- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 26, 2002

ALASKA
Police arrest man in murder-sex assault
ANCHORAGE Tina Shangin was sexually assaulted before being strangled in a wooded area off the Glenn Highway in Mountain View two years ago, police said yesterday.
Police arrested Lance Hinson, 34, Monday afternoon and charged him with first-degree murder, the Anchorage Daily News reported. He was scheduled to appear in Anchorage District Court yesterday afternoon.
The district attorney's office was preparing a criminal complaint against Mr. Hinson yesterday morning. Sgt. Ross Plummer, police homicide detective supervisor, declined to say what other charges Mr. Hinson might face until the court papers were filed.
Sgt. Plummer said DNA evidence linked Mr. Hinson to Miss Shangin's body, found on Aug. 6, 2000. The two were friends, and police believed they drank alcohol together in the woods on the day of the woman's death.

COLORADO
Children can sue at 18, court says
DENVER Parents of minors don't have to sign liability waivers for their children, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled, clearing the way for children to sue ski resorts for negligence once they turn 18.
In a case that could affect the state's entire recreation industry, the court said its Monday ruling was based on a 1978 law and other statutes that gave broad rights to children to file lawsuits once they reached majority age.
The justices overturned a lower-court ruling that would have barred lawsuits if a parent had signed a form acknowledging a sport's risk and waiving the right to sue in case of an accident.

CONNECTICUT
Five injured in plant explosion
GROTON A chemical drum exploded yesterday at a Pfizer Corp. research lab, injuring five persons, two critically, authorities said.
The explosion happened at about 8:15 a.m. inside a small facility used to store chemicals for making batches of test pharmaceuticals, Pfizer spokeswoman Liz Power said.
The chemical drum smoldered, then exploded, setting off a fire that was contained in the metal building, Miss Power said. She said she didn't know what chemical was in the drum or what caused it to explode.

FLORIDA
Cracks delay shuttle launch
CAPE CANAVERAL Tiny cracks were found in the propulsion systems of two space shuttles, prompting NASA to delay next month's planned flight of shuttle Columbia.
The launch had been scheduled for July 19, and no new date was set. In announcing the delay Monday, NASA said it should be only a few weeks. Columbia was scheduled to carry Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, and six Americans on a 16-day mission to conduct scientific research.
The cracks, one-tenth to three-tenths of an inch long, were found inside the main propulsion system's propellant lines on space shuttles Atlantis and Discovery. Some weren't visible to the naked eye.

GEORGIA
Ex-sheriff ordered rival killed, witness says
ALBANY A former sheriff ordered the brutal slaying of the man who defeated him in a run for re-election in hopes of winning back the position, his former deputy testified yesterday.
Patrick Cuffy, a key witness in the murder and racketeering trial of former DeKalb County Sheriff Sidney Dorsey, told a jury in Albany that he and three other men carried out a plot to murder Derwin Brown three days before he was to be sworn in as sheriff.
Mr. Brown was ambushed and shot 12 times in the driveway of his home on Dec. 15, 2000. He had pledged to root out corruption in the sheriff's department.

ILLINOIS
State to borrow $1 billion to pay bills
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS Illinois will borrow about $1 billion to help pay its bills, some of which are two to three months past due, Gov. George Ryan said.
Mr. Ryan said he expected a borrowing program to be in place by the end of this week. The short-term borrowing will not need legislative approval.
The state owes $1.22 billion in overdue bills to its vendors, particularly health care providers such as pharmacies and nursing homes that care for Medicaid patients.

INDIANA
City gets loan from casino, again
HAMMOND In an effort to fund a golf-course project, the city has turned to a source known for having plenty of cash: a casino.
The Hammond Redevelopment Commission voted 3-2 last week to borrow nearly $3 million from the Horseshoe Casino over the strong objections of those who said the casino was gaining too much leverage over the city.
"It bothers me that Horseshoe is acting as a bank for the city," said Carlotta King, a member of the Hammond Redevelopment Commission.

IOWA

Falun Gong practice gets official honor
DES MOINES The state this week is honoring Falun Gong, a meditation and exercise practice banned in China.
Falun Gong followers gathered on the steps of the Iowa Capitol on Saturday to celebrate the state's first official week devoted to the movement.
The sect, which claims millions of followers around the world including many in the United States, says the practice is peaceful and builds health.

KANSAS
Treatment, not jail, urged for drug offenders
LAWRENCE The Kansas Sentencing Commission is recommending that nonviolent drug offenders receive treatment rather than punishment.
The panel says the shift in philosophy would end the constant recycling of drug offenders through the criminal justice system and free up space in Kansas prisons.

LOUISIANA
Green groups peeved over pesticide approval
NEW ORLEANS Louisiana rice farmers have received emergency approval from the federal government to use a severely limited pesticide, a move that has angered bird groups.
The Environmental Protection Agency restricted the pesticide Furadan in the 1990s after more than 80 bird kills around the country. The substance hasn't been allowed on rice since 1998.
But Louisiana rice farmers say the two pesticides recommended for rice weevils don't work well and that the way they use Furadan doesn't kill birds.

MAINE
Ex-social worker guilty in 5-year-old's death
WISCASSET A former adoption caseworker was convicted of manslaughter yesterday for suffocating her 5-year-old foster daughter by using 42 feet of duct tape to cover her face and bind her to a highchair.
Sally Schofield, 41, could receive up to 40 years in prison in the 2001 death of Logan Marr. No sentencing date was set.
Prosecutors said Schofield used the duct tape during a disciplinary "time out." Investigators found clumps of hair, bloody froth and a label from the back of Logan's highchair stuck to strips of duct tape.

MASSACHUSETTS
Judge's husband hands over e-mail
BOSTON After 12 months of legal wrangling, the husband of Superior Court Judge Maria I. Lopez reluctantly handed over his personal e-mail messages yesterday to a court-appointed investigator who was reviewing Judge Lopez's judicial conduct in a child sexual-assault case, according to the Boston Herald.
Boston Phoenix publisher Stephen Mindich, who is married to Judge Lopez, said he complied with a subpoena from the Commission on Judicial Conduct after he and his attorneys concluded that their chances of being heard on this case by the U.S. Supreme Court were slim.
The Commission on Judicial Conduct indicated it wanted to examine Mr. Mindich's e-mail to see if he engaged in a behind-the-scenes campaign to drum up positive press to offset criticism aimed at Judge Lopez in the wake of her conduct in the case of Charles "Ebony" Horton, a transsexual convicted of attempted child rape.

MICHIGAN
Man convicted in death of Arab-American
DETROIT A man who told authorities he killed an Arab-American partly out of anger over the September 11 terrorist attacks was convicted yesterday of first-degree murder.
A jury took 3 hours to find Brent Seever guilty. Seever, 38, faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Police said Seever had been stalking his ex-girlfriend when he shot her boyfriend, Ali M. Almansoop, in front of her Lincoln Park home on Sept. 19. Mr. Almansoop, 44, emigrated from Yemen more than 30 years ago.

MISSISSIPPI
Execution date set for trooper's killer
JACKSON The state Supreme Court set a July 17 execution date for Tracy Alan Hansen, convicted in the 1987 killing of a state trooper in Harrison County.
Hansen's latest appeal, to the U.S. Supreme Court, was rejected a week ago.
Mississippi has not executed a state inmate since 1989, when Leo Edwards was put to death for killing a Jackson convenience store clerk.

NEBRASKA
Convicted murderer may be in Omaha
OMAHA A man charged with killing five persons in one day in Kansas City, Kan., might be in Omaha, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Omaha police found Darrell L. Stallings' car Monday. The 32-year-old is considered armed and extremely dangerous.
He is a convicted murderer who would face the death penalty if convicted in the most recent slayings.
Stallings was charged with killing five persons within several hours June 10 at three locations in Kansas City. The slayings happened shortly after Stallings and a friend were arguing at a club.
Stallings' Honda Accord was abandoned in downtown Omaha the week of the slayings, several sources said. The car wasn't connected by police to the homicides until Monday.

NEVADA
John Wayne Bobbitt back in jail
LAS VEGAS John Wayne Bobbitt was back in jail yesterday after authorities in Las Vegas accused him of violating terms of his house arrest.
His attorney, Barry Levinson, accused authorities of harassing Bobbitt, who gained fame in 1993 when his first wife cut off his penis.
Bobbitt was being held at the Clark County Detention Center for violating restrictions imposed by a Churchill County judge. The judge confined Bobbitt to his home after he was arrested May 13 in Las Vegas on an assault complaint by his wife of less than two months.
His first wife, Lorena Bobbitt, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the assault. She argued that Bobbitt had abused her.

NEW MEXICO
Forest Service trims plans for trout protection
SILVER CITY The U.S. Forest Service reduced to 21.3 miles the stretches of streams it intended to poison to protect the endangered Gila trout. The agency initially proposed 41.5 miles of streams.
The agency said it would eliminate non-native trout by gradually applying the chemical antimycin to tributaries along the West Fork of the Gila River. Then the agency would stock the streams with hatchery-reared Gila trout.

NEW YORK
4-year-old boy dies after body burned
SYRACUSE A 4-year-old boy died early yesterday, less than three days after his 7-year-old brother poured lighter fluid on him and set him on fire, authorities said.
Nyquest Tearney suffered second- and third-degree burns over 85 percent to 95 percent of his body in the fire Saturday night. He died at Shriner's Children Hospital in Boston, where he had been taken Sunday.
Police have charged the 7-year-old, whose name was not released, with assault. Additional charges could be filed because the victim died, authorities said.

PENNSYLVANIA
Gas plant explosion critically injures three
RENO Explosions rocked a propane-supply company, setting off a fire that severely burned three employees and forced about 200 people to evacuate.
More than 20 fire departments sent crews Monday to the Goss Gas facility, about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh. The plant was still smoldering yesterday, and firefighters remained at the scene. However, residents were allowed to return home yesterday morning.
The injured victims two men and a woman, all in their 20s suffered burns over 30 percent to 35 percent of their bodies. They were listed in critical condition yesterday, police said.
The cause of the initial explosions was not immediately known.

TEXAS
Pro-choice leaders barred from speaking
AUSTIN The Roman Catholic diocese where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez was raised has banned him from speaking at its churches because of his support for abortion rights.
The Corpus Christi Diocese ban also applies to John Sharp, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.
Both Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Sharp are Catholics who say they personally oppose abortion but support a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy.
"That's being schizophrenic about it," Bishop Edmond Carmody said Monday. "That's saying, 'In my own home, I respect life, but when I'm in public office, I'm going to go with the pack.'"

UTAH
Police seize cars in kidnap case
SALT LAKE CITY Police investigating the kidnapping of a 14-year-old Salt Lake City girl said yesterday that they had confiscated three cars from a handyman who once worked for the girl's father and who is now at the "top of the list" of people they are questioning.
Police said the three cars included one that handyman Richard Albert Ricci had received from the girl's father, Ed Smart, in exchange for work he did at Mr. Smart's million-dollar Salt Lake City home. Police released the cars but kept a white 1990 Jeep Cherokee as possible evidence, saying that "some items" appeared to be missing from the vehicle. They declined to elaborate.
"We want information concerning the whereabouts of Mr. Ricci and his activities with any of these cars between May 31 and June 8," said Salt Lake City police spokesman Dwayne Baird.
Mr. Smart, whose daughter, Elizabeth, was snatched at gunpoint from her bedroom June 5, said he would have never hired Ricci if he had known about his criminal background, which includes a burglary conviction and a prison sentence for the attempted murder of a police officer in the early 1980s.

WISCONSIN
New bishop named to succeed Weakland
MILWAUKEE An auxiliary bishop in St. Louis was named by Pope John Paul II yesterday to succeed retired Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who stepped down last month amid sex-abuse accusations.
The Rev. Timothy M. Dolan will be installed Aug. 28 as head of an archdiocese that includes 685,000 Catholics in 10 southeastern Wisconsin counties.
Father Dolan, 52, said he wanted to be a man of hope and help guide parishioners through "a very sad and a very somber time" in history.
The pope accepted Father Weakland's resignation May 24 a day after he acknowledged a $450,000 settlement with Paul Marcoux, who said Father Weakland sexually assaulted him in 1979.


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