- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2002

CALIFORNIA
Tree-sitter breaks molar; dentist scales oak
SANTA CLARITA The man who has lived in an old oak tree for 39 days saw a dentist, who shimmied up his tree Monday and put a temporary cap on a molar he broke eating an energy bar.
"Instead of a house call, this is a tree call," Dr. Ana Michel said as she stood near the oak before John Quigley's appointment.
Mr. Quigley perches 46 feet up in the tree he is trying to save from a developer's road-widening project. Dr. Michel met Mr. Quigley at a section of tree that provided a level setting for a dental consultation.
Mr. Quigley broke the upper left molar last week. Dr. Michel said she couldn't install a permanent crown while in the tree. Instead, she applied a sedative substance that hardened over the break and soothed the pain.

MISSISSIPPI
HIV/AIDS doctor commits suicide
GREENWOOD A doctor credited with dramatically improving health care for HIV patients in the Mississippi Delta has killed himself, Leflore County authorities said yesterday.
Dr. Hamza Brimah, a Nigerian who moved to the Delta in 1996, was found dead at his home Monday of a gunshot wound to the head, Sheriff Ricky Banks said. Deputies found a note from Dr. Brimah specifying his burial wishes.
The coroner ruled the death a suicide.
"I was never aware of any problem," said Dr. Alfio Rausa, a health officer who worked frequently with Dr. Brimah to promote HIV/AIDS prevention.

ALABAMA
Appeal filed in commandments case
MONTGOMERY Chief Justice Roy Moore filed notice yesterday in federal court that he will appeal a judge's order that he remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building.
"Federal district courts have no jurisdiction or authority to prohibit the acknowledgment of God that is specifically recognized in the Constitution of Alabama," Chief Justice Moore said in a statement announcing the appeal.

ARIZONA
Four adults, boy, 3, found fatally shot
MESA Five family members were fatally shot yesterday, and police later arrested a man who blamed the killings on his slain brother-in-law, authorities said.
Police questioned Kemp Crowley after the five, including his wife's 3-year-old son, were found dead in his Mesa home. Comments he made when deputies first arrived did not "jibe with what we found in the house," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
Mr. Crowley, who had a head cut, told the deputies he was assaulted and that his brother-in-law, who was found dead, was the killer.

CALIFORNIA
Stanford project to clone stem cells
SAN FRANCISCO Stanford University announced yesterday its intention to clone human embryonic stem cells, becoming the first U.S. institution of higher education to publicly embrace such an effort.
Stanford medical professor Irving Weissman, who will direct the school's effort, said the work would involve taking DNA from diseased adult human cells and transferring them into eggs, then growing them in a lab. The cells then would be harvested to study diseases, rather than to be grown into organs or other body parts.

COLORADO
Ski town sees gold in manhole covers
DENVER It could be the fashion statement of the year, something the well-off and the wannabe rich could display proudly in their homes.
No, it's not a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture or an antique book from the Renaissance but a manhole cover from the posh ski resort of Vail.
People were stealing the manhole covers, so the town figured it was about time to make some money on the covers sporting the town logo. A six-pound manhole cover costs $65, and the larger 52-pound cover goes for $295.

GEORGIA
Cows remain on run after escaping truck
COVINGTON Police Lt. Philip Bradford said it is the oddest call he has had in his 17-year career.
Four cows remain on the run after escaping Sunday from a stalled tractor-trailer on Interstate 20. Lt. Bradford said the animals broke free when the floorboard of a trailer carrying 59 cows snapped.
"I must have missed the day they taught how to catch loose cows in police academy," Lt. Bradford said. "I guess we have to write a new page."
The cows were last seen headed for Atlanta.

IDAHO
National laboratory to cut more jobs
IDAHO FALLS The operator of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory has been given authority to cut up to 500 jobs in the next two years without prior federal approval.
Bechtel says no layoffs are imminent, but unions are concerned. The payroll has dropped from 13,000 to 7,500 in a decade.

KANSAS
Convictions appealed in barrel bodies case
OLATHE Attorneys, citing pretrial publicity, have appealed the conviction of a man found guilty of killing three women, including two whose bodies were found in barrels on his property.
Attorneys for John Robinson Sr. filed the appeal Monday, arguing the jury was biased by pretrial news coverage and that the defense didn't have enough time to prepare.
In October, Robinson was convicted in the murders of Suzette Trouten, 27, and Izabela Lewicka, 21.

NEBRASKA
Teen trying out for basketball dies
OMAHA An autopsy was performed yesterday to determine what caused the death of a 14-year-old boy who collapsed during basketball tryouts.
Harley Collins, an eighth-grader at McMillan Magnet School, died after running wind sprints Monday. He was standing in line for another round of the exercises when he began to have trouble breathing.
Autopsy results were not expected to be released until next week, said Corey O'Brien, acting Douglas County coroner.
Omaha Public Schools spokeswoman Luanne Nelson said the boy had just passed a physical examination required by the school for anyone who tries out for athletics.

NEVADA
Four casino-hotels to be sold
LAS VEGAS Barrick Gaming Corp. announced it would buy four downtown Las Vegas casinos-hotels for about $82 million.
The deal includes the Plaza, Las Vegas Club, Western and Gold Spike hotel-casinos from organizations formerly headed by casino operator Jackie Gaughan and the late Mel Exber.
The deal includes the properties' 1,850 rooms and 35 acres of downtown land.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Diocese settles in abuse case
CONCORD The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester averted unprecedented criminal charges, agreeing in a settlement yesterday that it probably would have been convicted of failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests.
The settlement means the church won't face child-endangerment charges, Attorney General Philip McLaughlin said.
Showing off Bishop John B. McCormack's signature on the settlement, Mr. McLaughlin said: "The diocese acknowledges the state has evidence likely to sustain a conviction" under the state's child-endangerment law.
The settlement has provisions to protect children from abuse in the future and calls for full disclosure of past abuses by priests and diocese officials.

OHIO
School board passes evolution-critique rule
COLUMBUS The state school board unanimously approved science standards yesterday that would strongly advocate the teaching of evolution while allowing students to fully critique the theory's legitimacy.
The standards do not require the teaching or testing of the alternative concept of intelligent design, which holds that the universe is guided by a higher intelligence. The vote was 18-0, with one member absent. In October, the board indicated it would adopt the new standards.
Teachers will be encouraged to follow the guidelines because they will be the basis of new exams that students must pass to graduate.

RHODE ISLAND
Statehouse to get security upgrade
PROVIDENCE Security measures for the statehouse, recommended a year ago but delayed by budget problems, are to be implemented soon, officials said.
Metal detectors will be installed and additional police will be stationed by the beginning of next month. Plans to issue electronic access cards are also in the works.

UTAH
Court rules rapist can't see records
SALT LAKE CITY The Utah Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a convicted rapist wasn't entitled to use his victim's rape-counseling records at trial.
The court upheld a ruling by the late 3rd District Court Judge Anne Stirba, saying she correctly concluded she had no authority to privately review the rape-counseling records to determine if they had any relevance to Francisco Gomez's defense.
Prosecutors and victims' rights advocates say disclosure of the records in criminal trials would discourage women from reporting sexual crimes. Defense attorneys contend the records may hold evidence of a defendant's innocence.

WEST VIRGINIA
Man wears frock to protest dress code
CHARLESTON Mike Samples didn't like the new dress code at his state job, so he wore a dress to work.
Instead of his usual jeans, ball cap and T-shirt, the 32-year-old claims manager in the Workers' Compensation Division wore a polka-dot maternity dress he had borrowed from a friend to protest the new guidelines.
"Those things aren't nearly as comfortable as I thought they would be," Mr. Samples said Monday.
But Mr. Samples barely got to log on to his computer at work before he was sent home. Since then, Mr. Samples has been wearing more acceptable khakis and sweaters.

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