- The Washington Times - Friday, December 27, 2002

Governor: Have mercy on beavers
JUNEAU The U.S. Forest Service, after hearing from Gov. Frank H. Murkowski, decided not to lethally trap a troublesome colony of beavers in the Dredge Lakes area this winter, the Empire reports.
Betty Seguin, who lives near Dredge Lakes, said that the news about the beavers was "wonderful."
"When I take my walk today, I'll let them know they're safe for another year," she said.
The Forest Service announced a plan last week to manage beavers in the popular recreation area that included catching one colony with body-hold traps, which kill them.
The goal was to remove the colony's dams for good so fish could migrate in and out of lakes, and trails and spawning habitat wouldn't be flooded.

Jersey boy hits ivories to woo ex-girlfriend
MORRISTOWN A New Jersey piano player hoping to impress an ex-girlfriend and, perhaps, break a record along the way spent more than 50 hours performing at a New York City restaurant.
John Conte of Morristown started his musical marathon at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and continued through Christmas, hitting the 50-hour mark 9:30 yesterday.
Aside from 15-minute breaks every eight hours, the composer stayed at the keys, playing everything from Christmas carols to Beatles songs from the songbooks scattered around him. He stopped playing at 11:50 a.m., after a total of 52 hours.
"It's such a strange thing to do," Mr. Conte acknowledged as he neared 50 hours, playing with his left hand while turning songbook pages with his right.

Inmates escape,but not for too long
MOBILE Three prison inmates from Arizona who overpowered two guards in a private prisoner-transport van and took control of the vehicle were recaptured by Mobile police about an hour later.
Thomas Sidney Lofton, 41, Christopher Andrew Wood, 24, and Valerie Ann Rodriguez, 42, were among five inmates being taken from Phoenix to Georgia, said Mobile Police spokesman Cpl. Pat Mitchell.
Two guards in charge of the specially equipped van exited Interstate 10 at Dauphin Island Parkway at around 4:45 p.m., Cpl. Mitchell said.
That's when Lofton, Wood and Rodriguez somehow took control of the van and a guard's gun and forced the guards and the other two prisoners out, Cpl. Mitchell said. They then drove south on the parkway, he said.

Paralyzed man hopes to find treasure
FORT COLLINS Many people might have doubted that Tim Swieckowski's dreams of finding and recovering sunken treasure would ever come true.
But now Mr. Swieckowski, who was paralyzed by a bicycle accident in Fort Collins 12 years ago, is on the verge of realizing his goals.
For several years, Mr. Swieckowski, 27, has been researching and attempting to locate a fleet of Spanish ships that sank in 1589. The search took him to wreckage off the Marquises Keys in 20 to 60 feet of water and brought him to the place he always hoped and knew he'd reach.
Scuba diving gives Mr. Swieckowski an opportunity to feel as if he were walking something he hasn't done since his accident. "[Diving is] like walking," Mr. Swieckowski said. "It's the closest thing to walking, being out of a wheelchair."

Visiting priest arrested on abuse charge
NEW BRITAIN A visiting Roman Catholic priest from Poland was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl he was counseling about a previous sexual assault.
The Rev. Roman Kramek, 40, who had been serving at Sacred Heart Church, is accused of having sex with the 17-year-old girl on Dec. 18, prosecutors said. Father Kramek admitted to the crime in a sworn statement to authorities, they said.
Father Kramek was arrested Wednesday and arraigned yesterday on a second-degree sexual assault charge. He was ordered held on $500,000 bail until his next court appearance Jan. 30.
It is illegal, under state law, for psychotherapists or any member of the clergy to have sex with anyone they are counseling.

Sculpture honors September 11
WILMINGTON Using her bandaged fingers to bind candles with chicken wire, Teresa Fahs adds another section to the Community Unity Candle Sculpture, which symbolizes Americans struggling out of the rubble and troubles of September 11.
Miss Fahs, 31, said that she has spent more than 75 hours building the 8-foot structure from more than 5,000 candles collected from the September 11 anniversary vigil held this year in Tubman-Garrett Park in Wilmington.
The sculpture will be displayed first on New Year's Eve at First Night Wilmington in Rodney Square.

Suspect flees after treatment
ATLANTA A Pakistani immigrant freed from jail to seek treatment for a rare blood disorder has fled the United States rather than face trial.
Mahboob Pasha, 35, had promised to report for trial in Fulton County if allowed to go to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., for a bone-marrow transplant needed to treat a fatal disease.
"We always stated we would come back and face the music, that was the idea," said Mr. Pasha's attorney, Tom West. "But he was perfectly free to go back to Pakistan."
Mr. Pasha was charged in a fatal 1996 convenience-store shooting. He has said that he fired at Anthony Harris when he tried to steal two six-packs of beer from the store where Mr. Pasha worked.

Car-chase rules won't change
INDIANAPOLIS Despite the death early this month of a 22-year-old U.S. Navy petty officer during a police chase, Boone County police say that they won't alter rules that dictate when officers conduct high-speed pursuits.
Departments throughout the county agree they should continue to perform chases to apprehend suicidal suspects, said Jamestown Town Marshal Dennis Isenhower.
Matthew Fry died Dec. 1 while fleeing officers. His pickup truck struck a tree at the intersection of Boone County Roads 150 South and 500 West, near Lebanon.
"After talking to other departments, I don't see a need for a change in policy," said Mr. Isenhower, whose department is investigating the crash.

Marines cruise for the holidays
KANSAS CITY Three generations of Marines recently finished the same cruise on the U.S. Navy helicopter carrier Belleau Wood, from Pearl Harbor to San Diego.
"It was really quite an experience," World War II rifleman Ted Lagoski, 80, said about visiting his Marine grandson Joseph "Brad" Lagoski, 30, assigned on board USS Belleau Wood. "I wouldn't have missed it for the world."
The senior Lagoski of Kansas City also said that his older son and former Marine, Joe Lagoski, 54, joined the two.

Officials consider IDs from Mexican consul
DETROIT City officials are considering whether to accept identification papers issued by the Mexican consul for otherwise undocumented Mexican nationals.
Mexican officials say that they hope authorities will consider such identification sufficient for official business, such as police encounters, health department registration and birth and death records.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Mexican government has been campaigning to get consular IDs recognized as a standard form of identification for Mexican nationals living here.
"Consular IDs are very important as a method of security for a border city like Detroit," Antonio Meza Estrada, Mexico's consul in Detroit, said in the Detroit Free Press editions yesterday.

Justice to take man's citizenship
NEW YORK The U.S. Justice Department sought yesterday to revoke the citizenship of a New York City resident for reported acts of persecution while a slave-labor camp guard in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II.
In a complaint filed with a federal court in Brooklyn, prosecutors said Jaroslaw Bilaniuk, 79, had trained for Nazi service at the infamous SS-run Trawniki camp beginning in February 1943.
The camp trained recruits to assist the Nazis in implementing their plan to murder Jews in Poland, code-named "Operation Reinhard."
The complaint said Mr. Bilaniuk was an armed guard at a slave-labor camp for Jews adjacent to the training facility.

Quality bogus tickets worry Titans
NASHVILLE Football fans, beware. A new breed of high-quality counterfeit ticket is rearing its ugly head at the Tennessee Titans games, the Tennessean reports.
Titans officials say that they were bombarded at a recent Monday night home game against the New England Patriots when 119 counterfeit tickets, all well-made look-alikes, were intercepted at the gates. Electronic scanners discovered the reproduced tickets when bar codes on the tickets would not scan, said Don MacLachlan, Titans' executive vice president of administration. Those fans were turned away.
"We haven't had that problem prior to the Monday night game" on Dec. 16, Mr. MacLachlan said.

Group helps hearts on the mend
CHEYENNE In 1992, Veral Smedley had balloon angioplasty to treat his heart disease.
Exactly five years ago, he underwent triple bypass surgery at United Medical Center-West.
On Friday, Mr. Smedley, 80, was in the sixth-floor cardiology ward of the hospital again. But this time he was on his feet, cheerfully offering advice and inspiration to Bernie Ridenour, a Torrington man who had undergone quadruple bypass surgery a few days earlier.
"I think it relaxes people to talk to someone," said Mr. Smedley, a volunteer for the Cheyenne chapter of Mended Hearts Inc.
Affiliated with the American Heart Association, Mended Hearts is a national nonprofit organization that has partnered with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics to provide educational and support services, the Tribune-Eagle reports.
Volunteers pay about 227,000 annual hospital visits to patients.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide