- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 28, 2003

COLORADO

Cadets warned about harmful behavior

Colorado Springs — An Air Force Academy commander told the school’s 4,000 students yesterday that misconduct by cadets has tarnished the academy’s reputation and threatens its very existence. During his 20-minute speech, Brig. Gen. Johnny Weida held a sword, saying he had brought it to remind the cadets of why they are at the academy.

“Some among us have rusted this sword,” he said.

The speech comes less than a week after seven male cadets were caught in an off-campus hotel room with two high school girls. The girls, ages 16 and 18, were ticketed for underage drinking along with three cadets.

Gen. Weida said cadets who fail to follow the honor code and fail to help solve the problem will not remain at the school. Cadets will be expected to identify fellow cadets who violate standards of conduct and honor, he said.

The academy was rocked earlier this year by a sexual-assault scandal involving scores of female cadets.

IDAHO

Father fights extradition over chemotherapy

POCATELLO — A Utah man who took his son to Idaho to avoid a court order to give the boy chemotherapy for cancer was ordered Wednesday not to leave the state while he fights extradition on a kidnapping charge.

The boy’s grandfather, meanwhile, insisted that the boy was “perfectly healthy.”

At an extradition hearing, Daren Jensen’s lawyer told a judge that Mr. Jensen would fight efforts to return him to Utah. The judge ordered him to stay in Idaho and submit to supervision by probation officers as the extradition case proceeds.

Mr. Jensen and his wife, Barbara, of suburban Salt Lake City, fled Utah with their 12-year-old son, Parker, after the state ordered chemotherapy for the boy, who had a cancerous tumor removed from his mouth. The family says the boy is in remission, and chemotherapy would only stunt his growth and leave him sterile.

Mr. Jensen, 38, who was released on bail after being arrested two weeks ago in Idaho, is staying at the home of his wife’s parents in Pocatello. His wife and the boy are missing.

ALABAMA

Army to burn cache of sarin

BIRMINGHAM — The Army said yesterday it will destroy about 800 gallons of sarin nerve agent at the Anniston Army Depot in the first bulk burn of the lethal chemical at its newest weapons incinerator.

Sometime Sunday afternoon, workers will begin pumping the agent from a double-walled, glass-lined holding tank into a 2,700-degree furnace at Anniston, about 50 miles east of Birmingham.

The chemical, also known as GB, was drained from the nearly 600 M-55 rockets that have been chopped up and burned since the incinerator began operating on Aug. 8. A single drop of sarin can kill a person.

Depot spokesman Mike Abrams said as many as 173 gallons of nerve agent residue already have been incinerated, but all in small amounts that couldn’t be emptied from rockets.

CALIFORNIA

Rodney King sentenced in DUI case

FONTANA — Rodney King has been sentenced to drug treatment and jail for driving under the influence and reckless driving.

King, 38, who was videotaped being beaten by Los Angeles police officers in 1991, pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to a three-month alcohol-awareness program and six months of drug treatment, followed by four months in jail. He must also pay a $1,454 fine and will be on probation for three years.

Police said King raced through a Rialto intersection at more than 100 mph on April 13 before losing control of his new sport utility vehicle, striking a utility pole, crashing into a fence and hitting a house. The Rialto resident suffered a fractured pelvis and cracked ribs.

Authorities said tests revealed he had a “significant amount” of the drug PCP in his system.

FLORIDA

Infant dies in child-seat mishap

INTERLACHEN — A 9-month-old girl apparently became tangled in a strap of her child seat and was strangled while her mother stopped at a convenience store, authorities said.

Emory Uribe, 21, was in the store for about four minutes Wednesday and didn’t notice anything was wrong until she began the half-mile drive home, said Lt. Gary Bowling, assistant chief of patrol for the sheriff’s office.

Finding her daughter, Jackie, unresponsive, Miss Uribe drove back to the Lady Slipper Handy Way Food Store and dialed 911. The infant was later pronounced dead at a hospital, the policeman said.

GEORGIA

West Nile vaccine prevents crow deaths

ATLANTA — The first study of a new West Nile virus vaccine for birds showed that an injected version prevented deaths, but an oral version wasn’t as effective, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday.

Although it would be impossible to capture and inject millions of birds to prevent the spread of the virus, an effective vaccine could be used to protect threatened and endangered species. An oral vaccine would be better because it could be given to many more birds by spreading it with bait.

Four years after the virus first appeared in the Western Hemisphere, little is known about West Nile. CDC officials say the bird-vaccine study will add to existing knowledge and efforts to develop a human vaccine.

Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said human clinical trials of a vaccine under development are expected to begin at the end of the year.

HAWAII

Striking bus workers win concession

HONOLULU — Striking bus workers who have paralyzed public transportation on Hawaii’s most populous island for two days won a major concession when the city’s transit company said it would no longer seek benefit cutbacks.

The breakthrough Wednesday led to the scheduling of contract talks yesterday by Oahu Transit Services Inc. and Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996.

Perry Confalone, chief negotiator for the transit service, said the company was now willing to offer workers a “status quo” contract.

Taking the cutbacks off the table is contingent on the City Council approving fare increases needed to generate an additional $6.8 million in revenue to meet a budget shortfall, the company told the union in a letter written at the urging of Mayor Jeremy Harris.

ILLINOIS

Federal funds allotted for new armory

GALESBURG — More than $3.7 million in federal money was allotted for a new National Guard armory in Knox County, Democratic Sen. Richard J. Durbin said. Construction is expected to begin by 2005.

The Galesburg armory is the oldest of the 50 armories in Illinois.

KANSAS

Indian tribe opens contested casino

KANSAS CITY — An Oklahoma-based Indian tribe opened a cramped downtown casino yesterday despite the state’s opposition to a casino run by an out-of-state tribe and any expansion of gambling in Kansas.

The Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma made no public announcement about an opening date for the casino, located in a former Masonic Hall next to an old tribal cemetery. The area is part of the tribe’s historical territory.

The Wyandotte 7th Street Casino opened at 9 a.m. and was filled with customers within an hour.

The Interior Department ruled earlier this year that the tribe’s downtown land was eligible for federally licensed Class II gambling activities.

KENTUCKY

Compromise may restore Boone’s name to parkway

PIKEVILLE — A former Kentucky governor has come up with a plan to restore the name of Daniel Boone to a mountain highway in the southeastern part of the state and appease descendants of the fabled frontiersman.

Boone’s kin reacted with fury after state officials renamed the Daniel Boone Parkway for Hal Rogers in honor of the congressman who helped obtain $13 million in federal funding that eliminated tolls on the parkway.

Now former Gov. Louie Nunn has proposed a compromise that would restore Boone’s name to the highway, drop Mr. Nunn’s name from another stretch of highway, and name that stretch for Mr. Rogers.

Transportation Secretary James Codell III, who ordered the name change at the request of Gov. Paul E. Patton, was traveling and unavailable for comment. Mr. Patton is on vacation this week and unavailable. Mr. Rogers declined through a spokeswoman to comment.

MAINE

State to offer tax amnesty

AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci is hoping to generate revenue for the state with Maine’s second tax amnesty.

The plan waives fines, penalties and half the interest charges for delinquents who pay their taxes in full. The state expects to collect about $14 million of the $199 million in known tax debts, tax officials said. The amnesty period runs from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30.

MASSACHUSETTS

Bodies recovered after plane crash

YARMOUTH — The bodies of two pilots whose commuter plane crashed off Cape Cod have been recovered, authorities said Wednesday.

The Colgan Air plane, which was not carrying passengers, crashed Tuesday afternoon. The two pilots had reported an emergency shortly after takeoff but were unable to bring the plane back to Hyannis Airport, authorities said.

“It’s our understanding that the bodies were recovered after 9 p.m. last evening, and have been transported to Boston” to the state medical examiner’s office, airline spokeswoman Mary Finnigan said early Wednesday morning.

Investigators located the plane’s flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder Wednesday and planned to send them to the National Transportation Safety Board headquarters in Washington, NTSB spokesman Paul Schlamm said. Crews continued to work to bring the wreckage of the plane out of the water.

The airline identified the pilots as Capt. Scott Knabe, 39, of Cincinnati, and First Officer Steven Dean, 38, of Euless, Texas.

NEBRASKA

Bookstore ends free-beer promotion

LINCOLN — Sorry students, there’s no more free beer at the Nebraska Bookstore.

The store had been offering a coupon redeemable for one free beer or $2 off an order of buffalo wings at Brewsky’s Food and Spirits.

But Barry Major, chief operating officer for Nebraska Book Co., said Wednesday the promotion was dropped because of concerns by University of Nebraska at Lincoln administrators.

“The sensitivity is very high on that issue, and we share the university’s thoughts on heavy drinking and underage drinking,” Mr. Major said. “Had we known that the university had that big a concern, we would never have done it.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Segway scooter climbs peak

MOUNT WASHINGTON — It took six sets of batteries and three drivers, but a Segway scooter made it to the top of New England’s tallest peak.

The scooter climbed Mount Washington’s auto road in about 21/2 hours Wednesday.

The standup scooter, invented by Manchester’s Dean Kamen and manufactured in Bedford, was the first Segway to make it to the top of the 6,288-foot mountain in 7.6 miles.

The average grade is 12 percent, and as much as 18 percent in some places. About a third of the road is unpaved.

NEW JERSEY

Rutgers to offer valet parking

NEWARK — Rutgers University’s crowded Newark campus will offer valet parking for students and faculty who buy permits for two school-owned parking lots, officials said.

The service was added after commuter students complained that searching for a parking spot made them late for class. Parking permit fees will rise about 10 percent to $154 for the semester.

NEW YORK

Health problems persist among 9/11 workers

NEW YORK — Nearly two years after the World Trade Center attack, a medical screening program continues to reveal a surprisingly high rate of physical and mental problems among cleanup and rescue workers.

About 48 percent of workers screened had ear, nose and throat problems such as nasal congestion, hoarseness, headaches and throat irritation, according to the latest figures. Thirty percent had pulmonary problems, including shortness of breath, persistent cough and wheezing.

“It was such a massive irritant exposure,” said Dr. Jacqueline Moline of Mount Sinai Medical Center, which is conducting the screening with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

On the mental health side of the study, about 19 percent of patients have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, Dr. Craig Katz, supervisor of the program’s psychological component, said.

OHIO

Official produces video of tornado’s devastation

VAN WERT — The director of Van Wert County’s emergency management office produced a two-hour video of the tornado that wiped out an industrial park last November and killed two persons. The video features footage shot by residents.

Rick McCoy is asking donations for copies. The proceeds will buy weather monitors for the community.

TENNESSEE

Teenagers plead guilty to interstate shooting

NEWPORT — Two teenage stepbrothers who told police they were mimicking a video game when they randomly fired at cars on a freeway were sentenced to juvenile prison yesterday for killing one person and wounding another.

William Buckner, 16, and Joshua Buckner, who turns 14 Sunday, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. Under state law, they can only be held as juveniles until they are 19.

Juvenile Court Judge Ben Strand said he considered granting the boys probation, but said, “I just can’t bring myself to do that because it was a grievous act.”

Kimberly Bede, 19, of Moneta, Va., who was wounded in the June 25 attack, said the sentence was not harsh enough. Aaron Hamel, 45, a registered nurse was fatally shot in the head as he returned from a day in the mountains.

TEXAS

Museum to display Nazi bogus money

HOUSTON — So-called “ghetto money” from 13 labor camps and other sites is scheduled to go on display yesterday at the Holocaust Museum here.

The Nazi regime printed the worthless money to show it was paying workers.

WASHINGTON

Major interchange opens in Seattle area

ISSAQUAH — One of the biggest transportation projects in the Seattle area opens today to traffic.

The $178 million Sunset Interchange and Highlands Drive connects Interstate 90 with the Sammamish Plateau where more new homes and a Microsoft complex are planned. The developer paid for $28 million of the work.

WISCONSIN

No charges filed in fatal crash

SHEBOYGAN — No charges will be filed in the chain reaction crash that killed 10 persons and injured 40 others on a foggy stretch of Interstate 43 last October, a prosecutor said yesterday.

District Attorney Joe DeCecco said extremely dense fog and the inability of multiple drivers to recognize its severity were the causes of the crash.

“Sometimes in life, terrible things happen for which there is no criminal cause, even though we feel that someone must be held responsible for the tragic outcome,” he said.

WYOMING

Yellowstone entrance reopens after wildfires

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — The east entrance to Yellowstone National Park was reopened yesterday as firefighters made progress against wildfires.

Visitors arriving at the park in time for the Labor Day weekend will be allowed to travel on the road only during three-hour periods in the morning and evening and must follow other restrictions, such as a 25-mph speed limit. Some places are still smoldering, fire-weakened trees line the road and firefighters continue to stamp out hot spots.

From wire dispatches

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