- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 19, 2002


Rosie abandons 'Rosie'

NEW YORK Former talk show host Rosie O'Donnell abruptly quit her namesake magazine yesterday.

"I cannot have my name on a magazine if I cannot be assured that it will represent my vision and ideas," Miss O'Donnell said at a news conference, saying publisher Gruner and Jahr USA had taken control of the magazine from her.

No lawsuits have been filed, but each side has hired attorneys and is blaming the other for violating the contract. The last issue will be in December, Gruhner and Jahr said.


Research chimps retire to preserve

ALBUQUERQUE More than 300 chimpanzees and monkeys that have been used in medical research in southern New Mexico are being turned over to a Florida-based animal advocacy group.

Frederick Coulston, who helped develop or test treatments for malaria, hepatitis and AIDS in a 72-year career, said he gave 288 chimpanzees and 90 monkeys to the Center for Captive Chimpanzee Care run by animal advocate Carole Noon.

The animals never will be used as research subjects again, Miss Noon said yesterday.At its peak in the 1990s, the Coulston Foundation oversaw 650 chimps with about 100 employees at a primate lab at Holloman Air Force Base and a nearby lab complex in Alamogordo.


Arts center names executive director

LITTLE ROCK The Arkansas Arts Center has named its new executive director.

Ellen "Nan" Plummer, an art historian, educator and administrator at the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio, will lead the center starting Nov. 1, a day after Townsend Wolfe retires from the post.

Under Mr. Wolfe's 34-year leadership, the Arts Center has grown from a small museum and arts school to a large, multidisciplinary cultural institution serving communities throughout the state.

Mr. Wolfe has established a major drawing collection at the center and developed a children's theater, a decorative arts museum and a public arts school.


Woman pleads guilty in mayoral sex case

WATERBURY A convicted prostitute pleaded guilty yesterday to state charges that she helped arrange sexual encounters between former Waterbury Mayor Philip Giordano and her own young daughter and niece.

The 31-year-old woman pleaded guilty to similar federal charges last week. The Associated Press is not identifying her because of her relationship to the 9- and 11-year-old sexual assault victims.

Prosecutors say Mr. Giordano, a three-term mayor and Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 2000, had a long-standing relationship with the woman, which included paying her for sex, and also paying her to arrange sex with the girls.

The woman has told investigators that Mr. Giordano fathered her son.


Caribbean braces for tropical storm

MIAMI Forecasters warned Jamaica to expect flash floods and landslides as Tropical Storm Isidore pelted the Caribbean island with heavy rains yesterday.

The storm was expected to reach hurricane strength in the next few days, threatening western Cuba and southern Florida with a soaking, they said.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Isidore's center was about 35 miles southwest of Jamaica's western tip, near latitude 17.9 north and longitude 78.7 west, the National Hurricane Center in Miami said.

Its top winds were near 45 mph.


Singer's daughters sue over royalties

ATLANTA James Brown's daughters have filed a federal lawsuit against the Godfather of Soul, seeking more than $1 million in back royalties and damages for 25 songs they say they co-wrote.

Deanna Brown Thomas, who works at a South Carolina radio station, and Dr. Yamma Brown Lumar, a Texas physician, say Mr. Brown, 69, has withheld royalties because of a family grudge.

Even though they were children when the songs were written ages 3 and 6 when "Get Up Offa That Thing" was a hit in 1976 Mr. Brown's daughters helped write them, said their attorney, Gregory Reed.

The singer has held a grudge against his daughters since Mrs. Thomas had her father committed to a psychiatric hospital to be treated for addiction to painkillers.


Church's defense struck down

HONOLULU A state judge has stricken one of the Roman Catholic Church's defenses in a 40-year-old child-molestation case that contended the victim had contributed to his injuries, the Star-Bulletin reports.

Circuit Judge Virginia Lea Crandall ruled that the defense was not necessary because it was already mentioned in more detail in other defenses listed by the church, including one that the plaintiff didn't take steps to minimize any damage he may have suffered.

Alexander Winchester in August had sued the Catholic Church and the estate of Alphonsus Boumeister claiming he had been fondled or sexually assaulted on at least six occasions in 1961 when he was 11 years old.


Official moves to stop clemency hearings

CHICAGO The state attorney general has sued to stop hearings for nearly 160 death-row inmates seeking clemency, calling planned time limits on the procedures unfair and unconstitutional.

A second lawsuit Tuesday by Republican Jim Ryan, who is running for governor, challenges the authority of outgoing Republican Gov. George Ryan to commute death sentences in 32 of the cases.

The governor, who isn't related to the attorney general, halted executions in January 2000 after a string of death-row inmates was released on new evidence, and he has said he is seriously considering commuting all death sentences to life in prison.


ATF agent accused of threatening teens

INDIANOLA The head of the Iowa office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was charged with public intoxication and was being investigated on suspicion of threatening teenagers with a loaded gun.

Jon Carl Petersen, 41, was arrested and taken to the Warren County jail. He was released on his promise to appear in court.

Mr. Petersen's supervisor, Paul Vido, in Kansas City, Mo., said Mr. Petersen will be allowed to carry a weapon and resume his duties while local and federal authorities investigate the accusations.

Indianola Police Chief Steve Bonnett said the incident began when nine teenagers drove past Mr. Petersen's house, throwing toilet paper onto area trees and homes as part of a homecoming-week prank.


College to honor slain reporter

WATERVILLE Colby College will honor murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl by presenting him posthumously with the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award, according to the Morning Sentinel.

Mr. Pearl was abducted and slain while en route to interview a Muslim fundamentalist in Pakistan.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Colby College President William D. Adams. Colby presents the award annually to an American journalist for displaying courage in pursuit of the truth.

The award is named for Elijah Parish Lovejoy, an 1826 Colby graduate killed in 1837 in Alton, Ill.


Deal reached in church-sex case

BOSTON Those who claim they are sexual abuse victims of defrocked priest John Geoghan have tentatively agreed to a $10 million settlement from the Boston Archdiocese to drop their lawsuits, their attorney said yesterday.

"It's time to move on and try to heal as best they can, if at all," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.

The money will be divided among 86 plaintiffs, with the bulk of the settlement $9.3 million going to those who say they were molested by Geoghan.

Another 20 persons who say Geoghan exposed himself to them will split $540,000. Sixteen parents of children who say they were abused by Geoghan will divide $160,000.


Students with piercings get sent home

BILOXI Nearly 30 students at Harrison Central High School and six students at D'Iberville High School were sent home Tuesday because they refused to remove body piercings, the Sun Herald reported.

The Harrison County School Board passed a policy Sept. 3 that prohibits body piercings other than earrings and all makeup that "appears to be costume in nature."

Students with piercings at Harrison Central High School were told they would be sent home if they did not remove their body-piercing jewelry.


State puts brakes on highway projects

The Missouri Transportation Department short on cash and focusing on road maintenance rather than new construction is slashing spending on hundreds of long-range highway projects.

The department announced this week that it would suspend or kill $30 million to $40 million in design contracts it has with engineering firms, and more than $90 million in right-of-way land purchases related to those projects, the Kansas City Star reports.

The cuts affect all of the department's long-range projects more than 300 total and at least 13 in the Kansas City area that are not part of the department's five-year construction plan and for which funding has not already been set aside.


Regents board defends pay raises

HELENA Two key members on the state board of regents this week defended proposed raises for top-paid administrators in the university system, saying competitive salaries are needed to ensure the quality of higher education in Montana.

"We have a responsibility to manage the finances of the university system," said Lynn Morrison-Hamilton, vice chairman from Havre.

Falling state revenue has prompted the administration of Gov. Judy Martz and a special legislative session to cut $12.5 million in state aid from the university system budget.


Flexibility eyed for DUI, home violence

CARSON CITY Bills that would lighten the sentences of people convicted of domestic violence or drunken driving are being prepared for introduction into the 2003 legislature, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

The Nevada Supreme Court Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Review Commission has asked for changes in the two laws, including giving prosecutors more discretion in handling domestic violence cases.

"They've gone too far on mandatory sentencing. They're setting people [up] to fail," said Justice of the Peace Robey Willis, chairman of the review commission.


Men convicted in burglary ring

RALEIGH A former Florida police detective and another man have been convicted of operating a burglary ring that stole $6 million worth of jewelry, cash and checks across the South, federal prosecutors said.

After a trial that ended last week in Greenville, jurors convicted John Mark Collins, who worked for 16 years at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, and Robert Marshall Serrano on charges of conspiracy, money laundering and transporting stolen good across state lines.


Farmers lament this year's potato crop

GRAND FORKS A Midgarden Farms potato harvesting crew works near Zion Lutheran Church near Hoople, as potato harvest is under way in the Red River Valley.

As potato harvest gets into full swing, farmers are finding the good, the bad and the ugly, the Herald reports.

In Walsh County, North Dakota's largest potato producer, the crop is a mixed bag, said Brad Brummond, Walsh County extension agent. Excessive rains damaged or destroyed the crop in some areas.


Two inmates escape from state pen

McALESTER Two inmates have escaped from the minimum-security section of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Nathaniel Page, 20, and Derick Stephens 21, were found to be missing Tuesday at the 9 p.m. count of inmates, said OSP spokeswoman Lee Mann.

Page was serving a 10-year sentence on five 2002 Creek County charges of second-degree burglary. He also has convictions of knowingly concealing stolen property and unlawful possession of a controlled dangerous substance.


Judge blocks satellite testimony

PHILADELPHIA A judge in the murder trial of hippie guru Ira Einhorn ruled that Einhorn's wife will not be allowed to testify via satellite from her home in France, and he refused to guarantee her immunity if she travels to the United States to testify in person.

Einhorn, 62, is charged with murdering his girlfriend in 1977. He spent 20 years as a fugitive and was convicted in absentia in 1993 before he was found in France.


Man with violent past to leave hospital

MONCKS CORNER A circuit judge agreed reluctantly Tuesday to transfer a mental patient with a history of drug use and violence while in state-run psychiatric programs to a community mental health home in Summerville, the Charleston Post and Courier reports.

S.C. Department of Mental Health officials told Judge Markley Dennis that Carlos V. Morant, found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 1990 stabbing death of a St. Stephen police officer, no longer requires in-patient care because medications have controlled his paranoid schizophrenia.

Because of his improved condition, Judge Dennis said the law requires him to transfer Mr. Morant out of the State Hospital in Columbia.


Judge says HIV spreader violated probation

SIOUX FALLS The first person convicted in South Dakota of intentionally exposing another to the AIDS virus was declared Tuesday to have violated his probation on the very day he was sentenced, the Argus Leader reports.

Nikko Briteramos, 19, of Chicago was released from jail Aug. 29 to register for classes at Si Tanka-Huron University but did not return for five hours. Tests indicated traces of marijuana in his system.

As part of his probation, Briteramos was told earlier that he must stay in college. Circuit Judge Tim Dallas Tucker of Madison said Briteramos could be released from jail to attend classes.


School district settles racial bias cases

PUYALLUP The city's school district agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle lawsuits accusing it of tolerating a climate of racial hostility that included threats against black students.

The settlement, announced Tuesday, resolved cases brought by three dozen black and mixed-race students and 23 parents in U.S. District Court and Pierce County Superior Court since January 2000.

The lawsuits claimed that school officials in Puyallup tolerated a climate of racial hostility and discriminated against black teachers and staff, that the curriculum was racially offensive and that black students were discouraged from participating in some activities.


FAA approves plane production

MARTINSBURG The Federal Aviation Administration has given a Berkeley County aircraft manufacturer approval to produce a four-seat sport plane it introduced last year.

A production certificate signed by FAA district director Don Plouffe Tuesday allows Tiger Aircraft to begin building the 90 planes it hopes to produce next year at its Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport plant.


Cocaine found braided into girl's hair

MILWAUKEE Authorities found 28 rocks of crack cocaine tucked into the braided hair of a 16-year-old girl at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, according to a delinquency petition.

The girl was charged at Milwaukee County Children's Court with possession with intent to deliver more than 5 grams of cocaine.

If convicted as charged, she could be sent to a juvenile girls' prison until her 18th birthday.

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