- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 25, 2002


Kidnapped missionary to write book

WICHITA A missionary held hostage in the Philippines for more than a year before a June rescue operation that killed her husband plans to write a book, her publicist said.

Gracia Burnham's book will be published next spring by Tyndale House Publishers, publicist Nancy Guthrie said. No financial terms were disclosed.

"I want to tell the real story of our captivity about our ordeal, about how it affected our relationship with each other and with God," Mrs. Burnham said, adding that the book will also discuss the political issues.


Family erects toll sign after building sidewalk

GRAND ISLAND You can let the laws take a toll on you, or you can take your own toll.

Jerry and Patti Hirschman decided on the latter after the City Council ordered sidewalks be built for homes in their neighborhood. The May 21 order gave homeowners 90 days to comply.

The sidewalks were ordered for properties near three elementary schools. If the deadline was not met, the city would do the installation and charge property owners. The Hirschmans' sidewalk was finished July 3.

A toll sign reading, "Kids free, adults 25 cents, city councilmen unwelcome," was erected the next day. The Hirschmans said people have stopped to read, admire and chuckle at their sign and even donate $3 in quarters and pennies.


Landslide leads to flood, evacuations

A landslide triggered a flood in the tiny gold rush community of Dyea, north of Skagway, early Tuesday, officials told the Juneau Empire.

No injuries were reported, and about 25 people in Dyea were evacuated to Skagway, about 10 miles away. The road from Skagway to Dyea was closed for a time, and tours into the area have been canceled until further notice, said Skagway City Manager Bob Ward.

Mr. Ward said the destruction of a moraine on the side of West Creek Glacier appeared to be the source of the landslide that led to the flood.

Reports indicate a subsurface aquifer weakened and collapsed the 700-foot-high moraine, he said.


Kmart closures mean major layoffs likely

JACKSONVILLE Dozens of central Arkansas residents may be facing the unemployment line as part of the bankruptcy plan submitted to aid Kmart's reorganization, the Jacksonville Patriot reports.

On Friday, Kmart officials posted two press releases. The first stated that the corporation plans to close 284 of its stores: 271 regular Kmarts, 12 Kmart Supercenters and a single store operating in Puerto Rico.

If the federal bankruptcy court accepts the plan, 22,000 Kmart associates could be laid off. Three of the stores are currently operating in Arkansas. One involved in the closures is the Big Kmart in Jacksonville.


Actress Anderson plans hepatitis treatment

LOS ANGELES Pamela Anderson, the small-town Canadian girl who became one of the world's most famous women, said Tuesday night she would take time away from her career to undergo a potentially debilitating treatment for hepatitis C that could save her life.

Miss Anderson, the former "Baywatch" star, said she plans to take injections of powerful antiviral drugs to treat her hepatitis C, a sometimes fatal liver disease. She blames her malady on a tattoo needle shared with ex-husband Tommy Lee, a charge he has denied.

Miss Anderson said that a biopsy showed that her liver was still relatively healthy. She intends to take interferon in combination with other drugs starting in December.


Court refuses bid for homosexual 'divorce'

HARTFORD A homosexual couple's attempt to have their civil union dissolved was rejected by a Connecticut appeals court yesterday in what is believed to be the first such test of the law outside Vermont.

Glen Rosengarten and Peter Downes contracted their union in Vermont in 2000, six months after the first law in the nation allowing homosexual couples to enter into something akin to marriage.

The Connecticut court ruled that it cannot dissolve what Connecticut law does not recognize in the first place. No state outside of Vermont has such unions.

Homosexual activists hoped Vermont's court-imposed law would force other states to recognize homosexual unions in the same way that a marriage in one state is recognized by all.


Researchers developing chicken-feather chip

NEWARK Everyone's familiar with the computer mouse. But the computer chicken?

Researchers in the University of Delaware's ACRES program Affordable Composites From Renewable Sources have developed a computer processor made from chicken feathers.

The head of the program, chemical engineering professor Richard Wool, said researchers looked to chicken feathers because they have shafts that are hollow but strong and are made mostly of air, a great conductor of electricity.

The chicken-feather chip is made from soybean resin and feathers crafted into material that looks like silicon.


Automobile locks suspect inside

GAINESVILLE When an accused thief decided Sandra Boutwell's car was a good target, he probably didn't expect it to put up a fight.

David Christopher Lander, 51, of Gainesville, was arrested early last Thursday after the car he is charged with burglarizing locked him inside, Alachua County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Keith Faulk said.

The 1994 Infiniti is equipped with an anti-theft device that automatically locks the doors when the car alarm is triggered. When Mr. Lander entered the car, the doors locked.

"Had he pushed the button on the driver's-side door, he could have gotten out," Sgt. Faulk said.


June tourism drops 1.4 percent

HONOLULU Visits to Hawaii dropped 1.4 percent in June from the same month last year.

State tourism figures showed a 3.7 percent increase in the number of arrivals from the mainland but a 12.4 percent drop in international arrivals.

Officials speculated that more Japanese stayed home because of the World Cup soccer tournament during June.


City proposing new dog-leash fine

BOISE Letting a dog run free in Boise city parks may soon result in a $25 ticket. The same goes for dog owners who don't scoop up after their dog.

That fine is less serious than the misdemeanor charge a violation now carries, which comes with a fine of up to $300 and/or a six-month stay in the Ada County jail, the Idaho Statesman reports.

But the city's proposed plan steps up enforcement, which makes getting a ticket much likelier. Almost 70 percent of Boiseans own dogs, according to a 1990s survey.


High bacteria levels close city beaches

CHICAGO Dangerously high levels of E. coli bacteria in the water prompted officials to close the city's Lake Michigan beaches this week.

Chicago Park District officials closed all lakefront beaches late Monday. The park district said the beaches would remain closed until bacteria levels subside.

High water temperatures combined with light winds to create ideal breeding conditions for the bacteria in recent days, officials said.

Before this closure, Chicago had closed four beaches this year for one day each. Beaches in Lake County were closed earlier this month after 300,000 gallons of water containing raw sewage were emptied into Lake Michigan.


Lawsuits challenge inmate-jailing fees

INDIANAPOLIS The practice of charging inmates a processing fee as they are booked into Indiana county jails is coming under fire.

Two federal lawsuits filed on behalf of three former inmates in Clark and Bartholomew counties contend the $25 fees are illegal.

Many departments are using the fees to offset the cost of medical care for inmates. But Clark County is depositing $10 of the fee it charges in a police pension fund.


Drunken driver caused fatal crash, report says

LOUISVILLE A Prospect man who drove a truck that caused an accident killing two teenagers on the Snyder Freeway earlier this month had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, according to toxicology reports released to the Courier-Journal yesterday.

When Mark Eberenz's pickup veered across the median on the night of July 9 and struck the teens' car, he was "intoxicated completely" with a blood-alcohol level of 0.25, according to Jefferson County Coroner Richard Greathouse. The legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Dr. Greathouse said the deaths of Jamie Parsley and her boyfriend, Andrew Cory Stauble two 16-year-olds who were headed home to make curfew after watching a movie at a friend's house would be ruled reckless homicides. All three died at the scene.


Order begins reburial of nuns

ST. LOUIS The remains of 752 nuns are being dug up and removed from a cemetery on the grounds of a one-time assisted-living center that was sold late last year.

The remains, buried between 1931 and 1998, are being relocated to Resurrection Cemetery in Affton from the 55-acre Villa Gesu property in north St. Louis.

Villa Gesu was sold last October for $2.9 million to Applied Scholastics International, which bought the complex to use as its headquarters and set aside $1 million for relocating the nuns' remains.


Poll: Voters undecided on legalizing marijuana

CARSON CITY Nevada voters are about evenly divided on whether they approve of a constitutional amendment to legalize possession of 3 ounces or less of marijuana, a statewide poll shows.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal survey of 625 registered voters found 44 percent backed the initiative to legalize marijuana on November statewide election ballots, while 46 percent opposed the idea.


Priest says bishop derailed his career

CONCORD A priest contends the Roman Catholic bishop of Manchester derailed his career to avoid a scandal about pornographic videos and images found in the home of another priest who had died.

The Rev. James A. MacCormack filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing Bishop John B. McCormack, the Diocese of Manchester and other church officials of waging a campaign to keep him silent about the pornography collection. Father MacCormack was suing for undisclosed damages.

The diocesan chancellor, the Rev. Edward Arsenault, denied the accusations and said Father MacCormack was just seeking money.


High school holds repeat graduation

MOUNT HOLLY About 150 Rancocas Valley Regional High School students have graduated, again. Rain washed away the school's original commencement on June 18 before about one-third of the 456 graduates got to the stage to receive their diplomas.

The repeat graduation was arranged after some parents made their disappointment known at a school board meeting. This time, officials took the weather out of the equation. The ceremony was inside.

"I think it was the right thing to do," said Henry G. Cram, superintendent of the Burlington County district.


Republican's offer to Greens deemed legal

SANTA FE The chairman of the state Republican Party violated no state laws in offering campaign contributions to the Green Party if it runs candidates in two congressional races, the state attorney general said.

John Dendahl approached the Greens last month with an offer of potential campaign contributions of at least $100,000 from an unidentified interest group. The Green Party declined the proposal.

"While it seems apparent that Mr. Dendahl's actions were an attempt to manipulate the election process, it does not appear that Mr. Dendahl's conduct is subject to criminal sanctions by our state courts," Attorney General Patricia Madrid said in a letter.


Sharpton cites HBO in libel lawsuit

NEW YORK The Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday filed a $1 billion libel lawsuit against the HBO cable TV network for airing an FBI videotape of him apparently being approached about a cocaine deal.

The lawsuit claims "defamation, libel and slander," and demands $500 million in compensatory and $500 million in punitive damages from HBO Inc., HBO Real Sports, AOL-Time Warner Inc. reporter Bernard Goldberg and ex-mob captain Michael Franzese.

"I will not give in to a smear campaign," Mr. Sharpton said outside Manhattan Supreme Court after filing the lawsuit. "HBO had a responsibility to show any and all information that was available. By not doing so, what they did was to sanitize a mobster and criminalize a civil rights activist."


Authorities arrest kidnap suspect

GRAND FORKS A man wanted in the disappearance of a Wisconsin tavern worker more than a week ago was arrested in North Dakota.

Dale Milton Robinson, 29, was traced to a motel in Pembina after he tried to cross the Canadian border on a bus to Winnipeg but was turned back because he refused to sign entry papers, police said.

Mr. Robinson nicknamed Whale for his 6-foot-9, 259-pound frame was charged with kidnapping and theft in the disappearance of 33-year-old Deanna Scantlin.


Neighborhood seeks support against porn

PARK HILLS The City Council here is asking neighboring cities to join Park Hills in taking a stand against porn.

Park Hills officials say they are upset by Covington's attempt to rezone a 37-acre site to allow sexually oriented businesses. Mayor Michael Hellmann said the acreage borders Park Hills and is within sight of numerous homes, Park Hills Elementary School and several businesses.


City seeks officers with language skills

OKLAHOMA CITY The police department wants to hire more officers who speak Spanish, Vietnamese or Korean.

Only 19 of the more than 1,000 officers on the force now speak a foreign language fluently. Five more bilingual officers are in training at the police academy. Officials say it's becoming more difficult for officers to communicate with the public, whether they are mediating a domestic dispute, interviewing witnesses or helping change a flat tire.


City to institute new rental-housing code

CORVALLIS The city's new rental housing code is to take effect today, requiring landlords to provide tenants with proper plumbing, weatherproofing and heating.

The city will pay for the program by imposing an annual $8-per-unit fee, which landlords can pass on to their tenants by raising rent or increasing application fees.


Bank embezzler leaves prison after decade

CRANSTON A former bank president who is widely blamed for sparking the state's 1990 banking crisis was released yesterday after serving 10 years for embezzlement.

"I have a lot to make up for to a lot of people," Joseph Mollicone Jr. said after he emerged before dawn from a medium-security wing of the state prison in Cranston.

The state Parole Board voted in June to release Mr. Mollicone from prison, but rejected his proposal to sell furniture for minimum wage. His new release plan calls for him to do "office work and sales," the Providence Journal reported, but does not specify where.


State water usage may be restricted

COLUMBIA Local governments in 39 of South Carolina's 46 counties were given authority yesterday to restrict water usage as a state panel declared "extreme drought" conditions.

"It's hot, we're low on water, and we need rain," Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges said. "We've got a challenge on our hands. We can't do much about the rain, so I'm asking folks who live in the areas of extreme drought to use a little less water."

South Carolina is in its fifth year of drought status, where some communities are as much as a foot below normal in rainfall so far this year.


Texas A&M removed from bonfire lawsuits

FORT WORTH A judge removed Texas A&M University and school officials as defendants in federal court claims filed for victims of the 1999 bonfire collapse that killed 12 and injured 27.

U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent ruled Tuesday that governmental immunity applied to the school in federal court. The university and its employees are still named in several lawsuits filed in state court.

All the lawsuits seek unspecified amounts for damages. Texas caps lawsuit damages against government agencies and their employees at $500,000.

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