- The Washington Times - Friday, July 19, 2002


Glaciers melting morethan once thought

Alaska's mountain glaciers make up a tiny fraction of the world's ice pack, but a new study indicates the amount of water melting from those rivers of ice is much greater than once thought, and may be contributing more to the rising sea level than any other glacial region, Scripps Howard News Service reports.

Glaciologists from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks report today that water from the state's glaciers raises the ocean level by more than one-hundredth of an inch each year, and has been responsible for at least 9 percent of the approximately 9 inches of sea-level rise worldwide over the past century.


Three boaters founddead off beach

HERNANDO BEACH A man, his wife and his mother were found dead yesterday off Florida's Gulf Coast, the apparent victims of a triple murder or murder-suicide while they were boating, officials said.

The bodies two in a pontoon boat and the third nearby were discovered after someone on the boat called relatives on a cell phone, Hernando County Sheriff's Lt. Joe Paez said. The 30-foot boat was anchored about a half-mile off Hernando Beach, north of St. Petersburg.


Poodle stung to deathby angry bees

LOS ANGELES An aggressive bee swarm killed a poodle, stung its owners and forced the evacuation of some classrooms at a nearby elementary school in a suburb east of Los Angeles Wednesday, fire officials said.

The swarm apparently descended from trees near the home where the dog was stung to death, said Capt. Brian Jordan of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

A 12-year-old girl and her father each were stung once while trying to rescue their pet, Mr. Jordan said.

A beekeeper will perform tests to determine whether the bees are of the aggressive Africanized strain, a fire official said.


Duck owner acquitted of noise violation

MANITOU SPRINGS A duck owner whose neighbor complained that the pet was quacking up a storm has been acquitted of a charge of violating a city noise ordinance.

Lou Smith's next-door neighbor, Jen Dawson, a retired professor, called police May 1 to complain of Mr. Smith's adopted European buff-crested duck, Homer.

Miss Dawson works from home and said the quacking was keeping her from working. But under questioning in court Tuesday, she conceded she did not see Homer quack that day. "I saw it moving around," she said. "I couldn't see its mouth."

Judge Robert Lowrey said he was not convinced the quacking was continuous and loud enough to constitute an unreasonable noise.

"I was asking myself this morning: 'Is this what I went to law school for?'" City Attorney Alan Jensen remarked afterward.


Rescuers wake up floating body

HONOLULU A report of a body floating in a stream turned out to be a wake-up call for rescuers.

The body found in Nuuanu Stream on Wednesday turned out to be a woman from Kalihi, outside Honolulu, who had fallen asleep but was very much alive. The 37-year-old woman, who was not seriously injured, told fire rescuers she was dreaming and had no idea how she got into the water.

The woman, whose name was not released, was startled when firefighters grabbed her, authorities said.

The rescuers said the current was picking up and the woman could have drifted into Honolulu Harbor if she had not been rescued.


Lab developing device to detect smuggled cash

IDAHO FALLS Researchers at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory are developing a device that can smell money in baggage carried through U.S. Customs Service checkpoints.

A U.S. Senate panel has endorsed $2 million for the project.

The apparatus is the size of a hand-held vacuum and can detect chemicals in Treasury Department ink.


Papermen convicted of criminal defamation

KANSAS CITY A newspaper publisher and an editor were convicted Wednesday of criminal defamation for falsely reporting that the mayor and her husband lived in another county.

The case involved the New Observer, a free-circulation tabloid that often criticized Kansas City Mayor Carol Marinovich; her husband, Wyandotte County District Court Judge Ernest Johnson; and Prosecutor Nick Tomasic.

Jurors convicted publisher David Carson, 85, editor Edward H. Powers Jr. and Observer Publications, which distributes the New Observer, of seven counts of criminal defamation.


Program enlists fishermen for patrols

PORTLAND The Coast Guard said Wednesday it will go forward with a program to enlist Maine fishermen to help with homeland security patrols around the state's remote waters.

An official said last week that the Coastal Beacon program, announced in February, would be held up because of bureaucratic red tape and potential federal privacy violations in collecting fishermen's personal information.

To get around that, fishermen will register only their vessels' names, said Lt. Dean Jones, a regional Coast Guard spokesman in Boston. They also will submit to background checks and boat inspections.

Registered fishermen would call a Coast Guard hot line to report suspicious vessels.


Terror suspect loses court battle

BOSTON Terror suspect and self-avowed Muslim militant Richard C. Reid lost his legal bid yesterday to keep incriminating statements he reportedly made to agents from being used at his upcoming trial.

A federal judge denied Reid's motion to suppress the statements, meaning prosecutors will be able to use them as they try to prove that the British citizen wanted to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami in December with explosives stuffed in his shoes.

Reid, who has been in custody since his arrest on Dec. 22, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction for trying to blow up the flight carrying 183 passengers and 14 crew.


Children hit by car with toddler at wheel

ANN ARBOR A 2-year-old in a runaway car that he somehow shifted into gear slammed into a group of children awaiting rides to a summer day camp, seriously injuring four of them, authorities said yesterday.

Sgt. Mike Logghe of the Ann Arbor Police said the boy's mother had left him alone in the back seat of her 1977 Cadillac Wednesday, its engine idling, while she dropped off another one of her children at a nearby school. In a minute or so, he said, the toddler had climbed up front and slipped the bulky Cadillac into gear. It then rolled over a curb where the children waiting for school buses were gathered.

Four of the children, between 8 and 9 years old, were hit by the vehicle and at least one was pinned underneath it. None of their injuries, which included broken bones and burns, was life threatening, Sgt. Logghe said.


State executes convicted killer

PARCHMAN A 39-year-old man convicted of gunning down a state trooper in 1987 was put to death by injection Wednesday in Mississippi's first execution in 13 years.

Tracy Alan Hansen was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m.

Hansen fatally shot Bruce Ladner after the trooper pulled him over for speeding.

"I know it doesn't help, but I'm sorry and it's in my heart," Hansen told witnesses shortly before the execution.

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove denied clemency for Hansen on Tuesday, saying the death sentence was justified.


Small plane crashes, killing two on board

LEE'S SUMMIT A small plane crashed in this Kansas City suburb just after takeoff yesterday, killing the pilot and passenger and burning part of a house, authorities said.

All four persons in the house escaped after the plane crashed and caught fire, said Lee's Summit Assistant Fire Chief John Spencer.

"We had breakfast standing in the kitchen, and all of the sudden we saw there was a large impact on the house and we had a very large fireball," Dale Bear said.

The plane had just taken off from Lee's Summit Municipal Airport, about a half-mile away from the house.


In hoax, students send selves racist notes

WALL In a complicated hoax designed to get themselves excused from school, two black high school freshmen sent racist and threatening notes to themselves and to three other black students, said Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Ken Keller.

The Asbury Park Press reports that the girls, both 16-year-old township residents, were each charged this week with one count of conspiracy, three counts of bias intimidation and one count of making a false report to police.

Patricia Harbison said her daughter, Monique, was arrested.

The other girl who originally said she had received racist notes was Shameeca Whitfield.

No one from her house could be reached for comment.

Mr. Keller would not release the names of the girls because of their age.

Mrs. Harbison said she is glad authorities have solved the crime and hopes they punish her daughter "to the fullest extent of the law."


Politician strikes gold out West

CONCORD Katrina Swett's money trail leads out of New Hampshire. It winds down the East Coast through Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and the District. And it skips across the country before landing at the campaign's pot of gold: California.

Miss Swett, a first-time Democratic candidate who is making a bid for the state's 2nd District seat, has brought in big bucks in the first three months of her campaign, according to her first quarterly financial report, which was filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.

The windfall is thanks in large part to the network of friends and donors who are loyal to her father, U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos of California.

Out-of-state donations make up nearly 96 percent of the approximately $580,000 Miss Swett has raised. A third are from California alone.


City approves funds for wastewater cleanup

RALEIGH The city council approved a $689,300 plan to help resolve problems at the city's wastewater treatment plant, now the focus of local, state and federal investigations.

City officials have acknowledged that 62 million gallons of sewage have gone into the Neuse River without being fully treated.

The council also authorized paying up to $73,936 in state fines.


Fishing tournament kicks off today

BISMARCK While it's only a guess, it's a good guess to say the North Dakota Governor's Cup Walleye Derby is the largest and longest-running event of its kind in the state.

The two-day, 260-team tournament, in its 27th year on Lake Sakakawea's east end, will be held today and tomorrow at Fort Stevenson State Park, located south of Garrison, the Tribune reports.


Margarine maker dies of heart failure

LOVELAND James Kramer Heidrich revolutionized the margarine industry by adapting the technology used to manufacture shortening.

"Everybody in the world adapted what he did" to manufacture their margarine, his son, James Kramer Heidrich Jr. of Indian Hill, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I used to tease him, 'If you'd have patented the system, we wouldn't need to make margarine.'"

Mr. Heidrich, former owner of the Miami Margarine Co., which made Nu-Maid Margarine, died of heart failure Saturday at the Lodge Care Center in Loveland. The longtime Oak Hills resident was 90.

In the 1930s, all margarine manufacturers, including Miami Margarine, processed their product by hand. In 1937, Mr. Heidrich began working with a machine shop to devise a device similar to an ice cream-making machine.


Fruit festival not peachy this year

STRATFORD There is more to Stratford than peaches. A lot more. But most locals are quick to point out that the area's production of the fruit has put the Stratford community on the map as "Peach Capital of the World."

"When I tell someone in Oklahoma City or elsewhere around the state that I'm from Stratford, they will usually say, 'Oh yeah, where they grow all the peaches,'" Tim Blackburn, owner of Peach Tree Farms, told the Ada Evening News.

Several activities are scheduled at the 26th annual Stratford Peach Festival through tomorrow.

The crop this year, however, is not exactly peachy keen.

Mr. Blackburn and Gary Carter, owner of Sonrise Peach Farms, said the 2002 crop is about half its normal size.


Alligator found on golf course green

LANDISVILLE When a pet alligator escaped from its owners, police guessed it might turn up in a pond or swimming pool.

They might have been half-right. The 3-foot-long critter was found on the 15th green of a Lancaster County golf course, perhaps after a dip in the water hazard.

Golfers spotted the gator at the Four Seasons Golf Complex, East Hempfield Township police said. They called in two animal workers to make the capture.


Navy specialists detonate torpedo

NEWPORT A Navy explosives team detonated a World War II-era torpedo hauled up in the nets of a fishing boat.

The torpedo got tangled in the nets in Cape Cod Bay, south of Provincetown, Mass.

The weapon was encrusted in marine growth and contained 600 pounds of explosives packed into a 1,400-pound warhead.


Woman fatally mauled by pet pit bulls

HOUSTON Four pit bull terriers fatally mauled a woman who had raised them from puppies, authorities said Wednesday.

Dorothy Carter, 52, was found Tuesday night by her husband after he returned to their home in Splendora, 35 miles northeast of Houston.

The dogs, which weighed between 45 pounds and 100 pounds, were standing over her body.

Bernard Lee Carter, 50, said the dogs had always protected his wife and had never been aggressive.

He said his wife recently had a seizure and the dogs tried to get her to get up by pulling on her hair.

He suggested the same thing happened Tuesday.

But a preliminary finding from Harris County medical examiners concluded she was killed by the dogs.


Handyman indicted in bank robbery

SALT LAKE CITY A former handyman who worked in the home of Elizabeth Smart was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on bank robbery charges.

Richard Ricci, who police say is a suspect in the gunpoint abduction of the 14-year-old from her bedroom early June 5, is accused of being the masked gunman who robbed a bank on Nov. 2, 2001.

Mr. Ricci, 48, and two others are accused of using a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol in stealing $1,713 from the Far West Bank in Sandy.


Medicaid must pay for partial dentures

MONTPELIER The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that the state Medicaid program has to provide partial dentures to patients who need them.

The state had a policy that it would provide only full dentures. So if a partial denture was needed, the patient had to have any remaining good teeth removed and then be supplied a full denture.

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