- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 24, 2002


Judge throws out royalties lawsuit

ST. LOUIS A federal judge has thrown out a royalties lawsuit against Chuck Berry by former collaborator Johnnie Johnson, ruling that too many years had passed since the more than 30 songs in dispute were written.

Mr. Johnson, a piano player, sued Mr. Berry in November 2000 in U.S. District Court here over royalties generated by songs written from 1955 to 1966. They include some of rock 'n' roll's most famous songs, including "No Particular Place to Go," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Sweet Little Sixteen."

The lawsuit argued that Mr. Johnson and Mr. Berry were co-writers on many of the songs the latter made famous, but because Mr. Berry copyrighted them in his name alone, Mr. Johnson got none of the royalties.


Heston supports pro-gun candidates

MANCHESTER Aging and diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease symptoms, National Rifle Association President and actor Charlton Heston, 78, launched a two-week campaign tour for candidates who support gun rights.

Mr. Heston spoke Monday to a crowd of 700 or so in New Hampshire as part of the NRA's "Vote Freedom First" campaign.

He held a rifle in front of him, then uttered to the roaring crowd his famous line, "From my cold, dead hands."

Mr. Heston, president of the NRA since 1998, announced in August that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's symptoms. His speech in Manchester on Monday was one of 12 scheduled campaign stops in key states.

On Tuesday, Mr. Heston, 78, held a similar rally in Joplin, Mo.


Closing arguments made in Commandments suit

MONTGOMERY An attorney seeking to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Alabama's Judicial Building told a federal judge yesterday that the state's chief justice installed it to promote his own religious beliefs.

"This is a question of whether the politically powerful can impose their views on others," said Southern Poverty Law Center attorney Danielle Lipow.

But attorneys for Chief Justice Roy Moore, a conservative Christian who says the commandments are the moral foundation of American law, argued that the monument is simply an acknowledgment of God and does not force anyone to follow Justice Moore's religious beliefs.


Groups seek probe of border shooting

TUCSON Human rights advocates are calling for a federal investigation into the Oct. 16 fatal shooting of two immigrants and a vigilante group's seizure of drugs near the U.S.-Mexican border.

The advocates, including members of a group called Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, said the separate incidents resulted from misguided federal immigration policies.

"The murder of two migrants is not an isolated incident," said the Rev. John Fife, a Tucson pastor. "It is the culmination of a history of dehumanization and racism and militarism on this border that has gone on for a long time. Too long."


Strong quake shakes state

ANCHORAGE A strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake rattled homes across a broad section of central Alaska yesterday, but appeared to cause only minor damage, officials said.

The quake was centered in a rugged, sparsely populated area 85 miles south of Fairbanks, where it knocked items off shelves, and was felt as far away as Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula about 200 miles to the south.


Report: Guns found behind Blake's home

LOS ANGELES A man removing gym equipment found two guns in a barn behind the home of actor Robert Blake, who is charged in his wife's killing, the Los Angeles Times reported.

One of the guns was inside a wooden box behind a stereo cabinet suspended about 7 feet above the floor, said a search warrant affidavit.

The man, who was removing gym equipment Friday, looked into "the box and saw a blue-steel gun in a holster," according to the search warrant.

Blake attorney Harland Braun said the defense team knew about the guns a year ago and offered them to police.


State snuffs out smoking in prisons

DOVER State officials have a message for Delaware prison inmates: Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

As of Nov. 1, inmates will be prohibited from possessing or using tobacco products.

The same is true for prison employees, who will not be allowed to bring cigarettes or other tobacco products to work. Employees will have to keep cigarettes in their vehicles and will be allowed to smoke only outside perimeter security fences, keeping at least 20 feet away from building entrances.

The ban affects approximately 6,300 inmates and 2,800 employees. Prisoners violating the new policy could lose privileges, while employees would face reprimands.


Bushes visit daughter in jail

ORLANDO Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, saw their daughter, Noelle, for the first time since she was sentenced to 10 days in jail for violating terms of her drug-treatment program.

The Bushes saw their 25-year-old daughter Tuesday during a brief visit at Orange County Jail, said jail spokesman Allen Moore.

Miss Bush was ordered to serve jail time last week after being accused of having a small amount of crack cocaine in her shoe at her drug rehabilitation center.


Ex-track star chases suspect

DAVENPORT A former University of Iowa track athlete who went to a bank to meet a friend for lunch helped chase down a man who held up the bank.

Brad McCorkle said he paused when the robbery suspect he was chasing Tuesday afternoon turned and pretended to have a gun in his pocket. Mr. McCorkle said he wasn't fooled, and the chase resumed.

Mr. McCorkle flagged down a police car, and the suspect jumped over a fence into a yard. Mr. McCorkle, dressed in a suit for his job as a credit analyst at another bank branch, leaped after him. That was when the suspect made an offer, he said.

"He offered me half the money to let him go," Mr. McCorkle said.


Virginian is injured in plane accident

MIDDLESBORO A twin-engine plane grazed the roof of a house near an eastern Kentucky airport and then crashed onto a city street shortly after takeoff, leaving both occupants injured.

The two-story house caught fire, but the only person inside, who was watching television in a downstairs room at the time, wasn't hurt, authorities said.

"The plane was reported to be having problems on the ramp with the left engine starting," Middlesboro-Bell County Airport spokesman John Brown said. "The airplane took off, retracted its gear and the left engine failed."

The 1969 Piper Twin Comanche was registered to C.R. Quesenberry Inc. in Abingdon, Va. Cliff R. Quesenberry, 81, was in serious condition yesterday morning and his son, Robert "Greg" Quesenberry, 51, was in satisfactory condition.


Board approves history curriculum

MALDEN The state Board of Education approved a new history and social studies curriculum this week despite a letter signed by 190 school superintendents requesting a delay.

Critics said the standards were heavy on facts, with too little context.

The board voted unanimously, saying the curriculum was subject to a lengthy public review.


Man faces trial on perjury charges

DETROIT A man who told federal agents a month before September 11, 2001, that an airplane attack was being planned on Washington is facing trial on perjury charges for reportedly lying to a grand jury.

Gussan Abraham Jarrar, 42, a Jordanian, told the Detroit Free Press in a jail interview that nobody would listen to his warning.


General Mills recalls Old El Paso beans

MINNEAPOLIS General Mills Inc. announced Tuesday that it is recalling 4,080 cans of Old El Paso Traditional Variety Refried Beans in five states because of possible bacterial contamination.

No illnesses have been reported, Golden Valley-based General Mills said. Routine testing found that the beans might have been underprocessed and tainted with Clostridium botulinum.

The bacterium can cause botulism, a form of food poisoning.

The cans being recalled are labeled with the UPC code 4600082121 and production date code beginning with the first six characters of H2FF15.

States in the recall are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.


Ike's granddaughter touts exchange programs

LINCOLN Exchange programs that help bridge cultural gaps are even more important after last year's terrorist attacks, the granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower said.

Mary Jean Eisenhower, who leads the People to People International exchange program, said she questioned whether the group's efforts were in vain after September 11, 2001. Upon further reflection, she concluded that the work should continue despite the terrorist acts.

"If we are intimidated by such evil and cowardly deeds, surely they have won," she told members of the Lincoln Rotary Club Tuesday.


Infants safely dropped from burning building

ELIZABETH Two infants were dropped safely into a blanket from a second-floor window when a fire yesterday raced through three apartment buildings. Fifty persons were left homeless by the blaze, authorities said.

Firefighters battled flames for four hours in a struggling neighborhood of Elizabeth.

A frantic woman trapped with two infants cried for help from a window, catching the attention of neighbors Mary Lowery and Willie Mayweather. They were huddling outside in a blanket after escaping the fire, and extended the blanket for the babies.

Miss Lowery said the woman hesitated "but then she dropped them one by one."


Russian plane detained at JFK

NEW YORK Federal agents met an airliner from Moscow at John F. Kennedy International Airport yesterday after receiving a tip that it might have radioactive material on board. A search of the plane turned up a box of furs.

Customs agents had one person in custody, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the airports. No details on the man were released.

The plane was searched.

"It turns out it was a box full of furs," Mr. Johnson said.


Dog chews up absentee ballot

PIERRE The dog didn't eat Bob Sahr's homework, but it did something close.

Mr. Sahr, who's running for the Public Utilities Commission, said one of the family dogs got to his wife's absentee ballot and chewed it up.

Mr. Sahr's wife is pregnant, and her delivery date is close to the Nov. 5 election, so she got an absentee ballot in the mail. But the dog got to it before she did.

Not the act of a best friend, perhaps, but Mr. Sahr is looking on the bright side.

"The dog didn't vote for me, but he didn't vote for my opponent, either," he said.


Presley's hair to be auctioned

MEMPHIS If you've always longed to run your fingers through Elvis Presley's hair, this could be your chance. A baseball-sized chunk of it is going on sale.

Brian Marren of the Internet auction house MastroNet Inc. said the hair was collected by Mr. Presley's former hairstylist, Homer "Mr. Gill" Gilleland.

The auction for the hair starts Monday. Bidding will start at $10,000, Mr. Marren said, "and it wouldn't surprise me if it went well into the six figures."

Mr. Marren said Mr. Gilleland, now deceased, gave the Elvis hair, which he kept in a plastic bag, to friend Tom Morgan, who is selling it through MastroNet.


Newsman Cronkite to receive award

DALLAS Newsman Walter Cronkite will be a master of ceremonies at the Press Club of Dallas' Katie Awards, where he will receive the organization's first Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 85-year-old Cronkite, who spent much of his lengthy career with CBS News, attended the University of Texas at Austin.

CNN technology anchor Renay San Miguel also will help host the Nov. 2 event. Mr. San Miguel is a former anchor and reporter at WFAA-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth.


Happy Factory makes 200,000 smiles

CEDAR CITY Four years ago, there was little more than a couple dozen wooden cars and a floor covered in dust in a shed behind the house where Donna and Charles Cooley live.

The Cooleys are still about ankle deep in dust, but they have a steady stream of toy cars, steam shovels and other handmade gifts of love shipping out of the Happy Factory workshop on a daily basis.

Tuesday afternoon, the 200,000th toy manufactured by the international children's organization rolled off the assembly line, its wheels put into place by 20-year-old volunteer Nate Whittier.


School to be named for hijacking hero

FEDERAL WAY Todd Beamer, who is believed to have led passengers against hijackers on United Airline Flight 93 after saying "Let's roll," will have his name on a new high school in Washington state.

The school board on Tuesday chose the Cranbury, N.J., native over famous Americans including American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, Martin Luther King. and explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

A school in this suburb will be named Todd Beamer High School.


Gadget could help officials track buses

CHARLESTON The days of children standing in the rain waiting for a tardy school bus soon may be in the past, the Daily Mail reports.

Cabell County is testing out a system that may one day allow parents to check their computers for the exact position of a school bus.

"They could just log on and see exactly when the bus is going to be there," said Sean Litteral, a research associate with the Rahall Transportation Institute in Huntington.

The system would outfit school buses with Global Positioning Systems. The GPS would send a signal to satellites and broadcast the bus' exact coordinates. The satellite would send the signal to a central computer, which would set up a Web site where parents could see their child's school bus.


Prosecutor probes food-for-votes charge

MADISON A prosecutor yesterday said he is investigating accusations that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Doyle's campaign used soft drinks, food and quarters to secure votes at a home for people with mental illness and disabilities.

WTMJ-TV reported Tuesday that Doyle campaign workers set up a bingo party and offered free soda, coffee and pastries at a Kenosha residential care facility. After the bingo, in which many residents won 75 cents in quarters, the residents were told they could vote by absentee ballot in another room, the station reported.

Republican Gov. Scott McCallum said the event was wrong and "just a continuation of wanting an office so badly you're willing to bend the law."

Kenosha County District Attorney Robert Jambois drove to WTMJ in Milwaukee to view footage of residents winning cans of soda and quarters. State law prohibits giving people anything worth more than $1 to try to get them to vote or keep them from voting.

"Around here, kringle [pastry] is pretty inexpensive, so is soda," Mr. Jambois said. "I'm going to take a look at what it all adds up to."

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