- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2002

FLORIDA
Bush family returns from cruise
PORT CANAVERAL Former President George Bush and his son Gov. Jeb Bush returned yesterday from a three-night Caribbean cruise, showing no signs of a recent illness that has struck some cruise passengers.
The Disney Wonder cruise ship pulled into port about 6 a.m. yesterday with nearly a dozen Bush family members including former first lady Barbara Bush and President Bush's daughters Jenna and Barbara among the 2,500 passengers.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Company mints replicas of Confederate coins
COLUMBIA The Confederacy couldn't afford to mass-produce a half-dollar coin, but the four made by hand in New Orleans in 1861 are among the rarest minted.
Now, a company deep in the heart of Dixie hopes to give collectors a commemorative version. The oversized replica available in silver for $20 or gold for $400 is likely to find a market among history buffs, said Bruce Elrod, a partner in Confederate States Mint in Ridgeway.

ALASKA
Radar system to monitor icebergs
ANCHORAGE A radar system that scans Prince William Sound oil tanker lanes for dangerous icebergs began transmitting images to shipping managers in Valdez for the first time last week.
When fully tuned over the next few years, the experimental system will deploy a marine radar on Reef Island and a new signal processor to give Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. and the U.S. Coast Guard full-time warning of floating ice, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The ice hazard comes from the Columbia Glacier.

ARKANSAS
Christmas tree fire kills mom, 4 children
TRUMANN A woman and her four young children died of smoke inhalation after their Christmas tree ignited, authorities said over the weekend.
Trumann Fire Chief Gary Anderson said investigators believe the family died late Thursday. The five bodies were discovered by a relative Friday night, he said.
Family members and neighbors in the town of 6,400 said the mother was seven months pregnant.
The fire appeared to be accidental, Chief Anderson said.

CALIFORNIA
Firefighters' families get vacation
LOS ANGELES The families of New York police officers and firefighters killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks arrived for a Southern California vacation over the weekend, thanks to Los Angeles city and county firefighters.
The firefighters raised the money to treat 44 family members to a weeklong all-expenses-paid trip. Hotels donated rooms for the visitors.
As the flight carrying the family members taxied into Los Angeles International Airport, local fire trucks doused the plane with water and escorted it to the terminal.

GEORGIA
Professor collects log cabins
CRAWFORD Professor Bob Rhoades has a severe case of cabin fever.
The University of Georgia anthropologist collects log cabins built by slaves and poor farmers around the early 19th century. He has brought six of them to his 320-acre Oglethorpe County farm in the past six years.
"We really need to preserve these log cabins before they disappear," Mr. Rhoades said. "They're just rotting down all over the country. Hundreds are disappearing in the South every year."
Mr. Rhoades has been working to preserve these remnants of early American culture, which he said are often overlooked as preservationists rally behind saving larger houses.

KENTUCKY
State honors jazz musician
LOUISVILLE Jazz musician Jonah Jones, a Grammy winner who performed with Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie and Billie Holiday, has been selected as the newest member of the Gallery of Great Black Kentuckians.
The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights will display a poster Jan. 7 honoring Mr. Jones, who took up music as a youngster in a Louisville orphanage. He was born in 1909 and died in 2000, and recorded 44 albums during a career that spanned eight decades.
Mr. Jones, born Robert Elliott Jones, got his start playing cornet for a band at the old Booker T. Washington Community Center in Louisville in 1920. There he was nicknamed Jonah by the band's conductor.

MASSACHUSETTS
Increase seen in homeless students
BOSTON Some suburban school districts have seen a sharp increase in the number of homeless students as the state moves homeless families into motels because of the lack of affordable housing.
The Department of Transitional Assistance is using motels as temporary housing because the state's family shelters are filled to capacity. The number of families in motels has jumped from 94 two years ago to 557 this month.
Districts say the policy is unfair to both schools and students. Many students are sent to a new school, only to be pulled out and moved before the end of the year.

MINNESOTA
Signs indicate stall in Wellstone crash
MINNEAPOLIS The airplane that crashed with U.S. Sen. Paul Wellstone on board may have been traveling too slowly to stay aloft as it was preparing to land, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported yesterday.
The Beechcraft King Air A100, carrying Mr. Wellstone and seven others, was traveling as slow as 85 knots equivalent to 100 mph on land as it approached a small airport in northern Minnesota Oct. 25, according to a study of radar data by the National Transportation Safety Board.

NEBRASKA
Toddler found after fatal car crash
DeWITT A crash that killed a 24-year-old mother led to a frantic search for her 16-month-old son, who had wandered from the accident scene in freezing weather. The boy was found in a field about 45 minutes later.
Saline County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Vogel saw an overturned sport utility vehicle in a ditch south of DeWitt Thursday night. The driver, Paige Blair of Lincoln, had been ejected and was found lying near the vehicle.
Her 6-year-old son, Tyler Suits, was found walking near the accident scene, but 16-month-old Aaron Blair was missing. Aaron was found during a search by police from several jurisdictions, state police and workers from the nearby American Tool Co.

NEW MEXICO
Ex-Journal editor dies of heart attack
ALBUQUERQUE Gerald Crawford, former editor and director of new media for the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico's largest paper, died Saturday of a heart attack. He was 72.

NORTH CAROLINA
Three persons die in reservation fire
CHEROKEE A mother and two of her children died early Saturday in a fire at their home on the Eastern Band of Cherokees reservation.
Glenda Gail Arch, 40, her son James Daniel Arch Jr., 13, and daughter Lauren Arch, 5, were trapped on the second floor of the home when the fire erupted, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported on its Web site.
The woman's husband, James Arch, was able to escape the flames and save the couple's 11-year-old daughter, Jasmine.

NORTH DAKOTA
Ranchers buck trend of sheep decline
BISMARCK The bleating of sheep is getting louder in North Dakota, despite an apparent decline in the nation's appetite for lamb.
"We don't really know why," said Bruce Pfliger of Bismarck, president of the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers. "I think maybe it's the result of available resources, and they make an excellent companion income for diversified farms. They provide weed control, and provide additional income."

TEXAS
Dense fog leads to 71-vehicle pileup
HOUSTON Dense fog contributed to a fiery chain-reaction crash Saturday involving 71 cars, vans and trucks on the Sam Houston Tollway. Police said 21 persons were injured, five seriously, though there were no deaths.
The pileup started just before 7 a.m. on the four-lane highway and involved traffic in the eastbound and westbound lanes.
"It was kind of a wall of fog," said Mike Young, 45, who was driving to work.

WEST VIRGINIA
Powerball winner starts writing checks
HURRICANE At the beginning of service yesterday at the Tabernacle of Praise, Senior Pastor C.T. Mathews asked his parishioners for donations to the church's food pantry.
One member of his congregation record Powerball lottery winner Andrew "Jack" Whittaker said that he was making good on a promise to go way beyond boxes of macaroni and cheese.
He said that later in the day he would give the pastor a $334,000 check, the first installment on the church's share of Mr. Whittaker's $170 million gross winnings.
Mr. Whittaker held the only winning ticket in the record $314.9 million Powerball drawing Wednesday. He chose to take a one-time payment of $170 million instead of the full amount over 30 years. After taxes, he will receive $113.4 million, but he said that he would tithe $17 million to three Church of God pastors.
Mr. Whittaker said it will be up to the clergymen to decide how they use the money.

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