- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 9, 2002

New death chamber displayed
ATMORE Officials at Holman Prison on Monday showed off the state's new lethal-injection chamber, scheduled to be used for the first time in 10 days.
But in Atmore some residents wondered what was wrong with the electric chair.
"When a killer kills, he shows no mercy and he ought to die a horrible death," said Donnette Brooks, a barber at the Elite Barber Shop in Atmore, where the major source for jobs is the two giant prisons located just north of town.
The new death chamber features a single hospital gurney with black straps across the top, sitting alone in a stark, six-sided white room.

Parks' works arrive home
FORT SCOTT Writer and photographer Gordon Parks' work is finally coming to his eastern Kansas hometown.
Mr. Parks is donating a collection of his work photographs and poems valued at $100,000 to the new Mercy Health Center, which opened two months ago.
One work, a poem titled "Homecoming," reflects the peace the black author and photographer has made with the town where he was born in 1912 and where he learned to face racism at an early age.

Station fires DJ for on-air prank
PHOENIX A disc jockey who made an on-air prank call to the widow of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile has been fired, the radio station announced Monday.
KUPD-FM morning radio personality Beau Duran called Flynn Kile at her hotel and asked if she had a date to Thursday's playoff game. The stunt outraged St. Louis manager Tony La Russa and prompted an apology from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
KUPD suspended Mr. Duran last week, but in a statement released Monday by the station, general manager Chuck Artigue said Mr. Duran had been fired.
Mr. Kile, a starting pitcher for the Cardinals, died from blocked coronary arteries in June.

Ex-manager wins sexual-harassment suit
DENVER A jury awarded $1 million to a former employee at a Chevrolet dealership who said her pay was cut 60 percent after she complained that five managers sexually harassed her.
Lori Hanson said she was subjected to pinching, kissing, sexually explicit comments and false, sexually explicit rumors while employed as business development manager from 1996 to 2000 at Chesrown Chevrolet.
The federal jury awarded her $250,000 for pain and suffering, and $750,000 in punitive damages Monday.

Officials red-faced after lecture error
MIDDLETOWN Wesleyan University officials are wiping egg off their faces after scheduling a lecture concerning disabled people in a building that wasn't handicapped accessible.
The situation came to light after Sharon Denson, a West Hartford resident with muscular dystrophy who uses an electric scooter, learned she would not be able to attend Thursday's lecture because of the lack of access.
"I really don't think there was any evil intent," she said. "But they just don't think. If you're able-bodied, you don't think about access. You just run up the steps."
Scheduling the lecture at Russell House last week was an error caused by a lack of foresight, Wesleyan spokesman Justin Harmon said.

Man changes name to 'I Am Who I Am'
LAKE CITY Charles Haffey had wanted to legally change his name to "God." When a judge refused, he picked a compromise that was able to pass legal muster: "I Am Who I Am."
"Well, Hallelujah," he told Judge Vernon Douglas at a hearing last week.
The former Mr. Haffey said after his first choice was rejected in April, he went back to the Bible to find a backup, drawing on a passage where Moses asks God who he is and hears: "I am who I am or I will be who I will be."
The 55-year-old said he sought the name change as a way to gain release from feelings of "panic, anxiety, fear, rage, murder, suicide," that have plagued him since he served in Vietnam.

Governor criticized for low test scores
PERRY Gov. Roy Barnes was criticized for the state's dead-last national ranking on SAT scores at a debate last night.
Despite Georgia's rock-bottom status, the Democratic governor vowed: "I can guarantee you, just as Governor [George W.] Bush did in Texas and Governor [James] Hunt did in North Carolina, that SAT scores will rise as this education reform effort and the students go through the school system."
After Mr. Barnes decried negative campaigning, Republican challenger Sonny Perdue replied that the governor can blame himself for the negative tone because all the TV attack ads have come from Mr. Barnes. The Perdue campaign, trailing the governor 17-to-1 in fund-raising, hasn't aired a TV ad since August.

Remnants of sub returned to state
HONOLULU The sail and topside rudder of the nuclear-powered submarine USS Kamehameha were returned to Hawaii.
The sub named for the Hawaiian warrior king was decommissioned April 2 and cut up for scrap. The Navy plans to display the remnants at Pearl Harbor.

Fewer melanoma deaths in 20- to 44-year-olds
CHICAGO U.S. melanoma deaths dropped significantly in people ages 20 to 44 during the past three decades, thanks in part to educational campaigns about the dangers of too much sun, researchers said in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.
The decline among young adults in deaths from melanoma the most severe form of skin cancer occurred from 1969 to 1999.
Overall melanoma death rates increased during that period from 2 per 100,000 persons to 3 per 100,000, because of an increase among other age groups, especially the 45-and-older set.

Land added to Walden Pond
CONCORD Don Henley helped celebrate the addition of a 26.4-acre parcel of land to the Walden Pond State Reservation.
The new acreage, known as the "Goose Pond" parcel, was obtained through a land swap with the town of Concord. The land borders the reservation, the town's former landfill and Route 2.
"The land surrounding Goose Pond in Walden Woods was one of Henry David Thoreau's favorite destinations," the drummer for the Eagles said Monday. "He spent a great deal of time here, immersed in nature, drawing inspiration from this beautiful setting."

Church fighting to move into bar
DETROIT The Rev. Brent Hanson is fighting to get his nondenominational Christian congregation into what may seem an unlikely Sunday-morning destination a bar.
Mr. Hanson, who founded New Song Community Church seven years ago, hopes the church will find its new home in a building currently housing Ref's Corner bar.
But according to the Wolverine Lake Planning Commission, village law says the coffee-and-cream-colored building may only be used for commercial businesses, not churches.
Mr. Hanson has petitioned to change the designation, which village leaders will reconsider Oct. 24.

Fewer plan to hunt deer, eat venison
ST. PAUL Fewer Minnesotans plan to hunt deer or eat venison this fall because of chronic wasting disease, a poll says.
The disease has been found only in one captive elk and hasn't harmed anyone in states where it exists in deer.
More than two-thirds of those polled say they're at least somewhat concerned the disease will spread to wild deer.

Governor signs medical malpractice bill
JACKSON Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove signed a compromise medical malpractice bill into law yesterday after expanding a special session to take up the issue of civil justice reform.
Mr. Musgrove initially called the lawmakers into special session more than a month ago because many doctors, particularly those in high-risk specialties, were having trouble renewing malpractice policies because some insurers were raising rates and others were pulling out of the state.
The compromise, which will take effect Jan. 1, sets caps for pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice cases at $500,000, increasing to $1 million by 2017. It also more narrowly defines the financial responsibility of parties in a malpractice suit, and it would require lawsuits be filed in the county where the purported injury occurred.

Guard fatally shot outside bank
ST. LOUIS Two men have been arrested and a third suspect was being sought yesterday, a day after a bank guard was fatally shot during a scuffle with would-be robbers, authorities said.
The two were arrested late Monday. Their names were not released, and charges had not yet been filed. Police declined to say whether the men arrested were the would-be robbers or how a third may have been involved.
Nathan Ley, 25, was credited with thwarting the robbery at the Bank of America branch on the city's north side. He died at a hospital about two hours after he was shot twice in the head. Bank of America said a memorial fund would be set up in Mr. Ley's name.

Trade Center death toll falls below 2,800
NEW YORK The official toll from the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center has dipped below 2,800 for the first time, with four names deleted from the list of dead, health officials said yesterday.
The latest toll is 2,797, after three persons reported missing and feared dead were found by police to be alive and one victim was shown to have been listed twice, said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman at the New York chief medical examiner's office.
In the first few days after the World Trade Center towers collapsed, the estimated death toll was put at more than 6,000.

Oyster harvest is in doubt
WILMINGTON Oyster season opens Oct. 15. But the size and quality of the harvest is in doubt.
Polluted waters and overfishing have devastated the formerly voluminous oyster population.
Once in the millions of pounds, last year's harvest didn't exceed 100,000 pounds, according to state statistics.

Report shows increase in meth-lab raids
BISMARCK North Dakota has broken up nearly 200 methamphetamine labs this year, more than double the amount for the year in 2001, a report says.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said the figures indicate a growing methamphetamine problem in North Dakota.
The state had broken up 191 methamphetamine labs as of late last week, compared with 89 last year. The state had 46 methamphetamine lab breakups in 2000 and 17 in 1999.
The rise in drug raids occurred as violent crime in North Dakota decreased last year. The state had nine homicide deaths last year.
Man sentenced for inseminating stepdaughter
AKRON A man was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday for impregnating his teenage stepdaughter with a syringe of his own sperm.
John Goff, 41, quoted Bible verses and said he forgave the judge, police, prosecutors and his stepdaughter.
Goff was found guilty Aug. 29 of rape and other charges. He was convicted of breaking the very laws he and his wife had campaigned for after a man accused of molesting his stepdaughter was acquitted. Lawmakers expanded the rape law in 1996 to include penetration with any object. Previously, only sexual intercourse was considered rape.
Goff and his wife, Narda, artificially inseminated their daughter, then 16, in 1998. Narda Goff was unable to have children because she had had a hysterectomy.
Narda Goff, 43, was convicted in March and sentenced to three years in prison.

Environmentalists seek land for study
BEND Environmentalists say federal officials should set aside 363,000 acres of canyons, sage brush and rolling hills in southeastern Oregon as wilderness study areas.
The designation would close roads and ban off-road vehicles, mining exploration and bicycling, but it wouldn't affect ranchers.
Court says hearings can be closed
PHILADELPHIA A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that immigration hearings may be closed by the government, dealing a blow to media organizations who sought access to hearings involving foreigners swept up in the nation's terrorism investigation.
The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling and said the attorney general has the right to close the hearings for reasons of national security.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt, who argued the case on behalf of two New Jersey publications, said the group is considering whether to appeal to the Supreme Court or ask for the case to be reheard by the full 3rd Circuit.

Funding system ruled unconstitutional
NASHVILLE Tennessee's system for distributing tax money to public school systems was declared unconstitutional yesterday by the state Supreme Court.
In its third such ruling in less than a decade, the court found unanimously that the system shortchanges rural districts and denies equal educational opportunities for students.
The Basic Education Plan provided extra state funds to systems in counties with smaller tax bases.

Police officer charged with bigamy
SALT LAKE CITY A police officer has been charged with bigamy and illegal sex with a 16-year-old girl, according to documents unsealed Monday by Utah's attorney general.
Rodney H. Holm, 36, has three wives and 21 children, according to prosecutors and his attorney. One of the wives, a 16-year-old girl, is his legally recognized wife's younger sister.
She was wed to Mr. Holm in a spiritual ceremony in 1998, according to the court documents. The documents charge the legally recognized wife, Suzie Stubbs Holm, with aiding and abetting her husband's illicit relationship.

Researchers trying to cut water pollution
BURLINGTON University of Vermont scientists and engineers are trying to help reduce water pollution caused by liquid runoff from barns and milking parlors.
The university has funding to run the wetlands experiment for at least two years. The goal is to create a system that can be replicated cheaply on small dairies.

Fliers target nonwhites, Jews
CASPER Fliers encouraging segregation and railing against nonwhites and Jews were discovered on parked cars by people attending a show by a black performance artist.
Sgt. Chris Walsh said the fliers were distributed outside of the Casper Events Center on Saturday by the Hillsboro, W.Va.-based National Alliance during a show by artist Kema Jamal.
One flier asked, "Diversity Is it really our strength?" The flier also targeted the Anti-Defamation League and concluded, "Just say no to more diversity."
Another flier encouraged segregation, saying "Abraham Lincoln opposed integration." A third flier purportedly showed crime statistics, without citing sources, that said blacks were many times more likely to commit rape, murder and armed robbery than whites.

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