- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 14, 2002


72-year-old woman is high school 'senior'

JONESVILLE Junnie Kiersey is giving new meaning to the term "high school senior."

The 72-year-old decided two months ago that she wanted to be able to help her two great-grandchildren, 5 and 8, with their math homework. So she enrolled in an algebra class at Jonesville High School.

"I decided it was time for grandma to go back to school," she told the Hillsdale Daily News. "I figured if I can help them I'll be there, if the good Lord sees."

Her fans include Principal Andrew Parzych and her teacher, Dustin Scharer.

"If you could get an average student to put that much effort into their studies She's very determined," Mr. Scharer said.


Spruce arrives for holidays

NEW YORK The 76-foot-tall Norway spruce that once irked Mary Rizzo when it blocked the walkway to her house looked just perfect to her after it was put up yesterday as Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree.

The 7-ton tree was taken from the property of Mrs. Rizzo and her husband, Carmine, in Bloomsbury, N.J. In a first for a tradition that began in 1931, the tree was chosen based on a photograph sent in by the owners.

"We were here last year and looked at the tree and said, 'Gee, our tree is as nice as that,'" said Mrs. Rizzo, 65.

The tree, about 75 years old, was cut down Tuesday.


Fishing vessel runs aground

KODIAK The Coast Guard says a fishing vessel that ran aground at Afognak Island, north of Kodiak, is a Japanese ship believed to have sunk six months ago.

The 97-foot Genei Maru No. 7 was used to catch squid before it caught fire and was abandoned by its crew in the North Pacific last May.


Man frees girl trapped in washer

LONG BEACH A 6-year-old girl was trapped in a coin-operated washing machine that was filling with water until a passer-by saw her and smashed the appliance's window with a tire iron, authorities said.

The girl and her rescuer were taken to a hospital, where the child underwent surgery to repair cuts to her face and body. She was in stable condition. Kloeum Nhem, 36, received stitches for cuts on his arm and was released.

The girl was at the laundry with her mother Tuesday when she climbed into the front-loading machine and the door closed behind her, said Fire Department spokesman Wayne Chaney. When the wash cycle began, the door locked and she couldn't get out.

"It appears that some kids were playing, some siblings, and somehow she ended up in the washer," Mr. Chaney said.


Teenager injured when train hits car

CASTLE ROCK A teenager tried to push his girlfriend's stalled car off a railroad crossing, but he ended up moving the vehicle directly into the path of a train, which crushed it, investigators said.

Maureen Martin, 16, was in critical condition with head injuries yesterday at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.

Miss Martin and Vinny Veruchi, 17, were headed to school in separate cars Tuesday when her vehicle stalled partially on the tracks as the train was approaching.

Miss Martin looked back desperately as the crossing arms came down, and Mr. Veruchi stepped on the gas of his car, ramming Miss Martin's car and trying to push it off the tracks, said police Cpl. Ty Petersen.


NASA finds shuttle's oxygen leak

CAPE CANAVERAL NASA has found the oxygen leak that delayed space shuttle Endeavour's launch earlier this week, but now is trying to determine whether the ship's robot arm was damaged during inspections.

The countdown was halted with only two hours remaining Sunday night because of an abrupt leak in the astronauts' oxygen supply. The launch was postponed until Nov. 18 at the earliest.

NASA spokesman Bruce Buckingham said yesterday that the leak was traced overnight to a flex hose in Endeavour's midbody, and that the entire section of hose was removed.


Police arrest gubernatorial candidate

NEW PLYMOUTH The unsuccessful Libertarian candidate for governor was arrested after a six-hour standoff.

Police found Daniel Adams, 31, in his apartment with a sword and gun after neighbors reported gunshots. When police shot tear gas into the apartment, Mr. Adams jumped out a window.


Defense rests case in Carr brothers trial

WICHITA A radiologist testified yesterday that brain scans prepared for the defense of Reginald and Jonathan Carr showing brain damage had been purposefully manipulated and the results skewed.

Dr. Norman Pay testified that his analysis showed the brothers both had normal brains. He testified for the state as a rebuttal witness in the penalty phase of the capital-murder trial. The defense for the brothers rested its cases earlier yesterday.

Jurors convicted the brothers for the Dec. 15, 2000, deaths of Aaron Sander, 29; Brad Heyka, 27; Jason Befort, 26; and Heather Muller, 25. All four were shot execution style in the back of the head as they knelt side-by-side in a snow-covered soccer field.


Legislators seek clemency for murderer

FRANKFORT Nine state legislators asked Gov. Paul E. Patton to grant clemency to Kevin Stanford, who could be executed for a murder he committed when he was 17.

Stanford's lawyers have provided Mr. Patton numerous documents they believe support their plea to have his death sentence commuted to life in prison with no chance of parole.


Grant helps American Indians

ST. PAUL Millions of dollars descended from a railroad mogul's family was pledged to help tribal members reclaim millions of acres lost to fraud more than a century ago.

The Northwest Area Foundation will grant $20 million over the next decade to the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, which it helped form.

The grant, announced Tuesday, was believed to be the largest ever to an Indian-controlled organization, said Karl Stauber, president of the St.-Paul based Northwest Area Foundation.

The group's money comes from the family of James J. Hill, who ran the tracks of his Great Northern Railway across the Plains and through American Indian land, once wangling special legislation to transfer Montana reservation property to his railroad.


Re-enactors plan to protest Klan

BILOXI A group of Confederate re-enactors plans to demonstrate against the Ku Klux Klan if the Klan marches through Biloxi on Nov. 30.

Michael D. Kelley, colonel of the 37th Texas Cavalry re-enactors, said Confederate organizations should take a stand against racist groups using Confederate symbols. The re-enactors plan to hold signs opposing the KKK and furl their flags at the approach of any white-robed Klansmen.

"When the Klan comes around, we will turn our backs and drop our flags to show our disapproval," Mr. Kelley told the Sun Herald.

The KKK has received a permit to march along city sidewalks, but Mr. Kelley's group has not.


Court upholds lawon sexual comments

JEFFERSON CITY The Missouri Supreme Court upheld a law making it a misdemeanor to solicit sexual activity if the person knows the request "is likely to cause affront or alarm."

The court's 5-2 ruling came in the case of a 61-year-old man who made sexual comments to a 13-year-old girl at her parents' Springfield restaurant, where he was a frequent customer.


Fish and Game chief called unfit for office

CONCORD Attorney General Philip T. McLaughlin has asked the governor and Executive Council to remove Wayne E. Vetter as executive director of the state Fish and Game Department, the Manchester Union-Leader reports.

Saying Mr. Vetter is unfit to perform his duties, Mr. McLaughlin called for his discharge on the grounds of malfeasance and inefficiency of office in the petition drafted last Friday.

The attorney general claimed Mr. Vetter exposed himself, had improper physical contact with a female employee, made numerous sexual comments in the workplace, demonstrated a level of personal vindictiveness toward employees and exposed the state to potential liability for violations of federal sexual harassment statutes.


Banker wins slot-machine jackpot

ATLANTIC CITY Veterans Day was a banker's holiday, especially for Frederick Curcio Sr., 59, who was with five other bankers on their annual trip to the casinos when he hit it rich Monday.

He had been playing a $1 Wheel of Fortune slot machine at Harrah's Atlantic City for about 20 minutes when he won the $1,797,261.46 jackpot, which will pay him $89,858.12 annually for the next 20 years.

"I found an old wallet in my house and it had $240 in it. I used $20 from that wallet," he said.


Tulsa boy, 5, saves grandmother

TULSA A 5-year-old trying to save his great-grandmother's life can face a lot of obstacles.

Kaleb White can't read, and he's not allowed to walk outside alone so he couldn't get help from neighbors when his great-grandmother's pacemaker malfunctioned about three weeks ago in her Tulsa home. So Kaleb used some resourcefulness to get help for 75-year-old Rosalea Anderson, who couldn't move and was slipping in and out of consciousness, she said.

Kaleb, who's good with numbers, called his mother's and grandmother's cellular phones with no luck because each was out of the service area. So Kaleb dug in Mrs. Anderson's purse for her list of names and numbers. Kaleb knows the alphabet and scoured the list for his great-uncle Keith Matlock's name. He dialed the number next to the first "K" name.

The kindergartner recognized the voice on the answering machine, and his aunt Anette Matlock called back.


Police monitor resigns amid complaints

CINCINNATI The man appointed to oversee police-community relations as Cincinnati recovers from race riots in 2001 resigned yesterday after city officials complained that his bills were excessive.

A federal judge had hired Alan Kalmanoff for the city-paid position last month to oversee Cincinnati's agreement with the federal government to improve police operations and a separate settlement of a lawsuit that accused police of harassing blacks.

The City Council voted unanimously last week to challenge Mr. Kalmanoff's appointment. City officials objected to a $55,000 bill that Mr. Kalmanoff submitted for three weeks of work.


Six sentenced in race-riot deaths

YORK Six white men were handed sentences of up to three years in prison yesterday in the shooting death of a black woman during a 1969 race riot.

The defendants apologized before sentencing, but the victim's daughter complained that none, all teenagers at the time of the shooting, expressed any sorrow until faced with legal punishment. All six men pleaded guilty in August, and some testified against York's ex-mayor and two other white men. The mayor was acquitted; the others were found guilty.

Lillie Belle Allen of Aiken, S.C., died amid 10 days of violence between blacks and whites in York. A white policeman, Henry Schaad, was also killed, more than 60 people were injured and 100 arrested.

Arthur Messersmith, Rick Knouse, William Ritter and Clarence Lutzinger shot at the car. Chauncey Gladfelter and Tom Smith served as lookouts for the gang members gathered in the street.


Man sentenced in carjacking murders

PROVIDENCE A federal judge yesterday sentenced a man to 30 years in prison for his role in the carjacking murders of two college students, who were taken to a golf course and shot execution style.

Raymond Anderson had pleaded guilty to participating in the carjacking of Jason Burgeson, 20, of Lakeville, Mass., and Amy Shute, 21, of Coventry.

Three other persons have been sentenced to life in prison for their roles in the killings. A fifth suspect, Kenneth Day, was acquitted in federal court, but is in prison on an unrelated conviction and could still be charged for the carjacking.


Diamond broach, ring found aboard Hunley

NORTH CHARLESTON The commander of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley apparently went into his last battle with a $20 gold piece in one pocket and a diamond ring and diamond broach in another.

"We used to say that J.E.B. Stuart was the last cavalier, but I think you're going to have to put George Dixon in that same category," state Sen. Glenn McConnell, chairman of the South Carolina Hunley Commission, said .

Stuart was the Confederate cavalry commander who wore a plumed hat and cloak into battle. Dixon was the commander of the submarine that sank after sinking a Union blockade ship off Charleston in February 1864.


Escapee says he was forced into crime

SIOUX FALLS Anthony Flowers admitted in opening statements of his criminal trial Tuesday that he escaped from the Minnehaha County Jail, drove an Argus Leader editor to Sioux City against her will and took $84 from her in spring 2001, according to the Argus-Leader.

Flowers, who is defending himself without a lawyer, said he is "a victim of circumstances" whose escape was justified because he was assaulted in jail and because of a $500,000 extortion threat.

"I had to escape to protect myself and find the person who tried to extort a half-million dollars and forced me to rob banks," said Flowers.

Minnehaha County State's Attorney Dave Nelson said testimony will prove Flowers, 49, cut his way out of jail with a hacksaw blade, kidnapped city editor Maricarrol Kueter at knifepoint, threatened to kill her and robbed her.


Volunteers vaccinated against smallpox

NASHVILLE Vanderbilt University has given smallpox vaccinations to about 150 volunteers.

Doctors are researching what dosage level will protect people and whether the inoculations can spread the disease to the unvaccinated. Similar research is being done at the universities of Iowa and Cincinnati.

Officials last week said they would inoculate residents if smallpox is used in a terrorist attack.


FBI issues warning of hospital attacks

HOUSTON The FBI has received unconfirmed information from intelligence sources overseas that hospitals in four U.S. cities could be the targets of a terrorist threat.

Houston FBI spokesman Bob Doguim said last night the vague threat involved hospitals in Houston, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and mentioned a time between December and April.

"It's nonspecific, uncorroborated information, but nonetheless it is information we received," Mr. Doguim said. "Obviously the responsible thing to do is to share" the information.

A statement from the Chicago FBI office said the threat suggested an attack was timed for mid-December and the holidays.


Chicken-eating beagle shot, put on display

BREMERTON A chicken-eating beagle was killed last weekend and skewered with a sign warning other owners to keep their dogs away from the property owner's fowl.

But the dog's killer may not be in the wrong.

The sign read: "To the owner of this chicken killer: Now I'm waiting for the black German shepherd. For people with dogs you let run free, beware, they will be just like this one."

The beagle, who was picked up before for running at large, had gotten to the man's chickens and was shot, Rance McEntyre, Animal Control spokesman said.

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