- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2002

CONNECTICUT
Winds hamper ice-storm recovery
TORRINGTON Gusting winds sent ice-weakened trees crashing down across New England yesterday, frustrating crews as they worked to restore power to the 160,000 homes darkened by a Sunday nor'easter.
Schools were closed in parts of the region, and two highway deaths were blamed on icy conditions in Maine. In Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York, around 40,000 residences were still without electrical power last night as utility crews, their chain saws and wood chippers buzzing, worked to clear downed trees.
Shelters remained open as many residents prepared to spend a second night without electricity. In Torrington, Mayor Owen Quinn said yesterday that 10 persons whose homes had lost power were sent to a hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning after they apparently failed to properly vent their kerosene heaters.

PENNSYLVANIA
Zoo handler killed by elephant
PITTSBURGH A 3-ton elephant crushed its handler to death yesterday at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium during a routine trail walk before the facility opened, officials said.
Two zookeepers were walking the 18-year-old female African elephant and its 3-year-old calf when the 6,200-pound adult elephant stopped, said Barbara Baker, president and chief executive officer of the zoo.
When one keeper tried to get the animal moving, it hit him and knocked him to the ground, she said. The animal then pinned the worker with its head, crushing him, she said.
Officials called the incident unprovoked. Police were called, and other handlers were able to get the elephants back to their holding area.

ARIZONA
Tombstone paper calls for militia
TUCSON Cochise County's "official newspaper" has issued a call to arms and is spearheading the formation of a local militia to combat illegal immigration, the Arizona Daily Star reports.
Tucson activist Isabel Garcia said the Tombstone Tumbleweed's rhetoric is the latest manifestation of a vigilantism that has long existed in Cochise County with the acceptance and encouragement of local officials.
Miss Garcia said Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever's public friendship with groups like Glenn Spencer's American Patrol, the sheriff's lack of investigation into Roger and Don Barnett's armed detention of illegal entrants and the clear unwillingness on the part of Cochise County Attorney Chris Roll to investigate and prosecute the two brothers have given them credibility and encouraged groups like Texas-based Ranch Rescue and the new Tombstone Militia.

ARKANSAS
County to simulate smallpox vaccination
LITTLE ROCK Health workers in a northern Arkansas county plan mass inoculations this week to simulate a widespread vaccination that might be necessary in a smallpox outbreak.
Ten thousand doses of flu vaccine will be available at the Baxter County Fairgrounds in Mountain Home on Thursday, and flu shots will be given for free between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
State and local health officials are hoping for a big turnout.
"The more people who show up, the more accurate our assessment will be," said Donnie Smith, director of bioterrorism preparedness for the state. "It is a no-lose situation because we will be providing a valuable service in terms of the flu vaccine."

CALIFORNIA
Meteor shower could be best of century
PASADENA This week's Leonid meteor shower, which was expected early this morning, may be the largest such display until the end of the century, with possibly hundreds of meteors visible in the sky.
The annual meteor shower usually delivers only a few visible meteors. But hundreds per hour might be visible as they burn up in the atmosphere this time, scientists say.
"Even with the full moon, this year's Leonid will probably be better than any other for the next hundred years," Don Yeomans, an astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, said in a statement. "If you're ever going to see them, this might be the year to try."
The shower was predicted to have two peaks, each a couple of hours long, during which the most meteors can be seen, according to the lab. The shower's second peak, most prominent in North American skies, is expected today at 5:30 a.m. EST.

FLORIDA
Car trouble nearly foils eight Cubans' flight
MIAMI Eight Cubans who flew to the United States aboard a crop-duster last week almost didn't make it because of car trouble, one of them said Sunday.
Aldo Gutierrez Jimenez, 31, and his wife, Maryfleidis, 26, were among the group that arrived in Key West aboard a Soviet-era crop-duster Nov. 11.
Mr. Gutierrez told the Associated Press that the group hatched the plan the previous night at a birthday party for Mairiliam Orama, one of the passengers.
The plan required Mr. Gutierrez and the others to meet by 8:45 a.m. at an airfield just as the pilot, Nemencio Carlos Alonso Guerra, was coming in for a landing. Then, all would dash into the plane and take off for Key West. But about half a mile from the airfield, "The car broke down," Mr. Gutierrez said. "We had to replace a hose."

LOUISIANA
Child calls 911, reports drunken sitter
COVINGTON A babysitter with five children in her car was arrested for drunken driving after she passed out at a rest stop and one of her charges, a 7-year-old girl, used a cell phone to call 911.
Linda Hebert, 40, of Picayune, Miss., was found slumped over the steering wheel Sunday and the car was still running, the St. Tammany Parish sheriff's office said. The children were unhurt.
Her blood-alcohol level registered 0.27 on a breath test, well over the 0.10 limit, the report said. Deputies said they had to use pepper spray when she became "combative," and she remained jailed yesterday.
Two of the children, ages 5 and 9, were hers. The others, 4, 6 and 7, were left in her care by a woman who expected her to keep them in Picayune, more than 20 miles from the Interstate 12 rest stop near Covington where the car was found.

MASSACHUSETTS
Suspect arrested after stopping for beer
TAUNTON Perhaps if he wasn't so thirsty he would have gotten away with it.
Taunton police arrested a bank robbery suspect shortly after he popped into an American Legion two blocks from the scene of the crime for a drink.
Joaquim Grace, 28, entered the Bristol County Savings Bank last week, barged to the front of the line and threatened to shoot a teller and a customer, police said. No gun was shown.
Police searched the American Legion after witnesses reported a man running there. The bar manager told police that Mr. Grace, a regular customer, had stopped in for a beer and that he appeared to be sweating. He called a cab and left, the manager said.
Police then went to Mr. Grace's last known address, where they found the suspect and some of the stolen money. He was charged with armed robbery.

MISSISSIPPI
Community rallies behind mother
TCHULA The deaths of six children in a mobile home fire weigh heavily on the heart and in the prayers of Rosie Howez. So, too, does the fate of the woman who faces manslaughter and neglect charges because of the fire.
Miss Howez does not blame Angela Williams mother to three of the children, aunt to the others. Instead, she and others in the Delta town of 2,300 say the lifelong guilt the 28-year-old woman will carry is punishment enough.
Many people in Tchula see Miss Williams as a struggling young mother, and some say it's not unusual for people in her situation to leave children home alone, as she did the night of the fire. District Attorney James Powell said Miss Williams was at a nightclub when the fire broke out early Oct. 19.

MONTANA
Black Horse's bones returned to the ground
LAME DEER For 122 years the contents of the box had different names collection numbers such as PS 6930 or MM 793; descriptors such as "necrotic femoral fragments."
No one called the bones Black Horse until last weekend. They were once part of the left leg of the Cheyenne Indian who fought at Little Bighorn, and on Sunday members of his warrior society rubbed them with a red earthen paint, purified them in cedar smoke and returned them to the ground.
An inventory in 2000 of the National Museum of Health and Medicine's Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington turned up Black Horse's bones. They had been removed in April 1879 by an Army surgeon at Fort Keough, Mont., but were not on public display.

NEBRASKA
Students buy, renovate theater
ALBION Boone Central High School's entrepreneurship classes successfully bought, remodeled and are now running Albion's local downtown Gateway movie theater.
The students received a state award for youth involvement and leadership development.
They raised more than $85,000 for the 269-seat theater and say the project energized the town, which is renovating other buildings.

NEVADA
Gay ceremonies still performed at chapels
LAS VEGAS Although voters earlier this month overwhelmingly supported a constitutional ban on homosexual "marriage," Las Vegas wedding chapels are still performing the symbolic ceremonies every day.
Homosexual-union foes say they aren't bothered by the fact that couples are still saying their vows in Las Vegas as long as the vows are not legally recognized.

NEW MEXICO
Archaeologists study Roswell crash site
ALBUQUERQUE In trying to unravel a mystery that may involve the war of the worlds, cable TV's Sci-Fi Channel has turned to a group of educated men and women with shovels and set them loose on the southern New Mexico desert.
In an effort to verify whether a UFO crash-landed in New Mexico more than 50 years ago, the cable channel sent a team of archaeologists to conduct an in-depth study of the legendary crash site.
And just like the supposed government conspiracy by those who say aliens landed near Roswell, N.M., the results of the scientific study are top secret. That is until Nov. 22, when Sci-Fi airs "The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence," which will include what network representatives are calling a "smoking gun."

NEW YORK
Firefighters protest WTC looting charge
NEW YORK About 200 angry New York firefighters yesterday marched outside the site of a speech by the author of a book that accuses some of their colleagues of looting after the September 11 terrorist strikes.
They were chanting "liar, liar," as William Langewiesche, author of "America's Ground: Unbuilding the World Trade Center" delivered remarks inside about his book, based on nine months of unlimited access to the ground zero site in theory closed to the press.
He said several firemen took advantage of the chaos to steal dozens of jeans from a nearby shop that were then found in their truck, crushed under tons of rubble.
"There are so many lies, distortions and errors in this book it's hard to know where to start," said Peter Gorman, president of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, who organized the protest. "The author of this book is a disgrace to his profession. His book is trash and it belongs to the Staten Island dump."

NORTH CAROLINA
Soldiers receiving new helmets, gear
FORT BRAGG The new fall lineup has hit the front line.
Soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division are being outfitted with new gear, including such military must-haves as the Advanced Combat Helmet.
"Make this helmet your own," Vicki Sundberg said as she slid one on Sgt. Casley Miller's cropped head Friday morning at Fort Bragg.
He tightened the straps, turned his head from side to side and said, "I love it."
The 3,500 soldiers will be the first to try out the new helmets along with new gloves, long underwear, caps, socks, fleece overalls, goggles and boots part of $11 million worth of new gear being distributed.

OHIO
Court: Chemotherapy can't be forced
CANTON The parents of a 7-year-old cannot be forced to treat his leukemia with chemotherapy and can pursue a diet-based alternative, a judge ruled yesterday.
The parents' decision was carefully researched and does not constitute neglect, Stark County Family Court Judge David Stucki ruled. "These are not parents who refused medical treatment or who elected to take Noah to a witch doctor or a shaman," he said.
The county's social services agency had accused Theresa and Greg Maxin of neglect for pulling their son, Noah, out of a 3-year chemotherapy plan after three months. The Maxins said they were concerned the chemicals would lead to long-term health problems.
OKLAHOMA
Delayed start saves school $500,000
TULSA Starting school after Labor Day has saved Tulsa Public Schools nearly $500,000.
Officials said electricity costs were down $465,000 compared with last year's bills from July through September.
Budget cuts had forced the district to consider starting after Labor Day. Initially, administrators had hoped to save $200,000.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Police: Escapees linked to crimes
MYRTLE BEACH Two inmates who escaped from a Kentucky jail earlier this month are on a cross-country crime spree and have been linked to two abductions, the latest a 44-year-old South Carolina woman, authorities say.
The escaped inmates also are suspects in the abduction of a Kentucky man as well as a burglary here and numerous car thefts, police said.
A videotape confirmed Alice Louise Donovan of Galivants Ferry was abducted Thursday from a Wal-Mart parking lot in Conway, authorities said Sunday. She was still missing yesterday.
The inmates, Branden Basham and Chadrick Fulks, also are suspected of abducting James Hawkins, 42, of Hanson, Ky., taking him 40 miles north to Indiana and leaving him bound to a tree, authorities said. Mr. Hawkins struggled for hours before freeing himself and summoning help.

SOUTH DAKOTA
Court to broadcast cases online
PIERRE For the first time, residents can log onto the South Dakota Supreme Court's Web site this week and listen to live broadcasts of cases.
Chief Justice David Gilbertson said the Supreme Court's courtroom seats only 20 spectators, and many people can't drive there to hear arguments during a workday.
The court site is www.sdjudicial.com.

TEXAS
Train hits truck, injuring driver
FORT WORTH A freight train struck the trailer of an 18-wheeler at a rural crossing yesterday and pushed it 250 yards down the track, hospitalizing the driver.
The Union Pacific freight train remained on the track, with the truck's empty flatbed trailer wrapped around the front of the locomotive, police said.
The crossing has two sets of tracks. The truck driver had stopped on one track waiting for a train to pass, and his rig was struck by a second train, said Deputy Leon Flowers of the Tarrant County sheriff's office.
The truck driver, whose name was not released, was semiconscious and appeared to be stable.

VERMONT
Editor fired over addict story
MONTPELIER The managing editor of the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus was dismissed yesterday because the existence of a heroin-addicted teenage prostitute he wrote about cannot be verified.
"It was brought to our attention that some of the details of the story were not accurate or true and we checked them out," publisher R. John Mitchell said. "It turns out they were not true. The person in the story, it wasn't proven that she exists."
The Sept. 15 story by Scott Fletcher describes an encounter with a 16-year-old, identified only as DeeDee, in a park in Montpelier. It suggests she was propositioning men for sex to pay for heroin, but neither Mr. Fletcher nor anyone else has been able to find the girl since the story ran.
"Just the nature of this young woman and her chosen profession makes it practically impossible," he said. "Everything that's in that story is verifiable from the notes that I took."

WASHINGTON
Environmentalist dies after cancer battle
SEATTLE Jay D. Hair, who helped turn the National Wildlife Federation into the nation's largest membership-based environmental organization, died Friday after a five-year battle with bone marrow cancer. He was 56.
Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell once described him as "the most respected member of the nation's environmental community."
Mr. Hair was president of the federation from 1981 to 1995, a period when the group's membership swelled to 6 million people.
A former zoology professor at Clemson and North Carolina State universities, Mr. Hair was appointed by former Presidents Bush and Clinton to several advisory committees, including Mr. Clinton's Council on Sustainable Development.

WEST VIRGINIA
Superintendents seek school funds
CHARLESTON West Virginia high schools will not be able to offer all electives required under a new mandated curriculum unless the state provides more money, several county superintendents testified yesterday.
Beginning with the 2004-05 school year, public schools will be required to follow a new curriculum that, among other things, requires college-bound students to take four years of math, four of science and two of foreign language.
Superintendents from Monroe, Calhoun, Clay and Tyler counties testified yesterday at a hearing on a 1975 lawsuit filed by a parent that challenges the state's system for funding schools.


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