- The Washington Times - Friday, September 13, 2002


Bond, Menchu chosento receive awards

MEMPHIS The National Civil Rights Museum has chosen Julian Bond, chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Rigoberta Menchu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, for its annual Freedom Awards.

The museum, built on the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated, gives the awards to "individuals who have made significant contributions in civil rights."

The new recipients will receive their awards Oct. 23 at a banquet at the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.

Miss Menchu, 43, of Guatemala, received the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in seeking equal rights for Indian peasants in her country.


Town celebrates anniversary of 'Flatwoods Monster'

FLATWOODS On a summer evening 50 years ago, a group of boys playing football noticed a flaming, oval-shaped object that flew overhead and appeared to land on a nearby hilltop.

The boys grabbed flashlights and went to investigate. What they reported seeing next has become the stuff of legend: a 12-foot-tall green, mechanical figure, hovering about 1½ feet off the ground and releasing exhaustlike fumes

The events of Sept. 12, 1952, remain vivid for some as Flatwoods celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Flatwoods Monster, also known as the Braxton County Monster and the Green Monster. The day is also the town's 100th anniversary.

"It's a part of our folklore, part of our heritage whether we like it or not," Mayor Margaret Clise said as the town prepared for yesterday's start of a three-day festival.

Federal investigators and scientists visited the site and took soil samples and pictures, but the results were never released, said author Frank Feschino Jr., who spent the past decade researching the incident. The incident was explained as a meteor sighting, he said.


Clinton donates $200 to cemetery

LOANGO A small cemetery where Bill Clinton's great-great-grandparents are buried received a $200 donation from the former president after the church that maintains it spoke publicly about his lack of response to three previous requests for $20 donations.

An official at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church said the church received a $200 check Sept. 6 from a Clinton bank account in New York.

Mr. Clinton's name wasn't on the cashier's check, but the chairman of the church's cemetery committee, Pete Lowe, said an aide to the former president confirmed it came from him.


Ex-Guardsman on FBI watch list

JUNEAU Larry Musarra's trouble with the FBI began in late June, when the retired Coast Guard lieutenant commander and his family checked in at the Juneau Airport.

At the Alaska Airlines electronic check-in kiosk, Mr. Musarra typed in his confirmation code and the machine displayed a message asking him to see an attendant.

At the counter, the clerk became puzzled and said she couldn't get a boarding pass either. She called her supervisor. They called Seattle. Finally, 30 minutes later, the supervisor explained.

"She said, 'We are having trouble clearing your name. Actually, we can't clear your name. You are on an FBI list," Mr. Musarra, 47, of Italian and Irish ancestry, told the Empire.

For a reason Alaska Airlines, the FBI, the Federal Aviation Administration and the newly created Transportation Security Administration cannot or will not say, Mr. Musarra's name, which is Sicilian of Arabic origin, is on a list of suspects who pose a potential threat to airline security.


Musician Zevon has untreatable lung cancer

LOS ANGELES Singer-songwriter Warren Zevon, best known for quirky hits such as "Werewolves in London," has been diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

"I'm OK with it," Mr. Zevon, 55, said in a statement. "But it'll be a drag if I don't make it until the next James Bond movie comes out."

Spokeswoman Diana Baron said Mr. Zevon, who was told of the diagnosis by doctors last month, is spending time with his grown children, as well as writing and recording. He will be in the recording studio next week, she said.


Air Force Academy closed to visitors

COLORADO SPRINGS The Air Force Academy was closed to the public and there were no immediate plans to reopen its gates.

Officials ordered the shutdown of the 19,000-acre campus Tuesday night. There was no specific threat, but officials decided they needed to increase security, academy spokesman Lt. Greg Hignite said.

"At this point, it's indefinite," Lt. Hignite said of the closure.

The academy, one of Colorado's most popular tourist attractions, was closed for nearly three months after the September 11 terrorist attacks.


Fierce winds wallop state

HARTFORD Fierce winds created havoc across Connecticut on Wednesday, toppling trees, knocking out electricity and phones and snarling afternoon traffic, the Courant reported. At its height, the storm robbed about 140,000 homes of power.

Strong gusts began sweeping through the state about 11 a.m., and soon brought trees and large branches crashing down over power lines and across roads. At least two persons were reported injured by falling trees or branches.

Among the hardest-hit communities was Westbrook, where 80 percent of the homes and businesses served by Connecticut Light & Power were without electricity at 6 p.m.


University remembers graduate as 'hero'

DOVER Keith Alexander Glascoe, a 1985 graduate of Delaware State University, was remembered Wednesday as a "hero fallen in the line of duty" one of the 343 firefighters who died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the Wilmington News-Journal reports.

Mr. Glascoe was a member of the New York Fire Department's Ladder Co. 21 in Manhattan.

"I can literally see him rushing toward that building, not running away from it," Mr. Glascoe's cousin, Gwendolyn Braxton, told about 150 people gathered Wednesday for a "Day of Remembrance" at Delaware State University.


Children dropped off at wrong place

BLARGO The nightmare of having your children left in a strange place and ultimately in the hands of a stranger became all too real for Dawn Arecco this week.

Her son, Bobby Woods, and his sister, Jacquelyn Woods, took their regular school bus home from Southern Oak Elementary that afternoon. But the bus driver, who was filling in for the regular driver, passed their stop. Bobby, 11, tried telling the driver. But the driver, Bobby said, dismissed the concerns.

Instead, he drove another five miles, then let the boy and his 10-year-old sister off.

Bobby began knocking on doors in the neighborhood. A middle-aged man appeared behind the second door, let them use his phone and drove them home.


4 blood recipients have West Nile

ATLANTA Four persons who had received blood transfusions tested positive for the potentially fatal mosquito-borne West Nile virus, U.S. health officials reported yesterday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said the blood products given to the victims had been withdrawn as a precaution, though they stressed that there was no evidence linking the West Nile infections to the nation's blood supply.

Dr. Lyle Petersen, a West Nile specialists with the CDC, said the two federal agencies were cooperating with the American Red Cross and state and local health departments to follow up and test those who had donated blood to the four patients.


Police arrest Harris case witness

HONOLULU Local police arrested an Ewa woman who failed to show up at last week's grand jury hearing into Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris' 2000 political campaign, the Star-Bulletin reports.

The Honolulu police department arrested Lisa Katherine Otsuka, 32, Monday afternoon on one count of criminal contempt of court. She was released after she posted $10,000 bail.

Miss Otsuka who was subpoenaed as a witness by the 13-member grand jury could not be reached. The prosecutor's office declined comment. Her attorney, Michael J. Green, declined comment.

William McCorriston, Mr. Harris' attorney, said Miss Otsuka has no connections to the mayor's political campaign or to the city administration.


Minister denied jail entry

COEUR d'ALENE Kootenai County's chief public defender is challenging a jail policy that restricts which clergy members can minister to inmates, the Press reported.

John Adams filed a motion this week in 1st District Court asking a judge to overturn a rule that allows only ministers preapproved by the sheriff's department to meet face to face with inmates.

The issue arose last week when Mr. Adams sent a clergy member to the Kootenai County jail to visit one of his clients at her request. The minister, whom Mr. Adams declined to identify, was turned away by jail staff.


Former priest admits collecting pornography

CHICAGO A former Roman Catholic priest pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of three computer discs and hundreds of pages of images showing naked boys engaged in sexual acts and sadomasochistic activity.

Authorities said some of the pornography, which included images of boys as young as 6 beaten, bou nd and gagged, and locked in cages, were found hidden under Vincent McCaffrey's mattress.

Mr. McCaffrey, 50, resigned from the priesthood in 1992.


Terminal evacuated after security breach

HEBRON Hundreds of people were forced to evacuate a terminal at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport after a passenger set off a metal detector and didn't stop, federal authorities said.

Delta Airlines' two concourses, which handle most of the airport's passenger traffic, were reopened nearly two hours later, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Brian Doyle said.

Security officers looked for the passenger, but it was not clear if the person was found, he said.


14 migrant workers killed in van crash

ALLAGASH WILDERNESS WATERWAY A van full of migrant workers veered off a one-lane bridge and plunged into a river in the northern Maine wilderness yesterday, killing 14 persons in the deadliest traffic accident in state history, officials said.

The lone survivor escaped by kicking out the back window of the van as it sank in 15 feet of water 90 miles from the nearest paved state road, said Stephen McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department.

The accident happened on an unpaved logging road near the entrance to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, a state-administered area popular with canoeists 300 miles north of Portland. State police and divers had to scramble to get to the site aboard float planes and helicopters.


Dog's jump sparks $5,000 kitchen fire

GRAND RAPIDS A fire department investigator trying to find out what sparked a $5,000 kitchen fire has come up with a beastly suspicion: The doggie did it.

Pablo Martinez believes a trash-loving chocolate Labrador retriever named Brooke started the fire by turning on the stove while jumping to get at a garbage can.

Tenant Tracy Jonas and a friend had cooked hamburgers Monday night. They put the fat in a resealable plastic bag and placed the bag in the trash can, where they also discarded the meat wrapper.


Teen charged with raping boy, 4

A 17-year-old Minneapolis boy has been charged with raping a 4-year-old boy in a storage room at a Minneapolis store.

Julio Rabago was charged in Hennepin County Juvenile Court with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reports.

The charges said the boy's parents told an off-duty Minneapolis police officer that their son had gone missing for about 25 minutes and that when he returned he was upset.

When asked what happened, the charges said, the boy told his parents that Mr. Rabago had asked him to carry some boxes into a basement storage area. When they were in the storage area, Mr. Rabago locked the door and raped the boy, the charges said.

Mr. Rabago admitted the sexual assault, according to the charges.


Suspect drives off in police car

LINCOLN The search for a handcuffed man who drove off with a Saunders County patrol car ended Wednesday, the Journal-Star reports.

Police cars quietly filled alleys and streets in the North Bottoms about 10:30 a.m., as officers closed in on a home at 1149 New Hampshire St.

Officers on foot soon found the Saunders County deputy's car, his service shotgun still in the trunk. At least six Lincoln officers and a Lancaster County deputy converged on the home.


Jury convicts man in anthrax hoax

ASHEVILLE A man was convicted of sending letters he said were laced with anthrax to a federal courthouse.

Kenneth Spring, 35, was found guilty Wednesday on 17 charges related to the mailing of threatening letters in the spring, prosecutors said.

Spring mailed six threatening letters to individuals with connections to the court in Asheville. Two letters contained a white, powdery substance and the word "anthrax," witnesses said. Tests showed the powder in a letter addressed to U.S. District Judge Lacy Thornburg was the pain reliever acetaminophen.

Officials say Spring mailed the letters from prison.


Suspicious powder came from nail gun

COLUMBUS The substance that was sniffed by bomb-detecting dogs, leading to the evacuation of a state office tower, was a powder used in nail guns, police said yesterday.

No nail gun was found in the van where the two dogs detected the powder.

The search and two-hour evacuation of the 41-story James A. Rhodes State Office Tower, which houses about 4,000 people, came on the first anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The evacuation was ordered after a worker said the van's driver told her, "I'm here to hide a bomb."


Town bans discrimination against homosexuals

NEW HOPE Council members unanimously passed an ordinance that made New Hope the first small town in the state to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The ordinance approved Tuesday bans discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Geri Delvich, the councilwoman who introduced the bill for the ordinance, said New Hope, an eclectic mix of antique stores, boutiques and restaurants about 30 miles north of Philadelphia, is a popular home for homosexuals.


President's brother seeks divorce

HOUSTON Neil Bush, brother of President Bush, has filed for divorce from his wife after 22 years of marriage, a newspaper reported yesterday.

The divorce petition, filed Aug. 26 in Houston, cites "discord or conflict of personalities" as the reason for the split, the Houston Chronicle said.

Mr. Bush, 46, and wife, Sharon, married in July 1980 and separated in July this year.

In dispute is custody of the two of their three children, including a 13-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son, the petition said. Daughter Lauren, an 18-year-old fashion model, was not mentioned.


Rock guitarist helps open music studio

NORTH CHARLESTON Hootie & the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan will lend his engineering, producing and recording expertise to a new music studio designed to give young people a creative outlet.

"I've always thought Charleston had a load of creative talent. This is a great chance to get kids off the street," Mr. Bryan said Tuesday. "I'm happy that I'm in a position to help out. This has got me really excited."

The pop-rock band's $10,000 gift will help set up Carolina Studios, said Lane Cyphers, who plans to open the studio next month.

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