- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2002

NEW MEXICO

Setback won't end horse-racing venture

RUIDOSO DOWNS His horse finished last in the $2 million All American Futurity, but country music star Toby Keith isn't going to pull back on his venture into quarter-horse racing.

"You can't catch any fish if you don't have your bait in the water," Mr. Keith said as he waited to watch his 2-year-old colt, the Down Side, run in the futurity Monday.

Mr. Keith, Ruidoso Downs owner R.D. Hubbard and Texas businessman John T.L. Jones teamed up to buy several yearling quarter horses at a sale in Ruidoso last year.

Mr. Keith and his partners will try again next year. The trio bought three more yearlings at this year's Ruidoso Select Sale.


OREGON

Fighter pilot dating Miss America

PORTLAND Miss America is dating an Oregon Air National Guard fighter pilot she met on a tour of the Portland Air Base.

Katie Harman, 22, and Lt. Tim Ebner, 29, had been seen dining at a restaurant along the city harbor and visiting the beach at Seaside to share tuna sandwiches during the Miss Oregon Scholarship Pageant in July.

"Sometimes I kick myself and say, 'Hey, do you realize you are living some guy's dreams to be dating Miss America?'" Lt. Ebner said. "But I'm not dating Miss America. I am dating Katie."

Miss Harman, who met Lt. Ebner in May, said they share mutual interests, including church, and that he understands the demands of celebrity.


ALASKA

Man pleads no contest in murder case

Last year he hacked a sleeping man to death with a hatchet, but in court this week, Lamar Gathers was subdued and all "Yes sir, no sir" as he pleaded no contest to first-degree murder and assault.

Jury selection in Gathers' trial for killing Dustin Gard, 19, and slashing Bridgette Blezinski with the same hatchet was scheduled to begin this week.

As part of the plea bargain, Gathers agreed to a sentence of up to 105 years, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Up until his plea Tuesday, Gathers, now 20, continued to deny any role in the Aug. 29 attack.


ARKANSAS

August revenues come in stronger

LITTLE ROCK The state's net revenues for August were $12.8 million, or 5.1 percent, above forecast, finance officials said.

Since November, state officials have made three budget cuts in services and programs because of revenue shortfalls.

Some state legislators had urged the administration to revise its forecast of 4.8 percent growth for the next fiscal year. Gov. Mike Huckabee said he was glad he didn't.


CALIFORNIA

Mahony accuser charged with extortion

STOCKTON A man who accused Cardinal Roger Mahony of molesting him two decades ago has been charged with extortion, filing a false police report and other crimes, authorities said.

Loren Mitchell Saffels, 34, told Stockton police in June that he had been molested in 1982 by Cardinal Mahony, who was bishop of Stockton at the time.

Cardinal Mahony, now head of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, had maintained the claim was baseless.

Prosecutors charged Saffels after a three-month police investigation. In an arrest warrant, authorities described Saffels as a con artist with a criminal history of fraud, theft and impersonating a police officer.


DELAWARE

Census shows homes overcrowded

WILMINGTON To Agustin Estrada, the two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment he shares with four fellow construction workers outside Wilmington is far from crowded. There are four beds, and one man sleeps on the floor.

But the U.S. Census Bureau would count the 41-year-old Mexican immigrant's household among the state's 8,300 crowded homes, a figure that grew during the 1990s for the first time in six decades, the News-Journal reports.

More immigrant laborers, a lack of affordable housing in Delaware and lax enforcement of housing laws are resulting in more people like Mr. Estrada living in crowded homes, sometimes with a dozen or more roommates who share beds in shifts, housing specialists said.


FLORIDA

Man, 100, buys doctor a vacation

MIAMI Israel Haimowitz made a deal with his doctor 15 years ago: Get me to 100 and I'll buy you a European vacation.

Yesterday, Mr. Haimowitz celebrated his 100th birthday. And Dr. Robert Drimmer and his wife are looking forward to a trip to London next summer.

Mr. Haimowitz, a retired furniture salesman, said it's the least he can do. The native of Brooklyn, N.Y., is in good health, complaining only occasionally of fatigue.

"To get a doctor down here that's considerate of his patients is difficult," said Mr. Haimowitz, who just renewed his driver's license. He credits his longevity and health to drinking 2 ounces of cognac daily, along with eating five Danish butter cookies.


IDAHO

City increases places to play

MERIDIAN By the end of the summer, the city of Meridian will have almost doubled the amount of park land it operates, thanks to Bear Creek and Chateau parks, the Idaho Statesman reports.

The new parks will add 26 acres to the 37 acres the city already operates.

"In one fell swoop, we're adding almost as much park space as we have right now," said Tom Kuntz, Meridian's parks and recreation director.

Chateau will open officially at 6 p.m. Wednesday with a ceremony at which a small memorial will be dedicated to the victims of September 11.


KANSAS

Governor refuses to endorse nominee

TOPEKA They said they were closer politically after a private meeting, but Gov. Bill Graves still wouldn't endorse a fellow Republican, gubernatorial nominee Tim Shallenburger.

Mr. Graves, a centrist, said he won't be rushed into declaring support for Mr. Shallenburger, a conservative and state treasurer, in his campaign against Democratic nominee Kathleen Sebelius, the insurance commissioner.


LOUISIANA

Hatfill's boss loses job at university

BATON ROUGE A day after it fired Steven J. Hatfill, a researcher under scrutiny in last fall's anthrax attacks, Louisiana State University fired the head of the biomedical research center that had employed him.

Stephen L. Guillot, who was director of both the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training and the Academy for Counter-Terrorist Education, was dismissed Wednesday, LSU spokesman Gene Sands said.

Mr. Sands refused to discuss why Mr. Guillot was fired, saying it was a personnel matter.


MAINE

Street vendor rules still undecided

PORTLAND Portland will continue its arbitrary enforcement of street vendor regulations for the time being after the City Council failed Wednesday night to agree on a way to clarify and tighten the rules, the Press-Herald reports.

Restaurant owners and street vendors strongly endorsed the council's lack of action.

The current ordinance prohibits food vendors from locating their carts within 65 feet of an establishment that sells food, but city inspectors generally enforce the law only when they receive a complaint from a restaurant or other retailer.

The ordinance also fails to specify what foods are protected from competition, which is why the city recently forced one hot-dog vendor to leave the sidewalk in front of a gift shop selling candy.


MINNESOTA

Plane lands in back yard

BROOKLYN PARK A small plane headed for an airport in Crystal ran out of gas and crash-landed in a back yard here, police told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

No one was injured when the two-seat Cessna 152 landed around 10 p.m. Wednesday. The plane, which missed the Crystal Airport by about two miles, had taken off from Pine City. The pilot and passenger were uninjured.


MISSISSIPPI

Police get answers about attack

HATTIESBURG University of Southern Mississippi police investigators got answers Wednesday to some of their questions about a Saturday night altercation that is bringing unwanted attention to the campus, the American reports.

Four Louisville men, including brothers Eric Davis, Darren Davis and Tyrone Davis, say they were pulled from their car while it was stuck in traffic near the Alumni House and attacked as they were leaving the USM-Jackson State University football game.

Police and USM dean of students Eddie Holloway met with several of the victims Wednesday in Jackson.


MONTANA

Hiker in Yellowstone mauled by grizzly

BOZEMON A Massachusetts veterinarian was mauled by a mother grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park's backcountry Monday and he credits his friend with saving his life, reports the Chronicle.

"Without him, I'd still be out there," John Crosson, 43, said Wednesday from his hospital bed in Jackson, Wyo.

His friend, Nils Wygant, a New Hampshire software engineer who had never seen a wild grizzly before, was able to douse the charging bear with pepper spray at close range and send it scampering into the woods.

Mr. Wygant, 35, then helped his injured friend hike three miles through swamps and thick downfall, built him a shelter for the night and found help the next morning.


NEBRASKA

Shopping spree funded with bad checks

OMAHA The slender nurse quickly became known as a regular at three Omaha stores where she repeatedly dropped hundreds even thousands of dollars on every trip.

Her explanations for buying 32 bottles of stain remover or 1,000 bolts of fabric were shored up by her kind nature.

Police think Mary E. Hruska, 43, funded a six-week shopping spree with nearly $200,000 in bad checks. The woman had a clean record until she was charged last week with theft by deception. Now she has left town, reports the World-Herald.


NEVADA

Strategist takes blame for bungled bid

LAS VEGAS Top political strategist Billy Vassiliadis blamed himself Wednesday for Richard Bunker's stunning Senate primary loss, the Morning Sun reports.

"Richard Bunker didn't lose this race," Mr. Vassiliadis said. "His consultants did. I was the one Richard trusted. I bear the primary responsibility."

Four-term Las Vegas Assemblyman Dennis Nolan defeated the high-powered Mr. Bunker by 147 votes in Tuesday's Republican primary in Senate District 9, even though Mr. Bunker spent twice as much and had the backing of Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, Reno Republican.


NEW JERSEY

Trade Center flag has disappeared

HACKENSACK The American flag that was raised by three firefighters over the wreckage of the World Trade Center, one of the most enduring images of September 11, has disappeared.

After it was removed from the site during cleanup, the flag was believed to have been flown on U.S. ships serving in the war in Afghanistan, then returned to New York City officials in March.

But the flag that city officials preserved measures 5 feet by 8 feet. The flag the firefighters raised on September 11 measured 4 feet by 6 feet, according to its original owners.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked city fire officials to investigate what happened to the flag.

The New York Times reported that city officials had traced the 5-by-8-foot flag as far back as a Sept. 23 appearance in Yankee Stadium.


NORTH DAKOTA

A Roosevelt pushes conservation plan

MEDORA The great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt laid out his case this week for protecting some of the unspoiled lands that the former president loved, the Dickinson Press reports.

Theodore Roosevelt IV spent much of the day touring portions of the Little Missouri National Grassland with members of conservation groups. The groups say that about 234,000 acres of the grassland are suitable for protection through a federal wilderness designation.

Mr. Roosevelt's great-grandfather ranched in the Badlands of the Little Missouri National Grassland in the 1880s before he became president.


OKLAHOMA

Man tries to lure elementary school girl

OKLAHOMA CITY A man tried to lure an 8-year-old-girl into his vehicle as she was leaving an elementary school Wednesday afternoon, Oklahoma City police told the Oklahoman.

The man was driving a late-model, white Chevrolet Suburban and was parked in a driveway at Nichols Hills Elementary School. The girl ran home and told her mother, according to the report.

Police said a man matching the same description has been reported loitering around John Marshall High School, which is near Nichols Hills Elementary School.


PENNSYLVANIA

Bishop defrocks conservative priest

PHILADELPHIA An Episcopal priest who says the church has become too liberal on issues such as the ordination of women and recognition of same-sex unions was defrocked yesterday by the bishop of Pennsylvania.

The Rev. David Moyer is a leader of Forward in Faith, a movement that sought to make him a bishop for more conservative congregations within the church.

Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr. said it was not Mr. Moyer's beliefs but his rejection of the bishop's authority that prompted his dismissal from the ministry.


SOUTH DAKOTA

Police crack down on egg throwers

PIERRE Young people who insist on throwing eggs as part of this year's homecoming festivities will be cited and detained by the Pierre Police Department.

"We know this has been a trend, a yearly event. However, we need to take a good look at this before someone gets seriously hurt," Pierre Chief of Police Allen Aden told the Capital Journal.

The police department is concerned both because of the potential for personal injury and because of the potential for damage to property.


TEXAS

Four women killed in ambush

DONNA Four women were shot to death in their car in an ambush near the Mexican border early yesterday as they drove home from the nightclub where they worked.

A fifth woman was being treated at a hospital, and a sixth was found hiding near the site of the shooting, sheriff's Capt. Roy Quintanilha said.

The women, employees at Garcia's Lounge, were apparently fired on after their car stopped to drop off one of the women in the mobile home park where they lived.


VERMONT

Prostitution ring trial to start today

BURLINGTON A Burlington woman accused of recruiting local girls and young women to work as prostitutes in the Bronx is scheduled to go on trial this morning in federal court, according to the Free Press.

Beverly Holland, 40, has pleaded not guilty to taking the girls and women to New York City or arranging for them to travel there to work as prostitutes between April 2000 and early 2001. The government's indictment says she recruited 12 "young Vermont females," half of whom were younger than 18 at the time.

Her trial will provide the first public, detailed account of the inner workings of a local youth underworld of drugs and prostitution.


WASHINGTON

Federal appeals judge dies of pneumonia

SEATTLE Eugene Allen "Gene" Wright, a federal appeals judge with an interest in First Amendment issues, died Tuesday of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. He was 89.

Mr. Wright had served on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1969.

Judge Wright served in the Army during World War II as an intelligence officer, Japanese interpreter, interrogator of prisoners and commander of Japanese-American soldiers. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge and Army Commendation Medal.

He was named to the federal appeals court by President Nixon.

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