- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 8, 2002

Ex-politician, wife kill each other
SUNFLOWER They began within an illicit romance in a rural hair salon, endured the ruin of a political career, wrenched apart over a sexual-abuse accusation and ended their lives Sunday by pointing shotguns at each other and pulling the triggers, the Mobile Register reports.
Washington County officials are calling the shooting a double homicide, though it's not clear who fired first, former Washington County Commissioner Leonard Sullivan or his estranged wife, Bessie Sullivan.
Their story began in the early 1990s, said friends, relatives and neighbors, when Bessie Sullivan was the attractive younger woman in Sullivan's life, almost 20 years his junior. He was the fun-loving four-term official who loved buck dancing and telling stories.
She was a married mother of two when they met, and he a father of four who had been married 46 years.

'Blizzard Guy' ends Dairy Queen quest
ANCHORAGE Alan Schmidt's quest to eat a Dairy Queen Blizzard ice cream treat in every state in the union wrapped up where else? in Alaska.
Promptly at 1 p.m. Tuesday, the Anchorage Daily News reports, he was ushered behind the counter of the Soldotna franchise, the only DQ in Alaska, where he was allowed to make his very own 16-ounce Heath bar Blizzard with a little cold fudge mixed in. It is his favorite flavor.
"It's almost as good as if I made it myself," he said. "Oh, I guess I did."
Since 1998, Mr. Schmidt has chased this odd goal of eating one of the desserts in each of the 50 states. Introduced in 1985, the Blizzard is a blend of soft-serve ice cream mixed with candy or nuts.
The idea originated with wife, Kathy, while they were munching Blizzards in Naples, Fla.

No wrongdoing found in securities-fraud case
SACRAMENTO The Securities and Exchange Commission said it won't file charges against Gov. Gray Davis' press secretary and two state energy consultants after it completed an investigation into possible securities-fraud violations.
The SEC informed Vikram Budhraja and Mark Skowronski, both employees of Electric Power Group, that they are no longer being investigated by the SEC for buying or selling energy-company stock last year. Stephen Kaufman, their attorney, said he received a letter from the SEC on Monday.

Drought situation looking grim
DENVER Free-flowing waters that help keep Colorado's farms and cities alive are down as much as 75 percent this year, and the state will enter the winter season with dozens of empty storage and irrigation reservoirs, the Rocky Mountain News reports.
The sobering news came during a day of hearings on water and drought issues at the state Capitol.
"Our available water supplies this year could be as low as 4 million to 6 million acre-feet," said state Engineer Hal Simpson. In a wet year, as much as 16 million acre-feet would flow from the high country through the state's river basins, he said.

Supplies running low at food bank
STAMFORD It's summertime, but the living is not easy for the agencies that provide food for the area's poor, the Greenwich Times reports.
Vacations mean children are not being fed at school and fewer companies are holding food drives. And donations which were up after the terrorist attacks of September 11 have dropped off again.
At the same time, the economy has weakened, so more people need the supplies than ever, food bank organizers said.
"Donations overall are dangerously down right now," said Kathleen Lombardo, executive director of the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, based in Stamford.

Computers missing from military base
TAMPA Two computers are missing from the Florida headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, which is running the military operation against Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan, a military spokesman said yesterday.
"I can confirm two computers are missing. An investigation is under way," said Lt. Col. Martin Compton of Central Command, located at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa.
Col. Compton would not say what the Central Command computers were used for or how long they had been missing.
The disclosure came two days after a U.S. government report said the FBI, Immigration and Naturalization Service and three other U.S. Justice Department law enforcement agencies had at least 775 weapons and 400 laptop computers stolen, lost or missing over a recent two-year period.

High court voids death sentence
BOISE Citing a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that "appears to invalidate the death-penalty scheme in Idaho," the state's high court has thrown out a convicted killer's death sentence.
The Idaho Supreme Court's ruling Tuesday ordered the resentencing of Donald Fetterly. The five-paragraph decision set aside issues raised in challenging his conviction and execution until the new sentence is imposed.
Fetterly, 49, was sentenced to death for the 1983 stabbing death of Sterling Grammer.

New state quarters available today
BLOOMINGTON Brand-new Indiana quarters will be available for the public today at Lake Monroe but probably not nearly enough of them to satisfy the demand, the Bloomington Herald Times reports.
"We will not have enough quarters for everybody," said Stephen Sellers, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. "We're sorry about that. We couldn't afford to buy any more, and they'll run out almost immediately."
Each of the distribution areas will get $500 worth of the quarters. They go on sale at noon at Lake Monroe's Paynetown office and at a dozen other parks and recreation areas around the state.

Boy, 9, dies in fall from cliff
DES MOINES A 9-year-old boy has died after falling from a cliff at Palisades-Kepler State Park west of Mount Vernon, the Des Moines Register reports.
William Curtis Owen-Wentz of Marion died Tuesday afternoon, according to the Linn County Sheriff's Office.
The boy was with his 10-year-old brother and two adult neighbors walking their dogs when one of the dogs got loose from its leash, authorities said. The dog ran over an embankment, and the boy followed it. Police said he slipped and fell over a 40-foot cliff and into the Cedar River.

Republicans gather for 'unity breakfast'
State Treasurer Tim Shallenburger quickly turned his attention to uniting Republicans behind him after claiming the GOP gubernatorial nomination and a big victory for fellow conservatives.
Mr. Shallenburger attended an hourlong "unity breakfast" yesterday in Topeka, appearing on stage with defeated rivals, Wichita Mayor Bob Knight and Senate President Dave Kerr of Hutchinson.
Mr. Shallenburger; running mate Dave Lindstrom, an Overland Park businessman and former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end; and state GOP Chairman Mark Parkinson also scheduled rallies in Pittsburg, Wichita, Dodge City, Great Bend and Overland Park.

Families misidentify car-accident victims
BRANDENBURG Family members mourning the death of a teenager were ready to say their goodbyes at a funeral home when they discovered that the body in the casket wasn't his.
Relatives of John D. Grubs Jr., one of two teens involved in a car crash on July 31, learned during the funeral home visit Saturday that it was in fact the other teen, Jeremy Hylemon, who had been killed in the accident.
Meanwhile, the Grubs teen, who suffered critical injuries but survived, was misidentified as the Hylemon youth by the dead teen's family.
The body at the funeral home would have been cremated if the Hylemon youth's grandmother hadn't attended the funeral and recognized her grandson, said Meade County Sheriff's Deputy William Sego.

'Dear Abby' creator has Alzheimer's
KANSAS CITY Pauline Phillips, the creator of the "Dear Abby" advice column, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, family members revealed.
Pauline Phillips began writing the column after her twin sister, Esther Lederer, started writing a similar one for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1955. Lederer, who wrote as Ann Landers, died in June.
Her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, now writes "Dear Abby."
In a statement released by the column's distributor, Universal Press Syndicate, the family said the deterioration of Pauline Phillips' memory has been slow.

Zoo would offer brush with grizzlies
JACKSON CREEK If cuddling up next to a grizzly bear is your idea of a good time, you might have a chance to do so here in the next few months, the Bozeman Chronicle reports.
A group of entrepreneurs is proposing to build a three-grizzly zoo just south of Interstate 90, about 10 miles east of Bozeman.
But it won't be your ordinary zoo. Here, for a fee, you will be able to rent a plush underground room designed to look like a cave. Along with the TV, kitchenette and microwave, there will be a big pane of one-way glass that lets you watch a grizzly on the other side of the window.

Governor signs bill limiting jury awards
LAS VEGAS Gov. Kenny Guinn signed into law yesterday a bill that limits jury awards in most medical-malpractice cases, hoping to end an insurance crisis that temporarily closed the state's top trauma center.
The law caps pain-and-suffering awards at $350,000. The cap could be waived if a jury found gross negligence or a judge found "clear and convincing" evidence warranting a higher award. The law takes effect Oct. 1.
In December, the St. Paul Cos., which insured 60 percent of the state's doctors, said it was leaving the malpractice-insurance business.

Diseased bird found in Oklahoma County
EDMOND A dead mockingbird found in Edmond was infected with the West Nile virus, the 11th such case in the state and the first in Oklahoma County, health officials said yesterday.
No cases of the potentially fatal virus have shown up in humans or other animals in Oklahoma.
In Louisiana, five residents have died from the virus, and state officials have boosted mosquito-spraying efforts and stocked up on insect repellent. An additional 14 persons have contracted the mosquito-borne disease in that state. It's the worst outbreak of the virus since it was first detected in the United States three years ago.

Abortion-suit pregnancy ends in miscarriage
WILKES-BARRE A woman who had just received a judge's permission to have an abortion over the objections of her ex-boyfriend suffered a miscarriage, her mother says.
Tanya Meyers, 23, who was 10 weeks pregnant, was sent to the hospital Monday because she was bleeding, said her mother, Tracey Curry. An ultrasound showed Miss Meyers had suffered a miscarriage, Mrs. Curry said.
"Tanya said she would make the right decision when the time came," Mrs. Curry said. "But God made the decision."
Miss Meyers' ex-boyfriend and the father, John Stachokus, had sued to force her to carry the fetus to term.

Lawmakers support Teamsters on strike
PROVIDENCE Lawmakers sympathetic to striking Teamsters pledged yesterday to back legislation to end the distribution "monopoly" of the state's largest beer distributor and clear the way for competition, the Providence Journal reports.
With the strike of McLaughlin & Moran delivery drivers dragging into its sixth week, union officials have approached out-of-state beer distributors, whom they declined to name, about trying to compete with McLaughlin & Moran in Rhode Island, said Joseph Boyajian, business agent for Teamsters Local 251.

Court affirms ruling for plutonium shipments
COLUMBIA South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges says he plans to appeal a court ruling rejecting his request to stop the federal government from shipping surplus plutonium into the state.
"The weapons-grade plutonium is a threat to the health and safety of our state," said Mr. Hodges, who has fought with the Department of Energy over the shipments for more than a year, after Tuesday's decision by the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. "Our final hope lies with the Supreme Court."
The Energy Department is moving six tons of plutonium from Rocky Flats, a former weapons plant near Denver, to the Savannah River site, near the Georgia line.

Libertarian candidate cited for protest
PIERRE Security officers have cited Nathan Barton, the Libertarian Party candidate for governor, for a protest during the state fair.
Mr. Barton was ticketed on charges of disorderly conduct and obstructing a law officer. Barton was led away after loudly asking why his party's U.S. House candidate was not part of a forum that included Republican Gov. William J. Janklow and Democrat Stephanie Herseth.

Museum educates public on West Nile
DALLAS A new exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Natural History is seeking to educate the public about the spread of the West Nile virus by illustrating where the virus has been detected, how it is transmitted and what people can do to prevent infection.
Stuffed grackles, blue jays and crows from the museum's collection show the various species of birds in which the virus has been detected. There are also several mosquito specimens on display.
"There was a lot of media attention, and we thought it would be a good idea to present the facts about it," said chief naturalist Brian Barnette.

Polygamist seeks immediate parole date
GUNNISON Vowing to never again commit incest or have sex with an underage girl, polygamist David Ortell Kingston told an officer of the Utah Board of Pardons he wants to be released from prison now.
Kingston, 36, who has served three years of a potential 10-year sentence for "marrying" his 16-year-old niece, pleaded for an immediate parole date.
"I've done a lot of soul-searching," said Kingston, who admitted for the first time Tuesday that he had sex with the girl. "It's not going to happen again."
Hearing officer Kent Jones said he would recommend that Kingston be paroled "in the not-too-distant future," depending upon completion of a sex-offender therapy program, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. "You've done enough time," Mr. Jones declared.

Farmers ship hay to stricken ranchers
WISCONSIN RAPIDS Farmers in central Wisconsin are doing their part to help drought-plagued ranchers in Colorado.
They're donating enough hay to fill 15 train boxcars. And Union Pacific Railroad is providing free transportation of the hay from Wisconsin Rapids to Alamosa, Colo., near the New Mexico border. Then it will go by truck to Durango, Colo., and be distributed to ranchers.

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