- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 12, 2002


Hundreds cut off by mudslides

DURANGO Mudslides on slopes stripped of most vegetation by a summer wildfire blocked roads yesterday and isolated several hundred people at their homes.

No one was in immediate danger, La Plata County Sheriff's Lt. Dan Bender said.

One to 3 inches of rain had fallen in the area since Tuesday afternoon.

Mr. Bender said the rain sent mud, trees up to 50 feet long and boulders 5 feet across rolling down hillsides that were left barren by the 70,485-acre Missionary Ridge wildfire in June.

The area remained under a flash-flood warning yesterday, National Weather Service hydrologist Brian Avery said.


Fire was not hate crime

HEBER CITY A fire that damaged a Muslim-owned motel last summer was not a hate crime, police said yesterday as a co-owner was accused of setting the blaze.

Mazhar Tabesh, 39, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated arson, said police Sgt. Jason Bradley.

Mr. Tabesh said the July 21 fire, which caused an estimated $100,000 in damage, was a hate crime. The FBI sent an agent who specializes in civil rights cases to investigate.

He said the blaze started in a room rented by a man who paid cash, showed no identification and was seen leaving with another man just after the fire started. He also claimed to have been receiving threatening calls that increased after the September 11 terror attacks.


22 are treated for TB infection

BAYOU LA BATRE A shrimp fisherman whose tuberculosis went untreated for months infected at least 22 other persons, officials said.

The 31-year-old man, whose name was not released, had laryngeal tuberculosis, one of the most infectious forms because it can be transmitted during normal speech, not just sneezing or coughing, said Joseph Jablecki, program manager for TB control in Mobile County.

The man had the disease for nearly eight months and his weight had fallen from 145 to 95 pounds when he was flown to a New Orleans hospital at the end of July.


Actor urges activism in college speech

LITTLE ROCK Danny Glover urged an audience of more than 700 people at the University of Arkansas to take a more active role in their communities and in the world.

The star of films including "The Color Purple" and the "Lethal Weapon" series, Mr. Glover said, "It's extremely important that we listen to and learn from one another in the larger global community."

On the eve of yesterday's one-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Mr. Glover said war is not the key to fighting terrorism.

Instead, he said, the government should attack "the sources of terrorism," such as poverty.


Ex-astronaut provoked into fight, publicist says

BEVERLY HILLS Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin was defending himself when he swung at a man who asked him to swear on a Bible that he had been to the moon, the former astronaut's publicist said.

"Buzz Aldrin was forced to protect himself and his stepdaughter when he was aggressively confronted outside a Beverly Hills hotel," publicist Robert O'Brien said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

Authorities were investigating a report by Bart Sibrel, 37, who said the former Apollo 11 astronaut attacked him Monday at the Luxe Hotel.

Mr. Sibrel, of Nashville, Tenn., said he does not believe Mr. Aldrin, 72, or anyone else has ever walked on the moon. Describing himself as an investigative reporter, he told KABC-TV he was trying to confront Mr. Aldrin about his 1969 lunar mission when Mr. Aldrin swung at him.


FBI wraps up search of anthrax site

MIAMI The FBI said yesterday it had concluded a new investigation into the first anthrax contamination site in Boca Raton, Fla.

"Highly trained personnel" from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other U.S. agencies "collected close to 5,000 evidence samples in over 550 entries into the anthrax contaminated offices," the FBI said in a statement.

FBI and other investigators took just over two weeks to complete the renewed search of the sealed headquarters of the tabloid publisher American Media Inc. in Boca Raton, 40 miles north of Miami.

Two employees at the building became infected with anthrax last year and photo editor Bob Stevens, 63, died in October. Another four persons died and a total of 20 were hospitalized in the United States in October and November after coming into contact with anthrax spores, apparently sent by mail.


Officials report West Nile deaths

SPRINGFIELD The West Nile virus has killed two more Illinois residents, pushing the state's death total to 13, the most in the nation, health officials said yesterday.

Laboratory tests have confirmed that more than 1,200 people have been infected with the virus from coast to coast, including one case in California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the two latest Illinois fatalities are confirmed by the CDC, the national death toll would be at least 48.

The state's public health department said the new deaths were an 81-year-old woman from southern Cook County, in the Chicago area, who died Sept. 1 and a 76-year-old man from Madison County, near St. Louis, who died Sept. 5.


Farmers' stress program to run another year

DES MOINES A free program that helped more than 1,500 Iowa farmers deal with stress last year will continue for another year.

The Iowa Rural Mental Health Initiative provides counseling and support to struggling, uninsured farmers. It was started in 2001 with an $850,000 federal grant.


Church taxes itself to pay for education

TOPEKA Churches don't have to pay taxes, but one congregation decided to tax itself anyway.

Members of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Topeka, spurred by budget shortfalls and tight dollars for educating children, decided to pay taxes on the church, collecting $1,323 for the Topeka School Fund.

The Topeka School Fund is a nonprofit foundation that supports public education, raising money to pay for projects and programs that ordinarily wouldn't be funded by the school district.


Trial begins in captain's death

DIAMOND A shrimp boat deckhand accused of killing the captain after a fight over their sinking boat's only life jacket could face life in prison if convicted.

Alvin Latham, 48, is accused of second-degree murder in the July 16, 2000, death of Raymond "Tinky" Leiker, 35, after being hired to work on Mr. Leiker's boat.

Prosecutors say Mr. Latham confessed to striking Mr. Leiker with a pipe as their boat was floundering during a severe storm on Breton Sound.


Surgeon charged with raping boy, 15

BOSTON A Boston back surgeon, who once left a patient on the operating table for 35 minutes while he went to a bank to cash a check, yesterday pleaded innocent to charges that he raped a 15-year-old boy, his attorney said.

Dr. David Arndt is charged with three counts of child rape and one charge of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14. Judge Roanne Sragow set cash bail at $10,000 in Cambridge District Court.

Prosecutors accuse Dr. Arndt of picking up the boy, who wasn't identified, in his car near Central Square in Cambridge and sexually assaulting him in the car on Sept. 5.


Man charged in death of son

PONTIAC A murder charge was filed against a man whose disabled son's decomposing body was found in the apartment they shared, a prosecutor said yesterday.

The warrant against Lawrence Beard, 49, was issued after the county Medical Examiner's Office ruled Jonathan Beard, 17, was a victim of homicide, Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said.

The teenager had cerebral palsy and could not care for himself. The medical examiner found that "parental neglect, in the deprivation of fluids and nutrients."


Board upholds hog farm permit

JACKSON In the six-year controversy over noxious odors from hog farms, distraught neighbors say the nose knows. But the state Permit Board wants quantitative scientific measurements, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Oktibbeha County swine farmer Bill Cook hailed the board's decision Tuesday to uphold the air quality permit it issued him in March and to require regulators to produce definitive data on odor levels near his farm.

But those who live near the farms want to see tougher standards now.

"What are we supposed to do, wait another five years for [the Department of Environmental Quality] to tell us it stinks or it doesn't stink?" said Everett Kennard, who says his family has experienced severe respiratory problems.


Bears continue migration to town

BOZEMAN You don't want to start your day the way Hal Holmes started his.

He got himself a cup of coffee at 6:30 a.m. at his home in the 2200 block of Spring Creek Drive, went to get his paper and heard a noise in the giant spruce tree in his front yard.

"I realized it was something very large and it was a growl," Mr. Holmes, 50, a teacher at Whittier School, told the Chronicle.

Staring hard into the thick-branched tree, he said, "I counted one big mom and three little cubs. I was shocked."

But he felt the bears were high enough, 20 to 25 feet up the tree, that they wouldn't charge him and he went inside his house to wake his family his wife, Barbara Mall, and sons Nick Holmes, 11, and Taylor Holmes, 14.

"I never thought a bear would be around here," Nick said.


Robe worn by Ali to be on display

LAS VEGAS The robe Muhammad Ali wore before fighting Joe Frazier in 1971 and the trunks he put on for "The Thrilla in Manila" against Frazier four years later will be on display during Saturday night's title fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas.

The memorabilia, which includes 80 other items, is from the collection of Drew "Bundini" Brown, Ali's cornerman. The items will be on an appointment-only display today through Sunday at the MGM Grand.

Brown, who died in 1987, kept nearly everything Ali gave him from each of his fights, from his shoes to his gloves.


Nine stores cited for alcohol sales

CONCORD For the eighth time in three years, the Concord police sent an undercover teen into retail stores to buy alcohol. Of the 47 stores checked last Thursday, nine failed the test, the Monitor reports.

Because of a new policy adopted by the state Liquor Commission, the stores could have their liquor licenses suspended for up to three days, the stiffest penalty in the state.

Carla Bildoeau, 36, of Concord, sold a bottle of Budweiser to the teen near the end of her shift at F&P Market on Manchester Street. The man looked like he was 21, she said.

She, however, is lucky: She didn't lose her job. According to city prosecutor Scott Murray, by the time most of those charged appear before a judge, they will have been fired because of their mistake.


Oscar-winning actress dies at 79

NEW YORK Kim Hunter, the versatile actress who won a supporting Oscar in 1951 as the long-suffering Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and appeared in three "Planet of the Apes" movies, died yesterday. She was 79.

She died in her Greenwich Village apartment from an apparent heart attack, said her daughter, Kathryn Emmett.

A shy, person, Miss Hunter had a long and busy career in theater and television, less so in films, partly because she was blacklisted during the communist-hunting 1950s and didn't fit the sexpot role for female Hollywood stars.


Judge doesn't grant Revels' request

WILMINGTON A federal judge yesterday denied Rebekah Revels' request to extend a state judge's order that allowed her to compete in the Miss America pageant as one of two contestants representing North Carolina.

However, U.S. District Judge James Fox said he would continue hearing evidence today, followed by closing arguments, before deciding whether Miss Revels or Misty Clymer, the first runner-up, is the real Miss North Carolina.

"I will try to make a decision tomorrow afternoon after hearing counsel," said Judge Fox.


County declared disaster area

JAMESTOWN For the 10th time since 1993, Stutsman County is included in a presidential disaster declaration for North Dakota, which means the state is eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance, reports the Sun.

This time around Stutsman joins five other counties and tribal lands mostly located in the Red River Valley in the declaration, which is confined to government and public infrastructure.

The county declared an emergency July 24 because Minn-Kota Power Co. lost three transmission towers in Sinclair Township in a June 28 storm. The cost to replace the towers came to $250,000.


Man sentenced for stalking reporter

CLEVELAND A man convicted under stricter federal laws that outlaw cyber-stalking was sentenced to eight years in prison.

In June, a jury convicted Eric Bowker, 39, of stalking television reporter Tina Knight by sending obscene e-mail and telephone messages and by stealing her mail.

He became the first person in Ohio to be convicted under an expanded federal stalking law enacted in 2000 that includes the Internet.


Nurse anesthetist reused needles, report says

NORMAN A Norman nurse anesthetist "regularly engaged in the practice of re-using the same needle and syringe" for at least 15 patients a day at a Norman Regional Hospital pain-management clinic, according to a report released Tuesday by the state Health Department.

James C. Hill discontinued the practice after he was reported to the hospital's peer review board, state epidemiologist Dr. Mike Crutcher said in a report to Oklahoma Board of Nursing investigator Betty Smelser. Mr. Hill, 55, is a certified registered nurse anesthetist.

The two agencies are investigating blood contamination that led to six patients contracting hepatitis C and 350 patients being tested for hepatitis and for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.


Chief tells firefighters to reimburse city

HOUSTON The fire chief demanded that about 2,800 firefighters reimburse the city for extra pay they received as a result of a payroll error.

Chief Chris Connealy said Tuesday that firefighters were overpaid $200 to $400 over the past year and should pay back the money or give up vacation days.

Union officials called it an insult, especially during the week of September 11, and threatened to take the dispute to court.

The error began last October, when the department increased its workweek from 46.7 hours to 49 so it could put four firefighters on every truck. Firefighters were to be paid overtime about one day a month, but only if they showed up for work.


Prostitution trial ends in conviction

BURLINGTON A 40-year-old woman was convicted last week in federal court of taking Vermont girls and young women to New York to work as prostitutes during 2000 and early 2001, the Free Press reports.

Jurors found Beverly Holland guilty of eight of the 11 original counts of transporting and conspiring to transport and entice adult and juvenile females across state lines to become streetwalkers in the Bronx. The seven-woman, five-man jury found Holland not guilty of one charge. Judge William Sessions III dismissed two others during the trial.

Holland faces up to 100 years in prison. No sentencing date has been set.

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