- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 9, 2002

NEBRASKA

Flash flood soaks 65 mobile homes

OGALLALA Up to 4 feet of water flooded at least 65 mobile homes evacuated in a flash flood, leaving items soaked and full of mud.

On Saturday 10 inches of rain fell, washing out roads and causing one fatal traffic accident. Much of Ogallala escaped major damage, but businesses to the southeast, including restaurants, hotels and a truck stop, were flooded with water.

Residents of three evacuated mobile home parks were allowed back to their homes to retrieve belongings Sunday, but they won't be allowed to stay until utilities are restored.


ARIZONA

Consulate issues warning to migrants

The Mexican Consulate in Nogales has issued a warning to would-be illegal entrants about yet another threat to their safety on crossing the border: smugglers pushing cocaine on them as a way of staving off fatigue and dehydration.

The consulate released a bulletin warning migrants that "polleros," or people traffickers, are administering "large doses of drugs, principally cocaine" to migrants on the pretext that it will mitigate the effects of fatigue and dehydration. The warning was made last week after an interview with a Mexican man who was hospitalized for heat exposure, said consulate spokesman Roberto Burgos.


ARKANSAS

Train buffs predict Amtrak will continue

LITTLE ROCK Passenger-train advocates say Amtrak will have to make a major investment in Arkansas before passenger-rail service in the state can be profitable.

But even the most die-hard train buffs admit such a commitment isn't likely. Instead, they predict Amtrak's Texas Eagle, which carried 22,333 Arkansas passengers in 2001, will continue to roll through the state with limited stops and a constant threat of shutdown.

The Eagle travels between Chicago and Dallas, with stops in Walnut Ridge, Little Rock, Malvern, Arkadelphia and Texarkana. It is the only Amtrak train serving the state.


CALIFORNIA

Officer suspended after taped beating

INGLEWOOD A police officer was suspended yesterday after he was shown on a videotape slamming a handcuffed teenager onto the back of a car and striking him during an arrest.

Police Lt. Eve Irvine said 16-year-old Donovan Jackson lunged at a sheriff's deputy, and a physical altercation occurred before a bystander began taping the arrest at a gas station Saturday. Inglewood Officer Jeremy Morse, a three-year veteran, was suspended with pay.

The videotape, taken by a tourist from a motel across the street, shows the prone teenager hoisted to his feet by Officer Morse and slammed onto the trunk of a police car. The officer slugged him and then appeared to choke him.


COLORADO

Forest Service worker faces tough sentence

The Forest Service worker accused of unleashing Colorado's largest wildfire is facing a sentence longer than most, as federal prosecutors toughen their approach to fire-law enforcement.

The two main federal charges against Terry Barton, 38, carry a minimum sentence of 17 years, which exceeds the norm for convictions on those counts. One of those charges, damaging federal property with fire, has carried a median sentence of four years since fiscal 1997, an analysis by the Rocky Mountain News shows. Mrs. Barton's potential sentence on this charge is seven years, increased because a firefighter broke his arm while battling the blaze.

Prosecutors also filed another charge, using fire to commit a felony, that carries a mandatory additional sentence of 10 years. Two other charges against Mrs. Barton carry more penalties, although those familiar with the federal system said it is unlikely a judge would tack those on if Mrs. Barton is convicted of the more serious counts.


FLORIDA

State's high court delays executions

TALLAHASSEE Two executions set for this week were put off yesterday by the Florida Supreme Court so it can consider whether the state's capital-punishment law is constitutional.

Word of the indefinite stays came six hours before the scheduled execution of convicted murderer Linroy Bottoson, 64, by lethal injection. Convicted killer Amos King, 47, had been scheduled for execution tomorrow.

The stay gives the state justices time to consider the effect of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month in an Arizona case that the death-penalty laws there and in four other states were unconstitutional. The court ruled that juries and not judges must decide facts needed to warrant death penalties, but it was silent about similar laws in Florida and three other states where juries play limited roles but judges make the final decisions.


GEORGIA

University prexy retires amid crisis

MARIETTA Life University announced the retirement of its president and founder yesterday as the nation's largest chiropractic school struggles through an accreditation crisis.

Sid Williams founded Life in 1974 and led it to national prominence, with an enrollment of about 2,600 chiropractic students and 700 students in other degree programs.

The Council on Chiropractic Education revoked Life's accreditation June 10, citing a number of deficiencies, including problems with faculty oversight and diagnostic instruction. The loss of accreditation means future Life graduates would not be able to take licensing exams to become practicing chiropractors.


INDIANA

Man chargedwith bigamy

MUNCIE A man was charged with bigamy after his wife found his name in a newspaper listing of marriage licenses.

Leo D. Youngblood, 26, was charged last week with bigamy, a felony carrying a 1½-year prison term. An initial hearing was set for Thursday in a circuit court.

Mr. Youngblood married Rebecca J. Copley on April 10 while still married to Michelle Youngblood, according to prosecutors. Michelle Youngblood reported the second marriage to police after she saw her husband's name in the marriage-license listings.


IOWA

Two dead, three injured from sewer gas

DES MOINES Two construction workers were overcome by sewer gas and died yesterday. Three others were injured.

The workers were in a 16-foot trench at an industrial area on the east side of Des Moines.


KENTUCKY

Cyclists battle aggressive drivers

LOUISVILLE David Zoller doesn't own a car and refuses to get a driver's license choices meant to make a point about the modern world's favorite form of transportation.

Mr. Zoller and a small band of young cyclists in the Louisville area are attempting to fight what they view as an aggressive army of drivers with the passive-aggressive tactics of Critical Mass, an advocacy group with a unique strain of civil disobedience they stage slow bicycle rides designed to jam busy thoroughfares.

Mr. Zoller's favorite way to travel, on a bicycle, doesn't pollute the air with noise and noxious fumes, nor, he says, does it endanger other users of Louisville's streets. But some of those other users motorists all too often endanger him, he said.


MAINE

Elderly-suicide rate one of nation's highest

BANGOR Maine's elderly-suicide rate is among the nation's highest, according to a recent assessment, and state officials are trying to find out why.

Three weeks ago, the Fordham Institute for Innovation in Social Policy gave Maine a grade of D for its elderly-suicide rate.

Between 1996 and 2000, more than 160 men and women older than 65 took their own lives. Most were men, and most used guns.

A youth task force commissioned by the governor has worked on the issue of teen-suicide prevention since the mid-1990s, but Maine has never studied elderly suicide. It has not looked to see whether victims first reached out for services, what their living situations were, or what the dead might have in common.


MASSACHUSETTS

Jury selection begins in bomb-plot case

BOSTON Jury selection began yesterday in the federal trial of a suspected white-supremacist couple accused of plotting to bomb Jewish and black landmarks in Boston in hopes of touching off a "racial holy war."

Leo Felton, 31, and Erica Chase, 22, are charged with offenses including conspiracy, making counterfeit bills, obstruction, and firearms and explosives violations. Miss Chase faces up to 35 years in prison, while Mr. Felton could get a life sentence.

Miss Chase told authorities she and Mr. Felton were planning to detonate a bomb on a beach for "entertainment." She said the two did not plan to hurt anyone.


MICHIGAN

Son beats father in pit-spitting contest

EAU CLAIRE The Young Gun was a little better than the Pellet Gun.

Rick "Pellet Gun" Krause a 12-time winner of the annual Cherry Pit Spitting Championship was defeated by his eldest son, Brian "Young Gun" Krause on Saturday.

Brian Krause, 24, spit a cherry pit 61 feet, 2 inches to beat his 48-year-old father, who topped out at 55 feet, 10 inches.

Rick Krause's youngest son, 19-year-old Matt "BB Gun" Krause, was third with a distance of 45 feet, 2½ inches.

"This is the first time we ever did that," Brian Krause said of the one-two-three finish. Brian's son, Braden Krause, won the under-5 division with a spit of 14 feet, 4 inches.


MINNESOTA

Heroin resurging in the Twin Cities

Heroin is making a comeback in the Twin Cities.

It's not quite as prevalent as it was in the 1970s, but it's growing as the drug of choice for many. Hennepin and Dakota counties have seen increases in police confiscations and fatal overdoses, and Ramsey County medical personnel have reported more heroin users coming to emergency rooms in crisis.

It's a nationwide trend: The drug is cheaper and more potent, and now it's often smoked or snorted rather than injected.

"Heroin's always been in the Twin Cities, but it's never been this great in quantity or purity," said Carol Falkowski, a researcher at the Hazelden Foundation in Center City, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.


MONTANA

State's Democrats look to the future

BILLINGS Terry Murphy made the most difficult decision of his life nearly two years ago, when he left the party he long represented in the state Legislature and declared himself a Republican.

"I haven't changed my core beliefs, but I find more acceptance in the Republican Party," the Three Forks farmer said. "I know a lot of people who were traditional Democrats and feel that the party is threatening their livelihood in agriculture, mining or petroleum."

For Montana Democrats, image is among the challenges they face in mounting a serious effort to reclaim a piece of a political landscape that was once highly competitive, but recently dominated by Republicans. Whether they can do that is the core question swirling around the party's future in Montana.

Democrats have not controlled the Legislature since 1995 and have not occupied the governor's office since 1988.


NEW YORK

Closing arguments heard in Louima case

NEW YORK An ex-patrolman accused of helping torture Abner Louima in a police precinct bathroom made the mistake of thinking his fellow officers would never turn him in, a prosecutor said yesterday.

"This is a story about some very brave people," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Smith said during closing arguments at the retrial of Charles Schwarz. "I'm talking about the police officers who came forward with what they saw, despite the fact they would be labeled 'traitors' and 'rats.'" But Mr. Schwarz's attorney, Ronald Fischetti, said witnesses mixed up his client with another former officer, Thomas Wiese.

Mr. Schwarz was convicted in 1999 of violating Mr. Louima's civil rights after the Haitian immigrant was arrested in a street brawl. He was accused of pinning Mr. Louima while another officer, Justin Volpe, sodomized him with a broken broomstick in 1997. His conviction was tossed out earlier this year by a federal appeals court that found that his attorney did not defend him adequately and that the jury was tainted by news reports.


OREGON

FBI: Violent crime down statewide

SALEM Violent crime decreased statewide in 2001, from 20 percent in Portland to 1 percent in Salem, according to recently released FBI statistics.

Eugene saw a 5 percent drop in violent crime, but nationwide violent crime increased by 0.3 percent.

Nonviolent crime increased considerably in Salem, but dropped in some other Oregon cities.

In Salem, burglary and larceny increased by 11 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Car thefts rose 16 percent triple the national rate of increase, the FBI said. In Portland, however, nonviolent crime decreased, and in Eugene, car theft dropped 11 percent and burglary fell 10 percent.


PENNSYLVANIA

Car stolen with baby inside

Lisa Hughes said she was trying to track down her lost cell phone when she ran inside the Giant Eagle in Harmar on Sunday, leaving her sport utility vehicle running, with the doors unlocked and her 1-year-old son sleeping in his car seat.

"I pulled up to the store. I asked the [grocery workers] to watch him for me for one second. I come running out, and my vehicle is being put in reverse," said Miss Hughes, who saw a man drive off in her 1995 Ford Explorer with her son, Triston Smathers, inside. Police found the car with the baby in it, but the man was gone.

Meanwhile, Miss Hughes stood outside a hospital in tears after learning that Allegheny County Children, Youth and Families was putting her son in protective custody for 72 hours to conduct an investigation.


TENNESSEE

Men tackle robbery suspect

Andy Davenport, 24, and Guy Webb, 23, were making their fifth trip to a Home Depot in Knoxville after learning they had bought the wrong part for a washing-machine installation job the roommates had tackled. They wound up tackling a man accused of many local robberies as he supposedly fled a nearby pizza restaurant police said he had robbed.

"I guess fifth time's a charm," Mr. Davenport told News-Sentinel in Knoxville.

Police investigators had been trying to solve a string of robberies committed in the past several weeks by a knife-wielding suspect they now believe is the man Mr. Davenport and Mr. Webb disarmed and tackled.

That man, identified by police as Justin Vineyard, 21, faces five robbery charges in connection with his reputed involvement in a robbery spree that began weeks ago and ended Sunday after a heist at a pizza restaurant near the Home Depot.


TEXAS

Pastor, brother charged in beating of boy, 11

AUSTIN Police in Austin accused a pastor and his twin brother yesterday with beating an 11-year-old boy nearly to death for misbehaving during Bible class.

After saying he was whipped for an hour and a half with a tree limb last week, Louie Guerrero spent four days sedated with morphine, recovering in intensive care at Children's Hospital of Austin. A nurse told investigators that the injuries caused the child's kidneys to fail, and that he needed a blood transfusion to live.

Police have charged 23-year-old Joshua Thompson, who oversees a Spanish-speaking congregation that meets at Capital City Baptist Church, and his brother, Caleb, with injury to a child, a felony.


VERMONT

Jefferson scholar owns huge private collection

RIPTON Surrounded by national forest, the spot at the end of a gravel road doesn't look like the site of an exhaustive library of political thought.

But the property of Sydney "Chip" Stokes Jr. houses a massive collection of writings about Thomas Jefferson, which has grown to include more than 3,000 titles since Mr. Stokes started it as a hobby nearly 20 years ago.

Merrill D. Peterson, author of "Thomas Jefferson and the New Nation" and other books about the third president, has described Mr. Stokes' collection as "probably the best library of Jefferson books and materials in private hands in the United States."

During the years, Mr. Stokes, 57, said, his admiration for the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence 226 years ago has turned into a "full-time obsession." Mr. Stokes said he appreciates Jefferson's beliefs about self-government and natural aristocracy.


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