- The Washington Times - Friday, September 27, 2002


Former congressman dies at 83

CHICAGO Roman C. Pucinski, former Chicago congressman and journalist, died Wednesday of pneumonia. He was 83.

Long a leading voice in Chicago's Polish community, Mr. Pucinski spent 13 years in Congress and 20 years on the Chicago City Council. Mayor Richard M. Daley called him "a dedicated public servant who really cared about Chicago and its people."

He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and led his bomber squadron on the first B-29 raid over Tokyo in 1944. He subsequently flew 48 missions over Japan and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with Clusters.

Mr. Pucinski spent 20 years as a reporter and staff writer with the Chicago Sun-Times before being elected to Congress as a Democrat in 1958.


Researchers grow teeth in lab

BOSTON A team of scientists grew accurate versions of natural teeth in a laboratory, raising the possibility of an eventual replacement for manmade implants, such as dentures, bridges and crowns.

The scientists, based at Forsyth Institute, are reported to be the first to grow such a complex tooth structure from a collection of individual cells.

Researchers said it would be at least a decade before the technique could be used to help patients.

The results appear in the October issue of the Journal of Dental Research.

The Forsyth scientists manipulated pigs' dental stem cells - primordial cells that differentiate into the various tooth structures - to make enamel, which gives teeth their distinctive, hard exterior.


Man chases jewel thief

ANCHORAGE Dwayne Hall expected to be wowed by his first trip to Alaska, but he never thought it would be like a Wild West movie.

Things started innocently enough. Mr. Hall spent a week traveling the state in a motor home.

On Saturday, the day before he was to fly back to California, Mr. Hall and his relatives were souvenir shopping.

Steven Contois, Mr. Hall's 35-year-old nephew, was buying a gift when he saw "Uncle Dwayne" chasing someone outside. Was it purse-snatching? A pickpocket? Nope: a diamond heist.

Mr. Hall, 55, gave chase after a man grabbed three diamonds worth about $33,000 from a jewelry store. But the suspect got away, the Anchorage Daily News reports.


Army taps firm for 3.6 million berets

CABOT For years, Bancroft Cap Co. has been in a battle with the government to keep doing what it has been doing since World War I: making headgear for the military.

The Cabot manufacturer scored a major victory Wednesday when it learned that it had won a contract to make 3.6 million Army berets during the next five years, reports the Democrat-Gazette.

But Bancroft has seen its share of troubles with the government. Early last year, the Army tentatively awarded $22 million in beret-making contracts to foreign manufacturers because it wanted the caps in time for the Army's 226th anniversary in June 2001. Bancroft was left out of those plans.

However, Arkansas' legislative delegation used the Buy American Act, also known as the Berry Amendment, to thwart the Army's intentions. The Berry Amendment, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Marion Berry, requires the military to buy all clothing from domestic manufacturers.


'Jurassic Park' author robbed at home

SANTA MONICA Police hunted yesterday for two armed men who tied up "Jurassic Park" author Michael Crichton and his 13-year-old daughter in the middle of the night and ransacked their home.

Mr. Crichton and his daughter were unharmed by the two masked men who broke into their home in suburban Santa Monica about 8 a.m. EDT on Monday and stole undisclosed personal items, a spokesman for the 59-year-old writer said.

A police spokesman said two men entered the home wearing ski masks and bound Mr. Crichton and the girl at gunpoint.


Disgruntled employee shoots co-workers

JACKSONVILLE A disgruntled employee entered a state office yesterday, shot two co-workers and then fatally shot himself, authorities said.

The shooting occurred before 9 a.m. in the office of radiological services, a division of the state Department of Health in downtown Jacksonville, said Duval County Health Director Jeff Goldhagan.

The gunman died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, police Sgt. Dennis McGuire said.


Syphilis outbreak sparks worry of epidemic

ATLANTA An outbreak of syphilis among homosexual and bisexual men in New York has prompted concerns that the sexually transmitted disease, as well as AIDS, are poised for a resurgence, federal health officials said yesterday.

Data compiled by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that the number of cases of primary and secondary syphilis in the nation's largest city rose to 282 last year, more than double the number in the previous year.

The city's overall syphilis rate hit a 10-year high of 3.5 per 100,000 people, according to the data, which was published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's weekly morbidity and mortality report.


Farmers finish burning of 175 acres

COEUR d'ALENE Bluegrass farmers finished field burning Wednesday on the Rathdrum Prairie.

Farmers were allowed to light four remaining fields totaling about 175 acres, the Press reports.

"This went perfect," said Linda Clovis, spokeswoman for the North Idaho Farmers Association. "There was good dispersion. Smoke was picked up by transport winds, which took it out of here."

Mary Hill of Post Falls was upset when she called the Press for the field-burning hot-line number. "My house is closed up and I can hardly breathe," Miss Hill said.


Ex-POW returns for historic tour

ELIZABETH Nearly 60 years after the end of World War II, a visit by someone associated with Nazi Germany still roils the blood of some Iowans, reports the Des Moines Register.

Kurt Butzlaff, a former German prisoner of war in camps in Iowa and Minnesota, is among a group of ex-prisoners and their families touring the Midwest. As the war against terrorism continues and a war with Iraq looms, their visit is not universally welcomed.

"Our patriotism is being questioned," said Michael Luick-Thrams, the tour's organizer.


Governor's affair results in state probe

FRANKFORT The attorney general said yesterday he would investigate accusations that Gov. Paul Patton used state regulators to punish a woman after she ended their affair.

Mr. Patton acknowledged in a televised confession last week that he had an "inappropriate relationship" with Tina Conner, but denied using his office to hurt her.

Miss Conner, 40, says Mr. Patton used his office to perform favors for her during their two-year relationship, which ended in 1999. She said Mr. Patton continued to call her until she broke off contact in October 2001. Two months later, she said, state regulators cracked down on her nursing home in Clinton. She is suing the governor, claiming sexual harassment.

Attorney General Ben Chandler said his office would investigate to determine whether any laws were violated. A state ethics panel was to meet today to decide whether to begin an investigation.


Canines show off nasal know-how

BATON ROUGE Three investigators from Southern California in town to help catch a serial killer stepped before the news media on all fours last week for a show-and-tell that included howling at the sky, tracking down the scent of a reporter and, at one point, licking a television camera lens, the Times-Picayune reports.

Lucy, Tinkerbell and Knight three bloodhounds with keen senses of smell will be in the capital city through Monday to help police track down scents still lingering from the scenes of three murders, which police have linked through DNA evidence.


Ex-caseworker jailed for death of daughter

AUGUSTA A former state adoption caseworker was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison for the asphyxiation death of her 5-year-old foster daughter, who died bound with duct tape.

The sentencing of Sally Ann Schofield, 41, closes a chapter on a criminal case that led to legislative investigations into the state's child welfare system.

Prosecutors said Schofield, a former adoption caseworker for the Maine Department of Human Services, used the duct tape during a disciplinary "time out" after the child woke up from a nap in a rage on Jan. 31, 2001.

The child, Logan Marr, died from asphyxiation in the basement after being bound to a highchair with 42 feet of duct tape.


State drug report urges treatment

HELENA Montana needs more drug treatment, not a "War on Drugs," to stem what has been called an epidemic of addiction, says the final report of a group formed last year to find solutions to the state's growing drug and alcohol problem, the Billings Gazette reports.

"We don't feel the war analogy is necessarily appropriate," said Sen. Duane Grimes, Clancy Republican, who headed the group.

The group gave its final report Wednesday to Gov. Judy Martz and Attorney General Mike McGrath.


Five killed in bank robbery

NORFOLK Five persons were killed in a bank robbery yesterday morning in a farming community in northeast Nebraska, authorities said.

Police Chief Bill Mizner said the U.S. Bank branch, located just off a major highway, was robbed shortly before 10 a.m. EDT. Four of the victims were bank employees and one was a customer, he said.

Authorities were still searching for three men seen driving away in a car that had temporary in-transit tags in the window rather than license plates.


Game designer kills self during investigation

RENO A Reno computer programmer committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge amid an investigation for rigging casino bingo games he designed at GameTech International, authorities told the Gazette-Journal this week.

At 15 Las Vegas-area casinos and one in Reno, the Sands Regency Casino & Hotel, an electronic system made by Reno-based GameTech and used by bingo players to monitor their cards remained closed Wednesday. Regulators were looking into whether the engineer acted alone.

Brett Norman Keeton, a 38-year-old software programmer from Reno, leaped to his death after the Gaming Control Board was notified of "irregular" activity in a Las Vegas casino bingo hall, authorities said.


Ex-Warren Commission counsel dies in crash

GILFORD A law professor at George Mason University who was a counsel to the commission that probed President Kennedy's assassination was killed when his plane crashed into a lake during a training flight.

His instructor also was killed.

It was not known who was at the controls of the Piper twin Comanche when it crashed into Lake Winnipesaukee, said Richard Eilinger of the Federal Aviation Administration.

Wesley J. Liebeler, 71, and flight instructor Alan Emerson, 58, were the only occupants aboard.


Beating-death suspects take plea bargains

PATERSON Three teenagers charged with murder in the beating death of a homeless man agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge and testify against others in the case.

Superior Court Judge Randolph Subryan said that the three agreed to plead guilty to charges of aggravated assault and riot.

In all, 11 youths were charged with murder in the June 20, 2001, attack that killed Hector Robles, 42. Prosecutors say the boys attacked Mr. Robles as he was drinking beer in an industrial area near the teens' school, kicked and punched him and broke a bottle over his head. He died that day.

Francisco Rodriguez, Jawon White and Shohmahree Brown-Parris, all 18, face three to five years in prison.


Design teams chosen for Trade Center site

NEW YORK Six teams of architects have been chosen to submit designs for the World Trade Center site.

The architects were selected by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., the agency overseeing the rebuilding of the site.

After its original six proposals for a memorial and other new buildings at the site were roundly criticized, the agency announced in August that it would extend the planning process by up to three months and invite architects from around the world to submit designs.


Fraternity apologizes for racist photo

STILLWATER The president of a fraternity at Oklahoma State is apologizing for a racist photo of three of its members taken at a party.

The photo shows two Alpha Gamma Rho members, one dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, holding a rope over the head of a member dressed in blackface and wearing a prison costume.

The photo has shown up on the Internet. Oklahoma State Vice President of Student Affairs Thomas Keys says the president of the Alpha Gamma Rho chapter has written an apology.


Tests indicate no hazard in powder

SALEM Tests found nothing hazardous in the white powder sent with a threatening letter to Gov. John Kitzhaber, the governor's spokesman said yesterday. The discovery of the letter had forced the evacuation of the state Capitol a day earlier.

The Capitol was to reopen midmorning yesterday, said Tom Towslee, the governor's spokesman.

A mailroom worker who found the letter and three state troopers who were called to the scene were initially kept in the mailroom to quarantine them, but were given showers and sent home, said Dr. Grant Higginson, state public health officer.


State plans to pursue tardy taxpayers

PROVIDENCE Rhode Island plans to put the squeeze on tax cheats, threatening to publish their names on the Internet unless they pay up, the Journal reports.

The state Division of Taxation has begun sending notices to more than 6,000 delinquent taxpayers, advising them to pay what they owe or else.

The move is a response to the state's budget crunch. Faced with dwindling tax revenues, the state is looking for new ways to raise money , said Rhode Island Tax Administrator R. Gary Clark.


Recovered dog tag might be historic

SALT LAKE CITY Bradley Rush stooped to retrieve a small metallic item lying in the alkaline dirt at the old Wendover Field airport and picked up what might be a piece of history.

Mr. Rush had been hunting for trilobite fossils with his wife and son on the remote edge of the Utah-Nevada state line Monday when he spotted what looked like the top of a lid, he said. When he scraped away the cracked soil, he realized he had found a World War II dog tag stamped with a military serial number and the name "Charles D. Albury."

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