- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2003

Project helps women learn farm life
PERRYVILLE Dozens of sheep rush toward Dawn Janz as she points her disposable camera at their pen, ready to capture the livestock on film amid the rolling hills.
She was one of about a dozen women taking part in Heifer Project International's recent weeklong project on sustainable agriculture. A few members would go on to apply their knowledge in developing countries; for the others, mostly urban dwellers, it was simply a chance to get a taste of the rural rough.
Miss Janz, 33, considered it a vacation from her corporate management job near Chicago.
The Little Rock-based charity hosts the Ranch Hand Week annually so that women from across the country can learn to help impoverished nations. Heifer Project distributes animals around the globe and teaches recipients how to turn them into income-producing livestock.
Mary Hart of Cleveland plans to share what she has learned here at a women's retreat this fall.
"I think if everyone had the opportunity to participate in programs like this, we wouldn't have the situation with our military," she said. "Maybe we all need to live in a global village."

Sharon Osbourne involved in restaurant row
LOS ANGELES The wife of former Black Sabbath rocker and reality-television star Ozzy Osbourne was involved in a restaurant brawl with a female Hollywood talent agent, police said Tuesday.
British-born Sharon Osbourne, 50, filed battery charges against agent Renee Tab who reportedly slugged Mrs. Osbourne on the chin in a row over Miss Tab's win of a $15,000 diamond necklace at a New Year's party held by the Osbournes.
Miss Tab, meanwhile, also filed a battery report against Mrs. Osbourne for purportedly spitting on her in the row at a trendy Los Angeles restaurant last Thursday.
Mrs. Osbourne, who stars with her family in the hit reality-TV show "The Osbournes," told the Celebrity Justice television show that her chin was bruised in the fracas at the trendy Koi restaurant.

Fire season starts two weeks early
ANCHORAGE Fire season began in south-central Alaska two weeks earlier than normal. During fire season, a permit is needed to do any open burning except for small cooking and warming fires. State authorities said much of the region is vulnerable because of a low snowpack and dry weather. State law usually sets fire season from May 1 to Sept. 30.

Governor signs school-choice bill
DENVER Gov. Bill Owens yesterday signed into law a landmark voucher bill that would pay for public-school students to attend private or religious schools.
"Today we enact the most far-reaching parental choice program in America," said Mr. Owens before a crowd of 800 private-school children and faculty at the state Capitol. "Today, we empower thousands of Colorado families to choose the best school for their children."
Known as the Colorado Opportunity Contract Pilot Program, the law gives financial assistance to low-income students from low-performing public schools.

Weigh stations increase fines
GREENWICH Since opening 24 hours a day in March, the weigh stations on Connecticut's interstates have brought in $1.1 million in fines.
One station on Interstate 95 in Greenwich has issued truckers 1,347 tickets for more than 1,900 safety violations, state police said.
The stations went on 24-hour status for homeland security reasons.

Sniper victim's mother dies of cancer
GAINESVILLE MaryAnn Moore, whose daughter was killed during the Washington-area sniper attacks last fall, died of breast cancer April 9. She was 71.
She was already in treatment when tragedy struck her family last year. One of her granddaughters was killed in a car accident in Georgia.
Then, daughter Linda Franklin, a 47-year-old FBI analyst, was shot during the sniper killing spree on Oct. 14 outside a Home Depot store in Fairfax County.

Four, including toddler, found shot to death
TEMPLE Four persons, including a 14-month-old girl, were shot to death in a suspected murder-suicide.
Misty Dawn Conn, 27; her brother, Jimmy Richard Adams III, 34; and her daughter, Rosa Louise, were found Tuesday in separate bedrooms of their home, authorities said.
The suspected gunman, Victor Cipriano, in his 30s, was found dead in a hallway. He was identified by authorities as the dead woman's boyfriend.
The siblings' parents and the female victim's 10-year-old sister had already left for the day.
The sister told a teacher Mr. Cipriano had threatened on Monday to kill everybody, Haralson County Sheriff Ronnie Kimball said yesterday.

7 children, driver injured in school bus crash
COEUR d'ALENE A school bus taking children home along a winding, narrow road plunged 400 feet down an embankment, injuring seven children and the driver, authorities said.
Neighbors rushed to the scene Tuesday and found four bloody children who had climbed up the hill to the road, which had no guard rails.
"I just started praying," neighbor Sally Johnson said. "It looked so horrible."
Six of the seven children on the bus suffered cuts and bruises and one suffered a head injury. Three children were hospitalized and were all listed in good condition yesterday.
The cause of the accident remained under investigation yesterday, officials said. The pavement was dry.

Police chief suspended for offensive e-mails
BLOOMINGTON Police Chief Roger Aiken was suspended for two days over sexually and racially offensive e-mails that circulated within the department, City Manager Tom Hamilton said.
Two other officers also were suspended, and three department employees were reprimanded.
The e-mails were discovered through an anonymous complaint.

Boy who was caught in car window dies
DANVILLE An 11-year-old boy who left a music program at an elementary school to play in the parking lot was found dead, trapped between a car's electric window and the door frame.
Mitchell L. Johnson was attending his brother's fourth-grade class presentation at Danville South Elementary when he became bored and left with keys to his mother's car.
Police said his family found him dead after the program concluded Tuesday evening.
"We believe he may have somehow pushed the button and the window came up and trapped his head," police Lt. Jerry Cunningham said.

Open enrollment challenges schools
CEDAR RAPIDS Schools struggling to stay open during tough budget times face another challenge.
Under open enrollment, students can pick the district where they want to attend class. Fifty-five percent of Iowa's 371 school districts lost students and funding this school year due to open enrollment.

Governor still wants to expand gambling
TOPEKA Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said she hasn't given up on her proposal to expand gambling.
A bill to allow slot machines at race tracks remains in limbo because the Senate's Republican leaders haven't scheduled a debate.
Ms. Sebelius' proposal was part of a $405 million package for balancing the budget through the end of the next fiscal year.

Partisan Review folds after 68 years
BOSTON Partisan Review, which published the early work of such writers as Norman Mailer and Susan Sontag and became one of the most influential literary journals in the country, is shutting down after nearly 70 years.
Partisan Review's advisory board announced the decision yesterday after Boston University, which owns the magazine, said it wanted a new editorial direction for the magazine.
Founded in 1934 in New York's Greenwich Village, the magazine wielded extraordinary influence in the years before and after World War II, even though its circulation never reached more than 20,000.

Landmark bar closes, in bankruptcy
BUTTE The M&M; Cigar Store, a landmark saloon for miners, gamblers and cowboys once described by beat poet Jack Kerouac as the ideal bar, closed for the first time in 113 years, right after the business manager filed for bankruptcy.
"It was not profitable anymore," said Charles Bugni, 78, who had leased the business for nearly three decades.
Last call for drinks came at 7:17 p.m. Tuesday, and the doors were locked a few minutes after 8 p.m. Many of the patrons were crying. Those who tried to take mementoes were stopped by a bankruptcy trustee.

Court ruling keeps douments confidential
CARSON CITY A federal appeals court has refused to open confidential documents that might reveal if substances handled at the secret Air Force Base at Area 51 were hazardous.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week upheld the decision of U.S. District Judge Philip Pro, who released transcripts of hearings but with classified information blacked out.
Five workers and the widows of two former employees filed suit saying they were exposed to toxic fumes at the base.

University wants rioters to pay for damage
CONCORD The University of New Hampshire said rioters will have to pay for damages caused after UNH's national championship hockey loss.
Officials said punishment for the 87 arrested Saturday night will include paying for an estimated $10,000 in damage and $45,000 in police overtime.

Officers serve drinks, give sobriety tests
SANTA FE Officers served beers, screwdrivers, tequila shooters and vodka Jell-O shots to people then turned around and gave them sobriety tests for driving while intoxicated.
Those liquored up by police had volunteered Monday to help 40-plus law-enforcement cadets learn how to spot drunken drivers and get them off the roads.
One volunteer drinker, Johnny Mares from Melrose, is a Curry County sheriff's deputy who gives field sobriety tests himself.
Before the field-sobriety tests, officials checked the volunteers who drank for more than three hours for blood-alcohol content. Their levels ranged from 0.07 to 0.18 percent. New Mexico's legal limit for DWI is 0.08.

Tax filer arrested; sought $1.5 milllion refund
NEW YORK A man masquerading as a millionaire filed an income-tax return claiming he was owed a refund of more than $1.5 million, authorities said.
Benjamin Harris, 47, of Brooklyn was arrested on tax deadline day and arraigned on charges of filing a false claim last year with the Internal Revenue Service. After pleading not guilty, Mr. Harris was released on $10,000 bond.
Prosecutors say a 2001 return filed by Harris included a doctored W-2 form showing he made nearly $9 million that year as an attorney for an employment agency, Temporary Time Capitol Corp.

Judge declares mistrial because of sleeping juror
CINCINNATI A judge declared a mistrial after a juror fell asleep during the trial of a man facing cocaine charges.
"You have a right to 12 jurors who are awake," Judge Robert Ruehlman of Common Pleas Court told James Toran, 27.
At the request of the defense, Judge Ruehlman dismissed the jurors Tuesday and scheduled a new trial for June 5. Mr. Toran could be sentenced up to 21 years in prison if convicted of all charges, including cocaine possession and trafficking.
The prosecution and defense had completed opening statements and a prosecution witness had testified before there was a break in the trial. A high school student attending the trial with his class asked the judge about the sleeping juror, who had been obscured from the judge's view by another juror in the front row.

Senator's daughter found dead
MOUNT PLEASANT A daughter of Sen. Ernest F. Hollings was found dead on the floor of her home, authorities said. There were no signs of foul play.
Salley Hollings, 46, was found Tuesday morning by her 12-year-old daughter, said Charleston County Coroner Susan Chewning.
There was no immediate indication of the cause of death, and it appeared she had been dead for several hours. Autopsy results could take weeks, Miss Chewning said yesterday.
The 81-year-old senator was in South Carolina during the Senate's recess and had planned to see his daughter and granddaughter.

Scientists fighting flooding of mine
LEAD The company that owns the old Homestake gold mine should not be allowed to turn off pumps and let the 8,000-foot-deep shafts and tunnels flood, say scientists who want to turn it into an astrophysics laboratory.
Barrick Gold Mining of Toronto has said it no longer wants to spend $300,000 a month to pump out the water that seeps into the mine.
Scientists gathered Tuesday, one day after the mayor of Lead obtained a temporary restraining order against the company, to protest the company's position.

Condemned killer gets death-penalty reprieve
HUNTSVILLE A condemned killer won a reprieve about two hours before his scheduled execution for the shooting death of a Houston businessman during a botched burglary 12 years ago.
The execution of Kenneth Wayne Morris, 32, a ninth-grade dropout with a history of theft and burglary, was stopped Tuesday by order of a federal appeals court, based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that barred execution of mentally retarded people.
Morris' attorneys argued their client was retarded, even though he had never been given an IQ test.

Police nab suspect in bunny beating
WAUSAU Police arrested a man they say attacked the Easter Bunny at a local mall.
Montell T. Howard, 21, was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after a 29-year-old Wausau man, working as the mall's Easter Bunny, reported Saturday that an unknown man got him in a headlock, punched him in the mouth three times and fled the scene.
Police identified the suspect Monday after mall security reported that he had returned to the mall. The man dressed as the Easter Bunny identified Mr. Howard as his attacker, the Wausau Daily Herald reported.
"Because of the bunny suit, [the victim] didn't get hurt, but it was unusual to get hit this way," Wausau Officer Chang Lee wrote in his report.

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