- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2002

ARIZONA
Court will hear case on Arizona gambling
PHOENIX Attorneys for the state and its racetrack industry will meet in a San Francisco courtroom todayto argue the future of casino-style gambling in Arizona.
The hearing before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes a year after a federal judge upended Arizona's Indian-gaming landscape, and as three gaming campaigns sharpen their appeals to Arizona voters.
"The shape of gaming in Arizona in years to come will be a consequence of the initiatives and how this court question is resolved," Scott Bales, who is arguing the case for the state, told the Arizona Republic.
It's too late for a ruling to derail the three competing gambling initiatives on the general election ballot. But a ruling before the Nov. 5 election could change the spin from the various gaming camps.

ARKANSAS
Court strikes down same-sex law
LITTLE ROCK The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that a law barring sexual relations between people of the same sex was an unconstitutional invasion of privacy.
The Legislature passed the law in 1977, and apparently it has never been used to prosecute anyone.
The seven plaintiffs challenged the law, though, because they don't want their conduct to be considered illegal, according to the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, which represented them.
"We agree that the police power may not be used to enforce a majority morality on persons whose conduct does not harm others," the court said in the ruling.

CALIFORNIA
Man shoots girlfriend, keeps her in garage
BIG BEAR LAKE A man shot his girlfriend in the abdomen, arm and leg, then kept her in his garage for six days while treating her wounds but refusing to call for help, police said. A family friend finally learned of the situation and called authorities.
Christina Stebbins, 35, was in critical condition late Saturday at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Her boyfriend, Christian Leroy Lindblad, 36, was arrested and booked for investigation of attempted murder, San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies said. He was being held on $500,000 bail.

FLORIDA
Drowning deaths ruled accidental
FORT PIERCE, Fla. Three brothers found dead in a neighbor's pool drowned accidentally, authorities said Saturday.
No foul play is suspected in the deaths of the boys, ages 9, 7 and 4, said Merv Waldron, an investigator for the Medical Examiner's Office.
It still is not clear how the boys entered the yard, which is enclosed by a 6-foot-tall wooden fence, a police spokeswoman said. Resident Julia Mendoza found the bodies when she arrived home from work Friday afternoon.

GEORGIA
Boy fatally injured by explosive device
CUSSETA A 5-year-old boy died yesterday of injuries suffered when an explosive device blew up near a truck trailer where he was playing with his sister.
Sammy Evans died at a Columbus hospital. His 7-year-old sister, whose name wasn't released, was treated for minor injuries and released, officials said.
The device exploded while the children, visiting from Philadelphia, Miss., were playing outside their great-grandmother's palm-reading shop.

ILLINOIS
American Muslims seek help for refugees
ROSEMONT Muslim refugees torn from their homelands by war and other violence face a daunting task trying to forge new lives in the United States, advocates said at a weekend conference.
Although they receive some federal assistance, they do not have an organized structure of Islamic faith-based organizations to turn to for spiritual recovery, University of Chicago Assistant Professor Abdul Basit said at the regional conference held by the Islamic Society of North America.
There are an estimated 500,000 Muslim refugees in the United States, said Sayyid Syeed, secretary-general of the Islamic Society, an umbrella organization for Islamic groups throughout the United States and Canada.

INDIANA
Town tries to save film icon's high school
FAIRMOUNT Time may be running out to save the historic Indiana high school attended by 1950s icon James Dean, "Rebel Without A Cause" star.
Residents have discussed converting Fairmount High School into a community center, a new library or apartments for senior citizens.
The town of Fairmount, about 45 miles northeast of Indianapolis, is applying for a $30,000-to-$50,000 state grant to fund a feasibility study.
The school has been vacant since 1986, when it was closed after districts were consolidated.
"That feeling you are in Fairmount is so strong you can almost touch it," Judy Cowling, president of Historic Fairmount Inc., said at a meeting to support preservation. "That feeling is echoed in our buildings."

KANSAS
Woman's questions spur hospital probe
WICHITA Police are investigating reports of a woman visiting hospitals in Wichita and Salina and asking suspicious questions about areas where newborn babies are kept.
The woman showed up at Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Joseph Campus about 10 a.m. Friday, said Wichita police Sgt. Michael Hennessy.
Dressed in hospital scrubs and a white lab coat, she asked a doctor several questions about the newborn baby unit before leaving, Sgt. Hennessy told the Wichita Eagle. The woman did not work at the hospital.
A woman matching her description paid a similar visit to a hospital in Salina, Sgt. Hennessy said. The woman was described as black, about 5-feet, 5-inches tall and slender, with shoulder-length black hair and a name tag with the name "Wagner."

MASSACHUSETTS
Trial to begin in 'racial holy war' case
BOSTON Police thought they had stumbled onto a simple counterfeiting case when an off-duty officer noticed a young woman passing a phony $20 to a Dunkin' Donuts cashier.
But authorities say they discovered a deeper plot: The counterfeiting was begin used to fund plans to blow up Jewish or black landmarks in Boston. Now a couple described by prosecutors as white supremacists are to go on trial today on federal charges they planned a bombing to ignite "a racial holy war."
Leo Felton, the son of civil rights activists, and Erica Chase, his pen pal while he was in prison, were arrested in April 2001 on counterfeiting charges.
Then police searched their apartment and found the bomb-making materials, including a 50-pound bag of ammonium nitrate the same type of fertilizer used by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

MISSISSIPPI
Spider bite causes activist to miss rally
JACKSON Jackson native Mary Paul Gray-Lewis had been traveling for six weeks with a group of students in protest of abortion only to miss Saturday's rally in her hometown because of a spider bite.
Miss Gray-Lewis, 19, a University of Southern Mississippi sophomore, was hospitalized in Baptist Medical Center, so her 13-year-old sister, Clare, stood in her place at the Right to Life of Jackson's annual Faith in Action Rally outside one of the city's two abortion clinics.
It was the third year that Crossroads, a pro-life crosscountry trek, has demonstrated in the Mississippi capital, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported.

MISSOURI
Environmental decision may halt barge traffic
KANSAS CITY In a decision that could halt barge traffic on a 250-mile stretch of the Missouri River, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife said Friday that two endangered species of shorebirds cannot be moved to accommodate the release of water from two dams.
The drought-stricken Missouri currently is at its minimum navigational flow, said Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Paul Johnston. To increase its flow, the corps planned to release water from the Gavins Point and Fort Randall dams in South Dakota.
Before doing that, however, the corps needed to move piping plovers and least terns two shorebirds that build their nests on islands and sandbars in the Missouri River. The Fish and Wildlife Service told the corps that under federal law, it cannot do that.

NEW JERSEY
31 hospitalized after deck collapse
POINT PLEASANT BEACH A deck at an oceanfront residence collapsed Saturday night during a party, resulting in injuries that required the hospitalization of 31 persons.
Police said several other people were treated at the scene. Most of the injuries involved cuts, bruises, broken bones, and injuries to the back, neck and pelvis. One person underwent surgery for an injury, said Police Chief Dan DePolo.
The 20-foot-by-12-foot deck was 10 feet off the ground. It gave way about 9:25 p.m. during the party, Chief DePolo said.
NEW YORK
Pilots who raised terror fears arrested
NEW YORK Two pilots whose low-flying jaunt through restricted airspace spurred fears of a possible July 4 terrorist attack were arrested Saturday at a New Jersey airport, police said.
Pilots Andre Morais and Daniel Oliveria were picked up by Wall Township police after each landed at Monmouth Executive Airport, formerly known as Allaire Airport.
They were returning from a day of flying small planes with advertising banners attached, according to the Queens District Attorney's Office. The men were being held in New Jersey on charges of reckless endangerment.

OHIO
Office fields sex-abuse claims
CLEVELAND All the years that Terry Flanagan and Barbara Alflen have worked for the Roman Catholic diocese didn't prepare them for the temporary jobs they accepted in April: running a diocesan office that responds to people claiming to have been sexually abused by priests.
"We were all raised believing these things couldn't happen," Mr. Flanagan said recently. "I think we are all kind of growing up and realizing they could, they did, and it needs to change."
Mr. Flanagan and Miss Alflen were asked to set up the office to respond to abuse charges. They have since fielded about 300 calls and countless e-mail messages.

PENNSYLVANIA
Man with HIV jailed for unprotected sex
CORRY An HIV-positive man was sentenced to eight-to-16 years in prison for having unprotected sex with two teen-age girls and soliciting sex from a third.
James Willison, 37, pleaded guilty in June to two counts of aggravated assault for having sex with the minors and for failing to tell them he was HIV positive. He also pleaded guilty to corruption of minors for giving alcohol to a third girl and asking her to perform oral sex.
The two girls who had sexual relations with Willison so far have not tested positive for HIV, a prosecutor said.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Relic finds new role against bioterrorism
CHARLESTON Experts studying bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction are using experiments conducted with the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, which sank with its eight-man crew in 1864, to gauge potential effects of radiation on DNA.
Researchers tested remains donated to science with both kinds of ionizing radiation and found there was no appreciable DNA deterioration. Though the results offered little help to the Civil War sub X-rays were hindered by the sub's iron hull, and gamma rays had trouble penetrating the wet sand inside the research served another purpose.
The experiments' results might help protect researchers handling bodies infected with lethal anthrax, said Jamie Downs, Alabama's chief medical examiner and a member of the Hunley's forensic science team.

TENNESSEE
Black farmers end sit-in
BROWNSVILLE Black farmers ended a sit-in at a Department of Agriculture office after federal officials agreed to meet with them this week to discuss their claims of discrimination.
The 15 protesters said department field offices wrongly denied crop loans to black farmers. The sit-in began July 1 following a rally by 150 farmers and their supporters from 11 states.
Protest leader Gary Grant said demonstrators would start meeting with Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman's representatives tomorrow and meet with her on Friday.
The meetings were offered in a letter from the department to the Black Farmers and Agriculturalist Association last week.

UTAH
FBI enhances tape in girl's disappearance
SALT LAKE CITY The FBI is trying to enhance a security videotape from a hospital parking lot a half-mile from the home where a 14-year-old girl was taken from her bedroom at gunpoint.
The videotape from Shriners Hospital shows two cars meeting in the parking lot hours before Elizabeth Smart disappeared June 5. A security guard described one driver as vaguely similar to the man Elizabeth's sister saw in their shared bedroom that night.
Authorities are reconstructing a one-minute portion of the videotape, FBI Special Agent Kevin Eaton said.

VERMONT
Anti-nuclear groups try to stop plant sale
MONTPELIER Two anti-nuclear groups have begun a last-ditch bid to stop the sale of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant, saying the buyer can't be trusted to follow state regulation.
The New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution and Citizens Awareness Network are asking the Public Service Board to host an entirely new set of hearings on the proposed sale.
The board approved the sale to Mississippi-based Entergy Nuclear with conditions on June 13. But one of those conditions that any extra money in the plant's decommissioning fund be returned to ratepayers has prompted Entergy to ask the board to reconsider.
At a hearing last week, Entergy said if the board refuses to remove the condition from its approval of the deal, Entergy may ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to overrule the state decision.

WASHINGTON
Ceremonies mark wildfire's anniversary
WINTHROP The Thirty Mile wildfire was the deadliest in seven years: an abandoned campfire, fueled by drought and heat, raged across thousands of acres and killed four firefighters trapped in a dead-end canyon.
One year later, the July 10, 2001, tragedy may end up making the woods a safer place to be, the Forest Service says.
"I think the fact that Thirty Mile was such a tragedy and became such a big deal, people are more cautious," said Forest Service veteran Jim Furlong, the assistant fire manager for the Okanogan and Wenatchee national forests.

WISCONSIN
Houdini trick performed for stamp unveiling
APPLETON Harry Houdini would have been proud.
A trick often performed by the master of escapes was repeated outside the Houdini Historical Center on Friday for the hometown's introduction of the 37-cent Harry Houdini stamp.
Magician Mike Schroeder was strapped into a straitjacket by Mayor Tim Hanna and hoisted by his feet 40 feet above the audience. Mr. Schroeder slipped the straitjacket five minutes later and received a standing ovation.
The stamp was issued by the U.S. Postal Service last week to mark the 100th anniversary of the Society of American Magicians.
Mr. Houdini, born Ehrich Weiss in Budapest, Hungary, in 1874, grew up in Appleton after his family left Europe.


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