- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 30, 2003


Magnesium fire at plant diminishing

GARFIELD HEIGHTS — A magnesium fire at a metals recycling plant diminished to pockets of flames and smoke yesterday, a day after towering, white-hot flames engulfed the complex and shot sparks into the sky.

Because magnesium can explode after it touches water, the only choice was to let the fire burn out, Fire Chief Tony Collova said. Smaller magnesium fires often are extinguished with sand.

The fire began Monday afternoon at Garfield Alloys in an industrial park 10 miles southeast of Cleveland and destroyed two of the company’s three buildings and a neighboring heating company, Chief Collova said.


Highway reopening frees stranded drivers

ASHLAND — A 150-mile stretch of highway that was shut down in a fast-moving snowstorm in California and Oregon reopened in both directions, freeing truck drivers who were the last ones stranded.

Northbound lanes on Interstate 5 opened Monday afternoon to vehicles with chains; southbound lanes were reopened around 11 p.m. At that time, only commercial truck drivers were still stuck on the road, said Jared Castle, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation.

An estimated 250 to 500 vehicles were stranded overnight after Siskiyou Pass was closed Sunday night, said John Vial, district manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation. Motorists began to leave the area late Monday after spending a long, frigid night in their vehicles with little food or water.


Carney name proposed for waste center

WESTBROOK — Jackie Gleason got a bus depot when he died, so why shouldn’t Art Carney get a sanitation facility?

Mr. Carney, a Westbrook resident who played Mr. Gleason’s sewer-working sidekick Ed Norton on “The Honeymooners,” died last month. Since then, one local resident has been lobbying to name the nearby waste and recycling center after the Emmy-winning actor.

Richard Fleming said the Ed Norton Sanitation Facility would be a fitting memorial to the television star. He has begun a letter and e-mail campaign to persuade people to support the name change.

But First Selectman Tony Palermo, who received one of Mr. Fleming’s e-mails, said he is not convinced. He wants to talk it over with other town officials and Mr. Carney’s wife, Jean.

“I don’t know if naming the town dump for him is appropriate,” he said. “I mean, he did play a character that became one of the most popular characters in American history, but he did other things, too. He was very good to us here in town, so I’m not sure.”


Quick-thinking Santa saves woman’s life

DELRAY BEACH — A retired chiropractor in a red Santa suit yanked off his white beard during a Christmas party he was holding to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation on a guest whose heart had stopped.

Dorothy Milton, 84, had slumped in her chair at last week’s party when Russell Poulton rushed over to his guest, found that she had no pulse and began CPR.

Meanwhile, revelers called out for help from nearby boats in the staging area for the annual Boca Raton boat parade. A Boca Raton Ocean Rescue unit quickly ferried over paramedics, who used a defibrillator to restart Mrs. Milton’s heart.

Delray Beach paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, and transported the unconscious Mrs. Milton, who lives in Indianapolis and was visiting family in Florida, to Delray Medical Center. She was to undergo quadruple-bypass surgery this week.

“It was a Christmas miracle,” said Mrs. Milton’s daughter-in-law, Sally Milton. “My husband said: ‘I’m so sorry we have to spend Christmas at the hospital.’

“I said: ‘It’s better than the funeral home.’”


Volcanoes park chief to retire today

VOLCANO — The superintendent of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is retiring after more than 40 years with the National Park Service, the last 11 as head of the Big Island park.

Jim Martin, who is stepping down today, is best known for establishing policies that allow visitors relatively unrestricted access to eruption sites.


Group raising money to repair Lincoln statue

CHARLESTON — A statue of Abraham Lincoln is in such disrepair that a local group says the former president looks menacing rather than dignified.

The statue, more than 60 feet tall, has holes in its head and feet. Fingers are missing from the right hand. The nonprofit Graywood Foundation is raising money to fix the statue and the area around it.


Tourist spots selling moonshine jelly

FRENCHBURG — Moonshine is making a comeback in Appalachia, this time in spreadable form. Tourists are snatching up the jelly, made from corn whiskey.

Though the alcohol evaporates in the cooking process, the jelly keeps the scent and the mystique of homemade liquor. It’s safe to eat, legal to sell and costs $2 a jar in gift shops.


Families sue over kids’ expulsion

BOSTON — Two suburban families sued to enroll their children at Boston Latin School after they were expelled for not meeting the city’s residency requirements.

The families claim school officials approved their request to rent Boston apartments for residency purposes, though they had permanent homes outside the school district. Students gain entrance to Boston Latin by exam.


Chandelier crashes to Senate floor

JEFFERSON CITY — A 600-pound antique chandelier crashed to the floor during maintenance yesterday at the Missouri Capitol, smashing a bench but injuring no one.

The accident happened in the state Senate chamber while workers were lowering and raising the chandelier to check its light bulbs in advance of next week’s start of the legislative session. It’s believed that a section of the chandelier’s cable looped off a winch, causing it to slip about 3 feet, which in turn broke a brass chain, said Dave Mosby, the state’s facilities operations manager.

Both the mahogany bench, typically used by pages, and the chandelier are original items of the Capitol, which was constructed and furnished between 1913 and 1919, said Tom Sater, a restoration consultant in the Division of Design and Construction.

The chandelier will be sent to St. Louis for repair, Mr. Sater said, but it’s not clear whether the bench can be repaired or will have to be replaced. Officials had no immediate estimate on the cost, which will be paid from state funds.


Man rescued under pile of books

NEW YORK — A man who says he sells books and magazines on the street was rescued after being trapped for two days under a mountain of reading material in his apartment.

Patrice Moore, 43, had apparently been standing up when the books, catalogs, mail and newspapers swamped him Saturday. Firefighters and neighbors rescued Mr. Moore on Monday afternoon and he was hospitalized in stable condition yesterday with leg injuries.

“I didn’t think I was gonna get out,” Mr. Moore told the New York Post, adding that he called for help repeatedly.

His landlord discovered him Monday after coming to the apartment to give Mr. Moore, who said he has collected books and magazines for more than 10 years, a small loan and heard a strange voice inside. The landlord pried the door open with a crowbar, found Mr. Moore trapped and alerted the fire department.


Impaled on handlebars, man proposes

PILOT MOUNTAIN — Laying on the ground with his motorcycle handlebars sticking 6 inches into his gut, Brian Shipwash wanted to make sure he did one more thing in case he died.

So he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small box, broken and blood-spattered, with a ring inside and asked his girlfriend, Shandra Miller, to marry him.

She said yes.

Mr. Shipwash, Davidson County’s clerk of court, was riding his Harley-Davidson up Pilot Mountain so he could propose to Miss Miller on Sunday afternoon with Miss Miller hugging his back. As they came to the first curve after the park’s entrance, Mr. Shipwash lost control, crossed the center lane and slammed into the side of a pickup. The collision sent them flying.

Mr. Shipwash, 32, escaped without injuring major organs, though he broke his left hand and his right leg. He had surgery Sunday night, and was listed in good condition yesterday.


Sunflower storage tight at plants

BISMARCK — North Dakota’s two sunflower processing plants have run out of storage space for the first time in recent memory, but not because of a large crop in the state this year.

Officials say heavy deliveries to the Cargill crushing plant at Fargo and the Archer Daniels Midland plant in Enderlin are largely the result of a pileup of small grains and other oilseed crops on farms last fall.

“With the large small grain crop we had, a lot of storage space was taken up early from those crops,” said John Sandbakken, international marketing director for the Bismarck-based National Sunflower Association. “When the sunflower crop came in, a lot of people were looking to sell … and the price was good at harvest.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated sunflower production in North Dakota at 1.45 billion pounds, down 15 percent from 2002, because of a drop in yield and fewer harvested acres. Final production numbers will not be released until mid-January.


Woman enters plea in death of fetus

HOLDENVILLE — A woman accused of killing an expectant mother and taking her unborn child clutched her stomach and said she was sick yesterday before pleading not guilty to murder and kidnapping.

Effie Goodson, 37, entered the Hughes County courtroom slumped on the arms of deputies, her long hair hanging over her face.

As the judge read the charges, she leaned forward, spitting into a wastebasket at her feet.

Asked by Associate District Judge Gregg Smith if she was sick, Mrs. Goodson said, “Yes, sir.” She said she was going through withdrawal because she hasn’t had her medication.

Assistant District Attorney Linda Evans said she did not know the medication to which Mrs. Goodson was referring.

She is accused of killing Carolyn Simpson, 21, who was 25 weeks pregnant, with a .22-caliber firearm, and killing her fetus by removing it from the womb with a sharp object.


TVA disciplines staff involved in hazing

KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee Valley Authority has disciplined employees for hazing a new contractor at a nuclear power plant, an “initiation” ritual that the inspector general found “had been ongoing for many years.”

The female contract employee at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant was sent on a bogus assignment and placed in a basket above the nuclear reactor while ice chips were blown over her. The baskets of chipped ice are used to absorb heat.

The incident involved both TVA employees and contractors, Inspector General Richard W. Moore said in a report issued earlier this month.

“Appropriate disciplinary actions were taken on both sides and ranged from written notification to release from the company, depending on the level of involvement,” TVA said in a statement.

“TVA does not condone behavior such as this, and management has taken action to reinforce that this will not be tolerated.”

TVA declined to release details on discipline taken or to name the employees involved.


Father, daughter to serve in Iraq

POINT PLEASANT — If West Virginia National Guard Sgt. Shari Wright gets homesick while serving in Iraq, she won’t have to look far for support.

Her father, Sgt. James Gheen, also serves in her unit, which will be deployed in January.

“I think it will bring us closer together,” said Sgt. Wright. “Whenever we get lonely or miss home, we can talk to each other.”

Sgt. Gheen, 40, and Sgt. Wright, 23, both of Middleport, Ohio, are members of the 3664th West Virginia Army National Guard maintenance unit and are undergoing training at Fort Dix, N.J. In Iraq, Sgt. Gheen will help repair vehicles while Sgt. Wright will serve as an administrative clerk.

Sgt. Gheen spent 10 years in the Army before joining the National Guard eight years ago. Sgt. Wright, a student at Marshall University, joined the Guard in 2001.

“It was just something that she said she wanted to do,” Sgt. Gheen said about his daughter’s enlistment. “I didn’t want her to think that she had to join because of me or anything. She said she wanted to do it and serve her country.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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