- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 23, 2002

State adopts car emissions law
LOS ANGELES The state of California yesterday adopted a law imposing tough petrol mileage standards on cars in a move that could mark the start of a new war against greenhouse-gas pollution.
Gov. Gray Davis signed into law a bill putting strict controls on vehicle-exhaust emissions. The move, which has enraged the powerful auto industry, should pave the way for other states to follow suit.
The law, which comes into force on Jan. 1, requires the state Air Resources Board to develop greenhouse-gas-emission standards starting with 2009 model cars and trucks, mostly using existing technology. The law authorizes the board to introduce regulations providing for the "maximum feasible reduction of greenhouse gases" by passenger cars and trucks by 2005.
The California Legislature approved the bill by the slimmest of margins July 1. Opponents were backed by a $5 million lobbying campaign by the auto industry.

Student charged with keeping anthrax
WEST HARTFORD A University of Connecticut student was charged yesterday with keeping anthrax in a campus laboratory, but authorities said he would not be prosecuted if he completed a pretrial diversion program.
Federal prosecutors charged Tomas Foral, 26, with possessing a biological agent, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison. Mr. Foral did not return a message left at his West Hartford home.
Two vials containing anthrax-infected animal tissue from the 1960s were found in Mr. Foral's freezer in the laboratory Nov. 27, five days after the fifth and final death from last fall's anthrax attacks. Mr. Foral reportedly had been told to destroy the samples, but kept them instead.
The FBI said the samples would have required additional processing to produce infectious spores, but the material was ordered destroyed and the lab building was checked for contamination.

Social services hot line expands
MONTGOMERY A social services hot line that began in March by serving Montgomery, Autauga and Elmore counties has expanded into Lee and Dallas counties.
Volunteers who took the calls last month made 1,274 referrals to agencies. Almost half the callers had problems with money; others needed shelter, food or just a comforting voice, officials said.

College hands out 300 scholarships
FAYETTEVILLE Nearly 300 University of Arkansas students accepted scholarships offered by the university to make up for those slashed in state budget cuts.
Officials offered their own scholarships with the hope the state will restore its Academic Challenge program next year. The program was wiped out in November when Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican, announced $142 million in cuts.

Polar bear gets snowy treat
PHOENIX Reid Park Zoo's resident polar bear, Boris, was treated to a truckload of snow actually ice shaved from a rink courtesy of Gateway Ice Center.
With 2-year-old Boris in a separate cage, zookeepers brought 10 wheelbarrows of snow into his enclosure. They built him his own snowman, with deer antlers for ears and a carrot nose. They also buried prunes, cantaloupe, peanut butter and fish in the piles.
A light drizzle fell as about 60 people watched Boris happily bound into his play area. He quickly approached the piles of fluff and wasted no time digging around in it. Boris toppled the snowman and ate the carrot nose.

Residents rebuilding after wildfire
DECKERS Mark Flick and girlfriend Anita Langley are living in tents near the blackened ruins of their homes.
They use baby wipes to keep themselves clean. Every third day, they heat bottled water in the sun or go to a service station to take showers.
Mr. Flick and Miss Langley are among residents of the foothills southwest of Denver who are rebuilding after their homes were gutted last month by the biggest wildfire in Colorado history, the 137,000-acre blaze that investigators say was started by a U.S. Forest Service employee. It destroyed 133 houses and hundreds of other buildings.

Feral cats fin home at shelter
WILMINGTON Some rescued stray cats are finding a new type of home at the Delaware Humane Association, where animal experts are taking a group-living approach to their care.
The nonprofit agency has set up the state's first managed colony for strays too afraid of people to be placed for adoption.
The cats are fed, sterilized and given needed medical care while living outside the association's facility in Wilmington. The colony, built for as many as 30 cats, has a large shed for shelter, a fenced and canopied yard for exercise, and a donated fountain for running water.

Foundation sends aid to Cuban dissidents
MIAMI The leader of a powerful anti-Castro group says it has sent about $1 million in cash, computers and other aid to dissidents and families in Cuba during the past 18 months.
Jorge Mas Santos said the Cuban American National Foundation is using Puerto Rico and Mexico as staging centers, and it has a network of hundreds of dissidents representing every province in Cuba.
He declined to provide a breakdown of the assistance.
Mas Santos was unopposed Sunday in winning a fourth term as chairman of the group founded by his father. During its annual board meeting, members said they are refocusing resources to activities in Cuba instead of looking north to Washington.

Man found guilty in drug smuggling
CHICAGO A man was found guilty yesterday of masterminding a drug-smuggling operation in which women carrying babies to avoid suspicion brought cocaine and heroin into the country in infant-formula cans.
Clyvester Thomas, 27, is 47th person convicted in the four-year federal investigation. He could get 30 years to life in prison at sentencing Oct. 31.
The drugs were brought from Panama. Some were cooked into crack and sold on the streets of Chicago, and some were taken across the Atlantic to London by female couriers with babies.
The ring used 18 babies, the youngest just 3 weeks old, according to prosecutors. Prosecutors said some parents rented out their children for cash or drugs. Four parents have pleaded guilty. Fifty-seven persons have been charged.

Former student sends check to town
AMHERST More than 20 years after she and her friends swiped a street sign, Elizabeth Cooper is giving something back to the town.
Miss Cooper sent $300 to the town of Amherst with instructions that it be used for "something serving the people of Amherst in some way." The check was accompanied by a letter in which she apologized.
She said she was moved to send the letter and check after she read a letter to the editor of her local paper, in which the writer nostalgically recalled stealing pumpkins from a farm. She said the letter "got under my skin" because she lives on a farm. It also reminded her of what she had done while she was a student at the University of Massachusetts.

Officials: Children need chickenpox vaccine
ST. PAUL State health officials plan to require grade-school students who have never had chickenpox to be vaccinated.
They say the change will bring Minnesota health policy in line with that of other states. The plan would also require infants and toddlers in day care to receive pneumococcal and hepatitis B vaccines.
A public hearing about the vaccine proposals is planned for tomorrow.

Death penalty sought against ex-VA nurse
COLUMBIA A prosecutor said yesterday that he will seek the death penalty against a former nurse charged in the deaths of 10 patients at a veterans hospital a decade ago.
Boone County prosecutor Kevin Crane announced his decision in court before Richard Allen Williams, 36, entered not-guilty pleas to 10 counts of first-degree murder.
When Mr. Williams entered the courtroom, he smiled and raised his handcuffed wrists to wave to relatives.
Mr. Crane said the deaths fit Missouri law's requirements for capital punishment, including that they were "outrageous or wantonly vile in that they involved depravity of mind."

Tourism officials fault city councilors' remarks
PORTSMOUTH Travel industry officials say remarks by some city councilors about too many tourists are shortsighted.
Councilors said they are concerned about the effect Portsmouth's visitors have on its budget and quality of life. Tourism is a big business for the seacoast, where visitors spent nearly $300 million on rooms and meals last year, industry officials said.

Governor signs bill to rebuild city
TRENTON Gov. James E. McGreevey signed a $175 million bill yesterday to revitalize the desperately poor city of Camden.
The Camden Board of Education immediately sued to block a portion of the measure that gives the state and city governments control over the school board in the mostly black and Hispanic city of 80,000..
The stimulus package is designed to build on the city's network of large hospitals and its Rutgers University campus, with money earmarked for housing, sewer and water lines, classrooms, libraries and hospitals.

Panel cuts money for Yucca Mountain site
A Senate subcommittee voted yesterday to cut one-third of the money President Bush requested for work at the proposed nuclear waste burial site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.
The panel, lead by Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, who is opposed to the storage site, would provide $336 million for preliminary work at the location, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The president, a supporter of the plan, proposed $525 million, the same amount a House version of the bill would provide.

Prosthetics designer dies at age 55
FAYETTEVILLE Chaz Holder, a triple amputee who devised a new way of making artificial legs and arms, has died of a heart attack at his home. He was 55.
Mr. Holder invented lighter, cheaper prosthetic limbs that can be fitted in less than a half-hour. He sold them through his company, CZBioMed Enterprises, and distributed them free to amputees in Third World countries.
Mr. Holder lost his left arm below the elbow in an industrial accident in the late 1970s, and both his legs eight years ago a loss doctors attributed to a near-fatal race car accident in 1980 and exposure to chemicals during his Army service in the Vietnam War, Miss Clark said.

Authorities recapture murder suspects
LEBANON Two murder suspects were recaptured Sunday afternoon, a day after they made a daylight escape from the Lebanon County Prison.
Nathaniel Negron-Gonzalez, 22, and Jose Rivera-Encanasion, 23, both of Lebanon, were taken into custody without incident at a city apartment, police said.
Two women, one a former girlfriend of one of the inmates, will be charged with harboring fugitives, state Trooper Ray Albert said. The inmates were to be arraigned on escape charges and returned to the prison.
The men escaped Saturday afternoon by climbing a light pole to the prison roof, squeezing through razor wire and jumping to the ground, officials said.

Drought forces early selling of cattle
FORT PIERRE Leaning against a wall at the Fort Pierre Livestock Auction, third-generation rancher Bernie Lauing watches as pen after pen of young calves is steered into the auction ring and sold two or three months ahead of time.
Summer is typically a slow time for cattle sales. But this summer, little rain and day after day of searing heat have left about 70 percent of South Dakota's rangeland and pastures in poor condition. That means little for cattle to eat or drink, and it's prompting a huge sell-off from herds, mainly to buyers where drought isn't a problem.

Church wall falls, killing 4, injuring 3
MEMPHIS A church wall collapsed as worshippers were leaving a prayer service, killing the pastor's wife, daughter and stepson and another child in a minivan crushed by the debris, police said. Three other children were injured in the collapse Sunday.
Witnesses said firefighters and volunteers dug for 15 minutes outside the 81-year-old New Greater Hyde Park Missionary Baptist Church to clear a mass of bricks, mortar and stone that fell onto the minivan.
"The chimney and everything crushed the car down to the floor," said Andrew Patton, one of the rescuers.
The county's Codes and Structure Enforcement administrator, Pete Schultz, said the roof construction is likely to have contributed to the collapse.

Seven persons die in interstate crash
LONGVIEW A head-on collision along a dangerous Texas interstate highway killed seven persons, including six family members from Louisiana.
Four of the victims were children, including two 3-year-olds who were part of a set of triplets. The third triplet was critically injured.
The crash occurred on Interstate 20 on Sunday when the driver of a sport utility vehicle crossed over the median and struck a minivan, reducing both automobiles to crumpled heaps of metal. A tractor-trailer jackknifed after swerving to avoid the wreck and may also have been struck.

Judge rules managers of Tribune must go
SALT LAKE CITY A judge ruled yesterday that managers must give up control of the Salt Lake Tribune next week even as they continue a legal fight to buy back the newspaper.
U.S. District Court Judge Ted Stewart also ruled that MediaNews Group, the paper's corporate owner, can't sell any Tribune asset worth more than $250,000 without prior notice to the Tribune's former owners. It also can't build a new printing press until the case is resolved.
The order means the McCarthey family's managers will have to turn over the newspaper to MediaNews on Aug. 1.

Sailors learning to save Navy ship
BREMERTON Murky water swirls around Christopher Mitchell's rubber knee boots and drips from the ship's overhead, splashing the top of his hard hat.
The Navy damage controlman wraps his hand around a metal pipe on a wall that has been pierced by torpedo shrapnel, blocking a fountain of water. Suzanne Burleigh grabs a curved, black steel patch and slaps it on the pipe. The fountain, and five others in pipes along the wall, slows to drips. It's quiet.
Mr. Mitchell, Miss Burleigh and others on the ship's damage-control team wade through 4 feet of water, repositioning two-by-fours shoring up the ceiling and wrapping metal bands around pipe patches.
The ship would be saved if it were real: Fifteen sailors from the USS Bridge are just practicing. Last week, they became the first class to use Olympic College's new damage-control training facility.

Archbishop's sex-case payoff cleared
MILWAUKEE Prosecutors said yesterday that they found no evidence that a $450,000 payment made by former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland to a man who had accused him of sexual abuse came from restricted or otherwise committed funds.
Steven Biskupic, the U.S. attorney in Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann issued a statement saying they were closing an inquiry they began shortly after Father Weakland's disclosure of the payment in May.
The two said the money came from an account containing proceeds from the sale of real estate that had been donated to the archdiocese with no strings attached.
The payment came to light when former theology student Paul Marcoux went on television. He said he had received hush money to keep silent about his assertion that Father Weakland had tried to force himself on him sexually 20 years ago.

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