- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2002

New Los Angeles cathedral opens
LOS ANGELES The newest U.S. cathedral opened yesterday amid prayers and controversy as protesters condemned the $195 million cost.
Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral was dedicated during a three-hour service. Cardinal Roger Mahony led a procession of some 3,000 people, including more than 560 priests, bishops and other clergy, through the sweltering 90-degree heat of the courtyard, past the 25-ton bronze doors and into the cool stone interior.
"My friends, welcome to the city's and your new cathedral," a beaming Cardinal Mahony said as guests settled into the new cherry-wood pews. Pope John Paul II sent a message that was read during the ceremony.

Burning Man festival ends weeklong run
RENO Thousands of revelers headed home over the weekend as the annual Burning Man counterculture festival ended a peaceful one-week run. A record 29,000 people attended the 17th annual gathering in the Black Rock Desert, 120 miles north of Reno.
The event combines camping, art and music, and a ban on commercial vendors. Participants cheered and danced Saturday night at the traditional climax: the ceremonial torching of a 70-foot-high wooden statue of a man for whom the event was named.

Man said to forge divorce-paper signature
PHENIX CITY Tammy Kennedy, 39, said a friend told her in July that her former husband, Gregory Kennedy, had just remarried.
But Mrs. Kennedy thought that was impossible. She couldn't remember going through divorce proceedings with her husband. Nor did she sign any divorce papers.
It turns out that Mr. Kennedy had forged his wife's signature on a divorce decree that was filed in April, said Ron Copeland, a police detective in Columbus, Ga., just across the state line from Phenix City.
Authorities charged Mr. Kennedy with felony first-degree forgery for having signed his wife's name on a divorce document. He was released on $1,500 bond from the Muscogee County jail.
Witnesses said the divorce document was notarized by a friend of Mr. Kennedy's new wife at a Columbus jewelry store in February. Court documents showed that Mr. Kennedy remarried June 22 in Phenix City.

Phoenix woman named Miss India USA
PHOENIX Miss India Arizona has a new title after beating 28 other contestants in a national pageant Sunday in Los Angeles.
Priya Arora will represent the United States as Miss India USA in South Africa on Nov. 2. The 20-year-old Phoenix woman won her state's first Miss India Arizona pageant Aug. 10.
Miss Arora's pageant coach, Arthy Kumar-Chadha, organized the Arizona pageant and prepared Miss Arora backstage during the two-day event in Los Angeles. Miss Arora had never participated in a pageant before this year, the Arizona Republic said.

Elvis impression made to amaze
WEST MEMPHIS Here's one more Elvis impersonator making a corny impression.
Elvis Presley's image appears in a new cornfield maze across the state line from Memphis, Tenn. It was designed by friends Justin Taylor and Chris Taylor.
The design invites customers to "Get Lost Memphis Style" in a 3-mile maze patterned after Elvis.
Two other new mazes, one near Munford, Tenn., and the other in Jackson, Tenn., depict the Statue of Liberty.
The mazes are designed and mapped on scaled graph paper, in some cases with computers. Corn is planted at about twice the normal density to create the visual effect of a wall.

Witness placed in cell with defendant
DENVER A 21-year-old Aurora man who witnessed the slayings of two friends was left beaten and bloodied last week after an Arapahoe County jail deputy overlooked a court order and placed him in a cell with the slaying suspect.
A judge, concerned about potential violence, had prohibited all contact between the witness, Martin Brewer, and the defendant, Edward Brown, who is serving life sentences for two fatal shootings.
Jail records clearly referenced the order, but the deputy apparently missed it.
"It was an error on the part of one of our deputies," Sheriff Grayson Robinson told the Rocky Mountain News.

Ecuadorean suspect returned on charges
BARTOW A man arrested in Ecuador has been returned to face charges of murdering his business partner and three relatives of another associate, including a prosecutor, investigators said yesterday.
Nelson Ivan Serrano, 63, was being held without bond in the Polk County jail after he was brought back from his native Ecuador.
Mr. Serrano is charged with murdering partner George Gonsalves, 69, in 1997.
The other victims were Frank Dosso, 35; Diane Patisso, 28; and Mrs. Patisso's husband, George Patisso Jr., 26, all of whom were related to another Serrano business partner.

Legend draws people for remembrance
ST. SIMONS ISLAND In May 1803, according to legend, 10 Nigerians captured to work on coastal Georgia plantations chose to drown themselves in Dunbar Creek rather than live as slaves.
The legend keeps some islanders from fishing and crabbing in the creek out of fear the men haunt its waters. About 75 people visited the creek this weekend to designate the area as holy ground.
The weekend event was organized by the St. Simons African-American Heritage Coalition.
"It's an oral tale that's been told down not written. But it did happen," said Pat Morris, executive director of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society.

Teenage girls escape after overpowering guard
HONOLULU An unlikely group has become the target of a manhunt in Hawaii.
Authorities say 10 teenage girls ages 14 to 17 escaped from the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility after overpowering a guard and stealing a van. They also cut phone lines so staff couldn't call for help, authorities said.
Nine of the teens remained on the loose Sunday.
They were among 17 girls housed in a privately managed cottage at the facility and were being held for a variety of offenses.

Name confusion hits gubernatorial race
CHICAGO Democratic Rep. Rod R. Blagojevich is leading in the Illinois gubernatorial race, his advantage boosted in part by voters who have confused the incumbent governor with the Republican candidate who shares his surname.
According to a poll released yesterday, Mr. Blagojevich leads Jim Ryan, 49 percent to 32 percent.
The poll, conducted by the Chicago Tribune/WGN-Channel 9, shows that some voters apparently are confusing the name of Jim Ryan, the state's attorney general, with that of incumbent Gov. George Ryan.
George Ryan, not Jim, presided over the secretary of state's office when a "licenses for bribes" scandal started.
Mr. Blagojevich's lead narrowed to 45 percent to 35 percent when voters were asked a follow-up question that made it clear Jim Ryan and George Ryan were different people.

Little League champs cheered at parade
LOUISVILLE More than 1,000 fans cheered Little League's newest champions at a parade yesterday.
The 11- and 12-year-old Louisville team members started at their home field and rode along Main Street to Slugger Field downtown. The team defeated Sendai, Japan, 1-0 on Aug. 25 to take the world title.

Woman, 81, aids rescue at pond
SHREVEPORT An 81-year-old woman dove into a pond and tried to save a fellow nursing home resident from drowning after a car containing the resident plunged into the water.
"There wasn't anybody else around," said Carolyn Kelly, who heard the accident and ran to help. "I've done a lot of swimming in my time."
Nina Hutchinson, 83, was taken to Louisiana State University Hospital after she was pulled from the pond. She died yesterday, hospital officials said.
Her husband, Harlem Hutchinson, 90, who was able to get out of the car and swim to shore, had been driving Sunday afternoon when he accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake on his car and plunged into the pond.
Miss Kelly, a fellow resident at the Glen Retirement Village, swam to the passenger's side of the car and held Mrs. Hutchinson's head out of the water until firefighters arrived, officials said.

Faye Copeland released on parole
CHILLICOTHE An inmate who at one time was the oldest woman on Missouri's death row has been paroled because of a severe medical condition, a state official said.
Faye Copeland, 81, convicted along with her husband of fatally shooting five transients, was paroled Friday, Department of Corrections spokesman Tim Kniest said Sunday.
She was serving a sentence of life without parole, but state law allows the parole board to release such inmates if they are terminally ill or have a medical condition that cannot be cared for in prison.
She suffered a stroke Aug. 10 that left her partially paralyzed, and is in a nursing home.

Seven persons dead after plane crashes
SWANZEY Seven persons, including at least two children, were killed yesterday when their small plane crashed in the woods outside a southwest New Hampshire airport, authorities said.
There were no survivors, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters.
Mr. Peters said the plane apparently was attempting to return to the Dillant-Hopkins Airport, about two miles from where it went down.

Anti-abortionist fled, feared for his life
BUFFALO A man accused in the 1998 sniper slaying of a doctor who provided abortions told supporters in a letter from a French jail that he went into hiding abroad because he feared he would be killed.
Proclaiming his innocence in the death of Dr. Barnett Slepian, James Kopp said he fled because he believed he might meet the same fate as a high-profile, anti-abortion ally, Maurice Lewis, who died under what Mr. Kopp claimed were suspicious circumstances.
"If that's how they treated Maurice, what about me?" Mr. Kopp wrote in June 2001 while awaiting deportation from France after spending 2 years on the run.

Mayor cited in sex incident
WESTON Bowling Green police cited the mayor of Weston after they found him having sex with a woman in the parking lot of the Big Boy Family Restaurant.
Police had been called there Aug. 11 on a report of a suspected rape. But when they arrived, James L. Myers and a female in the back seat of his truck told officers they were married and that the sex was consensual.
The mayor and the woman were cited for disorderly conduct and paid a fine and court costs of $120.

Suspect to be placed in mental facility
SHAWNEE A man accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend will be committed to a mental facility after being ruled incompetent to stand trial.
An assessment of James Brian Matlock showed he had an IQ of 53 and the socialization skills of a 4- or 5-year-old.
Special District Judge Doug Combs has ordered Mr. Matlock into the custody of the Department of Mental Health. Mr. Matlock is accused of stabbing Oralia Aida Spina multiple times in the chest, back and throat in September 2001.

Mother seeks alimony from son
PITTSBURGH At first glance, little seems out of order. It's a divorce case, with Rosalie Dalessio pushing Douglas Dalessio for alimony.
But Rosalie and Douglas aren't husband and wife. They're mother and son.
In what Douglas Dalessio's attorney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette may be a first in Pennsylvania, a mother is trying to get alimony from her son, charging that her husband of 21 years, Samuel Dalessio, used Douglas as a shelter for assets.
Now, a state Superior Court panel says Douglas Dalessio doesn't have to pay alimony to his mother. The court says a judge was out of bounds when he brought Douglas Dalessio into the case in 1995.
The obligation for support "rests solely upon married persons," the Superior Court said in an opinion written by Judge John Musmanno.

Storm watches posted along coast
BEAUFORT Tropical-storm watches were posted yesterday along the southern half of South Carolina's coast, with Tropical Storm Edouard churning in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 miles offshore.
Edouard was upgraded to a tropical storm early yesterday, and a tropical-storm watch was issued shortly after. The warning zone stretched from Fernandia Beach, just north of Jacksonville, Fla., through all of coastal Georgia.

Boy breaks checkpoint; terminal evacuated
MEMPHIS Officials evacuated an airport terminal and pulled dozens of passengers off planes after a boy with a backpack ran through a security checkpoint.
The boy was never found, but officials determined he posed no threat, said Wiley Thompson, security director at Memphis International Airport for the Transportation Security Administration.
Mr. Thompson said he reviewed a security tape showing the boy and determined that the child did not board a plane.

Pet resort leaves a dog spoiled
SAN ANTONIO Some pet owners will go to any length to spoil a pooch, as Caryl Scrimpsher can attest.
Miss Scrimpsher runs the Rob Cary Pet Resort, which opened in 1976 and recently underwent a $750,000 expansion that doubled the number of indoor-outdoor suites some with heated floors, televisions and miniature four-poster beds.
At Miss Scrimpsher's resort, lodging in the suites ranges from $19 to $41 a night. There's also day care for up to $39 a day. Massages for the pets, not their owners are $25 for 30 minutes.

Suspect's widow says he was innocent
SALT LAKE CITY The widow of the man police said was their top potential suspect in the unsolved kidnapping of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart said authorities were investigating the wrong man.
Angela Ricci took her husband, Richard Albert Ricci, off life support Friday night. He had suffered a massive brain hemorrhage Aug. 27 at the Utah State Prison, where he had been serving time on a parole violation. He never regained consciousness.
Ricci, 48, died about 12 minutes after life-support machines were turned off. Angela Ricci, 38, said the stress of being wrongly linked to Elizabeth's June abduction contributed to his death.

Agency to enforce ban on smoking
WHEELING A Marshall County Health Department administrator says her agency will continue to implement a smoking ban despite another county's pending litigation.
Health officer Ronda Francis said state law gives local health departments the responsibility to take measures to protect the well-being of its citizens.
The health department's Clean Indoor Air Regulation bans smoking in restaurants, bowling alleys and bingo halls. Violators face penalties ranging from $200 to $1,000.

Bureau begins environmental study
GILLETTE The Bureau of Land Management has begun a new environmental assessment for coal-bed methane in Wyoming's Powder River Basin that could set back federal development of the gas resource several years.
The study will determine the adequacy of earlier analyses and mitigation measures.
The agency has said it might need to renegotiate federal leases or, in the most extreme case, get the leases back from coal-bed methane companies in order to add more stringent environmental rules.

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