- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 28, 2002

Millionaire resentenced, spared death penalty
MIAMI A British millionaire who had been on death row for the 1986 slayings of two business rivals was spared the death penalty at his resentencing yesterday and was instead given 25 years-to-life in prison.
Circuit Judge Jerold Bagley agreed with a jury's recommendation in the case of Krishna Maharaj, 63, who was convicted in the shooting deaths of a father and son.
He was originally given the death sentence, which was overturned four years ago on appeal and a new sentencing ordered.

Pataki plans Trade Center tag
NEW YORK New York Gov. George E. Pataki has proposed legislation to create a commemorative World Trade Center automobile license plate to raise money for a September 11 relief fund, a statement yesterday from Mr. Pataki's office said.
Vehicle owners applying for the distinctive tags would pay $25 on top of the standard registration fee, which would be channeled to the World Trade Center Relief Fund established by Mr. Pataki in the wake of the attacks, the statement said.
According to the statement, the fund has written checks for $33.6 million to aid the families of victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and the crash of United Flight 93 in western Pennsylvania.

First officers graduate since September 11
NEW YORK The first class of new police officers to join the New York City Police Department since it lost 23 officers on September 11 graduated yesterday from the police academy in a ceremony presided over by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
"I congratulate this group of men and women for embarking upon an extraordinary and fulfilling career in the New York City Police Department," Mr. Bloomberg said.
According to a statement from Mr. Bloomberg's office, 1,359 new officers graduated after completing an eight-month training regimen that included duty related to the September 11 attacks, the New Year's Eve celebration at Times Square and the World Economic Forum.

Lawmaker urges soda-pop tax
SACRAMENTO, Calif. A California lawmaker has proposed slapping a tax on popular soft drinks to help reduce rocketing rates of childhood obesity.
The bill proposed by state Sen. Deborah Ortiz would offer schools incentives to drop lucrative soft-drink contracts.
"It is not my intention to demonize soda," Sen. Ortiz, a Democrat from Sacramento, said in a statement sent yesterday, adding that moderate soda consumption was not harmful.
Sen. Ortiz's bill, due to be taken up by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on April 10, would charge manufacturers and distributors 21 cents per one gallon of bottled drinks and $2 per gallon of syrup used to create soft drinks in soda fountains. Consumers could be expected to absorb the additional cost, about 2 cents per 12-ounce can, according to Sen. Ortiz.

Raggedy Ann joins Toy Hall of Fame
SALEM, Ore. Raggedy Ann, a symbol of wholesomeness and simpler times, joined flashy Barbie as a National Toy Hall of Fame inductee yesterday, thanks in part to a letter-writing campaign by legions of fans.
The cloth doll, with reddish yarn hair, had been rejected four times by the selection panel. But both Ann and the jigsaw puzzle made the cut this year. Other inductees include Mr. Potato Head, the Hula-Hoop, the Slinky and Silly Putty.


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