- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 22, 2003

ALABAMA
University reveals theft of Indian artifacts
BIRMINGHAM Hoping to solve an archaeological crime after more than two decades, the University of Alabama for the first time revealed a major theft of American Indian artifacts in 1980.
Jim Knight, chairman of anthropology at the Tuscaloosa campus, said yesterday the disappearance of 264 bottles, bowls and jars dating back 800 years was the largest recorded antiquities theft in the South.
Mr. Knight said the theft, which occurred in a storage building at the university's Moundville archaeological site, probably was never revealed because of embarrassment and the initial belief the stolen pottery was taken overseas for collectors in Germany or Japan.

CONNECTICUT
85-year-old postal worker honored
STAMFORD When Carmella Unker began her job with the U.S. Postal Service in 1967, the cost of a first-class stamp was a nickel and Lyndon Johnson was in the White House.
These days there is another Texan in the White House, but the cost of a stamp has risen to 37 cents and Mrs. Unker, 85, is being recognized as the Postal Service's oldest full-time female employee. She also was honored as the oldest female postal worker in 1998.
"I have no plans to retire," she said this week. "I see a lot of people younger than myself, and they look half dead."
Her job is organizing items that can't be handled by machines, such as magazines, nonprofit materials and newspapers, at the postal service's regional processing and distribution center.
"I thank God every morning when I wake up and every night when I get to bed that I can still do it," she said.

FLORIDA
Hurricane season off to early start
MIAMI Subtropical Storm Ana trekked through the ocean off Bermuda yesterday, getting the Atlantic hurricane season off to its earliest start in recent memory, hurricane forecasters said.
Ana became the first named storm of the 2003 season when it formed Sunday as one of only two tropical or subtropical storms to form in April since record-keeping began.
The official six-month Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, but storms can form in any month.
Ana marked the earliest start of the Atlantic hurricane season since 1978, when a storm formed in January, the hurricane center said.

GEORGIA
Rape suspects plead guilty
MARIETTA Two of the 18 men accused of gang raping a mentally disabled 13-year-old pleaded guilty yesterday, agreeing to lesser charges as their trial was about to begin.
The other 16 defendants still face trial in what may be the most rape suspects ever tried at once before a single jury, legal analysts said.
Twenty-year-olds Jamon Aiken and Taurean Green were sentenced to 12 years in prison and eight years' probation after pleading guilty to aggravated child molestation and statutory rape. Charges of rape and sexual exploitation were dropped.
Aiken was the first man to have sexual relations with the girl on Oct. 13, 2000, before the others joined in over the next 10 hours, the girl told police.

ILLINOIS
Sunscreen may slow growth of skin lesions
CHICAGO A daily application of sunscreen may significantly slow the development of sun-related skin lesions, a widely recognized risk factor for skin cancer, a study released yesterday said.
A study of 1,600 Australians showed that volunteers who applied sun-protection factor 16 on a daily basis developed the lesions at a rate that was 24 percent slower than that of volunteers whose sun-care routine was less consistent.
"The study indicates yet again the great potential value of cutaneous sunscreen application, when undertaken conscientiously and carefully, against the now extremely well-documented ravages of sunlight in both the short and long term," said John Hawk, a dermatologist at St. Thomas Hospital in London.

MASSACHUSETTS
Surplus earmarked for health care to poor
BOSTON Legislative leaders want to use an unexpected $90 million windfall to help hospitals provide free care to poor people without health insurance.
Hospitals have long said that they're required to pay too much into a free-care pool.
The plan would reduce the amount the hospitals pay for one year and increase the money paid by health plans and by the state.

MICHIGAN
Men with dynamite arrested near bridge
DETROIT Two men were arrested after police saw them videotaping the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing, and found dynamite, a collapsible baton and shotgun shells in their car.
Officers saw the men during a routine patrol late Sunday, police spokeswoman Bernadette Najor said. The men, who were not identified, were being questioned by the FBI.
"We are trying to find out what their motivation was," said Willie Hulon, special agent in charge of the FBI's Detroit office.
Police said they are holding the men, ages 26 and 30, on a felony charge of possessing a dangerous weapon because the officers found a collapsible baton similar to one carried by police in their car.

NEBRASKA
Women take over emergency needs
BRULE A group of seven women ages 54 to 62 is now an official first-responder extension of the Brule Volunteer Fire Department, officials said.
The women underwent months of training to qualify for the status.
They reacted to concern that had cropped up nearly two years ago about the length of time it took firefighters and ambulances to reach a residential area on the south side of Lake McConaughy.

NEVADA
Military investigating fatal fighter crash
FALLON Military authorities yesterday were still investigating the crash of a single-seat fighter that killed a 34-year-old Navy reservist from New York City last week.
Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Domino died after his F-5E Tiger II jet went down in bad weather during a training flight Friday morning about 10 miles south of Fallon. Authorities said he did not eject from the jet, which was flying out of Fallon Naval Air Station in northern Nevada.
Lt. Alex Domino, a surface warfare officer who is stationed at Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach, said Monday that his brother had gone to Fallon for a 10-day training cycle with the Fighting Saints, a Navy Reserve squadron.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Church abuse case goes to jury
LACONIA Jurors began deliberations yesterday in the case of a Roman Catholic priest charged with raping a teenage altar boy in 1985.
The Rev. George Robichaud, 58, admitted having inappropriate sexual contact with the altar boy, now a 33-year-old state trooper, but he denies raping him.
Father Robichaud faces 7 to 15 years in prison if convicted. He is the first priest to face criminal charges in New Hampshire since the church abuse scandal erupted 18 months ago.
The trooper testified that Father Robichaud befriended him in 1984 when the priest was pastor of St. Anthony's and St. Stephen's churches in Swanzey.

NEW JERSEY
McDonald's selling historic building
NEW BRUNSWICK Hold the fries, and the rest of the items on McDonald's menu.
The fast-food giant plans to sell a historic building in New Brunswick rather than affix golden arches onto the century-old Romanesque Victorian structure.
County property records show that a McDonald's real estate group bought the Peoples Bank building built about 1890 in June for $1 million.
McDonald's refused to say why it decided against developing the site into a fast-food restaurant.

NEW YORK
Man bites dog outside bar, police say
SYRACUSE The world turned upside down in this city on Saturday night at least for one drunken bar patron and an unlucky police dog.
After being thrown out of a bar, Paul Russell Jr., 33, bit Renny, a 3-year-old German shepherd who works for the local police, according to a report in the Post-Standard.
The rare "man bites dog" incident happened when Renny and his police handler were sent to investigate a disturbance after Mr. Russell was ejected by bouncers, the newspaper reported yesterday .
Mr. Russell was on the sidewalk and bleeding from the head when he grabbed the dog by the throat and started choking it and biting it on the neck, police told the paper.
Officer William Foster reportedly punched Mr. Russell twice in the face before he released the dog. Police charged Mr. Russell with injuring a police animal, resisting arrest.

OHIO
Dead animals found on softball field
FREMONT Russ Hagerty still can't believe what he found last week when he went to tend to a softball diamond.
One of the fields was littered with dead animals.
"I was in shock," the assistant softball coach said. "There was an animal on each base, and they staggered them on the field similar to the way players would be on the field."
So far, there is no culprit, according to a police official who would not comment any further.
A police report indicates 14 dead animals were on the diamond. There were raccoons, rabbits, skunks, and woodchucks, as well as a squirrel and a cat, Mr. Hagerty said.

OREGON
Emergency response time called unacceptable
BEND Fire Chief Larry Langston says delays in responding to emergency calls have reached unacceptable levels.
The city council says there's not much it can do about the problem while facing an estimated $9.3 million budget shortfall.
Bend's average response time of nearly seven minutes is slower than the average of just under five minutes in 10 other Oregon cities comparable to Bend in size, geography and population.

PENNSYLVANIA
Blacks sentenced in race-riots case
YORK Two black men were sentenced to prison yesterday for shooting a white police officer during 1969 race riots, receiving the same terms two white men received last year for another riot-related killing.
York County Judge John H. Chronister sentenced Stephen Freeland to nine to 19 years, and co-defendant Leon Wright to 4 to 10 years in the death of rookie patrolman Henry Schaad. The sentences ended the second and last murder trial stemming from the race riots 34 years ago that left two persons dead and dozens injured.
Freeland and Wright, who were convicted last month, had faced up to 10 to 20 years in prison.
In October, two white men were convicted in the slaying of Lillie Belle Allen, a 27-year-old black woman from South Carolina. Robert Messersmith was sentenced to nine to 19 years in prison and Gregory Neff to 4 to 10 years. Seven other white men pleaded guilty or no contest to lesser charges.

SOUTH DAKOTA
Murder suspect is transferred
SIOUX FALLS One of two men accused of killing an American Indian Movement activist nearly 30 years ago has been transferred to South Dakota to stand trial in federal court.
Arlo Looking Cloud, a 49-year-old homeless man, was moved to Rapid City from Denver, where he was arrested last month, prosecutors said yesterday.
Mr. Looking Cloud could serve a mandatory life term if convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash.

TENNESSEE
Walkers find parachute sans skydiver
KNOXVILLE Living just north of the airport, Katie Vest said she's watched her share of airplanes and gliders that seemed to be in trouble, but she'd never seen a parachute falling out of the sky.
Let alone one without a person attached. But as she and her husband, Charlie, walked outside, that's exactly what she found laying on the grass minus the most important part.
An experienced skydiver's rigging became tangled in the parachute canopy as it was deployed. Deciding to play it safe, the jumper cut away from his main chute and pulled his reserve to land safely.

TEXAS
Nuclear-plant leak considered minor
HOUSTON A leak discovered under a local nuclear plant is nowhere near the scale of a similar problem at an Ohio reactor, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said yesterday.
"There's a huge difference in perspective here," said Victor Dricks, spokesman for the commission.
The leak at the South Texas Project plant southwest of Houston left a small amount of boric acid residue from cooling water. The accumulation, discovered April 12 while following an inspection order related to the Davis-Besse problem in Ohio, was smaller than an aspirin tablet.

WASHINGTON
Crime watch stretches into cyberspace
SEATTLE The local crime watch is expanding into cyberspace.
Residents in one Seattle neighborhood use e-mail to share notices on suspicious vehicles, burglaries and strangers hanging around.
The idea follows one in the nearby affluent community of Medina, officials say. The police chief there keeps residents up to date on crimes and public safety with his Community E-Lert system.

WEST VIRGINIA
Court overturns sex-assault sentence
CHARLESTON West Virginia's Supreme Court ordered a new sentencing for a man who had been ordered to spend between 1,140 and 2,660 years in prison for sexually assaulting and abusing a young girl.
The justices said the stacked sentences for 152 separate counts against a man identified as only "David D.W." of Jackson County are "so offensive that they shock the conscience of this court."
Previous news accounts had identified the man as David D. Williams of Ripley, the county seat of Jackson County.

WISCONSIN
State fair to identify animals via DNA testing
UNION GROVE For the first time ever at the Wisconsin State Fair, judges can use DNA testing to check for cheaters in the swine, beef and sheep competitions.
The process was under way last weekend at the Racine County Fairgrounds, where hair and follicle samples were taken from frightened, protesting pigs whose owners were registering them.
Each swine had at least 30 hairs and attached follicles taken for DNA testing as they were weighed, tagged and registered for the fair, which runs from July 31 to Aug. 10.
State fair agriculture director Brian Bolan said the DNA testing is partly to prevent the switching of a registered hog for an unregistered one, but it also will have other benefits.

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