- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2003

Pandas make zoo debut
MEMPHIS Two giant pandas making their first public appearance at the Memphis Zoo on Friday attracted hundreds of visitors.
If their debut was any indication, Le Le and Ya Ya could be the biggest black-and-white sensation in Memphis since Elvis Presley first swiveled his hips on television almost 50 years ago.
Ya Ya, a female, and Le Le, a male, are on a 10-year loan from China.

Police chief shoots wife, self
GIG HARBOR The wife of Tacoma Police Chief David Brame was in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head after being shot by her husband, who then fatally shot himself.
The apparent murder-suicide attempt occurred Saturday, a day after abuse accusations in the couple's divorce case were publicized.
The chief and his wife, Crystal, arrived in a parking lot in separate cars, with the couple's children, an 8-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, riding with their mother. Witnesses reported hearing two quick shots from the parking lot, Pierce County Sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer said.

Auto track crash kills bystanders
PERRIS Two sprint cars crashed during an auto race, sending one hurtling into the stands and the other into the track's infield, where two bystanders were struck and killed.
The driver of the car that flipped into the stands had minor injuries, said Jeff Delahunty, a spokesman for the Riverside County Fire Department.
The two persons killed in the infield in the crash Saturday were identified as Paul Bagley, 74, of Hesperia, and his wife, Helen, 72.
"It is just a terrible accident," said Riverside County Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Gutierrez.

Parents keep kids home amid SARS fears
FORT LAUDERDALE Fearing the SARS virus, parents of at least 10 elementary school students said they would keep their children home starting today, when a teacher planned to return from a trip to China.
School officials said they planned to tell media specialist Gayle Grossman about the parents' decision but said she would not be asked to stay home if she feels healthy.
Health officials have encouraged people who visit areas with SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, to continue normal activities unless symptoms are spotted. The first sign is usually a fever.
The parents said their children would stay home from Bayview Elementary for 10 days. That is the outer range of the disease's likely incubation period, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Worldwide, SARS had killed more than 300 people from Beijing to Toronto as of yesterday and sickened more than 4,800 others.

Schools not warned of tainted food
CHICAGO State documents show that Illinois education officials failed to notify schools that some food shipped to them had been contaminated with ammonia, even though some cafeteria managers had complained about it for a year, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Dozens of children were sickened.
The food was contaminated when a ruptured pipe leaked 90 pounds of ammonia refrigerant at Gateway Cold Storage in St. Louis on Nov. 18, 2001.
State education officials have said they assumed a plan to treat the food had worked, but documents showed the state Board of Education knew early last year that ammonia-laden food was still showing up in schools, the Tribune reported in editions yesterday.
The Illinois Board of Education is investigating, said the agency's attorney, Harry Blackburn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Food and Drug Administration also are investigating. The state's attorney's office in suburban Will County has convened a grand jury to look into the case.

River traffic resumes after crash
GARYVILLE Shipping traffic on the lower Mississippi River resumed during the weekend after the Coast Guard determined there was no more danger from the spill of 42,000 gallons of a flammable chemical.
The chemical, a solvent called xylene, was spilled when the Norwegian-flagged tanker Bow Lion and the U.S.-flagged towboat Cooperative Spirit collided early Thursday about 20 miles west of New Orleans.
The cause was still under investigation, Coast Guard Petty Officer Jonathan McCool said Saturday. "We're not sure who ran into who," he said.
The collision opened a 75-foot gash in the tanker. The towboat, which was pushing 38 grain barges, was slightly damaged, the Coast Guard said.
No injuries were reported, but some people in the area complained of vomiting and nausea immediately after the spill, Petty Officer McCool said.

Auction to feature Princess Diana's mails
GRAY Eight letters and a Christmas card from Princess Diana will go on the auction block this week as will 300 items from the estate of fashion editor Liz Tilberis.
Miss Tilberis, who died of ovarian cancer in 1999 at age 51, often hobnobbed with celebrities such as Diana through her work as editor of British Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
The letters were expected to fetch about $32,000 altogether at the auction Wednesday at the Cyr Auction Gallery in this southern Maine town.
Other auction items include four Versace tops made for Miss Tilberis with personalized labels, a sketch of the editor by designer Karl Lagerfeld and a full set of Versace china. Some proceeds were earmarked for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Inc.

Need for more women in corporate world seen
BOSTON What the corporate world needs, according to Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins, is a few good women.
"Women can ask questions and not feel it's an insult, challenge or sign of distrust of the CEO. They're just asking because they want to know," she said during the weekend at the Simmons School of Management women's leadership conference. "I think many of us don't look at personal consequences. There's more the feeling of wanting what is good for all of us."
The whistleblower, a former Enron accountant who warned company Chief Executive Officer Kenneth L. Lay of impending disaster before the company collapsed, said in an interview that women have qualities that the corporate world lacks.
"Power will not change the nature of women; women will change the nature of power," she said.

Inmates going insane, critics say
JACKSON After running a few laps around the exercise pen, Alan Dale Walker lies down on the cool concrete, closes his eyes and imagines he is anywhere else but on Mississippi's death row.
For Walker, convicted in 1991 of raping and killing a woman, it's one of the few opportunities to escape the screams and maniacal laughter of his fellow condemned inmates at the prison in Parchman. The conditions here are so bad that some contend they are literally driving the inmates insane.
A federal lawsuit filed on behalf of six inmates by the American Civil Liberties Union says the stifling heat, filth, insects and other conditions could explain why some of those on death row are suffering from mental illness.
State Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps said mental health care should improve when Correctional Medical Services, a St. Louis company that specializes in prison health care, begins its contract with the Mississippi prison system July 1. Among the changes will be the addition of four full-time psychiatrists to bolster the part-time workers.

Ex-Eisenhower aide dies after falling ill
OMAHA Barney Oldfield, who worked as an aide to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II and went on to become a press agent for such figures as Errol Flynn, Elizabeth Taylor and Ronald Reagan, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 93.
Mr. Oldfield had fallen ill in the past two weeks and was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he died, said longtime friend Loren Tobia. He had suffered from cirrhosis of the liver brought on by diabetes, the friend said.
Mr. Oldfield was born in Tecumseh and graduated from the University of Nebraska. After the war, he moved to Hollywood and became a publicist for Warner Bros. He joined Litton Industries in 1963 and traveled the world as the defense contractor's publicist.

Resorts get record snowfall
RENO Winter lingered in the Sierra Nevada as another powerful spring storm dumped up to 20 inches of snow and left some ski resorts with record snowfall for the month.
Alpine Meadows just north of Lake Tahoe has reported more than 100 inches of snow this month at its base, up from the previous April record of 90 inches set in 1984. Officials at the Kirkwood resort south of Tahoe said the 112 inches of snow this month is just short of their record of 115 inches set in April 1982.
Thousands of skiers and snowboarders turned out Saturday at the resorts, among only a few still open for the season at Tahoe.
Mountain golf courses, tennis courts, and hiking and biking trails remained closed after the latest storm brought 3 to 8 inches of snow to towns around Tahoe and 12 to 20 inches to higher elevations.
The weather service was calling for a new system to bring a chance of more snow to the area today and tomorrow.

Bill would limit abortion for teens
CONCORD In a state where residents strongly favor abortion rights, opponents are closer than they have been in decades to changing abortion law.
The success of a bill to require parental notification before girls younger than 18 can get abortions has some wondering whether this bastion of fiscal conservatism is becoming socially conservative, too.
"It breaks the mold," said Roger Stenson, executive director of Citizens for Life, an anti-abortion group. "All bets are off, really."
After rejecting similar bills for years, the New Hampshire House passed this one by six votes last month. A budget debate has since dominated the House, but the bill may pass the Republican-dominated Senate, too.
Gov. Craig Benson, a Republican, is eager to sign it. He signaled his support in January by designating the 30th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion as "Restore the Right to Life Day."

Soldier on trial for refusing vaccine
FORT DRUM A 26-year-old Army reservist at Fort Drum faces a court-martial beginning today for her refusal to receive an anthrax vaccine.
Pvt. Kamila Iwanowska said she resisted receiving the shots on religious and medical grounds. Military prosecutors will try her for refusing to obey a lawful order.
The Army said Pvt. Iwanowska, of New York City, refused an anthrax shot at Fort Drum after reporting for pre-deployment processing with her unit in January.
Pvt. Iwanowska said she considers the shot medically dangerous to any children she might have, saying the long-term effects of the anthrax vaccine are not known. She also said she could not take the vaccine because of her Roman Catholicism and the respect it accords unborn infants.
The Pentagon says the vaccination is safe, with severe adverse reactions developing in about one in 100,000 cases.

Bridge named for singer
CHAPEL HILL James Taylor didn't have a guitar or even a microphone when he sang during the weekend, and he was backed up by Gov. Michael F. Easley and the Chapel Hill High School band.
The song was "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the occasion was a ceremony to show off a sign naming a bridge in his honor.
The "James Taylor Bridge" sign will soon be posted where U.S. 15-501 South crosses Morgan Creek. The award-winning singer and songwriter spent much of his childhood in Chapel Hill in a home near the creek, and the memories inspired his hit song "Copperline."
Mr. Taylor told the crowd of hundreds that he felt strongly connected to the area, and that he remembered waiting for the school bus and seeing a group of inmates chained together as they worked on the highway, while a truckload of chickens passed by.

Warsaw uprising veteran dies at 75
INDEPENDENCE Halina Grabowski, a Polish soldier in the 1944 Warsaw uprising against German occupiers, died last week in Cleveland. She was 75.
As a 16-year-old, she was wounded and became a prisoner of war during the 61-day rebellion. She was later awarded Poland's A.K. Cross and four other medals for her exploits in the Armia Krajowa, or Home Army.
She and her husband moved to Cleveland in 1952, and she was reunited with three sisters the next year. She worked for Society National Bank in the payroll department for 20 years.
She was an officer of the Polish American Congress and a member of Polish Veterans Combatants and the SPK Polish service organization.

Jury awards $34.4 million in suit
OKLAHOMA CITY A federal jury has awarded a $34.4 million judgment against three state health care officials for underpaying operators of mental health facilities who had criticized their agency.
The jury last week agreed with six health care providers who said Oklahoma Health Care Authority Director Mike Fogarty punished them for opposing his efforts in 1998 to change some of the authority's rules. The providers also had lobbied for more funding.
"A blow has been struck for the little guy," plaintiffs' attorney Steven E. Holden said at a news conference Friday.
The judgment was levied against Fogarty; Terrie Fritz, the authority's director of behavioral services; and Dana Brown, a former lobbyist for the authority.
Most of the award was compensation for services for which the plaintiffs said they were underpaid or not paid at all, but the jury also awarded $1.3 million in punitive damages.

Man kills bride after wedding
MILL HALL A man fatally shot his new wife Saturday shortly after their wedding reception, then turned the gun on himself, police said.
Police said Frank W. Shope II, 34, married Lori Ann Spangler, 35, on Friday afternoon, but they began to argue during a small reception in a bar.
The dispute escalated after they returned home. About 12:30 a.m. Saturday, Shope shot his new wife, police said. He then shot himself in the head.
State troopers arrived minutes later. The couple were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The two started dating about five weeks ago after he ended a 16-year relationship with another woman, according to friends and neighbors.

Reporters punished for aiding tabloid
SALT LAKE CITY Two reporters for the Salt Lake Tribune have been disciplined for contributing to the National Enquirer about the Elizabeth Smart story.
Kevin Cantera and Michael Vigh, the Tribune's lead reporters on the Smart case, had a dinner meeting with a reporter from the tabloid and outlined the investigation into the girl's disappearance, Tribune editor James E. Shelledy said in his regular letter to readers yesterday.
The reporters were paid an undisclosed amount for their contributions, and they worked with the Enquirer without the Tribune's permission.
Elizabeth, then 14, was taken at knife point from her bedroom June 5. She was found with Brian Mitchell and Wanda Barzee on March 12 in a Salt Lake suburb. Miss Barzee and Mr. Mitchell are each being held on $10 million bail in the Salt Lake County jail on charges of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and aggravated burglary.
Mr. Cantera and Mr. Vigh told the newspaper about their work with the Enquirer last week and offered to resign, but Mr. Shelledy refused their offers.

Governor signs gaming compacts
MADISON Gov. James E. Doyle has signed gambling compacts with six Wisconsin tribes that would pay the state an additional $105 million during the next two years to help solve a massive budget deficit.
The deals announced last week clear the way for a new casino in Madison, allow tribes to expand casino hours and offer more games, and have no expiration dates. Old compacts expired every five years.
The signings, which follow a similar deal Mr. Doyle reached with the Forest County Potawatomi in February, further angered Republican lawmakers who want to strip the Democrat of his power to negotiate compacts without legislative approval. They say the deals will turn Wisconsin into another Las Vegas.
Mr. Doyle, who has pledged to fill a $3.2 billion budget gap without raising taxes, has said the state needs more tribal revenue to meet that goal.
Eleven tribes operate 17 casinos in Wisconsin.

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