- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 3, 2002

GEORGIA
Judge reinstates tiny town
REST HAVEN The tiny town of Rest Haven, created in 1938 mostly to keep out nightclubs and alcohol, tried to dissolve its charter last year. After all, the town provides almost no services to its 160 residents.
But a family that owns several tracts of land in town protested. The Robinsons, who want to put up apartments on at least one parcel, went to court to keep Rest Haven alive.
And they won. A judge agreed with the family last month and resurrected Rest Haven for now.
Rest Haven's survival means the Robinsons can do just about anything with their property because the town has no zoning regulations.


OHIO
Menorah set up after court clears way
CINCINNATI A Jewish organization placed an 18-foot-tall menorah on downtown Fountain Square yesterday, three days after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling that cleared the way for such displays.
Chabad of Southern Ohio set up its menorah a few feet from decorated Christmas trees.
The group for years has placed one in Fountain Square during Hanukkah, but this year had to challenge an ordinance that would have permitted only city-sponsored displays from late November to early January.

COLORADO
Girl drowns trying to recover shoe
A 6-year-old girl who apparently tried to recover a shoe from an ice-covered Denver lake drowned Sunday, despite efforts of bystanders and emergency personnel to save her.
Denver police Detective John White said the accident occurred about 12:45 p.m. when the girl and her cousin went onto the ice at the south end of the lake at Garfield Lake Park.
Two would-be rescuers nearly became victims themselves and later had to be treated for hypothermia, Detective White told the Rocky Mountain News.
The girl was located and pulled out of the lake about 46 minutes after going through the ice.

FLORIDA
Child gets hand stuck in escalator
ST. PETERSBURG A 5-year-old girl whose left hand became caught in a department store escalator lost three fingers because of the accident, her family said.
Kerriana Johnson's shoe became caught in the escalator at Dillard's department store in a mall Friday. When the girl reached down to free herself, her hand became entangled, said James Jewell, the fiance of the girl's mother, Lori Medvitz.
A state fire marshal and two police officers helped the child free her hand by removing a plate where the escalator meets the descending steps, police spokesman Rick Stelljes said.

HAWAII
Republican Lingle sworn in as governor
HONOLULU Cheers filled the Capitol Rotunda yesterday as Linda Lingle was sworn in as Hawaii's sixth governor and the first woman to hold the state's highest office.
In a multicultural ceremony combining Hawaiian tradition with Mrs. Lingle's Jewish faith, she also became Hawaii's first Republican governor in 40 years.
Standing with her father, Richard Cutter, Mrs. Lingle placed her hand on a Hebrew-English Tanach and was sworn in by Chief Justice Ronald Moon. James Aiona took the oath as lieutenant governor after her.
Mrs. Lingle said her three top goals are to restore trust and integrity to government, expand and diversify Hawaii's tourism-dependent economy and improve public schools.

LOUISIANA
FEMA extends deadline for storm victims
BATON ROUGE Louisiana residents who have suffered losses in Tropical Storm Isidore and Hurricane Lili have an additional 12 days to ask the government for financial help.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency granted an extension to Dec. 14.
FEMA officials said they have received 9,900 applications so far.

MASSACHUSETTS
Diocese bankruptcy talks called 'premature'
BOSTON Reports that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston may declare bankruptcy to shield itself from hundreds of clergy sex abuse lawsuits are "premature and speculative," a church spokeswoman said yesterday.
A day after the Boston Globe reported that the archdiocese might take the unprecedented step of declaring itself bankrupt, the church said it still was trying to reach a settlement with the estimated 450 reported victims of clergy sex abuse who had filed lawsuits against it.
Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court would allow the archdiocese to continue to operate while it reorganizes its finances. The move also would halt action in the civil lawsuits against the church.

MICHIGAN
Authorities investigate Santa-napping
MESICK A 7-foot-tall dancing Santa that sings "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" has been stolen from the front of a business called the Red Barn, owner Cheryl Harder told the Cadillac News last week.
"I think [the people who stole the Santa] would have had to load him into a truck," she said. "It probably would have taken two people. There were tire tracks and I found beer bottle caps by the sidewalk."
The 100-pound Santa, first reported missing Wednesday, is worth about $1,000. Miss Harder is offering a $100 reward for its return.

NEBRASKA
Afghan teachers to return home
OMAHA The 13 Afghan teachers who have made a five-week tour of classrooms in Nebraska are heading home.
They were returning to the challenge that brought them to the United States: teaching in a homeland starved for education under years of Taliban rule.
The teachers fly to Washington, D.C., for four days and leave for Kabul on Friday. The University of Nebraska at Omaha hosted the exchange.


NEW YORK
County buys 1692 mansion
WEST BAY SHORE Long Island's Suffolk County has bought a 17th-century mansion used by British troops during the Revolutionary War.
Built in 1692 and owned by the same family since 1758, Sagtikos Manor could be opened to the public as early as spring.
The 42-room manor was sold by Robert David Lion Gardiner, a 91-year-old multimillionaire and the Gardiner family's last living heir. The price was not disclosed, but the county was authorized to spend up to $1.7 million.
The British used Sagtikos Manor to plan strategy during the Revolutionary War, and by George Washington when he visited Long Island during his presidency.

PENNSYLVANIA
Doctor sings during rounds
PITTSBURGH Dr. Ronald Johnson is a breast cancer surgeon, but he does some of his best work with his voice.
The staffer at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh is drawing kudos from patients for his musical bedside manner. He sings during rounds and sometimes asks his patients to join him to break the ice.
"The message is that your doc is a human being and not a robot," said Dr. Johnson, who croons tunes by Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Rogers and others. "It makes everybody relax. I don't wear a grim face."
Dr. Johnson, 44, said he learned the importance of bedside manner from Dr. Scott Williams, another breast cancer surgeon who was his mentor.

TENNESSEE
Inventory project finds new life
GATLINBURG After five years of field work, the massive inventory of all living creatures in the Great Smoky Mountains is bringing results.
More than 300 organisms new to science and more than 2,500 species have been found since the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory began in 1997.
"This is a huge project for the Smokies," said Jeannie Hilten, administrative officer for the nonprofit support group Discover Life in America. "Really, it would be a huge project in your back yard."

TEXAS
Stepfather on trial claims own abuse
DALLAS The stepfather of a girl locked inside a filthy closet and starved for months was a battered husband, said a psychologist scheduled to testify in the man's defense.
Kenneth Atkinson goes to trial this week on a charge of causing serious bodily injury to the girl. The judge yesterday postponed jury selection until today.
Mr. Atkinson told a neighbor nearly 18 months ago that his stepdaughter was locked in a closet in the mobile home he shared with his wife. He was hoping to avoid the life sentence a jury gave the girl's mother, Barbara Atkinson, for depriving the child of food, water, clothes and a toilet.
"He's not quite the monster one would have you believe," William Tedford, a psychologist hired by the defense, told the Dallas Morning News. "He was pretty well dominated by his wife."

WISCONSIN
Truckers' wheels on trading block
CHIPPEWA FALLS Several truckers have their wheels on the trading block, and they don't mind a bit.
The truckers' rigs are featured in the third edition of the "18 Wheelers Truck Trading Cards" issued by Photo Card Specialists of Eau Claire. Each card comes with a full description of the featured truck.
"I guess it's an honor," said Jeremy Hoffman, who lives in Menomonie and operates Midwest Motors in Hallie with a business partner.
His featured rig is a blue and gray Peterbilt with a 600-horsepower engine. The man who painted the trim on the truck asked if he could submit a photo for the card series and Mr. Hoffman agreed.

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