- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2002

ALASKA

Oil wells in disrepair on national reserve

FAIRBANKS The state says the federal government has not properly maintained abandoned oil wells in the 23-million-acre National Petroleum Reserve Alaska.

More than 100 wells are scattered throughout the reserve. The wells were drilled on behalf of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Geological Survey between 1944 and 1981 in what was once known as the Naval Petroleum Reserve.

Two of the wells have released crude oil and gas into the environment. State officials fear more leaks will occur if the wells are not repaired.


ARKANSAS

Clinton exhibit to open Nov. 11

LITTLE ROCK As the steel framework on Bill Clinton's presidential library goes up, another preview exhibit of materials from his administration will open in a building several blocks away.

Clinton library foundation officials have planned a news conference today to announce the "Holidays in the White House" exhibit to open Nov. 11 in the Cox Creative Center in Little Rock's River Market District.

The exhibit, scheduled to run through Jan. 18, will include handcrafted ornaments given to the first family, photographs, videotapes, documents, music, art and holiday cards. Skip Rutherford, head of the Clinton foundation, said the centerpiece of the exhibit will be an 11-foot, 1,000-pound glass tree by renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

At the announcement today, Capricia Penavic Marshall, who was Mr. Clinton's deputy assistant to the president and social secretary, will share some memories of holiday celebrations at the White House.


GEORGIA

Jordanians receive Southern hospitality

ALBANY A group of Jordanians visiting the United States for three weeks to promote international friendship learned how to say "grits," "y'all" and "magnolias" as they became honorary Southerners.

They also learned plenty about the small-town South during a 17-hour bus trip from Raleigh, N.C. They didn't want to fly because they thought the bus journey would give them a chance to see rural areas.

The 17 Jordanians began their U.S. visit two weeks ago in Atlanta. After a week there, they spent a week in Raleigh before heading to southwest Georgia.

During their final week, they will tour a plantation, take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico in Panama City, Fla., and visit Plains, Ga., the hometown of former President Jimmy Carter, who helped form the group sponsoring the visit, Friendship Force International.


IDAHO

'Boat rage' flows from wake dispute

COEUR D'ALENE A northern Idaho boater will stand trial for purportedly throwing his neighbor into Lake Pend Oreille in a dispute over the wake his boat was making.

Robert Woodworth, 73, said he was tossed over the side of the dock after challenging Kipley King for speeding through a no-wake zone and making Mr. Woodworth's houseboat rock.

Judge Peter McDermott called it a case of boat rage.


KENTUCKY

Retired priest charged with molesting boys

SHEPHERDSVILLE A retired priest who was convicted of sexual abuse in the 1980s has been arrested on new charges of molesting two boys.

In the present case, Daniel Clark has been charged with two counts of sodomy and two counts of sexual abuse involving two boys ages 11 and 12.

He pleaded guilty to sexual abuse and sodomy of two students in 1981 and 1982 in Jefferson County.


MAINE

Whale rescuers violated law

PORTLAND The crew of a whale-watching vessel violated the law and endangered the life of a mother whale by partially freeing her from fishing gear, a federal fisheries spokeswoman said.

Crew members aboard the Nautilus snipped 300 feet of rope from the 65-foot humpback's dorsal fin after they spotted the whale and her calf alongside their vessel. Passengers cheered and a TV camera crew gathered at the dock to document the event.

But crew members violated federal law by taking the matter into their own hands, said Teri Frady, spokeswoman for the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Mass., is the only group on the East Coast authorized to disentangle humpback whales, an endangered species. Disentangling a whale is a violation of both the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act, but no action is l be taken.


MASSACHUSETTS

Surgeon leaves operation to go to bank

BOSTON A surgeon who left a patient anesthetized and with an open incision in his back while he went to a bank several blocks away has had his medical license suspended.

The patient was not harmed, but Dr. David C. Arndt created an immediate threat when he left the patient at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge to go to a bank in Harvard Square, the state Board of Registration in Medicine said Wednesday. It suspended his license indefinitely.

The board said Dr. Arndt, a Harvard-trained orthopedic surgeon, was six hours into a spine operation when he told the operating staff that he needed to "step out." The board said he returned about 35 minutes later and finished the operation.

His attorney, Claudia Hunter, said yesterday that Dr. Arndt would appeal the suspension.


MICHIGAN

Ford investigation in car fires delayed

TRAVERSE CITY The manufacturer of a key component in Ford Motor Co.'s investigation into deadly police car crashes says the company is being deluged with orders for fuel-cell bladders.

The sudden interest in fuel-cell bladders, however, is delaying Ford's inquiry into the explosions and fires because the components are not available, the carmaker's top safety executive said yesterday.

Fuel-tank fires in Crown Victoria police cars have been blamed for the deaths of at least 11 officers nationwide in the past 20 years.


MINNESOTA

Cheerleader sues school district

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for suing Sibley High, stand up and holler.

That could be the new chant for the Henry Sibley High School cheerleading squad after a cheerleader's lawsuit contending that school administrators unfairly stripped her of the captain's title, the Pioneer Press reports.

Andrea Warren, a 17-year-old at the Mendota Heights school, is suing Independent School District 197 to get back her captain title for her upcoming senior year. She also is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit filed in Dakota County District Court.

The Henry Sibley legal drama stems from Andrea's violation of district rules about possessing alcohol and cigarettes.


MISSISSIPPI

State seeks abduction alert system

JACKSON Mississippi is trying to take a proactive approach to preventing child abductions by making safety a priority, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

The Emergency Alert System, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol and the Mississippi Association of Broadcasters plan to meet next month to discuss the Amber Alert system, which last week helped to reunite two California teenagers with their families 12 hours after the youths were abducted.

"We are eager to get this system in place as soon as possible," said Randy Bell, EAS state chairman. "Hopefully it will be a plan we never have to use. But hopefully it will be there if we have to, and maybe it will save a child's life."


MISSOURI

Highway patrol chopper crashes after takeoff

SPRINGFIELD Two Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers were injured when their helicopter crashed in Springfield, the patrol said.

Sgts. David Callaway and Matt Funderburk suffered back injuries and were taken to a hospital, the patrol said.

The helicopter had just taken off on a drug-eradication mission when it went down in a grassy area about 50 feet west of U.S. 65, authorities said.

No cause had been pinpointed.


NEVADA

Police group backs marijuana legalization

LAS VEGAS Nevada's largest police organization has endorsed a state ballot initiative that would let adults legally possess small amounts of marijuana.

The board of the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs, a 3,000-member group that represents about 65 percent of the state's street patrol officers, voted 9-0 on Tuesday to support a change in the state constitution that would decriminalize possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana.

Under the proposal, marijuana would be sold in state-licensed shops and taxed like cigarettes and other tobacco products. A distribution system would be set up to provide low-cost pot for medical uses.


NEW HAMPSHIRE

Fire damages pewter business

WOLFEBORO Authorities are seeking the cause of a three-alarm fire that heavily damaged a nationally known business.

Hampshire Pewter, in a historic building in this tourist community, makes items such as the Christmas ornament that New Hampshire sends to the White House each year.


NEW JERSEY

Inquiry finds cheating on GRE exams in Asia

PRINCETON Computer-based versions of the Graduate Record Examination were suspended in four Asian countries after a yearlong investigation uncovered Asian-language Web sites with answers to the test.

Current and past questions from the graduate admissions exam were obtained illegally by test takers and displayed on Web sites based in China and Korea, according to the Educational Testing Service, which administers the test.

The investigation found that the average verbal scores in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea had risen significantly. Test officials attributed the rise to the Web sites, which were written in Chinese and Korean.


NEW YORK

Mom forced to drink breast milk at airport

NEW YORK A New York woman is considering taking legal action after security officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport insisted she drink from bottles of her own breast milk in front of other passengers.

Elizabeth McGarry, 40, said security guards questioned the contents of three bottles in her carry-on baggage before she boarded a plane with her infant daughter in April, the New York Post reported yesterday.

After she explained it was breast milk, the guards insisted she take several sips from each bottle to prove the fluid posed no security threat.

"I'm all for random searches but I do think the number of Caucasian, lactating mothers who have passed through al Qaeda training camps is negligible," she said.


OKLAHOMA

Boy, 10, arrested in death of friend

EL RENO A 10-year-old boy was fatally shot, and his 10-year-old friend was arrested on a murder complaint.

The suspect, his head covered with a shirt, was escorted into police headquarters late Wednesday by officers and his parents. Investigators found a revolver, which they believe was the gun used in the shooting, wrapped in a blanket inside the garage at the boy's home, Police Chief Fred Savage said.

The body of Termain Richey was found in his back yard Monday afternoon by his mother. The boy had been shot once in the head.

Mr. Savage said the two boys were friends. In a statement released early yesterday, detectives said the shooting occurred as a result of an argument.


OREGON

Tourism looks good even in tough times

PORTLAND Leisure travel in the Portland region has rebounded from a steep decline after September 11, but the sluggish national economy is still holding down business travel, the Oregonian reports.

Tourism in the Portland area this summer probably will match but not exceed totals from last summer, Joe D'Allesandro, chief executive of the Portland Oregon Visitors Association, told the City Council on Wednesday.

The city pays close attention to travel trends because tourism is a key element of the city's economy.


PENNSYLVANIA

Students lobby on behalf of mineral

HARRISBURG Thirty middle-school students from Northern York School District took time from their summer vacations to lobby the Pennsylvania General Assembly on behalf of their favorite mineral.

The students want to see celestite, commonly found in limestone formations in 12 Pennsylvania counties, become the official state mineral.

Seven of the students testified Tuesday before the House State Government Committee.

In March, 57 students then at Wellsville Elementary School began the push by writing a letter to state Rep. Bruce Smith as part of a persuasive-writing project for English class.


TEXAS

Urine dumped onto boat passengers

SAN ANTONIO About two dozen people riding on a River Walk boat in downtown San Antonio had to strip and undergo decontamination after they were doused with what later was determined to be stale human urine.

Health screeners said Wednesday that the liquid thrown from a bridge Tuesday night was probably collected from a portable toilet.

San Antonio park police said the liquid was thrown three times in about three hours on Tuesday night. Many passengers complained of itchy skin and burning eyes, but none had to be taken to the hospital.


VERMONT

Legionnaires' cases increase to nine

MONTPELIER The state Health Department has identified two additional cases of Legionnaires' disease, bringing the total number of those infected to nine, health officials said Wednesday.

At least seven of the patients are being treated at Central Vermont Hospital in Berlin, although Health Commissioner Dr. Jan Carney said confidentiality rules prevented her from disclosing their names or conditions.


WASHINGTON

Minority contractors to get rival program

SEATTLE A resource center for minority contractors says it has been shoved aside to make way for a similar program proposed by Mayor Greg Nickels.

The city's finance committee yesterday approved a request by Mr. Nickels for $200,000 seed money to begin the rival program this year. The program, which would be managed by the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, would receive $400,000 in coming years, with the goal of eventually becoming self-sufficient. The proposal is expected to go to the full City Council on Monday.


WEST VIRGINIA

States selected for pilot program

CHARLESTON Six states, including three from the South, have been selected to lead a national effort to implement federal education reforms outlined in the No Child Left Behind Act.

The accountability law, signed by President Bush in January, requires students in the third through eighth grades to be tested in reading and math proficiency by the 2005-06 school year.

Twenty-eight applications were received and West Virginia, Alaska, Illinois, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Tennessee were chosen for the first phase.

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