- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 26, 2002

Air Force drone crashes in Kuwait
An unmanned Air Force aircraft returning from a routine surveillance mission in Iraq crashed yesterday at an airfield in Kuwait as it was preparing to land, the military said.
The cause of the drone's crash was under investigation, said Lt. Cmdr. Bruce Erickson of U.S. Central Command, based in Tampa, Fla. The crash was not the result of enemy fire, he said.
The Predator, which crashed at about 8:30 a.m. EDT, had been on a mission in support of Operation Southern Watch, part of the international response to Iraqi noncompliance with a U.N. Security Council resolution passed after the Persian Gulf war. U.S. and British warplanes have been monitoring no-fly zones over southern and northern Iraq since shortly after the war to protect Kurdish and other minority and opposition groups.
The Predator is an unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance system designed to provide military commanders with high-resolution, real-time imagery. Cmdr. Erickson said ground support personnel had retrieved the drone.

Summer camp clergy face abuse charges
GILMANTON, N.H. A Roman Catholic summer camp for children has become a target of sex-abuse accusations from former campers, including a man who said he was sexually assaulted in the chapel by a former camp director in 1972.
According to court records and interviews with purported victims and their lawyers, at least eight clergymen, some purportedly with multiple victims, face accusations involving Camp Fatima, a collection of lakeside cabins run by the Diocese of Manchester.
County prosecutor Lauren Noether would not disclose the number and nature of accusations under investigation at the camp, which is host to several hundred boys ages 6 to 15 each summer.
Authorities do say all the purported assaults happened at least a decade ago.
"There was some bad stuff going on there. There had to be some complete breakdown in administrative supervision of the place," said Peter Hutchins, who represents four men who say they were molested at the camp.

Pet hippo seized from man's yard
SAN DIEGO California fish and game officials are investigating a San Diego-area man who kept a rare 500-pound pygmy hippopotamus as a pet in his suburban back yard for at least a decade, a newspaper reported yesterday.
Surprised state officials seized the female hippo, believed to be 12 to 15 years old, from Arthur Stehly, a resident of Escondido. He has more than 100 animals living on his property, including emus, peacocks, geese, goats and ducks, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it," state game warden Zeke Awbrey told the newspaper. "No one expects to find a giant hippo living in someone's backyard."

Four found guilty in smuggling case
KEY WEST, Fla. Four Florida men, including one who lent his boat for the plan, have been convicted on charges related to smuggling Cubans over the Florida Straits into the United States, authorities said yesterday.
Mario Vilan Polier and Pedro Arrieta were found guilty on Friday by a Key West court of conspiracy to smuggle and the smuggling of foreigners into the country, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The other two, Miguel Humberto Armas Plasencia and William Gonzalez, were convicted of conspiracy to smuggle illegal migrants.

Firefighters struggle in national forest
TRUCHAS, N.M. Rugged terrain, wind and dry conditions hampered firefighters trying to contain a fast-moving blaze in the Santa Fe National Forest.
"All that put together is going to make it last for a while," said Charlie Jankiewicz, a fire information officer for the forest. "It's going to be a week to 10 days before they get a line around it."
The fire, which had forced the evacuation of about 350 homes on Thursday, had nearly doubled in size by yesterday, covering more than 10,000 acres. It was burning about 40 miles north of Santa Fe.
"It looks like it's starting to pick up steam," said Jim Whittington, another fire information officer.
The fire was moving northeast, away from the town of Truchas, and was preceded by wind blowing hot embers.


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