- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2002

CALIFORNIA
Singer helps town hit by wildfires
WALKER Grammy Award-winning singer Juice Newton sang for an audience seated on hay bales to raise money for this quiet Sierra town ravaged by two wildfires during the summer.
"I was asked if I would come to do a show to try to raise the awareness, to raise some money," she said after the concert on Saturday. "Of course I'd come. Why not? You've gotta help."
Miss Newton sang for more than an hour to a crowd of about 200 in a dusty field a few hundred yards from where an air tanker crashed while fighting a June blaze, killing all three men on board.

MAINE
Hundreds march for Somalis
LEWISTON Hundreds of people marched yesterday in support of Somali immigrants in Maine's second-largest city, where the mayor earlier this month asked Somalis in an open letter to stop bringing in friends and relatives for fear of straining the city's services.
Police said about 250 people participated in a five-block walk from a Methodist church to a mosque where many of Lewiston's Somalis worship. Some gave speeches expressing solidarity with the new arrivals.

ARIZONA
Court overturns murder convictions
PHOENIX The state Supreme Court has overturned a man's murder convictions and death sentences in a Tucson triple slaying after finding that a prosecutor had misled jurors.
By using false testimony to bolster a key witness' credibility, Kenneth Peasley, a two-time state prosecutor of the year, deprived Andre Lamont Minnitt of a fair trial, the Supreme Court said Friday.
Mr. Peasley's conduct amounted to "calculated deception" intended to cover up weaknesses in his case, Chief Justice Charles E. Jones wrote in the 5-0 ruling.
Minnitt cannot be tried again on murder and other charges stemming from a June 24, 1992, robbery of the El Grande Market in Tucson. He still must serve a 36-year sentence for another armed robbery.
Mr. Peasley, a veteran homicide prosecutor, stepped down as Pima County's chief criminal deputy in June 1999 when the state bar association found probable cause to investigate him. He remains a deputy county attorney but no longer handles criminal cases.

ARKANSAS
Senate race tight, poll shows
LITTLE ROCK A key Senate race between incumbent Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson and Democratic challenger Mark Pryor is a virtual dead heat, according to a newspaper poll published yesterday.
With just more than three weeks remaining before the Nov. 5 election, Mr. Pryor, who is Arkansas' attorney general, leads Mr. Hutchinson by 45.4 percent to 45.2 percent, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said.
The telephone poll of 500 likely voters conducted Wednesday through Friday by Zogby International had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
The Arkansas race is critical because Democrats control the Senate by one seat.

CONNECTICUT
Lawmaker killed in car crash
NEW HAVEN Connecticut's deputy House majority leader was killed early Friday in a car crash.
State Rep. John S. Martinez, a Democrat, lost control of his car on wet pavement and was hit broadside by a trailer truck, police said.
Gov. John G. Rowland asked that flags on all state buildings fly at half-staff through yesterday in memory of Mr. Martinez, 48, who had represented a New Haven district since 1995.
Mr. Martinez did not have a valid driver's license and his license had been suspended at least six times since 1996, said state Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Bill Seymour. The latest suspension was handed down Aug. 9 because Mr. Martinez failed to appear in court in connection with a drunken driving charge.

FLORIDA
Robbing mother puts man in prison
LARGO A man who held his mother at knifepoint while he forced her to withdraw money from her bank account has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Sidney Trimble, 42, pleaded guilty last week to charges of armed robbery, kidnapping and armed burglary, the St. Petersburg Times reports.
Largo police arrested Trimble on Jan. 3 after a bank teller noticed Trimble's 68-year-old mother, Edith, acting strangely as she sat in the drive-through. The teller stalled and then saw Mrs. Trimble turn to her and mouth the words, "Call the police." Officers arrived minutes later and arrested Trimble.

MASSACHUSETTS
Cardinal bans reform group
BOSTON Cardinal Bernard Law has barred new chapters of a liberal Catholic group from meeting on church property.
The cardinal will allow existing chapters of Voice of the Faithful to meet in parish halls if the pastor approves, however.
"Given the present state of the group as a national organization, I decided it would be inappropriate for new chapters to use church property until I had received further information about the Voice of the Faithful," Cardinal Law wrote in a letter made public Saturday.
Cardinal Law also reversed a decision to ban Voice of the Faithful from meeting at St. Michael Parish, a church about 25 miles north of Boston, a move the group welcomed even as an official described Cardinal Law's policy as "confusing" and "painful."
Voice of the Faithful was established in a Wellesley parish in the wake of the clergy abuse scandal and says it has a worldwide membership of 25,000.

MISSISSIPPI
Musicians, town honor bluesman
VICKSBURG About 30 Mississippi musicians are paying homage to bluesman Willie Dixon, a Vicksburg native who was called "the poet laureate of the blues."
The free concert was scheduled for yesterday at the Vicksburg Convention Center. Donations will be accepted for a statue of Mr. Dixon, who died in 1992 at 76.
Today, a downtown street will be dedicated as Willie Dixon Way.
Mr. Dixon, who was born in Vicksburg in 1915, wrote hundreds of songs, including "[Im Your] Hoochie Coochie Man," "Wang Dang Doodle" and "Spoonful."

MISSOURI
Band's tour bus catches fire
KINGDOM CITY Members of the ska band Reel Big Fish escaped unharmed when their tour bus caught fire at a truck stop.
The six band members and three crewmen were sleeping on the bus Saturday morning when the blaze started.
The band was on its way to a show at the Blue Note in Columbia, part of a five-week tour to promote its album "Cheer Up," released in July.
Bus driver Ron Mullholland noticed smoke pouring from the bus after he bought a cup of coffee at a truck stop, and alerted the band.
The cause of the blaze, which took about 30 minutes to extinguish, was unknown.

NEW MEXICO
Group calls for mayor's ouster
ALBUQUERQUE Mayor Martin Chavez has asked a political action committee that has given him money to refund donations from city employees and firms doing business with the city.
Mr. Chavez also said he will refund money the group spent on cell-phone calls made by his wife, but defended PAC-funded trips he and his family made to Japan and Mexico and Thursday said the committee was operating legally.
Spending by the committee, known as Abqpac, prompted a community activist group, New Mexico Vecinos United, to call for Mr. Chavez's removal and file a complaint Wednesday with the city Ethics Board. Also Wednesday, Attorney General Patricia Madrid said her office will review ethics questions about the PAC raised by a City Council member.
The PAC formed the week Mr. Chavez was sworn in for his second term in December. The Democrat served one term as mayor before making an unsuccessful run for governor in 1998.
The PAC has raised more than $100,000 from city employees, real estate developers, city contractors and others. Mr. Chavez said he does not control the committee.

NORTH CAROLINA
Group withholds funds for Afghan zoo
RALEIGH The photographs and stories moved readers around the world: An aging, one-eyed lion. A stressed-out bear. Keepers who went unpaid but stayed on to care for animals at the Kabul Zoo.
Last year, a zoo in North Carolina initiated a fund-raising drive for its impoverished, war-shattered Afghan counterpart.
The response was so overwhelming that the custodians of the fund face an unexpected dilemma: What to do with the money?
The North Carolina Zoo expected to raise about $30,000 after it started the campaign in November. About $530,000 poured in. So far, the zoo fund has contributed $70,000 for basic functions at the Kabul Zoo, said North Carolina Zoo director David Jones. Another $75,000 has been spent to help non-zoo animals in Afghanistan.
About $385,000 remains in a North Carolina bank account. Mr. Jones said fund officials are reluctant to release more money until they are sure it won't be wasted.

OREGON
Charges help prosecute terrorists
PORTLAND Two key exceptions to general criminal law may allow prosecutors to use even weak evidence to build a case against a dozen terror suspects charged in Oregon and New York, legal scholars say.
Unlike most crimes, proof of conspiracy does not require an actual crime and hearsay is allowed. Instead, all that is needed is evidence that two or more persons agreed to commit a crime and took at least one step, called an "overt act" however trivial and even perfectly legal toward planning that crime or carrying it out.
"There have to be overt acts in pursuance of the conspiracy but those overt acts can be perfectly innocuous things, like getting on a plane at JFK, so you don't need a lot," said Abraham Sofaer, a Stanford law professor, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and former legal adviser to the U.S. State Department.
Also, the nearly ironclad legal principle that bars hearsay testimony by one person who was merely told what another person said does not apply to co-conspirators, said Phil Heymann, a Harvard law professor.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Shooting of film starts today
WALTERBORO The wife of a high school football coach whose life is being made into a Hollywood film says she is honored that Debra Winger is going to play her on the silver screen.
"I had no idea that it would be anybody like her," said Linda Jones, wife of coach Harold Jones. "She's one of my favorites. I don't see many movies, but I've rarely missed one of hers."
Ed Harris plays the T.L. Hanna High School coach and Cuba Gooding Jr. the mentally disabled man he befriends. Shooting of "Radio," named after Mr. Gooding's character, starts today.
Miss Winger, 47, returned to movies earlier this year after a six-year hiatus.
She starred in "An Officer and a Gentleman" in 1983 and "Terms of Endearment" the following year, receiving Academy Award nominations for both efforts. She also was nominated for an Oscar for her role opposite Anthony Hopkins in "Shadowlands" in 1994.

UTAH
Officials to revoke program's license
SALT LAKE CITY The state will revoke the license of a wilderness program for troubled teens after two employees were charged with child-abuse homicide in the July 13 heat exhaustion death of a 14-year-old boy.
Ian August collapsed while on a three-mile hike in sweltering heat in central Utah. Skyline Journey director Mark Wardle and counselor Leigh Hale were charged in his death.
The Utah Department of Human Services said Friday it would revoke the program's license Oct. 25.
Lee Wardle, Mark Wardle's father and Skyline's chief executive officer, said the program would appeal, allowing it to operate until administrative hearings are complete.


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