- The Washington Times - Friday, November 22, 2002

Shuttle repaired, but weather could delay launch
CAPE CANAVERAL NASA kept an eye on the weather in Florida and 4,000 miles away in Spain, hoping for a break that would allow the launch of the repaired space shuttle Endeavour tonight.
Endeavour's flight to the international space station has been delayed almost two weeks by a leaking oxygen line and a damaged robot arm. The damage was caused by workers who accidentally rammed a platform into the 50-foot arm.
The robot arm is needed to lift a 14-ton girder from the payload bay for installation on the space station. Besides performing construction work, the shuttle astronauts will deliver a fresh three-man crew to the space station.
Forecasters said yesterday there was an 80 percent chance of good launch weather, with gusty wind the main concern. But the outlook was much worse at the two emergency landing sites in Spain, where rain, thick clouds and turbulence were expected throughout the weekend. At least one overseas landing site must have acceptable weather for the launch to proceed.

Museum unveils statue of Heston
OKLAHOMA CITY A new sculpture at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum portrays Charlton Heston in his role in the 1968 Western "Will Penny."
Mr. Heston starred as a cowboy loner in the movie, which was honored at the 1969 Western Heritage Awards.
The statue, donated by members of the National Rifle Association, shows Mr. Heston, 79, who has been president of the NRA since 1998, holding a lariat in one hand and a rifle in the other. It was unveiled Tuesday night.
Mr. Heston, who won a best-actor Oscar for 1959's "Ben-Hur," announced earlier this year that he has symptoms consistent with Alzheimer's disease.

Cars crash gate, race around airport
BIRMINGHAM As baffled airport workers looked on, two cars smashed through a locked gate at Birmingham International Airport and sped across a runway and taxiways before ramming through another gate to escape.
The vehicles never came close to the terminal or any aircraft, and the cars a black Cadillac and a white sedan were gone before police could catch them.

Finally, wanted man successfully surrenders
TUCSON A fugitive was turned away when he tried to surrender at a federal prison, but he succeeded on a second attempt, this time at the federal courthouse.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Rich Tracy greeted Scott A. Kline with a handshake Wednesday, saying, "Mr. Kline, I presume?"
Kline was handcuffed and booked for violating the terms of his release from prison. Wednesday's arrest came two days after Kline was turned away from the Federal Correctional Institution. Prison officials could not take him into custody without court documentation. Mr. Tracy blamed the mix-up on a missed phone message between two marshals offices.
Kline served 18 months in federal prison for possessing 40 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute. He was supposed to serve three years of supervised release, but skipped town.

Judge denies claims from crash victims
LITTLE ROCK A federal judge on Wednesday tossed out claims seeking punitive damages from American Airlines for a 1999 crash that killed 11 persons, saying the victims could not prove the airline acted with malice.
U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Eisele said "no reasonable jury could draw an inference of malice from the flight crew's conduct," meaning punitive damages were not warranted under Arkansas law.
Ted Boswell, an attorney for the three remaining plaintiffs, said the ruling would be appealed.
American Flight 1420 landed in a thunderstorm the night of June 1, 1999, and spun off the runway at the Little Rock airport, killing the pilot and 10 others among the 145 persons aboard. More than 80 people were injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board concluded last year that the crash was caused by the pilots' decision to land in a severe thunderstorm and their failure to set wing panels that would have slowed the plane on the runway.

Black group sues Jesse Jackson
LOS ANGELES A black organization has sued civil rights activist Jesse Jackson for fraud and demanded he be barred from claiming to represent the black community, documents showed yesterday.
The suit, filed last week in Los Angeles by a new group called African Americans Against Exploitation, claims the veteran activist "intentionally misrepresented himself as an official of the African-American race."
"[Mr. Jackson] is knowingly misrepresenting himself as an official spokesperson in matters, which does not comply with the law or the plaintiff's own view," the group claimed.

CDC: Waterborne illness on the rise
ATLANTA Outbreaks of waterborne disease are increasing in the United States, underscoring a need to monitor unregulated drinking-water systems and exercise healthier swimming practices, federal health officials said yesterday.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there were 98 outbreaks of waterborne disease reported between 1999 and 2000, up from 35 in 1997 and 1998. The numbers are based on data reported to the CDC by state and local public health agencies.
During 1999 and 2000, 39 outbreaks of illness from drinking water were reported nationwide, up from 17 two years earlier. About 72 percent of the latest outbreaks, which killed two persons and sickened more than 2,060 others, came from groundwater sources such as wells and springs.

Military shoots down missile during ascent
HONOLULU The military successfully launched and shot down a dummy ballistic missile during its ascent yesterday, the first in a series testing the Pentagon's plans to shield America from short- and medium-range missiles.
The missile was launched at 2:30 p.m. from the Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands toward the Pacific Ocean and was intercepted within four minutes on the ascent by another missile launched from the cruiser USS Lake Erie, the Department of Defense said.
"It's a major milestone"" said Chris Taylor, spokesman for the military's Missile Defense Agency, noting that it was the first time in the history of the Aegis program that a missile had been intercepted on the rise.
The missile was intercepted 500,000 feet above sea level. The Lake Erie had about 80 seconds to identify the threat and launch an intercepting missile, Mr. Taylor said.

Church sues city to stop cemetery move
BENSENVILLE A suburban church sued the city of Chicago to stop its O'Hare International Airport expansion plan from displacing a cemetery.
St. John's United Church of Christ in Bensenville and two parishioners filed a lawsuit Nov. 12 challenging the city's plan to acquire the church's 153-year-old cemetery. Some 1,300 parishioners are buried at St. Johannes Cemetery.
The lawsuit, one of a variety of court challenges to the expansion plan, contends state law requires the owners' assent before a burial ground can be moved. It also asserts that the city has not demonstrated, as legally required, that condemning the cemetery is for "a compelling government interest."

Fugitive caught after crime spree
GOSHEN An escaped inmate wanted in a multistate crime spree was captured in Indiana, but a woman he is suspected of abducting remained missing yesterday.
Chadrick E. Fulks, 25, was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he came out of his brother's house in this northern Indiana city and got into a car. He was caught by a police officer after a short chase on foot.
The car belonging to the missing South Carolina woman, Alice Donovan, 44, was found near Goshen later Wednesday.

State sees big crunch in next year's budget
DES MOINES The General Assembly will face a state budget shortfall ranging from $250 million to $400 million when it convenes in January, the state's budget analysts said Wednesday.
Lawmakers have a number of tools at their disposal to deal with the issue, but the projections given to an oversight committee make it clear that wrangling over the state's finances will once again be a top subject when the next session opens.
Dennis Prouty, head of the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, said lawmakers borrowed significantly from special reserve funds during the past session to balance the state's budget.

Cause determined in Wellstone death
ST. PAUL Sen. Paul Wellstone died from the impact when his plane crashed last month, not from the fire that engulfed it afterward, a medical examiner said.
Dr. Thomas Uncini, St. Louis County's chief medical examiner, listed the cause of death for Mr. Wellstone and the seven others on board the small plane as "traumatic injury due to, or as a consequence of, an aviation crash with fire," the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported yesterday.
The determination took several weeks because the bodies were severely burned in the Oct. 25 crash, Dr. Uncini said. He filed the death certificates Monday.
Dr. Uncini concluded that all the victims died from the impact.

Man sentenced for tequila killing
KANSAS CITY A man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing a man over an $8 bottle of tequila last year.
Johnnie J. Peete, 40, who is homeless, gave Mark Divilbiss, 28, a bottle of tequila in September 2001, expecting to get paid for it. A few days later, Mr. Divilbiss hadn't paid up, and Peete stabbed him in the heart.
Judge Charles E. Atwell ruled Wednesday that Peete must serve about 18 years.

Lucky candidate wins drawing
FAIRBURY Luck was on Susan Bartels' side. She won a drawing to become the newest member of the Fairbury City Council.
Her name was pulled from a crock at the Jefferson County Courthouse last week. The drawing was required after she tied Ronald R. Byrd in the Nov. 5 election for the city's 2nd Ward seat.
The vote was 124-124. When a recount failed to determine the winner, both of the candidates' names were put on scraps of paper and thrown into the crock, and a canvasser pulled out the new council member's name.

Police foil purported plot to kill drug informant
SALEM Police arrested a man and two friends supposedly on their way to kill a witness in a drug case against the man's father.
The three James Glover Jr., 20; Carlos Casiano, 19; and Raymond Morales, 20 were arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit murder.
Mr. Glover's father was among 15 persons arrested in the Salem area in a sweep that netted drugs valued at $400,000.
Prosecutors said the trio were driving from Lawrence, Mass., on Tuesday to kill an unidentified police informant who was scheduled to testify against Mr. Glover's father, James Glover.

Obese youths put legal bite on McDonald's
NEW YORK A lawsuit filed against McDonald's on behalf of eight obese New York children is threatening to unleash a wave of class actions similar to those that have won huge payouts from the tobacco industry.
The suit brought by lawyer Samuel Hirsch was heard Wednesday in a Manhattan federal court the first time such a case has appeared before a U.S. judge.
It charges McDonald's with responsibility for the obesity of the eight plaintiffs, saying the fast-food giant did not provide the necessary information on health risks associated with its meals.
Lawyers acting for the hamburger chain filed a motion for dismissal, arguing that the issue was one of individual choice and, therefore, there was no case.

Student cuts school buses' wires
A 16-year-old high school junior in Maumee, Ohio, has been charged with delinquency in connection with breaking and entering and vandalism for cutting ignition wires on 16 of the district's 20 school buses in an attempt to cancel classes for the day, police said.
Classes remained on schedule as parents got their children to school, but the vandalism brought most of the morning bus service for the 3,000-student system to a halt.
The buses were running again by the afternoon after mechanics repaired the damaged fleet.

Permit outlines steps to reopen flooded mine
PITTSBURGH State regulators have issued a permit allowing work to resume at the mine where a flood trapped nine men hundreds of feet underground for three days in July.
The permit, announced yesterday by the Department of Environmental Protection, requires mine operators to drill exploratory holes to determine if there are other, undetected voids filled with water.
The permit also increases the required barrier from 300 to 500 feet between Quecreek Mine and the abandoned mine the miners breached accidentally in July, causing the flood. The DEP also set strict guidelines on the areas that can be mined in the first six months after operations resume.
Miners breached the abandoned Saxman Mine because they were using outdated maps that did not show the extent of the abandoned mine, investigators said.
The miners were trapped hundreds of feet underground for 77 hours before being rescued. All recovered from their ordeal.

High-tech detector to undergo testing
EL PASO A new type of detector that can identify chemicals in cargo without opening containers will be tested at an international bridge, customs officials said.
The high-tech device uses gamma rays to read chemical compositions.
It will be in place at the Zaragosa border crossing next summer for a six-month, $15 million trial period.

Drivers pay millions in amnesty program
SEATTLE A traffic-ticket amnesty program by more than 100 local courts throughout Washington state brought in nearly $2 million last month.
The amnesty program allowed drivers to pay their tickets without penalties and it resulted in the removal of nearly 10,000 of the more than 700,000 restrictions on driver's licenses, officials said.

City council opposes attack on Iraq
MADISON The City Council in this traditionally liberal city approved a resolution opposing a pre-emptive U.S. military attack on Iraq.
City Council President Matt Sloan said it was important to memorialize dissent. Some council members argued the city shouldn't get involved in international politics.

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