- The Washington Times - Monday, July 1, 2002

$5.3 million awarded to ant-bite victim
HUNTSVILLE A jury awarded $5.3 million to an elderly woman bitten hundreds of times by fire ants that swarmed in her room at an assisted-living facility.
The verdict went against the Greystone Retirement Community, where the woman lived, and Terminix International, hired to control pests in the facility. A Terminix spokesman said the company would appeal last week's verdict.
Lucille Devers, 79, survived the 1999 incident and now lives in another elder-care home.

Air show draws record 80,000 crowd
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE Glorious weather, a spectacular air show and a surge of patriotic spirit lured a record crowd of about 80,000 to Arctic Thunder 2002.
Carolyn Thomas, reclining with her daughter on twin plastic beach chairs, watched an F-16 scream past at 600 mph. Mrs. Thomas had made it to only about five of the U.S. Air Force shows during her 30 years in Alaska.
But this year, she said, terrorist attacks on the United States moved her to come out and show her pride in Old Glory. She pointed out two bald eagles soaring high in the sky.
"You've just got to be part of this stuff this year, this Fourth of July," Mrs. Thomas told the Anchorage Daily News. "It's important."

Senate passes fiscal 2003 budget
SAN FRANCISCO California's Senate passed a budget bill over the weekend using a range of accounting measures, tax increases and spending cuts to overcome a $23.6 billion deficit in a race to make the spending plan law by today's deadline.
The state's Assembly took up the bill yesterday. Democrats controlling the chamber will need at least four Republicans to pass the bill on to Democratic Gov. Gray Davis.
A lone Republican joined the Senate's 26 Democrats for a 27-12 vote to pass the spending plan for fiscal 2002-03, which begins today.

Space shuttle returns from California
CAPE CANAVERAL Space shuttle Endeavour returned to its launch site at Kennedy Space Center after a secretive cross-country trip atop a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet.
NASA kept the shuttle's return route and the timing of its Saturday arrival secret until it was safely home because of safety concerns.
The return marked the final leg of a record-setting mission in which International Space Station expedition crew members Dan Bursch and Carl Walz surpassed the previous U.S. duration record by spending 196 days in space.

Girl files sex suit against group leader
ATLANTA A teen-ager who says she was molested by the leader of a black religious group has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the man, who already is facing more than 100 criminal counts of child molestation.
The lawsuit charges that Dwight York, 57, repeatedly performed a variety of sexual acts with the girl, from the time she was 11 until she left his Nuwaubian Nation of Moors at age 14, about three years ago.
The lawsuit states that the sexual abuse of the girl was "all for the purpose of gratifying his wicked, depraved and corrupt sexual appetite," the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported yesterday.
The Nuwaubians, originally a black Muslim group based in Brooklyn, N.Y., moved in 1993 to a 437-acre rural compound in the central Georgia town of Eatonton.

Actor sells Honolulu home
HONOLULU Actor Richard Chamberlain has sold his Honolulu home for $4.4 million.
The nearly 2-acre property includes a four-bedroom main house, a two-bedroom guest house, a separate office and an art studio.
Coldwell Banker Vice President Sachi Braden said the purchaser is a financier affiliated with a European trust company who plans to live on Oahu part time.

Carnival ride breaks, stranding 20 riders
BOISE Royal West Amusement officials spent the weekend inspecting the Zipper ride at the Boise River Festival Carnival after it stopped working late Friday night, stranding 20 persons on the ride for several hours.
Just before 11 p.m., a cable came loose on the multiple-cage Zipper, forcing carnival workers to stop the ride, Boise River Festival President Beth Knox told the Idaho Statesman.
No passengers were injured, Miss Knox said, but they had to remain in the Zipper's cages until the Ada County Special Operations Team could help them back to the ground.

Mormons dedicate reconstructed temple
NAUVOO The Mormon church held 13 services over four days to consecrate its historic holy sanctuary, which was rebuilt 150 years after the original temple was destroyed by fire.
"These sessions are repeated to allow the number of people who would like to attend a dedicatory session to attend," said Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokesman Randy Ripplinger. Services began Thursday and continued through yesterday at the Nauvoo Temple.
In Nauvoo, founder Joseph Smith announced many of the revelations that became cornerstones of the church, before persecution forced the congregation to flee. Many Mormons have descended from Nauvoo's settlers and view the temple as a place of pilgrimage.

Video research puts words into mouths
CAMBRIDGE Marilyn Monroe died a generation before karaoke, digital animation and the pop singer Dido's race onto Billboard's Top 10. Marilyn, meet Dido.
In an eerie video clip created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers, the long-dead star croons the song "Hunter" by the very much alive performer.
The MIT team has combined artificial intelligence and videography to make words and song even in foreign languages emerge from the lips of people who never could have possibly uttered them.
"We wanted to try it on a celebrity who wasn't alive," said Tony F. Ezzat, an MIT postdoctoral fellow who created the surreal sequence. "I'm thrilled, obviously."

Mother held in deaths of children in hot car
SOUTHFIELD A Detroit woman was arraigned and ordered held without bond yesterday of two counts of felony murder in the deaths of her children.
Authorities accuse Tarajee Shaheer Maynor of leaving her children, a 10-month-old girl and 3-year-old boy, alone in a hot car for more than three hours Friday while she had her hair done.
The weather was sunny at the time the children were left, with highs in the 80s.
Balloonist breaks his own record
ST. LOUIS Balloonist Steve Fossett on his sixth bid to circumnavigate the globe has broken his own record for longest solo balloon flight, his mission control here said yesterday.
Mr. Fossett, 58, passed his 1998 record of 14,235.3 miles at 2 p.m. yesterday on the 12th day since leaving Australia on June 19.
The millionaire businessman could land in Australia tomorrow if everything goes well, the support team at Washington University in St. Louis said.

Archaeologists find spicy artifact
RENO Archaeologists digging at the site of a black-owned saloon in a historic Old West mining town have unearthed a 130-year-old bottle of hot sauce.
The oldest style of Tabasco bottle known to exist was reconstructed from 21 shards of glass excavated from beneath the site of the Boston Saloon of Virginia City.
The bottle suggests that the saloon which was owned by a black man from Massachusetts and catered to blacks and whites from 1864 to 1875 was among the first eateries to introduce the now-popular spicy sauce.

Hell's Angels recruits wounded in shooting
CONCORD Two prospective members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club were shot and wounded Saturday in what police said appeared to be a continuation of gang rivalry.
The shootings came less than two weeks after thousands of bikers from around North America left the area after their annual Motorcycle Week, which had brought police warnings of potential violence.

New York City rolls back recycling rules
NEW YORK The nation's largest city is eliminating glass and plastics from its recycling program today in what recycling advocates say is the first significant rollback of such a program in the United States.
Starting today, sanitation workers will collect only paper and metal for recycling.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg says the change will save the deficit-troubled city $40 million in the coming fiscal year.

Pregnant woman shoots herself; twins delivered
MONROE A pregnant woman shot her grandfather, then shot herself in the head, police said. Her twins were born by Caesarean section and were in critical condition.
Police were trying to determine if Patricia Blackwell, 27, shot herself accidentally or intentionally, Union County Sheriff Frank McGuirt said. She was in critical condition yesterday with a wound to her right temple.

Prosecutor appeals dismissed murder charge
PITTSBURGH Prosecutors have appealed a judge's decision to dismiss murder charges against a man accused of selling Ecstasy to a 16-year-old girl who died last year.
Brandy French died in May 2001 after taking the drug for the first time. Authorities say Gregory Ludwig sold it to her friends the night before.
Under state law, drug delivery resulting in death is a form of third-degree murder, but County Judge Jeffrey Manning threw out the charge, saying it allowed prosecutors to skirt the requirement that malice be proved.

Town evacuated as wildfire burns
DEADWOOD Firefighters battled a wildfire yesterday that had burned to the ridge above this Black Hills gambling town and forced thousands of residents and tourists to evacuate.
The 4,500-acre blaze was about 30 percent contained early yesterday, and officials praised a relatively small crew of about 200 firefighters for saving the historic gold-mining town.
"When I first drove in here, I thought we were going to lose a lot of Deadwood, and it's because of you we didn't," fire coordinator Joe Lowe told firefighters yesterday.

Lawmakers face funding shutdown
NASHVILLE Hours from a government shutdown, lawmakers sent Gov. Don Sundquist a bill yesterday granting him authority to continue essential state services for five days as they battle over how to resolve a $480 million budget deficit.
Mr. Sundquist said he would wait until the last minute last night before signing the bill, but his Cabinet began notifying about 22,000 of the state's 42,000 workers that they shouldn't report to work this week if a budget didn't pass by midnight.
Tennessee's state health insurance program has produced a soaring deficit, but voters strongly oppose new taxes. The state constitution requires lawmakers to pass a balanced budget by the start of the fiscal year, which is today.

Dallas man takes reins of Hispanic group
HOUSTON The League of United Latin American Citizens elected a president from Dallas as the group closed its weeklong national convention over the weekend.
The league, the nation's oldest and largest Hispanic civil rights organization, chose Hector Flores as president and Frank Ortiz of Houston national treasurer.
The meeting drew more than 8,000 attendees a record and hosted Texas' Republican governor, Rick Perry, Democratic rival Tony Sanchez, and a handful of Cabinet secretaries among the dozens of speakers. Mexican President Vicente Fox addressed the convention via satellite.

New law leaves refugees waiting
BURLINGTON A change in Canadian immigration law that took effect Friday has led to a backlog of refugees seeking asylum there, some of whom must wait until the end of July for appointments with Canadian officials at the border to hear their requests.
In Plattsburgh, N.Y., more than 70 refugees from around the world sleep in the Salvation Army center while seeking entry into Canada and Vermont refugee advocates are preparing to bring some asylum-seekers to Burlington. Some could arrive today.
"We're scrambling to find places," Patrick Giantonio, director of Montpelier-based Vermont Refugee Assistance, told the Burlington Free Press. "In New York, they're overwhelmed."

Parents sue to keep local schools open
CHARLESTON Parents in some communities have gone to court to prevent officials from closing schools with dwindling enrollments, but officials say they have no choice.
"No one wants to close schools," Raleigh County Superintendent Charlotte Hutchens told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. "It's not just Raleigh County, but all counties all over the state are facing the same thing. We have declining enrollment. It's not easy. It's not popular, but it has become a necessity."
In Raleigh County, a judge ruled that the school board violated the Open Meetings law in discussing closures. Parents have raised questions about the county's 10-year planning document, called the Comprehensive Educational Facilities Plan (CEFP).

Brewing giants wage All-Star beer battle
MILWAUKEE The thousands of people expected at a downtown block party staged by Miller Brewing Co. on the night before Major League Baseball's July 9 All-Star Game will find plenty of food, beer and live music.
But they won't see any signs for the game at Miller Park, because Anheuser-Busch Inc. has a sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball that provides an exclusive right to throw the "official" All-Star Game Block Party.
The nation's two largest brewers have turned the All-Star Game into a full-scale beer war, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

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