- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Abolitionist's box finds home
LINCOLN A forgotten box once owned by abolitionist Frederick Douglass has found a permanent home with the Nebraska State Historical Society.
The box, purchased by Mr. Douglass in 1847, was used to hold sewing materials. Its contents include lockets of hair from Mr. Douglass and his children, and a Confederate dollar bill, among other items.
Mr. Douglass had given the box to a close friend, runaway slave Ruth Cox Adams, who settled with her family near Norfolk in the 1880s and died in Lincoln in 1900.

Terrorism suspects plead not guilty
BUFFALO Six men thought to be members of a terrorist sleeper cell in suburban Buffalo pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges that they trained at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan attended by Osama bin Laden.
The six Americans of Yemeni descent were arrested just days after the September 11 anniversary. They are from Lackawanna.
A federal grand jury indicted them Monday on two counts of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The charges carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.
Prosecutors said the men were awaiting orders from bin Laden's group to carry out an attack in the United States. However, prosecutors acknowledged that there was no evidence the men posed an imminent threat.

Ex-Goldwater adviser dies at 94
SCOTTSDALE Denison Kitchel, an influential adviser to Barry Goldwater in his 1964 presidential campaign, died Oct. 10. He was 94.
Mr. Kitchel encouraged Mr. Goldwater's enthusiasm for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He also convinced Mr. Goldwater that he was mistaken in his original opposition to both the Supreme Court school integration decision and the use of federal troops to enforce the court's school desegregation decisions.
In 1952, Mr. Kitchel ran Mr. Goldwater's successful campaign for the Senate. He drafted most of Mr. Goldwater's policy statements, including the Senate speech explaining his vote against the civil rights bill.

Teacher put on leave for letter on race
PASADENA A 12-year veteran Muir High School science teacher was placed on paid administrative leave Monday for saying in a letter to teachers that most of the poorly behaved students at the school are black.
District officials placed Scott Phelps on leave for the letter he placed in the teachers' mailboxes at Muir High School on Friday morning.
The teacher said, "Overwhelmingly, the students whose behavior makes the hallways deafening, who yell out for the teacher and demand immediate attention in class, who cannot seem to stop chatting and are fascinated by each other and relationships but not with academics are African-American."
District spokesman Erik Nasarenko told the Pasadena Star-News that the district is investigating. If misconduct is found, Mr. Phelps could be fired.

Boy, 6, saves mother's life
WELD COUNTY Six-year-old Joe Lopez is a shy boy who rarely raises his voice.
But when he saw his mother lying on the side of a road, battered and bloody after a car accident, he shouted an order: "Don't die."
And then he did something even more remarkable. On a remote road, the tearful boy jogged for 10 minutes in search of help, finally flagging down a passer-by.
Promethia Lopez told the Rocky Mountain News she and Joe's little brother, 4-year-old Giovanni, survived the crash because of her son's bravery.
"He has blood on his nose, and he says, 'Mom, don't die'" Mrs. Lopez said from her hospital bed 20 days after the accident. "I wouldn't be alive if my son wouldn't have gotten help."

West Nile virus reported in state
DOVER A 39-year-old Kent County man has become the first human in Delaware known to be infected by the West Nile virus, health officials said yesterday.
Officials with the state Division of Public Health said the man was tested Oct. 11 but was never hospitalized for his illness. The disease usually causes only flulike symptoms, although it can be fatal for older people or those with weakened immune systems.
Allison Taylor-Levine, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Services, said the man has fully recovered.

Sheriff's office won't hire smokers
FORT MYERS Tobacco users need not apply, at least at the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
The department said Monday it will no longer hire deputies who use tobacco. All new hires will be required to sign no-tobacco pledges, with violations potentially resulting in termination.
Currently, deputies are prohibited from using tobacco products while on duty, and all sheriff's office buildings in Lee County are already tobacco-free.
Tim Day, the director of the Southwest Florida Criminal Justice Training Academy, said he does not expect Lee's move to deter applicants.

FBI investigates anti-Muslim leaflets
HONOLULU Hundreds of leaflets containing threats and disparaging remarks toward Muslims were found in the yard of a Honolulu Islamic center.
The leaflets were thrown into the fenced yard of the mosque of the Muslim Association of Hawaii on Monday morning, said Daniel Dzwilewski, special agent in charge at the FBI's Honolulu division. He said officials were investigating the act as a hate crime.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the leaflets included vulgar references about Muslims and warned that patriotic residents of Hawaii will be keeping a watch on them.

Court approves suit by food-stamp recipients
INDIANAPOLIS Food-stamp recipients whose allocations have been reduced since 1996 because of overpayments can proceed with a lawsuit against the state.
The state contends the reductions are permissible under a law that allowed agencies to correct overpayments by reducing food-stamp allowances.
But an appeals court said that after several years of state inaction, food-stamp recipients were entitled to believe they would no longer be accountable for such errors.

Bug lovers can visit insect zoo
MANHATTAN Insect lovers, rejoice.
Fans of creepy crawlies from roaches to butterflies can visit a collection of the pests at Kansas State University's new insect zoo. The collection of more than 1,000 living insects is housed at the school's Horticulture Gardens.
The zoo, which was dedicated Friday, includes a replica of a home kitchen. Visitors are encouraged to peer through Plexiglas panels that enclose cockroach-filled cabinet drawers and flies on the drain board.
"We want to deliver valuable and environmentally sensitive information to the public, and tell them, 'Don't just call the exterminator and start spraying,'" said department of entomology Chairman Sonny Ramaswamy. "There are ways to use simple cleanliness techniques to take care of these things."

Prosecutor tosses corruption charges
NEW ORLEANS A prosecutor said yesterday he will not charge 53 persons arrested in an investigation of reported corruption in the city's government.
Parish District Attorney Harry Connick has not brought charges against any of 84 persons arrested in July in the probe; most were taxi drivers accused of bribing city workers for permits.
Of the 53 charges tossed yesterday, Mr. Connick said evidence filed by the police department failed to support accusations outlined in arrest warrants.
Despite Mr. Connick's decision, Mr. Nagin said his administration would not be deterred "from ferreting out systemic corruption within city government."

Police: Woman drowns daughters, kills self
HARTLAND TOWNSHIP A woman apparently drowned her two daughters and then shot herself to death, authorities say.
The bodies of the 24-year-old woman and her daughters, whose ages and names were not released, were discovered Monday when the woman's 8-year-old son came home from school.
"It's very rare for females to shoot themselves in this manner," Undersheriff Robert Bezotte said. "This type of scene is very traumatic to the investigating officers. We all have kids. It's a terrible scene."

Company recalls mislabeled cookies
BILLINGS A Montana cookie company is voluntarily recalling about 500 cookies packaged with labels that did not note they contained a possible allergen, the Food and Drug Administration said.
The cookies, made by Billings-based Montana Moon Inc., were shipped nationwide under the label "Mocha Java Jump" over the past month. The listed ingredients did not mention that white chocolate chips in the cookies were made with nonfat dry milk, said Sue Hutchcroft, a spokeswoman for the FDA in Bothell, Wash.
Lisa Kopanski-Wittpenn, a co-owner of the company, said she sought the recall for fear someone could be allergic to nonfat dry milk.

Slaying victim was 'Little Rascals' actor
LAS VEGAS An 87-year-old man found stabbed to death in the desert has been identified as a former child actor in the "Our Gang" film series.
The body of Jay R. Smith was found Oct. 5 near Interstate 15, about 25 miles north of Las Vegas, police said. He died from multiple stab wounds, the Clark County coroner's office said.
As a freckle-faced boy, Mr. Smith was in three dozen of the "Our Gang" short comedies from 1925 to 1929, most of them silent. The series, better known to TV audiences as "The Little Rascals," ran from the 1920s to the early 1940s.
As an adult, Mr. Smith owned a paint store. He also served in the Army in World War II.
Police said a homeless man who had been staying in a shed next to Mr. Smith's home was being sought for questioning in the death.

NBA stars assist troubled high school
JERSEY CITY A financially troubled Roman Catholic high school in New Jersey has received a big assist from two NBA stars.
St. Anthony High School, a longtime basketball powerhouse that has won 23 state parochial championships, said Monday that Orlando's All-Star forward Grant Hill and Washington Wizards forward Christian Laettner have each donated $50,000 to the school.
Both players were teammates with Bobby Hurley on the Duke University teams that won national championships in 1991 and 1992.
Mr. Hurley's father, Bob, coaches the St. Anthony team, and is among the school officials who are trying to keep its doors open.

New sewers stopping leaks
CINCINNATI New storm sewers along the city's waterfront are making the Ohio River cleaner, according to Cincinnati Health Department findings.
Weekly tests for fecal coliform bacteria, a measure of raw sewage bypassing treatment plants, showed improvement during the past two summer boating seasons.

Man walks stairs to fight leg pain
SPRINGFIELD Ervin Ashley used to have trouble walking and even getting out of his chair.
When the 90-year-old man complained about leg pain to his doctor, he was told to walk up some steps. The doctor never said anything about stopping.
For more than a year, Mr. Ervin has led a one-man climbing expedition up a stairway outside Springfield City Hall. He climbs thousands of steps a day, five days a week.
"I don't dare quit," said Mr. Ervin, who'll be 91 on Nov. 1. "Some people think I'm crazy coming up all these steps, but it's doing me good."

Study finds bridges need repairs
PROVIDENCE A study says one in four of the state's major bridges needs repairs. The report by the nonprofit Road Information Program also says that one in five of the state's non-Interstate roadways is in poor condition.
The study ranks Rhode Island third nationally in the percentage of bridges rated structurally deficient.

Retirement fund loses $500 million
CHARLESTON South Carolina's $22 billion retirement fund lost an additional $500 million in market value for the quarter ending Sept. 30, according to the Budget and Control Board.
The fund, which is about 25 percent invested in stocks, showed a $1.1 billion paper loss for the fiscal year ending June 30.
Gains in other portions of the retirement portfolio made up for those losses and left the fund with a $195 million gain for the year.

Ceremony marks fire academy opening
SHELBYVILLE Hundreds of firefighters gave Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist a standing ovation yesterday as he presided over the opening of the state's fire academy, a year after it was built.
Budget problems kept the $27 million Tennessee Fire Service and Codes Enforcement Academy closed, but after the September 11 attacks brought attention to the importance of trained emergency workers, the money was found to open it.
"Even though we had some tough budget times and it delayed its opening, it's still a sweet day," Mr. Sundquist said at a ceremony marked by a giant U.S. flag, and patriotic music.
A barrage of fireworks that exploded overhead as Mr. Sundquist cut the ceremonial ribbon appeared to startle the crowd.
"I don't know about y'all, but I thought there was an incoming coming in," quipped retired Brig. Gen. Wendell Gilbert, the master of ceremonies. "I was ready to get in my foxhole."

Record-holding driver dies after accident
SALT LAKE CITY Nolan White, holder of the land-speed record for piston-driven cars, died Sunday of complications from injuries suffered Thursday in a record attempt at the Bonneville Salt Flats. He was 71.
Mr. White, of San Diego, had just passed through the measured mile at 422 mph on the first of the two required runs and was preparing to stop his twin-engine streamliner when the cord holding three parachutes broke.
Mr. White was still going 350 mph when he hit a soft surface and rolled.

Police recruits would get signing bonus
HARDWICK The town is offering signing bonuses of up to $1,500 in an attempt to lure new officers to its understaffed police department.
Anyone who takes a bonus for the officers' jobs, which pay about $29,000 a year, will have to sign an agreement to stay in the position at least a year or pay back the money, said Town Manager Dan Hill.

Recruiting commercial isn't on target
FORT LEWIS Soldiers who star in the Army's latest recruiting commercial say the director took a few Hollywood liberties.
The ad shows troops running ahead of advancing Stryker vehicles, which is not the way the maneuver works.
The commercial was filmed by director Tony Scott at the Yakima Training Center.

Invitations send wrong message
CHEYENNE The same week that Mayor Jack Spiker said there can be a separation between church and state, he used city stationary to invite people to his November prayer breakfast, the Tribune-Eagle reports.
Mr. Spiker said Monday that he paid for the stationery, envelopes and postage for the invitations himself. The mayor sent out 106 invitations to the second annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast last week to all local churches.
"If I've done it wrong, it's not with the idea that I'm trying to create controversy or do anything wrong. I guess it's just out of ignorance," he said.

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