- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Olympic champions to headline tribute
LAS VEGAS Olympic champions Brian Boitano, Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Anton Ohno will headline Mr. Boitano's television tribute to figure skating's classic shows.
"Brian Boitano's Skating Spectacular" will feature the elaborate productions of the Ice Follies and Ice Capades. The show will be performed at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Dec. 21. It will be shown on NBC on New Year's Day.
"Our new show will celebrate the glamorous ice shows of the past with Busby Berkeley-like production and comedy numbers," said Mr. Boitano, the 1988 Olympic gold medalist. "We have an incredible cast."
Joining Mr. Boitano, 1992 gold medalist Miss Yamaguchi and 2002 short-track speed skating champion Mr. Ohno will be En Vogue and Olympic silver-medal figure skater Nancy Kerrigan.

Garden rooftops budding across Portland
PORTLAND When Chris Moehling wants to show off the new garden at the youth hostel he manages, he steps out a second-story bedroom window onto a roof blooming with plants.
The 650-square-foot garden of scrubby succulents and yellow marigolds grows right out of the roof, visible to hundreds of shoppers and motorists passing below.
The garden is one of many green spaces in Portland, a city emerging as a national leader in the budding "ecoroof" movement.
Recent city regulations offer breaks to developers who install green roofs, and Portland officials have taken aggressive measures to promote rooftop planting.
Living roofs, long common in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, can reduce runoff after rainstorms by up to 90 percent, slash a building's energy costs by 10 percent and reduce summer temperatures on scorching city rooftops by about 70 degrees, researchers say.
What sets Portland apart is the city's financial commitment, including tax breaks, grants and building codes for ecoroofs.

Pecan farmers have bad year
FAIRHOPE A series of tropical storms this year have battered pecan farmers in Alabama, the nation's seventh-largest pecan producer.
"I've seen good, and I've seen bad," said Clarence Bishop, who has been raising and selling pecans in Fairhope since 1946. "But I've never seen anything like this."
Mr. Bishop's shop is at the edge of a 1,100-tree orchard in the heart of one of the country's most productive pecan-growing regions. Baldwin County was expected to produce more than 5 million pounds of pecans this season, nearly half of the entire crop in Alabama.
Nearly all of the rest of the Pecan Belt, which stretches from North Carolina to Arizona, has been choked by drought that sapped production and pushed many commercial growers out of business.

Residents say goodbye to sun
BARROW The 5,000 residents of Alaska's farthest-north city said goodbye to the sun, which won't make another appearance until next year, officials said.
Sunrise was at 12:37 p.m. and sunset was at 1:46 p.m. Clouds dimmed the sun's brief appearance. The sun will rise again Jan. 23.
Schoolchildren held a "goodbye to the sun" party.

Dog rewarded for fighting crime
SANTA ROSA A Northern California dog is being rewarded for taking a lot of big bites out of crime.
Four-year-old Rexx recently earned five trophies at the annual Western States Police Canine Competition in Folsom and is considered the No. 1 narcotics police dog in the western United States.
California Highway Patrol Officer Frank Romano of Santa Rosa praised his K-9 partner for his focus.
"Rexx is exceptional," Officer Romano said of the Belgian Malinois. "He's a good example of why canine trainers call the breed Mali-nuts. They're robo-dogs at work."
Officer Romano and Rexx became partners two years ago. The two have won 40 trophies at 10 trials, busted marijuana dealers and forced felons from barricaded rooms.

Weather Service starts automated station
DURANGO The National Weather Service turned on an automated weather station in this southwestern Colorado city. It joins 800 other stations in the national system that covers 90 percent of the U.S. population.
The station can also broadcast natural-disaster and law-enforcement warnings.
Residents are encouraged to buy receivers to monitor broadcasts.

Leaders schedule budget hearing
HARTFORD Democratic legislative leaders scheduled a public hearing tomorrow to discuss how to clear up the estimated $500 million state budget deficit.
Republicans said they're skeptical the hearing will produce any clear solutions. Gov. John G. Rowland, a Republican, said the state's budget problems could best be solved with legislative leaders negotiating directly with the administration.

Woman attacked by shark off Maui
HONOLULU A shark tore open the flesh of a California woman off the shore of a Maui resort, but she bravely swam to safety without being seriously hurt.
Julie Glance, a 34-year-old bank executive from San Diego, said she had been in the water about 10 minutes Sunday morning when something struck her shoulder.
"It felt like he collided with me," she said in an interview from her room at Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she was listed in satisfactory condition Monday.
"She was just screaming, 'Help, help, help,'" Steve Bona, a Minnesota visitor, told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Soy nuts shown to battle high blood pressure
CHICAGO Eating dry-roasted soy nuts may help post-menopausal women lower their blood pressure, according to a study released yesterday.
The finding, issued at the annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association, may be of interest to women looking for an alternative to hormone-replacement therapy. Studies recently found that long-term use of hormone replacements raises women's risk of heart disease and breast cancer.
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Brookline, Mass., said they began looking at soy nuts because women in Japan, where soy consumption is high, have low rates of both heart disease and breast cancer.
They said a study involving 60 women over eight weeks found that a half cup of dry-roasted soy nuts daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 10 percent and diastolic blood pressure by 7 percent among those in the study who had high blood pressure.

IU students star in porn flick
BLOOMINGTON Indiana University officials called yesterday for a thorough investigation after an adult film company spokeswoman said IU students participated in the filming of a pornographic movie, some of which was shot in a university dorm.
The movie, titled "Campus Invasion," is expected to be released sometime this winter and will feature footage of 20 to 30 students engaging in oral sex with adult-film actresses, Calli Cox, publicist for Shane Enterprises, told the Indiana Daily Student.
Bloomington campus Chancellor Sharon Brehm accused the film company of exploiting students, but Miss Cox countered that all the students were adults and decided whether to participate on their own.
Dean of Students Richard McKaig said the university will determine whether any punishment should be meted out, United Press International reports.

Police arrest escapee linked to abductions
ASHLAND Authorities said yesterday that they have caught one of the two Kentucky jail escapees suspected in a pair of abductions, and that they believe the other man was spotted in Ohio.
One of the abduction victims, a woman taken from a parking lot in South Carolina, was still missing. Police said without elaborating that the arrest provided "a lot of leads."
L. Branden Basham was arrested Sunday night after reportedly trying to hijack a car from a woman and her 15-year-old daughter at an Ashland mall, police said. An officer spotted a man less than a block away and chased him. Police later found Basham in the nearby Ohio River, but don't know how he ended up in the water. He was treated for hypothermia.

Man sentenced for raping co-workers
AUBURN A former Red Cross administrator convicted of raping two co-workers was sentenced Monday to 14 years in prison.
Rocco Giberti, 51, also faces 10 years of probation after his release.
The prosecution argued that Giberti used his supervisory power over the women to force them to have sexual relations. The defense maintained that the sex was consensual.

Dad drugged, assaulted girl's sleepover guests
WORCESTER A man was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison yesterday for drugging and raping his young daughter's friends during sleepovers.
"I've never heard a set of facts as heinous as this," Superior Court Judge John S. McCann said a day earlier, after accepting Peter M. Gagnon's guilty plea.
Gagnon, 49, drugged six unsuspecting girls, ages 10 to 14, with alcohol and over-the-counter sleep medications when they stayed overnight, prosecutor Joseph J. Reilly III said. He then sexually molested the girls while they were "near comatose" or "in very deep sleep" and videotaped the sexual assaults, the prosecutor said.
Gagnon fled the day his 14-year-old daughter discovered the videotapes in her father's closet and gave them to police in May 2001, Mr. Reilly said. He was captured several weeks later on a beach about 20 miles south of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Skin artists honor 'godfather of tattooing'
OAK PARK A man known locally as the 'godfather of tattooing' was honored by the skin artists he inspired.
Since the 1960s, Mel McElhiney shared secrets of a then-fringe art form with tattoo artists he deemed worthy, helping fuel what is now a booming profession. Mr. McElhiney would proudly show off the large tattoo on his scalp: a claw clutching an eyeball.
Two weeks ago, Mr. McElhiney, 64, was diagnosed with lung cancer that has spread to his stomach and throat. On Saturday, tattoo artists held a tattoo-a-thon for him at Tattoo Paradise in suburban Detroit.
Bill Pogue, owner of Tattoo Paradise, said he will donate proceeds from Saturday's tattoos and piercings to help cover Mr. McElhiney's expenses.

Deer hunters set record
JEFFERSON CITY Missouri deer hunters lucked into perfect conditions over the weekend and set a record.
Hunters killed 127,251 deer, the Department of Conservation said. The number of animals killed during the opening weekend of the adult fall firearms season topped last year's state record by more than 10,600 deer, spokesman Jim Low said.

Lethal-injection bill dies in state
LINCOLN The Legislature's Judiciary Committee rejected a bill yesterday that would have changed the state's method of execution from the electric chair to injection.
Nebraska is the only state with the chair as its sole means of execution, which some fear could lead a court to rule that the state's death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.
But Sen. Kermit Brashear, the committee's chairman, said there is no immediate need to end Nebraska's use of the electric chair. The bill was rejected 5-2.

Truck rolls off ferry; one person killed
ORIENT POINT A man was killed yesterday when a large truck plunged off the back of a ferry in Long Island Sound, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
A spokesman said the body of the man was recovered. Earlier, helicopters, divers and boats were sent to search for a second passenger, but the search was called off after the ferry company confirmed that only one man was on the truck.
The cause was under investigation. Typically, the barrier at the back of the ferry would consist of a chain stretched between two stanchions, the Coast Guard said.

Politics blamed in leader's firing
GREENSBORO A regional leader in the nation's largest Confederate heritage organization says he has been stripped of his post because he does not embrace the politics of other members.
Charles Hawks was removed last weekend as head of one of three regional divisions of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Ron Wilson of Easley, S.C., commander in chief of the organization, said Mr. Hawks lost his position for breaching confidentiality of a meeting.
Mr. Hawks denied that. "I know what the rules are, and I have played by them all the time," he said.

Judge delays ban on cockfighting
IDABEL A judge ruled that authorities in Choctaw, McCurtain and Pushmataha counties can't enforce the cockfighting ban until the court decides on the law's constitutionality.
Fifty-six percent of the voters approved the ban, which makes it a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine to hold cockfights, keep cockfighting equipment or possess the birds.

Officials discuss renaming city parks
MEMPHIS Shelby County Commissioner Walker Bailey says he's speaking informally with city officials about renaming parks honoring Confederate heroes.
Mr. Bailey says boxing and HBO officials in Memphis for the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson title fight thought it "a bit unbecoming" for the city to have a monument and park dedicated to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Body found of man who fell from plane
WALLER The body of a man under investigation for purportedly stealing a NASA laptop computer was found yesterday, two days after he fell out of a small plane in what authorities said looked like a suicidal plunge.
The search for Russell Filler, 47, began Sunday after he fell out of the plane at 9,000 feet.
Waller County Sheriff's Lt. John Kremmer said the fall appeared to be intentional and that Mr. Filler apparently had no parachute. The body was found five miles outside Waller, which is about 35 miles northwest of Houston.
Mr. Filler, a pilot, was in the Cessna with flight instructor Benito Munoz, who said Mr. Filler expressed interest in buying a small plane.

Rattlesnake kiss lands man in hospital
YACOLT A man who was showing off for friends by kissing his new rattlesnake was bitten on the lip and nearly died.
Matt George, 21, was hospitalized in critical condition after the incident Sunday. By yesterday, his condition had been upgraded to serious.
Mr. George was showing friends the snake he had caught on a recent trip to Arizona. Holding the 2-foot snake behind the head, he kissed it.
"I said, 'OK, man, you're being stupid, put it away,'" Jim Roban recalled. "He said, 'It's OK; I do it all the time.'"

Competing weeklies to merge
JACKSON The two competing weeklies in Jackson Hole will merge, with their first combined edition planned for today.
The Jackson Hole News and Jackson Hole Guide will become the Jackson Hole News & Guide, said Angus Thuermer, editor of the News.
"The new weekly publication born of the merger will combine the best of both newspapers and preserve the distinguished journalistic traditions of the two companies," Michael Sellett, publisher of the News, announced Nov. 13 in a letter on the front of the final edition of his newspaper. A final edition of the Guide was also distributed that day.

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