- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 20, 2003


Old warship returns from fund raising

MOBILE — A crew of Navy veterans who sailed the Mississippi and Ohio rivers in a World War II vessel have completed their 78-day journey, and along the way raised more than $500,000 to help preserve the warship as a traveling museum.

The crew of 28 returned to the vessel’s home port of Mobile on Tuesday after the 3,150-mile fund-raising voyage. The money will go toward repairing and maintaining the ship, an LST-325 that delivered troops to Normandy during the D-Day invasion.

More than 70 people served as crew members at different times during the trip, gathering donations and selling souvenirs.


Children found shot in burning home

DETROIT — Authorities say a father fatally shot three of his children and wounded another before setting their home on fire and fleeing on a bicycle.

Anthony Lamar Bailey, 37, was apprehended yesterday as he walked on a freeway overpass. He was named in a warrant charging him with several counts, including first-degree murder, arson and assault with intent to commit murder.

Firefighters found the children in the basement of their burning home. The surviving child, 9-year-old Antonia Bailey, had been shot in the stomach but was expected to survive, Deputy Police Chief Tara Dunlop said.


Zoo’s giant panda gives birth to cub

SAN DIEGO — Bai Yun, a 13-year-old giant panda, gave birth to the first of twin cubs, but researchers at the San Diego Zoo were doubtful yesterday that the second cub would be born healthy with each passing hour.

“The chances of her giving birth to a second live cub are dwindling,” said Pat Morris, the zoo’s director of veterinary services, at least 24 hours after the initial delivery.

Bai Yun delivered her first cub in a nest of shredded bamboo at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, said Don Lindburg, head of the zoo’s panda team.

“We were all rather surprised … including the mother,” Mr. Lindburg said. “She showed a real startled reaction. There was no sign of a contraction and suddenly there’s this very loudly vocalizing, slithering little animal.”


State gets threats over execution

TALLAHASSEE — Florida authorities were investigating threatening letters and bullets sent to three officials over the planned execution of a man who killed two persons at an abortion clinic.

Law enforcement officials didn’t disclose the contents of the letters received Monday by Attorney General Charlie Crist and two corrections officials, but the office of Gov. Jeb Bush confirmed yesterday that the letters contained bullets.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Bush said yesterday that the governor has no plans to stop the Sept. 3 execution.


State conditions seen ripe for flooding

ALBANY — Emergency-management officials worry that the state is especially vulnerable to flooding from tropical storms because of soggy soils and higher-than-normal lake and river levels.

Similar conditions existed in July 1994 when Tropical Storm Alberto triggered widespread flooding that killed 31 persons.


Judge orders school to admit student

HONOLULU — A federal judge yesterday ordered the exclusive Kamehameha Schools to admit a 12-year-old student pending a decision in the boy’s civil rights challenge to the school’s Hawaiians-only admissions policy.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra said in issuing the preliminary injunction that his order does not indicate whether he thinks the private school’s admissions policies are legal.

Under the injunction, the school must admit seventh-grader Brayden Kekoa Mohica-Cummings of Kauai when classes start today. Brayden and his mother filed suit Monday, saying the school had admitted him, but reversed the decision after determining he had not proved he had Hawaiian ancestry. No court date has been set.


Ring left in tip jar is returned to owner

BARRINGTON — It turns out that the service at the local Starbucks wasn’t that good after all.

A 1-carat diamond ring left in the coffeehouse tip jar was determined to be a mistake and the jewelry was returned to actress Audrae Stephen, 42, who had accidentally dropped it there June 27.

Miss Stephen got her diamond back after showing the appraisal she had gotten after her husband, Bob, gave her the ring 17 years ago.

The coffeehouse staff thought the unusual tip might be a piece of costume jewelry until another regular, a jeweler, examined it and told them it was real and worth an estimated $5,000. The ring was then turned over to police.

Miss Stephen’s mother read a newspaper account of the ring and notified her daughter.


Drivers stop for swirling cash

GRINNELL — Cars on both lanes of Interstate 80 stopped to weather a swirling blizzard, but it wasn’t snow. It was cash.

An eastbound armored truck somehow lost its load Tuesday night, sending money into the wind. Cars in both lanes stopped and tried to help recover the money.

The truck crew realized the money was missing near a rest stop, said Lt. Rob Hansen, a spokesman for the Iowa State Patrol.

Officers stopped three cars east of the cash spill and authorities were investigating whether the occupants had taken some of the money.

Lt. Hansen said the money in the area has been cleaned up.

“There is no reason for anybody to head out there,” he said.


Youngsters linked to robbery

WICHITA — Police took three boys, ages 3, 5 and 7, into custody after they were linked to a home burglary.

Lt. Roy Mitchell of the Wichita-Sedgwick County Exploited and Missing Child Unit said the boys are officially in protective custody, since children under 10 cannot be charged with a crime in Kansas. Detectives were investigating.


Ex-deputy pleads guilty in killing of sheriff

SOMERSET — A former sheriff’s deputy pleaded guilty yesterday to helping plot the 2002 assassination of his chief political rival — an incumbent sheriff killed by a sniper at a campaign rally fish fry.

Jeff Morris, 36, pleaded guilty to complicity to commit murder and will be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. If convicted at trial, he could have been executed.

The plea leaves just one defendant in the case, Kenneth White, a campaign donor to Morris who reportedly was angered by the longtime sheriff’s antidrug efforts. The gunman pleaded guilty earlier.

Morris told the judge yesterday that he had accepted campaign contributions from Mr. White. “He came up with a plan to kill the sheriff. I was in fear of my family’s life, so I went along with it,” Morris said.


Judge denies woman’s plea request

JACKSON — Angela Poole, accused of stealing nearly $400,000 from a law firm to pay for breast implants and student loans, won’t be allowed to withdraw her plea, a judge ruled.

Poole pleaded guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. She asked the court if she could change her plea to not guilty because her former boss gave her the money for sexual favors.


Winds fan wildfires, force evacuations

MISSOULA — Dozens more homes were evacuated yesterday after high winds fanned wildfires in western Montana, nearly doubling the size of one blaze overnight.

About 10,000 firefighters were battling nearly three dozen large fires in Montana. The fires had charred about 300,000 acres and cost more than $100 million to fight, the Northern Rockies Coordination Group said.

About 120 homes were evacuated yesterday morning 35 miles west of Missoula, where one group of fires had blackened 18,000 acres.


Severe storms flood Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Floodwaters receded yesterday and residents began the messy job of cleaning up after intense storms swamped some neighborhoods, knocking out power to thousands and leaving motorists stranded atop their cars.

The deluge Tuesday caught many by surprise, as it dumped 3 inches of rain in 90 minutes, severely flooding the city’s northwest section. Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip saw only light rainfall.

Rushing water closed the southbound lanes of U.S. 95 and dime-sized hail pelted neighborhoods east of Las Vegas. No injuries were reported, but authorities said they received hundreds of emergency calls and saved dozens of people.


Town debating off-campus apartments

DURHAM — The Town Council is considering a plan to hold landlords responsible for the condition of off-campus University of New Hampshire student apartments and all-night partying.

Permits might require landlords to keep apartments clean and safe, and might hold them responsible when tenants break noise and parking ordinances. Landlords say the town should enforce existing laws.


Valedictorian settles lawsuit against school

MOUNT LAUREL — A student who won a legal victory against her school but lost a chance to attend Harvard University settled her lawsuit against the school district, lawyers said in a statement.

Blair Hornstine attracted national media attention after she sued Moorestown High School, claiming she should be the only valedictorian in her graduating class. The school administration wanted her to share the valedictorian title with another student.

Miss Hornstine sought $2.7 million from the Moorestown Board of Education, but will only receive $15,000. The school district and its insurance carriers agreed to pay $60,000 to settle the case, with $45,000 going to Miss Hornstine’s lawyers, according to the settlement.

Miss Hornstine has admitted she misattributed sources of material she used in essay contests and student columns for the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill.

The Harvard Crimson reported last month that Miss Hornstine’s admission offer from Harvard had been rescinded because of the plagiarism discovery.


Egyptian sues over harassment

NEW YORK — An Egyptian woman is suing her former employer, saying a co-worker at the kitchen-design company called her “Mrs. Taliban” and “Mrs. Osama bin Laden.”

Azza Elmostehi’s lawsuit, filed on her behalf by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, charges that the company, Poggenpohl, created a “hostile work environment” and fired her after she complained about being harassed.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court, claims that a saleswoman told Miss Elmostehi she could “find alternate employment as a suicide bomber for Saddam Hussein.”

An attorney for Poggenpohl, Michael Gorelick, said the company did not violate equal employment opportunity laws. He also told the New York Post that “the person who harassed her was fired as soon as the company confirmed that … objectionable statements had been made.”


Man accused of helping Nazis leaves U.S.

CLEVELAND — Jakob Miling, who was accused of helping the Nazis persecute Jews, surrendered his citizenship at the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro. Federal prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss their case against him.

Mr. Miling, 79, denies that he worked at concentration camps and lied to obtain citizenship in 1972.


Club owners fined for safety violations

PROVIDENCE — Six months after a deadly nightclub fire, the club’s owners and a rock band were fined nearly $100,000 yesterday by the federal agency that regulates workplace safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Derco LLC, which operated the Station club, $85,200 for one “willful” violation and six serious ones.

OSHA said the willful violation was the installation of an exit door that swung the wrong way. The others involved the use of highly flammable foam in the club, inadequate safety planning and an exit door that was concealed by foam, the agency said.


Blind man gets new guide dog

CHATTANOOGA — An 84-year-old blind man who lost his longtime guide dog to a violent intruder at their public-housing apartment walked outside yesterday with a “retired” Seeing Eye dog donated to be his new companion.

The 5-year-old German shepherd, Baldwin, was donated to replace Blackie, a Labrador retriever who was Frank Owen’s guide dog for 12 years until he was euthanized after his back was broken while trying to defend his owner’s apartment from an intruder.

Baldwin’s former owner, who is blind, said he “retired” the Seeing Eye dog about a month ago because he no longer needed the animal’s assistance and gave him to a law-enforcement officer to be a pet. The officer, who requested anonymity, donated Baldwin.


Cowgirl, 101, dies after fall from horse

DALLAS — Centenarian cowgirl Connie Reeves, who taught more than 30,000 girls how to ride horses, has died at the age of 101 after being thrown from her favorite mount, officials from her ranch said yesterday.

She died Sunday at a San Antonio hospital about 10 days after being thrown from her favorite horse, Dr. Pepper, according to Camp Waldemar, a ranch about 70 miles northwest of San Antonio, where she taught riding.

She was the oldest living member of the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, located in Fort Worth, Texas. At the age of 100, she saddled her own horse and rode in a parade when the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum opened its new building.


Deputy says slayings appear drug-related

CHARLESTON — Investigators said yesterday that two of last week’s three slayings outside West Virginia convenience stores were apparently drug-related, not the acts of a sniper choosing victims at random.

Ballistics tests show a .22-caliber rifle was used in the two Aug. 14 shootings in the Campbells Creek area, Kanawha County Chief Deputy Phil Morris said yesterday.

“We can’t eliminate the possibility of a sniper, but it appears like it is drug-related,” Deputy Morris said.


Police arrest freight train stowaways

MARSHFIELD — In the end, it would probably have been cheaper for these stowaways to have just bought tickets.

Thirteen vagabonds who hopped the wrong freight train, ending up here instead of their intended destination of Minneapolis, were arrested after a railroad employee alerted authorities.

The Union Pacific train stopped in snarling downtown lunchtime traffic for about 30 minutes Tuesday so police could remove the 10 men and three women from the freight.

The riders, from various cities in several states and Canada, were taken into custody for trespassing, police said. All were cited under the city code for trespass, a $102 fine, and released.

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