- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2003


Judge orders removal of Commandments marker

MONTGOMERY — A federal judge yesterday ordered the chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state’s Judicial Building within 15 days.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, who ruled that the 5,300-pound monument violated the constitutional ban on government promotion of religion, lifted a stay he had issued while Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore appealed. Justice Moore said he will turn next to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The ruling came a day after Justice Moore filed a brief claiming Judge Thompson did not have the authority to make him remove the black granite monument from the building’s rotunda. The monument must be moved from the public areas of the building by Aug. 20, but could remain in a private area, such as Justice Moore’s chambers.


Blaze ruins 800,000 gallons of Jim Beam

BARDSTOWN — A fire that destroyed a whiskey warehouse — leaving behind only smoldering oak barrels that once held 800,000 gallons of Jim Beam bourbon — continued to burn but was contained yesterday.

The blaze was expected to last until tomorrow at least. “There’s a lot of lumber in there,” Fire Chief Anthony Mattingly said. Chief Mattingly said he wasn’t sure what started Monday’s fire at the seven-story, metal-and-wood structure. The Illinois-based Jim Beam Brands Worldwide blamed lightning.

Flames jumped more than 100 feet high and burning alcohol flowed into a creek, which firefighters dammed so the blaze couldn’t spread. Three nearby warehouses were spared, and no injuries were reported.


Boll weevil eradication continues amid protests

BLYTHEVILLE — Workers began spraying pesticides to eradicate boll weevils in cotton fields in two counties where farmers initially refused to participate. Malathion will be sprayed on about 300,000 acres in Mississippi and Craighead counties.

The state drafted farmers to join the program after they refused to join voluntarily.


Activists get plea deal in stalking case

SAN FRANCISCO — Two AIDS activists have pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of making threatening phone calls to public health officials and San Francisco Chronicle reporters.

The court ordered Michael Petrelis and David Pasquarelli to spend three years on probation and attend anger-management counseling. They also were ordered to stay away from the officials and the reporters for three years, and were told to issue written apologies to their victims, the Chronicle reported. The two men were arrested in 2001.

They have accused Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, San Francisco’s director of sexually transmitted disease programs, of advocating a quarantine of HIV-positive men — an accusation Dr. Klausner denies — and have complained about the Chronicle’s coverage of homosexual-related issues.


Denver finds its air is not so clean

DENVER — Ozone is posing a new health threat to Denver residents a year after city health officials said they had stamped out smog as an air-pollution problem.

Unlike the brown cloud produced by smog, ozone is a colorless, odorless gas. Air-quality specialists say the new problem reaches north from Denver all the way to the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, 30 miles away.

“We were stunned by it because it has been so many years since we have seen anything like this,” said Richard Long, director of regional air and radiation programs for the Environmental Protection Agency.


Armed men lock bank workers in vault

LAWRENCEVILLE — Armed men locked two bank employees inside a vault during a holdup yesterday, but a three-hour police standoff ended with no suspects in custody.

Police did not disclose how much money was stolen.

FBI agents and Gwinnett County police were sent to the Atlantic States Bank shortly after 9 a.m. When police arrived, witnesses told them they heard movement inside the bank, suggesting the robbers still could be inside, police spokesman Cpl. Dan Huggins said at a news conference.

Police sealed off roads and called in about 40 SWAT-team members. Three hours later, officers entered the building and found the two female employees unharmed in the vault, the officials said. No suspects were found.


9/11 pollution linked to smaller babies

CHICAGO — Air pollution from the World Trade Center attacks may have resulted in smaller babies among pregnant women who were in or near the collapsing towers, preliminary research suggests.

Exposed pregnant women in the study faced double the risk of delivering babies who were as much as a half-pound smaller than babies born to women who weren’t exposed to the pollution. The size differences among babies born to women exposed to dirt and soot from the attacks suggest a condition called intrauterine growth restriction, or IUGR, which has been linked with exposure to air pollution.

Previous research has also found that babies affected by IUGR may be at increased risk for heart disease, hypertension and other health problems in adulthood, said Dr. Philip Landrigan, chairman of Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s community and preventive-medicine department, and one of the researchers.


Prize-winning sheep die at county fair

WINFIELD — The grand champion and reserve champion sheep at the Cowley County Fair, along with nine other animals, were found dead after being electrocuted. Two fans used to cool the animals probably shorted out in the early morning, fair officials said.

The sheep were raised by children participating in a 4-H program.


Family visits all state capitols

JEFFERSON CITY — After more than a year on the road, the Gall family can boast an accomplishment few others can: The couple and their three sons have visited all 50 state capitols.

The family finished Friday, when Ed and Ginger Gall and their sons — 13-year-old Samuel, 11-year-old James and 6-year-old Benjamin — went inside the Missouri State Capitol rotunda.

Visiting one state each week on average, the journey — made in a recreational vehicle — took about 48,000 miles and more than a year to complete.

The family began the trip July 15, 2002. It wasn’t a stunt to raise money. Instead, it was a chance to teach their sons about American history. The Galls chose to home-school their sons for the year.


Court reporter attempts speed record

SPARKS — A fictitious traffic accident wrecked a court reporter’s chance to beat an 81-year-old stenographic record.

Taking dictation at speeds rivaling an auctioneer’s chant, Mark Kislingbury set out Friday to establish a speed record during the National Court Reporters Association’s annual convention.

But in a simulated question-and-answer session about a collision at an intersection, Mr. Kislingbury fell behind the staccato delivery in a section describing the traffic light. The dictation consisted of 360 words delivered in one minute. Mr. Kislingbury’s goal was 95 percent accuracy, or 18 errors. He had 27, for 92.5 percent.


‘Jerry Springer’ guest arrested after show

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — Paul Alexander’s 15 minutes of fame have turned into a year in prison.

Alexander, while a guest on “The Jerry Springer Show,” bragged that he dumped his girlfriend.

After receiving a tip, Cape May County prosecutors watched as Alexander and his 22-year-old girlfriend spoke of their 7-year-old child. Authorities did the math and determined that the couple’s sexual relationship began when the woman was 13, prosecutor Marian Ragusa said.

Prosecutors charged Alexander, 29, with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree sexual assault for having sex with the woman when she was underage.


Mugged tourist offered luxury return

NEW YORK — A Canadian tourist mugged on her first visit to New York has received a flood of invitations from five-star hotel and restaurant owners, asking her to give the city a second chance.

The Daily News reported yesterday that property developer Donald Trump had offered Lili Sun, who returned to Toronto Monday vowing never to return, a free suite at his Trump International Hotel and Tower, while the Waldorf-Astoria weighed in with a similar offer.

Miss Sun was enjoying her first day in New York on Saturday when she was attacked by a man wielding a broken bottle. The assault left her with a deep gash in her skull that required stitches and shattered bottom front teeth.

Sirio Maccioni, the owner of one of New York’s best-known and priciest restaurants, Le Cirque, offered to treat Miss Sun to lunch. The venerable Tavern on the Green in Central Park said it would take care of Miss Sun’s dinner needs, while New York Waterways chipped in with a free ferry trip around Manhattan.

Miss Sun’s response to the outpouring of offers was not known.


Voters to decide domestic-registry issue

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS — The City Council has cleared the way for voters in this Cleveland suburb to decide whether unmarried partners, both homosexual and heterosexual, should be given legal recognition.

The council approved putting the measure on the Nov. 4 ballot Monday night. Backers of the domestic registry had collected signatures petitioning the council on the measure.

Although registries have been created by municipal councils or state legislatures elsewhere, Cleveland Heights residents would be the first to vote on the issue, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said.

If the measure passes, domestic partners could use the registry to share employment benefits, inherit property or gain hospital visiting rights. To register, couples would show identification, sign a statement and pay a fee.


Judge bars evidence at Nichols’ trial

OKLAHOMA CITY — Evidence concerning the deaths of eight federal law enforcement officers in the Oklahoma City bombing cannot be used by state prosecutors to help secure the death penalty against bombing conspirator Terry Nichols, a judge ruled Monday.

Nichols, 48, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and conspiracy, and sentenced to life in prison after a federal trial for the deaths of the eight officers in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 persons.

In Oklahoma, Nichols is charged with 161 state counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of the other victims and a fetus.

State District Judge Steven Taylor denied a defense request to bar state prosecutors from seeking the death penalty, but prohibited prosecutors from bringing in family members of the eight federal officers to testify during any penalty phase after Nichols’ state trial, which is scheduled to start March 1.

Judge Taylor said a state appeals court has ruled that prosecuting Nichols on state murder charges after his federal conviction does not constitute double jeopardy.


Longtime doll doctor closes practice

HUMMELSTOWN — The odor of turpentine hangs in the air among many signs of work still to be done on the second-floor workshop of the Mary Fox Doll Hospital.

In one corner is a pile of stuffed white cloth bodies, one of them headless. On a counter, a ceramic figurine of a willowy woman in a long white dress awaits the reattachment of her lower right arm.

But for the hospital’s 88-year-old namesake, the work will have to remain undone. Illness has forced Mary Fox to give up a business that has spanned 58 years of practicing “painless surgery” on broken and battered dolls.

The three-story Federal-style brick house where she lived and worked just two blocks from the town square in Hummelstown, a few miles east of Harrisburg, will be open periodically during the next several weeks so customers can pick up their dolls.


Advocates demand release of accident information

PROVIDENCE — Advocates for open government are criticizing federal law that allows state transportation officials to withhold accident information used in determining which intersections and roads are most dangerous.

The state transportation department fears that releasing the information would spur lawsuits.


Dean’s son to participate in diversion program

BURLINGTON — The 17-year-old son of Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean agreed yesterday to participate in a court-diversion program for his role in the theft of beer and champagne from a country club.

Paul Dean appeared at Vermont District Court with his father and mother, Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean, and met with a court official.

The program allows first-time and low-risk offenders to resolve their charges without appearing before a judge. In a few weeks, Paul Dean is to appear before a community board that will determine his punishment, which could include community service, writing a letter of apology or making restitution.

Paul Dean was called to court to answer a charge of accessory to burglary. Four of his friends also will participate in the diversion program.


Police officer shoots unarmed man

MILWAUKEE — A police officer shot and wounded an unarmed man during a traffic stop, the fifth time in 13 months that an unarmed motorist was shot by Milwaukee police.

The man, Timothy Nabors, was shot in the chest Monday afternoon and was expected to survive, police said.

The shooting happened after Officer Michael W. Lutz and his partner pulled over the sport utility vehicle Mr. Nabors was driving. Mr. Nabors immediately raised his hands when police asked him to get out and also held up his shirt to show he was unarmed, witnesses said.

But when a gun belonging to Mr. Nabors’ passenger skidded across the pavement toward Mr. Nabors, Officer Lutz shot him from a few feet away, witnesses said.

Officer Lutz was placed on administrative leave.

The Justice Department’s civil rights division was investigating the four prior police shootings of unarmed motorists.


Pilot killed when replica plane crashes

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK — A home-built replica of a 1935 racing aircraft crashed north of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, killing the pilot.

James Wright, 53, of Cottage Grove, Ore., was the only person on board when the plane went down Monday, officials said.

The plane was a $1 million replica of the Hughes H-1, a 1935 racer flown by oil and film industry tycoon Howard Hughes. It was en route from Oshkosh, Wis., to Oregon when the crash occurred about 6:30 p.m., Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Karen Byrd said. The plane had appeared at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture show in Oshkosh.

Mr. Wright stopped in Gillette to refuel about 90 minutes before the crash, complaining to the Gillette News-Record that he had trouble over northeastern Wyoming switching gears.

The FAA said the cause of the crash was not known.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


Tribe opens shorter path to Shi Shi beach

NEAH BAY — The Makah Tribe is opening a trail through their reservation that will take tourists to Shi Shi beach, near the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula.

The three-mile trail makes a day’s hike out of what had been a two-day trek to the remote destination.

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