- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2002

NEW YORK
Agreement averts transit strike
NEW YORK Negotiators reached a tentative deal yesterday and avoided a transit strike, ensuring that New York subways and buses which provide an estimated 7 million rides a day remained on the move.
Roger Toussaint, president of the Transport Workers Union, praised the three-year deal, which would include $1,000 lump-sum payments to workers in the first year, with 3 percent raises in each of the next two years. In exchange, the union agreed to measures to improve productivity. Union members still must ratify the pact.

TEXAS
Skyscraper climber jumps to death
HOUSTON A man jumped to his death after partway scaling one of Houston's best-known skyscrapers yesterday as a crowd watched, police said.
Ryan Hartley, 20, used a small pick to reach about the 30th floor of the 64-story Williams Tower when he plunged. Police said they recovered a note containing a political message but gave no further details.
Chris Seay, pastor of Mr. Hartley's church, released a statement from the family, saying Mr. Hartley had been "seeing a psychologist for an undiagnosed mental disorder."

ALABAMA
Commandments rally draws hundreds
MONTGOMERY About 400 people came from as far away as Texas to rally yesterday in support of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and the Ten Commandments monument he moved into the state courts' building.
The demonstrators, who carried signs reading "Judge Moore for President" and "Standing for Jesus and the Ten Commandments," were protesting U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson's ruling last month that the 5,300-pound monument went too far in promoting religion. Justice Moore has filed to appeal the ruling.

CALIFORNIA
Study: News reports ignore Hispanics
LOS ANGELES The booming U.S. Hispanic population has yet to be reflected in the news reports of the major broadcast networks and CNN, a new study shows.
Out of about 16,000 stories on the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN last year, only 99 0.62 percent were about Hispanics, according to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
The number was a slight increase over 2000, when there were 84 such stories, or 0.53 percent, according to the highly critical "Network Brownout Report" released yesterday.
Hispanics are 12.5 percent of the U.S. population, and their numbers have increased nearly 60 percent since 1990, to 35.3 million.
The news stories the networks did carry on Hispanics tended to be stereotypical and unflattering, the study said.

COLORADO
Mother saved by son is home from hospital
GREELEY The mother whose life was saved by her quick-thinking 7-year-old after a one-car rollover is back at home, still too sore to hug her children tight.
"She's recovering very well," Stacy Hill said of her younger sister, Tammy Adams-Hill.
Mrs. Adams-Hill was driving her three children back from their grandmother's house Thanksgiving night when her car veered off the road and rolled twice. Her son, Titus, wiggled out a window and ran a half-mile through a muddy field in his Scooby-Doo pajamas to find help at a nearby farm.
Mrs. Adams-Hill broke her back, neck and 10 ribs, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

DELAWARE
Smoking ban hurts restaurant business
DOVER Some tavern and restaurant owners are complaining about a loss of business three weeks into Delaware's indoor-smoking ban. They say they're going to attempt to overturn or amend the law that bans smoking when the General Assembly returns in January.
Several owners said they think they have lost 20 percent to 50 percent of their business since the ban went into effect Nov. 27.

FLORIDA
Elephant attacks, injures zookeeper
MIAMI A 6,000-pound elephant smashed a rookie zookeeper against a rockpile at Miami's MetroZoo, badly injuring the man in what a zoo spokesman described as an attack to test dominance in the herd.
The injured zookeeper, Michael Embury, 31, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery yesterday, zoo spokesman Ron Magill said. He suffered a broken arm, two broken shoulders, gashes to the head, and bruising of the spleen and brain in the Sunday attack, but was expected to recover.
About 50 spectators were watching when the attack occurred. Mr. Embury was feeding two female African elephants in an enclosed paddock when one of them suddenly charged, knocked him to the ground and kicked him against a pile of boulders, knocking him unconscious, Mr. Magill said.
Another zookeeper, Brian McCampbell, saved Mr. Embury's life when he scared the elephant away, allowing paramedics to reach the injured man.

GEORGIA
Failure rate climbs on state teachers' tests
ATLANTA Slightly more aspiring teachers are failing Georgia's certification tests, erasing gains made in recent years.
About 20 percent of prospective teachers taking the tests last year failed, up slightly from three years earlier, according to the Professional Standards Commission, which certifies teachers.
The drop in pass rates comes as enrollment in Georgia's schools is growing and more teachers are needed, officials said.

ILLINOIS
Body found is identified as suspect's son
CHANNAHON The body of a 3-year-old boy found Sunday in the Des Plaines River is the son of a man arrested in Florida on suspicion of killing his girlfriend and kidnapping his children from his ex-wife, police said.
The boy's body was discovered by two fishermen after it washed ashore just south of Joliet. Authorities said an autopsy found that Joshua Gleeson had been shot twice in the head with a small-caliber weapon.
A task force has been investigating the disappearance of the boy and his 5-year-old sister, Ashley, who haven't been seen since Nov. 22.
Patrick Gleeson, 48, was arrested Dec. 8 as he slept in his van in Daytona Beach, Fla., and charged in the death of his girlfriend, Dena Fuglseth, 43.

IOWA
Program lets parents check schoolwork
IOWA CITY Eastern Iowa parents who want to find out about their children's school assignments may need to look no further than the Internet.
Internet programs used by schools across the region allow parents to view a semester's assignments or to see whether a teacher has made an update. Parents can also have lists of assignments e-mailed to them.

KENTUCKY
Budget forces state to release 567 inmates
FRANKFORT The state plans to release 567 felons from prison before their sentences have been served to help balance a teetering state budget, Gov. Paul E. Patton, a Democrat, said yesterday.
Mr. Patton said he must do what it takes to make up a $6 million deficit in the Corrections Department budget and much larger deficits across state government. "It's not going to be pretty, no matter how we do it," he said.
The inmates will be released starting at noon tomorrow and again next week, an average of 80 days before their sentences have been served.

LOUISIANA
David Duke attorney talks with prosecutors
NEW ORLEANS David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and one-time Louisiana legislator, has returned to the United States and will be talking with federal prosecutors about a plea bargain to criminal charges, his attorney said yesterday.
Mr. Duke has been visiting his seriously ill father in New Jersey and plans to return to Louisiana, where he has a home in Mandeville, attorney James McPherson said.
Mr. Duke has been out of the country for nearly three years, lecturing in Russia and other European countries.
Mr. McPherson said the government's inquiry involves two areas: possible income-tax violations involving the $100,000 sale of a list of Duke supporters to Republican Gov. Mike Foster in 1995 and mail-fraud accusations stemming from how Mr. Duke spent money from contributors.

MASSACHUSETTS
Cardinal Law makes first public statement
BOSTON Cardinal Bernard F. Law, making his first public appearance since resigning as archbishop, offered another apology and asked for forgiveness yesterday for his role in the clergy sex-abuse scandal that rocked the Boston Archdiocese.
"As I said last Friday, it is my hope and it's my prayer that my resignation as archbishop might help the Archdiocese of Boston to experience healing, to experience reconciliation and to experience unity," Cardinal Law said at a news conference.
Cardinal Law, 71, said new policies and programs have been put in place in the past 11 months that he hoped would prevent abuses.

MISSISSIPPI
Former jurors sue CBS' '60 Minutes'
FAYETTE Two former jurors have filed a $6 billion lawsuit against CBS' "60 Minutes" and a newspaper owner over comments about the size of jury awards in Jefferson County.
Anthony Berry and Johnny Anderson said the news program defamed them in a segment that called the county a haven for "jackpot justice."
Mr. Berry was among jurors who issued a $150 million verdict in an asbestos case, and Mr. Anderson sat on a jury that awarded a $150 million judgment in a diet-drug case.
Also named in the suit is Wyatt Emmerich, who owns Emmerich Newspapers Inc. and criticized Jefferson County jurors on "60 Minutes" as disenfranchised residents who want to stick it to Yankee companies.

NEBRASKA
Man last to graduate from women's college
LINCOLN Picking out Barry Good at graduation ceremonies for the College of St. Mary wasn't hard to do. He was the only man in a cap and gown.
Mr. Good was not just the only man collecting a degree during the Saturday commencement in Omaha, he will also be the last man to graduate from the Roman Catholic women's college.
Mr. Good did not stand out as much in 1993, when he embarked on his degree at the college's Lincoln program. Back then, the college was accepting male students. The college broke with its all-women history after accepting a federal grant to buy equipment for its nursing school. But in 1994, when the grant's nondiscrimination requirements no longer applied, the board voted to revert to accepting only women.
Male students were allowed to stay on until graduation.

NEVADA
Officials rebuke California river war
LAS VEGAS Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton signed an order yesterday cutting the water California can draw from the Colorado River, the first time the federal government has stepped in to ensure that the seven Western states on the river get their share.
As of Jan. 1, the Interior Department will begin withholding river water from California, Mrs. Norton said, although exactly how much the state will lose has yet to be worked out.
For years California has used excess water from the Colorado, enough to supply 1.6 million households, because other states didn't use their full quotas under a 1929 accord. Southern California water agencies have said they have enough reserves to last two years.
The other states, which have fought California over the river for decades, are Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada. Rapid growth in the West, combined with the worst drought in the river's recorded history, forced the Interior Department to intervene.

NEW JERSEY
Remorseful thief mails money order
CARTERET A man whose coin collection was stolen 20 years ago has received a $400 money order from the remorseful thief, who wrote in an anonymous letter that he was sorry for his youthful misdeeds.
Vincent Calabria, 73, of Carteret, said last week that he didn't even know the coin collection was stolen, but was pleasantly surprised to receive the letter after so many years.
The letter-writer wrote that he felt guilty about stealing the coins, which he found in Mr. Calabria's garage when nobody was home.
Mr. Calabria said he had thought he had simply hidden the coins so well that he couldn't find them. He said the collection of coins was almost certainly worth less than $400.

NEW MEXICO
Opera founder dies after illness
SANTA FE John Crosby, founder and longtime former general director of the Santa Fe Opera, died Sunday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after a brief illness. He was 76.
Mr. Crosby founded the Santa Fe Opera in 1957 and was its general director until his retirement, at the end of the 2000 season.
With $200,000 in financing from his father, Mr. Crosby purchased a ranch seven miles north of Santa Fe and oversaw construction of a 480-seat, open-air theater.

PENNSYLVANIA
Group removes university president
SLIPPERY ROCK The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has decided to remove the president of Slippery Rock University from duty, saying his performance was "unsatisfactory."
President G. Warren Smith maintained strong support at the university among faculty members and students, and supporters said Mr. Smith's firing was a result of a personal rift.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Boat accident kills Hilton Head developer
CHARLESTON Developer Charles E. Fraser, whose vision transformed Hilton Head island from a sparsely populated sea island into a world-class resort, died in a weekend boating accident, his nephew said yesterday.
"We know that he was in the islands somewhere in the Caribbean," said Joe Fraser, who operates Fraser Construction in Bluffton just off Hilton Head.
"There was an explosion, and he apparently was killed instantly by the explosion," Joe Fraser said. He said Charles Fraser's wife, Mary, "was banged up" in the accident.

TENNESSEE
Official bans 'God' from firehouse display
MURFREESBORO A fire-station memorial to the September 11 terrorist attacks that included the phrase "God Bless America" was ordered altered by a city official who said it improperly mixed government and religion.
The memorial erected by firefighters at Murfreesboro Fire Station No. 6 now consists of a model of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and the edited phrase "Bless America."
"No one from city administration had approved of the original display," City Manager Roger Haley told the Daily Journal. "When I saw what was there, I asked that the language be modified to be more in keeping with what we would expect on a display like that on public property."

UTAH
ACLU investigating school's policy
PROVO A policy banning the city's schools from planning any events on the Mormon Church's weekly family home evening may be short-lived.
Utah American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Dani Eyer says the group will investigate to see whether it violates the separation of church and state.
The policy comes after Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints President Gordon B. Hinckley's plea last October for schools and others to abstain from scheduling Monday night activities to allow church members to spend time with their families.

WASHINGTON
Ex-employee locks self in bathroom
TACOMA A disgruntled former convenience store clerk returned to his old workplace, locked himself inside one of the bathrooms and refused to come out over the weekend.
The current store clerk said the man came into the store and asked to use the bathroom. The clerk gave the man a bathroom key.
At some point, the clerk heard a crashing sound coming from the bathroom. The clerk knocked on the door and told the man inside it was time to come out. The man yelled that he wanted to be left alone, according to the report.
The clerk eventually called police, and when they arrived, he used a device to pry the bathroom door open. Police found the former employee lying on top of a rack on the floor in the bathroom, the Tacoma News Tribune reports.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide