied adequate medical care in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. His lawsuit against the Department of Corrections was heard in federal court during a non-jury trial in February.
U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf ruled that although Kosilek had proven that he has a serious medical condition gender identity disorder that has not been adequately treated, he had not proven that Corrections Commissioner Michael Maloney had been "deliberately indifferent."

MICHIGAN
Murder charges sought against mother
PONTIAC Prosecutors want a judge to reinstate first-degree felony murder charges against a mother accused of leaving her two children to die inside a sweltering car.
In an 18-page brief filed with the court on Aug. 14, prosecutors said a jury should decide whether Tarajee Maynor meant to harm her two children when she locked them in the car for nearly four hours, the Detroit News reported.
Miss Maynor, 25, originally was charged with two counts of felony murder and two counts of first-degree child abuse. But the charges were reduced to involuntary manslaughter after District Judge Stephen Cooper said Miss Maynor didn't mean for her children to die.
Authorities say Miss Maynor left 10-month-old Acacia and 3-year-old Adonnis alone in her black compact car June 28 while she was having her hair done at a salon in the Detroit suburb of Southfield.

NEVADA
Prison system vetoes golf driving range
CARSON CITY When some Nevada prison inmates who wanted to work on their golf game started to build a driving range, the state prison director got a bit teed off.
Prisons Director Jackie Crawford said convicts at the prison system's 100-inmate Tonopah Conservation Camp got the idea to make their own driving range after volunteering time to build one for the city of Tonopah. "Then they said, 'Why not make our own?'"
Miss Crawford quickly stopped such talk.
"I can assure you that there are no golf courses at our prisons," she added. "Not under this director."

NEW YORK
Malcolm X's grandson charged with trespassing
MIDDLETOWN Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of Malcolm X who set the 1997 fire that killed his grandmother Betty Shabazz, has been arrested on trespassing and marijuana-possession charges, police said.
Shabazz, 17, was held Sunday on three outstanding warrants issued in city court. An indictment warrant was issued in county court after he failed to show up for an Aug. 13 sentencing.
Shabazz pleaded guilty in July to attempted robbery. He and a 17-year-old accomplice were charged in January with beating and robbing another youth of $100.

OHIO
Court restricts smoking ban
COLUMBUS Local health boards in Ohio have no authority to ban smoking in all public places, including bars and restaurants, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.
In a 6-1 ruling, the court called the goals of anti-smoking activists well-intentioned but said state law does not allow them to overrule the Legislature, which exempted bars and restaurants.
"We refuse to extend by mere implication the authority of local boards of health beyond clearly stated and well-defined limits," said Justice Andy Douglas, writing for the majority.

OKLAHOMA
Bombing trial put on hold
OKLAHOMA CITY A state judge yesterday indefinitely put on hold the long-delayed murder trial of accused Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols, whose lawyer complained that he had not been paid this year for his work on the case.
Judge Ray Dean Linder granted the stay after lawyer Brian Hermanson told the court that he had not been paid this year by the state's financially strapped defense system, despite an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling earlier this summer that ordered the payment.
A lower court decided that the ruling was unclear, leaving him unpaid, Mr. Hermanson said.

OREGON
Police probe case links
OREGON CITY Police in Northern California were reviewing a teenager's unsolved 1997 disappearance for possible links to the man suspected in the deaths of two Oregon girls this year.
In 1997, police had investigated Ward Weaver's father but quickly learned that he was on California's death row for killing an Air Force cadet and his fiancee.
"We didn't know that there was a Ward Weaver (III) at that time," Eureka, Calif., police Detective Dave Parris said.
The bodies of the two Oregon girls were found here over the weekend on property rented by the younger Mr. Weaver.

PENNSYLVANIA
Swastika evidence barred in trial
PITTSBURGH Prosecutors cannot tell jurors that a man accused of gunning down a rabbinical student has a swastika tattooed on his leg, a judge ruled.
Allegheny County Judge Lawrence O'Toole said Tuesday that the information would be prejudicial and that a police detective saw the tattoo too late reportedly six years after the death of Neal S. Rosenblum.
Mr. Rosenblum, a 24-year-old Orthodox Jew from Toronto, was visiting his Pittsburgh parents-in-law for Passover in 1986 when he was shot while returning from evening prayers.

TEXAS
Man found hanged in cell
CORSICANA A man accused of sexually assaulting and strangling his 10-year-old stepdaughter was found hanged in his jail cell yesterday about an hour before his capital murder trial was to begin.
Michael Paul Zoch had not appeared suicidal, said Navarro County Sheriff Leslie Cotten. The sheriff said he did not suspect foul play. Texas Rangers were investigating, and an autopsy was scheduled.
Mr. Zoch, 37, was found about 8 a.m. hanged with strips of bed linen, Sheriff Cotten said. Jailers last saw Mr. Zoch alive when they retrieved his breakfast tray at 6:45 a.m.

WASHINGTON
Man arrested in bus takeover
SEATTLE A man commandeered a King County Metro bus yesterday and crashed it into several cars as he drove through city streets, seriously injuring at least two persons in one of the cars, police said.
The man was arrested when he tried to run after the bus slammed into an embankment, police said.
The violence began in the morning with a fight on the bus, said police spokesman Scott Moses. The driver stopped and ordered the passengers off. Everyone left the bus except the hijacker, described as a man in his late teens or early 20s, who got behind the wheel and drove off.

WEST VIRGINIA
National Guard complex dedicated to Byrd
KINGWOOD Fifty-four colorful flags line a long, bright corridor at the Robert C. Byrd Regional Training Institute one for every state and U.S. territory.
Maj. Gen. Allen Tackett had them raised to make a point: Within a few years, he expects each to have sent soldiers to train at his new $22 million National Guard complex.
The general yesterday joined the building's namesake Sen. Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Democrat in dedicating the complex in the mountains at Camp Dawson.

WISCONSIN
New archbishop installed in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE Milwaukee's Roman Catholic archdiocese installed a new leader yesterday, replacing an archbishop who resigned after acknowledging that he used church funds to pay a settlement to a man who accused him of homosexual rape.
The new archbishop, Timothy Dolan, alluded to the sex scandals that have embroiled the Roman Catholic Church nationwide during a speech at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, where he was installed.
"We've heard so much in recent months about the Catholic Church in crisis," said Archbishop Dolan, who moved to Milwaukee from St. Louis, where he served as auxiliary bishop. "The antidote for this crisis is fidelity. A fidelity that gives rise to holiness."
Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland attended the ceremony yesterday.

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