- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2002

City sues Ford Motor Co.
HOOVER Ford Motor Co. is being sued by the City of Hoover, which says Ford sold its police department defective and unreasonably dangerous cars and failed to inform the city of recommended alterations.
The lawsuit, filed July 26 in Jefferson County Circuit Court, says the Ford Crown Victoria has a design flaw that increases the risk of fatal fires when the cars are struck from behind. The suit says numerous police officers in other states have burned to death or suffered serious burns in such collisions, according to reports in the Birmingham News.
In October 2001, Ford issued a technical service bulletin recommending modifications to its police cars to improve safety in rear-impact collisions. Hoover says Ford failed to notify most police agencies.

State near average for non-certified teachers
PHOENIX The Arizona Department of Education is backtracking on the percentage of teachers it says are non-certified.
The state sent two years' worth of data to the U.S. Department of Education on the number of non-certified teachers in the classroom instead of one year's worth of information, making the percentage of non-certified teachers higher than it actually is, the Arizona Republic reports.
The new figures, officials said, show that the percentage of non-certified teachers for the 1999-2000 school year was 6.8. For the 2002-03 school year, up to 8.8 percent of teachers may not be certified, putting Arizona close to the national average.

Historian keeps gardens in bloom
NEW CASTLE Most people dread mowing the lawn. But in Victorian times, it was even more of a chore.
"It was almost treated like an ornamental thing. You didn't have great big lawns or anything; it was so labor-intensive," said historian Timothy Mullin, who lectures about Victorian yards and gardens.
People not only cut the grass in the 1800s, but they also treated their lawns with heavy stone rollers to keep the ground flat, he said.
Lawns consisted of "a wide mixture of grasses and things that today we consider weeds, like clover," Mr. Mullin, director of museums at the Historical Society of Delaware, told the Wilmington News Journal.

Little League officials reviewing violence
PINELLAS PARK Little League Baseball officials in Williamsport, Pa., will decide if Pinellas Park players and parents acted so badly that they instigated two brawls after a tournament game.
One parent had part of his ear bitten off, and a 9-month-old baby was knocked to the ground.
The July 29 game between Pinellas Park National and Deerfield Beach was only the fourth reported to Williamsport because of violence, and it was the first in which someone was injured, Lance Van Auken, director of media relations for Little League Baseball, told the St. Petersburg Times.

Island and ranch owner dies at 91
MAKAWELI Helen Matthew Robinson, owner of Niihau Island and Ranch, home to the last all-Hawaiian community, died Wednesday. She was 91.
The Robinson family founded Gay & Robinson Sugar Co., one of the few companies still in operation from the time when sugar production not tourism was the dominant industry in the islands. Helen was the last of her family's generation, son Keith Robinson said.
Mrs. Robinson grew up in Berkeley, Calif., and married Lester Robinson in 1937. Her husband died in 1969.
The Robinson family purchased the private island and ranch from the Hawaiian monarchy in 1864 and moved their family there from New Zealand.

Albertson's appoints kosher food manager
TWIN FALLS Albertson's is going kosher.
The Boise-based national food and drugstore chain has appointed Yakov M. Yarmove as corporate kosher marketing and operations manager, a new position for the $38 billion company.
"Kosher foods offer a significant growth opportunity for Albertson's," Larry Stablein, executive vice president, marketing and merchandising, told the Times-News, Twin Falls Idaho. "The appointment of Yakov Yarmove reflects our dedication to providing consumers with a wide variety of the highest quality kosher foods and ancillary products in their neighborhood supermarket or drugstore."

Reports question safety of water births
CHICAGO Delivering babies underwater in so-called water births could result in occasional near-drownings and deaths, suggest reports in the August issue of Pediatrics journal.
New Zealand doctors described four babies they say nearly drowned and said more safety evidence is needed before water births are offered routinely.
A journal editorial suggests complications are rare but that several drownings have occurred during poorly managed water births. While some evidence suggests the death rate is comparable to conventional childbirth methods, data comparing nonfatal risks are scarce, Dr. Ruth Gilbert of the Institute of Health in London said in the editorial.
Proponents say childbirth in a warm-water bathtub is more comfortable for the mother and less traumatic for the baby.

Palestinian girl gets heart surgery
INDIANAPOLIS While Israeli tanks rumbled through the streets of Ramallah in West Bank and as Palestinian snipers and Jewish soldiers exchanged gunfire daily, Kholoud Zaghmouri wondered whether her ailing daughter would be trapped forever.
Abrar, not yet a year old, had a heart condition that prevented adequate levels of oxygen from reaching her blood. Untreated, she probably would not live until adulthood.
And her access to medical help was limited. Curfews were in effect for Palestinians, and travel was virtually nonexistent.
Then, in July, Mr. Zaghmouri received word that Abrar would get the surgery she needed at the Children's Heart Center at St. Vincent Hospital.

Drought leaves little to harvest
WELLINGTON Any other year would find Dave Hermesch a busy man, joining hundreds of other agricultural nomads in their combines to follow ripening crops of wheat across the Plains.
But the work that typically awaits the Oklahoma man and his 12-member crew is literally drying up another blow dealt by the wilting drought that has devastated the harvest.
"Usually if the drought or hail isn't too widespread, we can load our combines and go somewhere else to replace lost acres," said Mr. Hermesch, who is also board president of the Hutchinson-based trade group U.S. Custom Harvesters. "But not when it is as big and as widespread as this is now."

More schools adopt student uniforms
LOUISVILLE When Middletown and Price elementaries start school on Aug. 19, they'll join 97 other public schools from the urban core to the suburbs that require uniforms.
That number has more than doubled in the past five years and represents a majority of the Jefferson County district's 130 schools, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
District officials attribute the rapid increase in uniform policies to growing numbers of parents and educators who see them as a way to ease peer pressure, mute economic and social-class differences, decrease distractions and violence and ultimately lead to better schooling.
Although evidence of that is mostly anecdotal, a Jefferson County school system analysis in 2000 found that three high schools that have had such policies for at least three years Male, Fern Creek and Butler were able to reduce suspensions by as much as two-thirds.

Officer shot to death arriving at robbery scene
NEW ORLEANS Armed robbers fleeing a New Orleans bar fatally shot a police officer early yesterday as he arrived at the scene with a rookie in training. One man was arrested; two others were at large.
"It was a policeman's worst nightmare. You pull up and people start shooting," said Sgt. Kevin Anderson, a spokesman for the New Orleans police department.
Christopher Russell, 35, a five-year police veteran, was the victim.

Bush family attends local church service
KENNEBUNKPORT It was no ordinary day at the First Congregational Church of Kennebunkport, but everyone there carried on as if it was.
The 9 a.m. service found President Bush, along with his father, mother, brother Marvin and sister Doro in the pews of the tiny white clapboard church, decidedly more dressed-up than the rest of the congregation.
"You can see it's just another day here at First Congregational," said the Rev. Bonnie Steinroeder, to much knowing laughter from her flock as she warmly greeted the president and his family.
Michael W. Smith, an internationally known Christian singer, treated them to a private two-song show.

Researcher killed in plane crash
EDGARTOWN A small plane crashed at sea near Martha's Vineyard and killed its pilot, the head of a research division for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, authorities said.
The body of Timothy L. Crawford was recovered after the crash on Saturday four miles south of the island, officials said. The cause of the crash was not immediately known.
Mr. Crawford, 54, of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was director of the Field Research Division of NOAA's Air Resources Laboratory there. He apparently was conducting research when the plane crashed, state police said.

Davey and Goliath to return to television
MINNEAPOLIS Davey and Goliath, the stop-action animated stars of Sunday morning TV in the 1960s who recently reappeared in a soda commercial, are getting their TV show again.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will produce 26 new episodes of the Davey and Goliath show.
The denomination's predecessor, the United Lutheran Church in America, produced 65 episodes of the show and six specials from 1960 to 1971. The show featured Davey, a young boy, and his dog, Goliath.
The church hopes to introduce a new generation to the characters and create quality children's programming with a moral center and a Christian theme, said the Rev. Eric Shafer, the ELCA's communications director.

Robbery suspect killed in casino
LAS VEGAS A robbery suspect was fatally shot by a security guard in a Las Vegas casino after firing shots into a crowd of gamblers and injuring a worker.
Police said the suspect, who was not immediately identified, robbed a change carousel at the Boulder Station Hotel-Casino, a popular off-Strip casino, while brandishing a pistol about 11 p.m. Friday.
The suspect then fled out the front doors of the casino. For some reason the man turned around and went back through the casino, firing his weapon through the crowded casino, police said. A casino employee tried to subdue the robber and was shot at least once.

Agency will consider WTC site plan
NEW YORK A proposal to swap ownership of the World Trade Center property for the land at LaGuardia and J.F.K. international airports deserves "serious examination," the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Saturday.
"In concept, it would be consistent with the Port Authority's core mission of transportation," said PA chairman Jack G. Sinagra. "If the city is serious about pursuing this idea, we would welcome such a discussion."
The Port Authority owns the land at ground zero, while the city owns the two New York airports. A swap would serve to cut the agency out of the rebuilding process at ground zero, eliminating its need to maximize revenues by building and leasing a large amount of commercial space.

Slain Army wives planned to leave
FAYETTEVILLE Four Army wives who investigators say were killed by their husbands all wanted to get out of their marriages, a newspaper reported yesterday.
The deaths at Fort Bragg in June and July have prompted post officials to promise a review that will include how the military deals with marital problems.
Three of the husbands were special operations soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan, but investigators discounted a direct connection to wartime service.
"It's not like all three went to Afghanistan, came back and killed their wives," Lt. Sam Pennica of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office told the Fayetteville Observer. "They all had ongoing marital problems before the war."

Letters provide insight into Jewish inmate
CINCINNATI Months before Leo Frank was hanged by a Georgia lynch mob in 1915, he was working from jail to publicize his story and hoping to overturn his conviction for the notorious slaying of a 13-year-old girl.
"I feel with you that my ultimate vindication must come, although I must confess that it is hard for me at this time to see just in which way it will come about," he wrote to journalist C.P. Connolly on Dec. 14, 1914.
Mr. Connolly wrote extensively about the case that would become a rallying point for the Ku Klux Klan and helped lead to the formation of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai Brith.

Teen fined for lighting shoes on plane
PITTSBURGH A 17-year-old Canadian boy who singed parts of his sneakers with a lighter while his US Airways plane taxied to a gate at Pittsburgh International Airport has been fined for disorderly conduct.
"It was bad judgment," said Allegheny County police Sgt. Robert Clark, who is stationed at the airport. Police found no explosives and nothing hazardous in the boy's shoes or on the plane. The FBI declined to prosecute.

Researchers begin study of hurricanes
MYRTLE BEACH The next time a hurricane roars over the Grand Strand, residents and tourists could get an early warning about which areas would be hit hardest.
Coastal researchers from both Carolinas have begun a $2.5 million project that will watch the ocean off the South Carolina coast in hopes of predicting a hurricane's effect in quarter-mile increments, Earle Buckley, project manager for the Carolina Coastal Ocean Observing and Predictions System, told the Sun News.
Predicting where a storm will crash into the shore will improve a community's emergency response, officials said.

Country music songwriter dies from lung disease
NASHVILLE Noted country-music songwriter Joe Allison, whose songs were recorded by such stars as Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby and Patsy Cline, has died from lung disease at age 77 in Nashville, officials at St. Thomas Hospital said.
Mr. Allison, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, composed such hits as Jim Reeves' classic "He'll Have to Go" and Faron Young's "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young."
He died Friday, hospital officials said.
Mr. Allison's first big success as a songwriter came when Tex Ritter recorded the Top Ten hit "When You Leave, Don't Slam the Door" in 1946.

First lady views centuries-old frescoes
LUBBOCK First lady Laura Bush toured an exhibit of centuries-old frescoes from the Vatican museums on Saturday and encouraged others to see the rare art.
"It's just really going to be a once-in-a lifetime experience for a lot of people to come to see these frescoes," she said at the exhibit at Texas Tech University.
The 31 frescoes had never left Europe or been viewed together before the showing at the university this summer. They will remain in Lubbock until Sept. 15 and will be returned to the Vatican, not to be displayed again until 2025.

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