- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2002

TV helps actor find his niche
EMPORIA For LeVar Burton, books were an important part of growing up but television showed him he could find his place in the world.
Mr. Burton, host of public television's "Reading Rainbow" and a star of the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" TV series, said it was hard for him to identify with characters in books he read as a boy because they weren't black.
Then he began watching the original "Star Trek" series and saw the character of communications officer Lt. Uhura, played by Nichelle Nichols.
"What it said to me was when the future comes, there'll be a place for you," Mr. Burton said. "Dreams really do come true."
He was the keynote speaker at Saturday's 50th annual William Allen White Children's Book Awards ceremony at Emporia State University, which honored Christopher Paul Curtis ("Bud, Not Buddy") and Andrew Clements ("The Landry News").

Bugler has played call to post 10,000 times
LEXINGTON Bucky Sallee never tires of playing the same old tune.
Thirty-eight years and 10,000 horn blows later, Keeneland's "bugler" still gets the horses off on the right note. The music never varies: "Boots and Saddles" when the horses come onto the track. "Assembly" before they go into the starting gate.
Mr. Sallee, 73, is a renowned musician with a wide and varied repertoire, but these two pieces have defined his career. This month, Keeneland is observing Mr. Sallee's 10,000th call to post, which was scheduled for yesterday's second race.
Mr. Sallee can talk about some big names with whom he has toured or jammed: Jerry Lee Lewis, Boots Randolph, Charlie Daniels, Pee Wee King and others. But in the end, Mr. Sallee's biggest kicks have come from playing Keeneland tunes.
"At Keeneland," he explained, "it's a social affair."

Miner killed by falling rock
SEARLES A miner was killed after being struck by a rock that apparently fell about 40 feet. It was Alabama's first mining fatality since 13 men died in an explosion last year.
William L. Boyd, 32, an employee at Tuscaloosa Resources Inc., died when the basketball-size rock fell on him as he was working in an open pit Monday afternoon in Tuscaloosa County, federal mine-safety officials said.
Mr. Boyd was working without a hard hat when he was hand-loading material and the rock hit his head, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration said.

Police investigate pilfering of props
FAIRBANKS Police are investigating the theft of costumes from a visiting group of Mexican performers.
About 16 pieces of costumes from the 38-member Ballet Gran Folklorico de Mexico, including a prop resembling an Aztec headpiece, were stolen after the group gave two performances for 2,600 students.
A $500 reward was offered.

Three persons die in plane crash
FAIRVIEW Three persons died Tuesday evening when a single-engine plane crashed into a bluff on the White River and burst into flames, authorities said.
The crash occurred in Baxter County, about 167 miles northwest of Little Rock. Officials identified the victims as the Rev. Bill Muench, Don Hennie and Larry Kennedy.
"Three people are known dead, and there is no sign of anybody else," said County Judge Joe Bodenhamer, the county administrator. "It looked like they just flew right into the bluffs."
The plane sounded as though it had engine problems before the crash, according to a witness, Brenda Turner, co-owner of a resort on the far side of the river.

Town passes laws to limit homeless
SANTA MONICA This liberal beachside town passed two laws that will prohibit homeless people from camping in front of businesses at night and limit free meals served to them.
Both ordinances passed Tuesday aim to appease business owners, tourists and residents who have complained about increasing numbers of homeless people on Santa Monica streets.
The first ordinance, passed by a 5-2 vote, seeks to limit free outdoor meals by requiring groups serving 150 or more people to adhere to community-event laws and county health standards. The second ordinance, passed unanimously, makes it illegal to sit or lie in downtown doorways from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. if the business owner posts a sign to that effect.

Judge asked to keep teens' tapes secret
DENVER Attorneys for the parents of Columbine gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are asking a federal judge to keep the teenagers' tapes and writings secret during a lawsuit stemming from the 1999 massacre.
The lawyers said the parents wanted to guard against crimes mimicking the mayhem of April 20, 1999, when the teen gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Littleton.
Some relatives of the victims want access to the videotapes, audiotapes and writings to see if the teens hinted at their potential for violence.

Port reaches labor-dispute agreement
WILMINGTON Labor and management at the Port of Wilmington tentatively settled their contract dispute.
The port's chief negotiator said the agreement came a few days before they were scheduled to bring the case to a state arbitrator.
About 230 longshoremen at the port have held lunchtime protests about their contract since the start of the year.

Poll shows residents happy with their lives
MIAMI A survey shows South Florida residents are generally happy with their lives, but they give priority to saving the Everglades, even if it means curbing economic growth.
The Knight Foundation survey also shows residents have to work harder to find jobs and affordable housing, compared with three years ago.

'Elvis' sighted on hunting grounds
BOISE Elvis has been sighted in Garden Valley.
The Garden Valley Elvis doesn't have swivel hips or long sideburns, but he does have the trademark curl of the lip.
And an impressive set of antlers.
Larry Jones says he has seen Elvis the Elk, a Garden Valley phenomenon that was Idaho's best-known wild animal. Elvis the Elk hadn't been seen since 1996 and was believed to be dead.
If the elk Mr. Jones saw and photographed in the spring is Elvis, he'd be about 15 years old now.
"That's practically unheard of in an area that's so heavily hunted," Jon Rachael, Southwest Region wildlife manager for the Idaho Fish and Game Department, told the Idaho Statesman. "The average life span for bulls is closer to 5 or 6 years. If it is Elvis, he's reached a good age for a bull elk."

Girl placed in grandmother's care
SOUTH BEND The grandmother of a 4-year-old girl who was repeatedly struck by her mother in a store parking lot was named as the girl's foster parent yesterday.
Judge Peter J. Nemeth ordered that Martha Toogood be placed in the care of Mary Agnes Gorman. The girl's parents will be limited to one weekly supervised visit with her.
Martha was put in state custody after her mother, Madelyne Gorman Toogood, was charged with felony battery of a child. A surveillance camera taped the woman striking her daughter in a store parking lot in Mishawaka.
Mrs. Toogood, 25, remains free on $7,000 bond. She smiled in court when the judge announced his decision. Her attorney, Fred Hains, said Mrs. Toogood and her husband, John, were pleased.

Bathroom debate back in Kennebunkport
KENNEBUNKPORT The bathroom debate is back.
Town selectmen will discuss today whether the town should pay for public bathrooms in this tourist haven. The issue has been debated off and on since its most famous resident, George Bush, was elected president in 1988.
This time, Susan Graham, the chairman of the Board of Selectmen, wants the town to consider buying or leasing a downtown condominium and converting it into public bathrooms. Now that Mr. Bush's son is president, the issue is likely to generate plenty of controversy.
After residents rejected proposals for taxpayer-funded restrooms for tourists, merchants built a bathroom-equipped visitors center at the local chamber of commerce.

Group fights axing of straight-ticket voting
LANSING The League of Women Voters of Michigan has come out against the elimination of straight-ticket voting by checking a single box.
The proposal on the Nov. 5 ballot would require voting on each office individually. The league said that if the ballot issue passes, rushed voters might not take the time to consider nonpartisan judicial races.

Lindbergh research helped U.S. military
ROCHESTER Pioneering pilot Charles Lindbergh secretly aided the military during World War II by testing the effects of high-altitude flight on humans, government documents show.
The once-classified research by Mr. Lindbergh and others helped keep wartime pilots alive at altitudes reaching an unprecedented 40,000 feet and established the first procedures for surviving parachute jumps from such height.
County challenges voters with bogus addresses
LAS VEGAS Nearly 1,300 Nye County absentee voters are being challenged for unlawfully listing mail-forwarding businesses as residential addresses.
Residents and politicians said some seniors illegally use the mail-drop services in southwestern Nevada while traveling the country in motor homes.

Governor seeks death-penalty reform
LINCOLN Nebraska Gov. Mike Johanns, whose state was shocked last month by the brutal killing of five persons during a botched bank robbery, called state lawmakers yesterday to a special debate on reforming the way the death penalty is imposed and carried out.
Nebraska is one of 38 U.S. states that has the death sentence but is the only one where the electric chair is still used. Mr. Johanns, a Republican, wants the state's legislature to switch to lethal injection.

Abused-children center named for actress
HACKENSACK A $6 million center for abused children at Hackensack University Medical Center has been named the Audrey Hepburn Children's House in honor of the late actress who championed their causes.
Phil Ferrer, the actress' son and head of the Children's Fund, attended the naming ceremony.
More than 300 children a year are expected to pass through the center.

Las Cruces expands smoking ban
LAS CRUCES The Las Cruces City Council has decided to expand the city's smoking ban to include bars, private clubs and public parks.
The council voted 4-3 during Monday's meeting to broaden the city's anti-smoking ordinance. The only exception to the Clean Indoor Air ordinance will be private residences, vehicles or hotel rooms that have been designated for smokers.
"It's been a long and emotional issue," said council member Dolores Archuleta, who doesn't smoke.
The city's original smoking ban prohibited lighting up in many indoor places where the public could gather all city-owned buildings, restaurants, banks, schools, hospitals, city buses, grocery and retail stores, laundries and theaters.

Lennon's killer denied parole
ALBANY John Lennon's killer was denied parole for the second time, state officials said yesterday.
Releasing Mark David Chapman after 22 years in prison would "deprecate the seriousness" of the crime, the parole board said in a statement released yesterday morning. The board said Chapman had "acceptable" behavior in prison, but that didn't guarantee he wouldn't pose a threat to society.
At his first parole hearing two years ago, Chapman said he did not deserve to go free. He will be up for parole again in 2004.
Chapman, 47, is serving 20 years to life for shooting Mr. Lennon outside his Manhattan apartment in 1980 as the former Beatle returned from a late-night recording session.

Prison workers protest pay cuts
OKLAHOMA CITY About 200 angry correctional officers rallied in the rain to protest the state's plans to furlough them for 23 days to ease a budget deficit.
Carrying signs and umbrellas, the protesters chanted "furlough Frank," in reference to Gov. Frank Keating. They said it was unfair to balance the Department of Corrections budget by cutting their paychecks.

Site prepared for selection by firm
CHARLESTON The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a permit to fill 100 acres of wetlands at a site near Summerville said to be under consideration by DaimlerChrysler for a $700 million plant employing up to 3,000 people.
A site near Savannah, Ga., is also vying for the plant. DaimlerChrysler won't say when a decision will be made.

Atlantis docks at space station
SPACE CENTER Space shuttle Atlantis docked yesterday with the International Space Station, bringing a giant girder and food for the residents of the orbiting outpost.
The two spacecraft linked 240 miles above Central Asia. As he guided Atlantis in, commander Jeffrey Ashby informed space station astronaut Peggy Whitson that he had the salsa she requested.
"OK, we'll let you in then," she replied.
The six shuttle astronauts are the first visitors for Miss Whitson and her two Russian crew mates, in orbit for four months.
During the shuttle's weeklong visit, the 45-foot-long, 15-foot-wide girder will be installed on the station. The $390 million, 14-ton aluminum girder contains a new external cooling system for the station and is part of a framework that will hold electricity-generating solar wings and radiators needed for future laboratories.

'Amber Alert' facts put on lottery tickets
CHARLESTON You can't win the lottery if you don't play. Now if West Virginians play, they can also help rescue a kidnapped child, Gov. Bob Wise said yesterday.
West Virginia has become the latest state to put "Amber Alert" information about child abductions on lottery tickets and video-lottery terminals. Similar actions have been taken in Florida, New York and Nebraska.
Highway signs and TV and radio stations throughout the state and even the marquees of private businesses also will display descriptions of a kidnapped child and the suspected abductor when the system is triggered.
"We're trying to close off the state, in effect, by making West Virginians as aware as possible of an abduction," Mr. Wise said.

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