- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Town on edge after four lions are killed
QUITMAN Lisa Vaughan says her log cabin in the woods was so peaceful that sometimes the only sound that could be heard was the trees swaying in the wind.
Now she's listening for lions.
In the past week, four 600-to-800-pound African lions believed to have some connection to a nearby exotic animal park have been killed near this central Arkansas town. And residents say the terror may not be over because no one knows for sure whether more big cats are still out there.
"I had a terrible headache, and my blood pressure has been up. It's been a long ordeal," said Lisa Vaughan, whose husband, Johnny, killed two of the lions with his .30-06 rifle.
The Vaughans believe the lions belong to animal park operator Steve Henning. Mr. Henning says the lions killed in the woods were not his. He speculates that someone who tried to give him lions last week turned them loose on the 44-acre property of Safari Unlimited, the lion and tiger farm he operates.

Coastal residents brace for Hurricane Isidore
Along Louisiana's coast, people boarded up fishing camps and homes, stocked up on canned goods and moved boats inland yesterday as forecasters put Hurricane Isidore on a track to hit somewhere near the Texas-Louisiana border.
Officials in southwest Louisiana were on high alert, but no evacuations were ordered as officials watched the strengthening storm to get a better idea where it was heading.
Gov. Mike Foster declared a state of emergency as a precaution, opening the way for state help if flooding and winds cause more damage than local crews can handle.
Isidore came ashore on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula over the weekend, killing at least two persons.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm was expected to head west and back over the Gulf of Mexico, where it would likely regain strength and become a hurricane again today. It then could turn north possibly toward the U.S. Gulf coast where it could hit this week.

Memorial unveiledin coal-mine disaster
BROOKWOOD Relatives of 13 coal miners killed in an underground explosion gathered yesterday on the first anniversary of the blast for a somber ceremony to dedicate a memorial to the men, most of whom died while trying to save others.
The black granite monument etched with the dead's names was unveiled in front of a small church beside Jim Walter Resources' Blue Creek No. 5 mine, where the 13 died in the nation's worst mining disaster since 1984.
About 200 family members attended the dedication, many of them crying quietly throughout.

Hammocks, netshamper bull moose
ANCHORAGE Half a dozen bull moose on the prowl in Anchorage neighborhoods have done battle with volleyball nets, yard flags, hammocks and even construction plastic.
And they're losing.
In the past few days, three bull moose have had to be tranquilized so state biologists could remove stuff snarled in their antlers, Fish and Game Department biologist Jessy Coltrane told the Anchorage Daily News.
"We're asking people to please remove your hammocks and your nets and anything else that's hanging in your yard that a moose might get caught on," she said. "If you could bring it in, it would help out the moose."
During the fall mating season, bull moose like to rub and bang their antlers on poles and trees. They're aggressive. All that increases the chances that a bull will tangle its tines and forks in its search for potential mates.

Prisons ban pornfor fear of lawsuits
SACRAMENTO Prison inmates have been banned from receiving pornography because of complaints from female prison guards that the material prompted inappropriate behavior.
In imposing the ban Sept. 10, prison officials said the materials fueled a hostile working environment.
"This is not a question of the inmates enjoying a little private time in their cells. They are doing it to make the officers angry," state corrections spokesman Russ Heimerich told the Los Angeles Times.
Mr. Heimerich said the department worries about sexual harassment lawsuits.

Newark alcohol rules up for vote
BEAR The Newark City Council is to vote tonight on a major overhaul of zoning regulations governing liquor sales, including how long happy hours should last and a provision on special-use permits, the Wilmington News-Journal reports.
Newark's Planning Commission voted 4-1 in August to recommend the proposed alcohol regulations. At the request of businesses that sell alcohol, however, it agreed to add an extra hour for happy hours, from 4 to 9 p.m., and to eliminate a special-use-permit provision.
The provision would require all new and existing facilities selling alcohol to get a special-use permit. The regulations would apply throughout the city.

Endangered pantherssee birthrate rise
FORT MYERS Thirty Florida panthers were born this year, the most in a decade, raising wildlife biologists' hopes for the endangered animal.
The increase created another potential problem: where to put them when they grow up.
The kittens were born in the wild in South Florida to 13 panthers this spring and summer.
Larry Richardson, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, said the 30 kittens represent a growing population. Last year, 23 were born. Only seven were born in 2000. Before this year's births, state officials estimated the Florida panther population at about 70 to 100.

Newspaper publisherdies of cancer
RED OAK Carolyn Cole Gage, the publisher of the Villisca Review and the first woman to serve as president of the Iowa Newspaper Association, died Friday of cancer. She was 63.
Mrs. Gage and the Villisca Review won several awards from the newspaper industry. In 1993, she received the Master Editor/Publisher Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the INA.
She battled cancer for 12 years and wrote about the disease in weekly newspaper columns.

Father snaresPeeping Tom
WICHITA A father used fishing line to catch a man he suspected of spying on his daughters.
The wife of the father, who identified himself only as Brian because he doesn't want to bring attention to his daughters, had noticed that a backyard chair kept being moved under a bathroom window overnight. Soon the couple were convinced someone was watching their girls ages 6 and 15 while they showered.
Brian, a hunter and fisherman, took a spool of fishing line, tied one end to the leg of the chair, snaked the fishing line into the house, and left the spool on the kitchen counter. With his 6-year-old daughter in the bathroom one night last week, he got a bite. The spool fell off the counter and began unraveling.
Brian stepped forward and ordered the man to lie down while his wife called police. The 31-year-old man, who turned out to live a few houses away, was taken to the Sedgwick County Jail.
"It was just a stupid little trap," Brian said. "But we got him."

Shark birthsbaffle experts
DETROIT Experts at a city aquarium are baffled by the unexpected birth of three baby sharks to a mother who hasn't been near a male shark in at least six years.
The female whitespotted bamboo shark gave birth at Detroit's Belle Isle Aquarium. The births, often called virgin births, are among the few known at accredited U.S. zoos or aquariums.
When the bamboo shark laid a clutch of eggs in late winter, Doug Sweet, curator of fishes at the Detroit aquarium, left them in the tank because he had heard about a bonnethead shark at a Nebraska zoo that had a virgin birth last year.
The first Detroit egg hatched in July. It was followed soon by the second, and the third egg hatched last week. Three or four more eggs may hatch in coming weeks, Mr. Sweet said.
The most likely scenario though thought to be very rare is that the shark somehow stimulated the eggs without sperm. This complex process, known as parthenogenesis, is the ability of unfertilized eggs to develop into embryos without sperm.

Man arrestedfor teasing police dog
HASTINGS Teasing a dog can get you more than a nasty bite. A 21-year-old man ended up in jail Friday when he messed with the wrong canine.
The man was gesturing at officers trying to tow a vehicle, said Hastings Police Sgt. Dan Losada. He said the man also barked at a police dog named Wojo.
The dog began to bark back, and officers warned the man to stop. He reportedly refused, and ran when officers tried to arrest him.
Officers caught up to the man and arrested him for harassing a police dog and obstructing a police officer.

Gubernatorial debateturns contentious
ALBUQUERQUE A debate in the race for New Mexico governor turned raucous as Republican John Sanchez and Democrat Bill Richardson sparred over negative campaign ads and questions about one candidate's resume.
Mr. Richardson's campaign started running a commercial last week that said Mr. Sanchez "faked his resume" by saying he started his own roofing business at age 18. The Democrats say Mr. Sanchez worked as a flight attendant when the Republican said he was a roofer.
At the end of the debate Sunday, Mr. Sanchez turned to Mr. Richardson and waved W2 tax forms. Crowd noise escalated. Mr. Sanchez had to shout to be heard.
"He promised that he wouldn't run negative commercials, and he has," Mr. Sanchez said.

Russian Miss Universegets the sack
NEW YORK Russian-born Miss Universe Oxana Fedorova has been sacked just four months into her reign for failing to fulfill her obligations, the organizers of the beauty competition said yesterday.
Miss Fedorova had her crown taken away after refusing to heed warnings that her refusal to attend certain functions was unacceptable, said Miss Universe Organization spokeswoman Esther Swan.
She refused to confirm a report in the New York Post, citing pageant insiders, that Miss Fedorova was pregnant. According to the Post, Miss Fedorova is kept in the "lap of luxury" in Russia by a well-connected boyfriend, and there has been speculation that the two are secretly married.
Tradition lives onat state fair
OKLAHOMA CITY Jordan Davis was explaining why her heifer is named Miss Piggy when the cow delivered her own proof, right on the barn floor beneath her. Dad Jim Davis was there in a minute with a shovel.
Showing animals at fairs is almost always a family enterprise. Those small children trying to march those huge animals around a show ring are doing so with the force of a frail, thin show stick, a lot of trust built between child and cow, and the support of an entire family.
Many of the youngsters who showed livestock Sunday arrived at the Oklahoma State Fair on Friday, with family in full force, according to the Oklahoman.
As enticing as the fairgrounds might be with the flashing lights and midway music, they stay as close to their livestock as they can. Until the judging is over, the barns resemble a bovine beauty parlor.

Ashcroft pursues banon assisted suicide
The federal government resumed its bid to ban Oregon doctors from helping terminally ill patients commit suicide, filing papers yesterday with an appeals court in an effort to strike down the only such law in the nation.
Attorney General John Ashcroft is seeking to sanction and perhaps hold Oregon doctors criminally liable if they prescribe lethal doses of medication, as the voter-approved Death With Dignity Act allows.
"The attorney general has permissibly concluded that suicide is not a legitimate medical purpose," Justice Department attorney Jonathan H. Levy wrote in the appeal filed at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Farm Aid keeps onrocking into 15th year
BURGETTSTOWN "Attention, shoppers. Attention, shoppers. Buy with a conscience, and save the family farm," rocker Neil Young told the crowd at the 15th annual Farm Aid concert.
More than 23,000 people crowded onto a field southwest of Pittsburgh on Saturday to raise money for small family farms.
Co-founders Mr. Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp urged people to buy food from organic growers and farmers markets, join groups that support family farms, and pressure the government to support small farms.

Report ranks parkswith dirtiest air
KNOXVILLE Urban residents who visit national parks looking for a little fresh air might be better off staying at home, the News-Sentinel reports.
That's according to report released yesterday by three conservation groups that ranks the five most air-polluted parks in the country, and places Great Smoky Mountains National Park at the top of the list.
"In the Great Smoky Mountains, our most polluted national park, ozone pollution exceeds that of Atlanta, and even rivals Los Angeles," said Harvard Ayers, chairman of Appalachian Voices.
Rounding out the top five are Shenandoah National Park in Virginia; Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky; Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in California; and Arcadia National Park in Maine.

Boat sinks,killing at least two
DALLAS A 16-foot boat carrying 10 family members and friends on a late-night outing struck an underwater obstruction and sank early yesterday, killing two persons and leaving three others missing and feared dead.
A 22-year-old woman swam more than a mile to a lakefront home to seek help, police said. Four other persons were rescued in the accident, which happened shortly after midnight on Lake Ray Hubbard.
The search for the missing continued yesterday afternoon, but police said hope of finding survivors was slim and the focus had shifted to recovery of remains.
There were only two life jackets aboard the boat, police Lt. Doug Dickerson said. Two of the survivors, boys ages 6 and 15, were saved after they huddled together in the water with a young woman who had on one of the life jackets .

Injuries mountamong cliff-jumpers
SOUTH BURLINGTON Chris West had to take a few minutes to build up the courage to jump from the ledge at Red Rocks Park into the water 76 feet below.
Jumping the equivalent of about seven stories wasn't the scariest or most dangerous thing Mr. West had done. The 22-year-old had cliff-jumped his whole life, as well as bungee-jumped and rock-climbed without ropes. But when Mr. West jumped, he hit the water wrong and fractured a vertebra about two thirds of the way down his back.
"I didn't think about what would happen if I got hurt," Mr. West recently told the Free Press from his South Burlington apartment.

Man pays $5,000for Guthrie guitar
SPOKANE It may seem extreme to pay $5,000 for a 40-year-old acoustic guitar in poor condition, but not if it had belonged to folk singer Woody Guthrie.
The new owner, Jim Kalmenson, suspects just that.
Inside the Slingerland May Belle guitar is a pencil scrawl: "Property of Woody Guthrie OK." Mr. Kalmenson is convinced it's the real deal, though that may be difficult to confirm.
Mr. Guthrie emerged from the Dust Bowl to champion the nation's downtrodden through his music. His works include "This Land Is Your Land," "Deportee," "Roll on, Columbia" and many more songs that made powerful statements and inspired Bob Dylan and others to follow his example, seeking to effect social change through music.

Baby turtleshead home
WEST BEND A dozen baby Blanding's turtles hatched this summer in a Madison laboratory became emissaries for their rare species Friday when they crawled into the new world of a shallow marsh west of Highway Z, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Each hatchling, no more than 11/4 inches long, is the offspring of two adults that had been fitted with radio transmitters so that researchers could track their movements and identify the habitat preferred by the species, said Gary Casper, a reptile and amphibian expert at the Milwaukee Public Museum.
Now in the fourth year of the study, Casper expects to recommend this winter which parcels of undeveloped shoreline on Gilbert Lake and Artist Bay on Big Cedar Lake, should be purchased and preserved to ensure local survival of the turtles.

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