- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2002


Confederate Museum nears end of battle

NEW ORLEANS This city's 111-year-old Confederate Museum has faced eviction for months, but with the backing of Gov. Mike Foster and a media blitz to raise support, museum officials say they are on the verge of winning their battle to stay where they always have been.

Museum officials hope an agreement will be signed with the University of New Orleans the present building owner thanks to a judge's ruling sometime this week that gives them ownership of Confederate Memorial Hall.

The museum had been embroiled in a lawsuit over ownership of the building all summer.

In July, a judge ruled that UNO owned the building and university officials said they intended to evict the museum to make way for the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, under construction on both sides of Memorial Hall.


Police arrest 16 in party disturbance

MADISON A weekend Halloween party that drew 65,000 people to the streets of Madison turned into chaos as revelers tossed bottles and bricks, trashed police cars and ripped out street signs. Sixteen persons were arrested and several were injured, police said.

Police used tear gas and pepper spray to break up the crowd. Eight police officers sustained minor injuries, mostly from thrown objects, police said.

"It was total mob mentality gone wild," Alderman Mike Verveer said of the incident.

The party is held each year on State Street, the city's main thoroughfare, dotted with restaurants and small shops


Official to investigate racial makeup of schools

GREENSBORO State Superintendent of Education Ed Richardson said he will investigate the racial makeup of Hale County schools after reports by the Birmingham News that a dual system for whites and blacks has emerged.

State school board Vice President Ethel Hall says the county has allowed many white students to pick what school they will attend.

Mr. Richardson says he is not convinced that local officials have deliberately created a dual system.


Unusual bird draws some double takes

FAIRBANKS When people call the Alaska Bird Observatory to report that they just saw a white raven, they have a hard time believing it themselves.

"They usually start out by saying, 'Tell me I just saw a white raven,'" observatory Executive Director Nancy DeWitt told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "I think people are pretty surprised to see one, and they should be."

Judging from several recent sightings around town, it appears the white raven that has been seen in Fairbanks the past three winters has returned for another winter of foraging.

Sevin Bullwinkle saw the bird Sunday outside her house on Lathrop Street and snapped a picture to prove it.


Pet tortoise found safe after escape

NORWALK Godzilla was found wandering the streets, but Mothra wasn't his biggest adversary cars were.

The 105-pound African spurred tortoise named after the horror movie icon was found several blocks from his home, three days after he escaped.

"Godzilla was lucky that he wasn't mistaken for a speed bump," animal-control officer Connie Bradford said after enlisting the help of bystanders to move the tortoise to her vehicle.

A passer-by had spotted Godzilla and alerted the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority.

Chuck and Frances Gil, who have had 55-year-old Godzilla as a pet since the 1970s, said the tortoise apparently burrowed under a fence into a neighbor's yard and kept going.


Columbine killer seen as 'likely to succeed'

GOLDEN A probation officer once described Eric Harris, one of the two teenage Columbine gunmen, as "a very bright young man who is likely to succeed in life," even though the youth admitted to having homicidal feelings, according to juvenile criminal records unsealed yesterday.

The comments were contained in a report about Harris' conduct while in a special program for teenage offenders in which the 18-year-old was placed along with Dylan Klebold, 17, after the pair were arrested for burglary. The pair were released early from the program because they made progress.

About 15 months later, they staged their rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton.


Sky's the limit for bird-watcher

GREENWICH Nolan Britt looks for hawks like it's his job. Actually, it is his job.

Mr. Britt, a 22-year-old recent biology graduate of the College of William & Mary, stands on the front lawn of the Audubon sanctuary in the backcountry for about eight hours a day, five days a week, scanning the horizon for hawks, eagles, falcons, vultures whatever bird of prey that may be soaring over Quaker Ridge on its fall migration to warmer climes.

He is Audubon Greenwich's "dedicated hawk-watcher," an internship that ends in about two weeks, which is when these raptors generally have completed migrating through this part of the country, writes the Time newspaper.


Spouse's attention can be a pain, study says

ORLANDO Paying too much attention to a spouse's back pain can make it worse, and leaving the spouse alone can make it better, according to a study presented by German psychologists.

Patients with back problems showed almost three times as much brain activity when their spouse was in the same room, but that activity dropped when the spouse left, according to research presented Sunday at the annual conference of the Society for Neuroscience.

In the study conducted by researchers at the University of Heidelberg, people with chronic back pain were split into two groups. In one, the pain victim was married to someone who responded to the discomfort with massages, medicine and other attention.

In the other, partners downplayed the pain, sometimes leaving the room or distracting the person with other activities.


CDC says West Nile likely has peaked

ATLANTA The West Nile virus epidemic likely has peaked in the United States this year, although new cases of the deadly mosquito-borne disease could surface throughout the winter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday.

A total of 3,495 cases of West Nile, including 204 deaths, had been reported in the United States as of yesterday, according to the Atlanta-based CDC. The outbreak is the largest since the virus first surfaced in the Americas three years ago.

With much of the nation experiencing colder weather, CDC epidemiologists are cautiously optimistic that the worst of the epidemic is over.


Northwestern to create gene bank

CHICAGO Northwestern University hopes to collect DNA samples from as many as 100,000 people for a new gene bank.

Officials say the project will use DNA samples and personal health information from volunteers to search out genes that play a role in diseases.


Woman fined for security outburst

EVANSVILLE A French woman accused of undressing during an airport-security screening pleaded guilty and paid a $2 fine.

Eliane Yvonne Marcele Aguillaume, 56, of Paris was ordered Friday to pay $1 for a count of public indecency and $1 for resisting law enforcement. She will be required to pay court costs of about $130.

She reportedly stripped to her waist Oct. 28 at Evansville Regional Airport in an angry response to a security screener's attempt to search her with a metal-detecting wand.


Sixth-graders learn science of golf

LEXINGTON The goal: to understand Newton's laws of motion and simple machinery.

The assignment: Build an 18-hole golf course.

More than 100 sixth-graders at Christian Academy of Louisville took on that challenge recently, converting the school's gymnasium into two 18-hole miniature golf courses, the Courier-Journal reports.

Nikki Votaw, who teaches sixth-grade math and science, came up with the idea as a way to turn a lesson that students often find difficult to grasp into a fun, hands-on experience.

Students were put into groups of up to five and told to create a golf hole using household items.


State stays with single area code

AUGUSTA Mainers who were fearful of being divided by a second telephone area code can take heart: The state will continue to be united under the 207 area code for the foreseeable future.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator notified the state last week that a petition for "area-code relief" in Maine was being withdrawn. The petition was filed in 1998 when it was estimated that Maine would run out of phone numbers in the fourth quarter of last year.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission took measures to "conserve" phone numbers and received permission from the Federal Communications Commission to assign numbers in smaller blocks.


Green groups says Mine, state dodging law

WHITEHALL Environmental groups that have fought a 10-year legal battle to make the Golden Sunlight mine backfill its ore pit are asking the court to get tough.

They asked a judge last week to hold the Department of Environmental Quality in contempt for failing to move work along on the backfill.


Students form line to move books

BURWELL When it was time to move the town's books to a new library, local students pitched in to help.

Elementary and high school students formed a four-block line Thursday to move all of the books from the old Carnegie Library to a new library in the town's former Berea Church.

And while a few books, and students, hit the ice along the way, the move to the long-awaited library was considered a successful one overall.

"This is the end of an era," Burble Elementary librarian Susan Gouty said as students stomped through the snow and back to their classes.


Plate used by Monroe sells at auction

SPARKS A silver oyster plate used by Marilyn Monroe during filming of "The Misfits" sold at an auction for $1,000.

Robert W. Otto, president and chief executive of a Chicago human resources consulting company, made the highest bid for the plate from the former Mapes Hotel in Reno, where Miss Monroe stayed in 1960 during shooting.

The plate was among more than 600 items auctioned off Saturday at Lightning Auctions.

The 55-year-old Mr. Otto owns about 500 pieces of Monroe memorabilia, including a ring with an "MM" monogram on the inside once worn by Miss Monroe and the first dress she wore to studio interviews at age 18.


Official criticized amid prison complaints

CONCORD State legislators have harshly criticized Corrections Department Commissioner Philip Stanley and proposed an independent investigation of prison complaints.

A report filed by a legislative study committee cited a number of complaints by prisoners and staff at the four state prisons. The issues include sexual-harassment charges and computer inadequacies.


Libraries issue cards to restrict Web surfing

ALBUQUERQUE Libraries in Bernalillo County are making Internet surfing safe for children with a new card designed to block access to certain Internet sites.

Parents or their children plug in the small card and type in a password. Parents can decide which level of Internet access their children should have.


9/11 death toll lowered to 2,795

NEW YORK The official death toll from the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center was lowered to 2,795 yesterday after two persons believed to have perished were located alive, New York medical services said.

A spokesman said police recently located the two persons, declared missing by their families after the towers were demolished when two hijacked airliners were crashed into them.

The list of victims is being continually checked and updated, said the spokesman, and the 2,795 figure is not considered final.


Treatment deferred used for some in ER

CHARLOTTE State engineers are reviewing safety measures for an Interstate 77 widening project after five wrecks, several serious injuries and one death in the past week.

Engineers will rely on new warning devices and a crackdown by the state Highway Patrol. They say they don't plan to lower the 65-mph speed limit.


Treatment deferral urged for some in ER

PHILADELPHIA "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning" would be a workable prescription for some patients in jam-packed hospital emergency rooms, a study suggests.

Many people with inadequate or no health insurance are going to emergency rooms with ordinary aches and pains, and many of them could safely be sent home instead and told to return for treatment the next day at a hospital clinic, researchers said.

The study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, found that patients with non-acute ailments suffered no ill effects after being told to come back the next day.


Good Samaritan killed helping victim

A 37-year-old Seymour, Tenn., woman died after she was struck by a car as she tried to help the victim of a traffic accident that had happened moments before, authorities said.

Karla R. Myres was killed Saturday when she was hit by a car driven by Kimberly A. Johnson, 36, according to a report filed by Tennessee Highway Patrol Lt. Clinton Valentine.

The initial traffic accident happened in front of a grocery store, authorities told the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Miss Myres came from the parking lot to render assistance, according to the report.

Moments later, Miss Johnson came across the wreck and couldn't stop her car, Lt. Valentine's report states.


Boy Scouts expel atheist

SEATTLE An Eagle Scout said yesterday he has been kicked out of the Boy Scouts for refusing to declare a belief in a higher power.

Darrell Lambert said he was told of the decision earlier in the day by the Chief Seattle Council, the Scouts' regional governing body.

"Am I bitter? No. Disappointed? Yeah," he said. "We're in the 21st century. Our country was founded on religious freedom, and the Boy Scouts of America are still discriminating."

Mr. Lambert, 19, said he plans to appeal the decision within the Scouting council within the required 60 days.


Insects invading hemlock trees

KINGWOOD Ancient hemlocks that soar more than 100 feet high are being threatened by an incredibly tiny enemy: the woolly adelgid.

The aphid has already munched its way through northeastern states, dining on the sap of eastern and Carolina hemlocks.

Now the white, cottony aphids have been spotted in 18 West Virginia counties and Cathedral State Park in Preston County and at Blackwater Falls State Park in Tucker County. The aphid was first found in Grant County in 1992.

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