- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2003


Ad campaign to target Spanish speakers

MIAMI — Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge announced an advertising campaign yesterday to educate Spanish speakers on how to respond to potential emergencies and terrorist attacks.

The “Listo” — or “ready” — campaign includes television, radio, print, outdoor and Internet advertisements in Spanish encouraging individuals and families to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies and stay aware of current threats. There are more than 35 million Hispanics in the United States, representing the nation’s fastest-growing minority group.


Sailor killed at Pearl Harbor re-buried

BRAYMER — Sixty-two years to the day after he was killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the remains of a sailor from Missouri were laid to rest in his hometown.

Payton L. Vanderpool Jr. was 22 and serving aboard the USS Pennsylvania when he died. Because of confusion after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack, Mr. Vanderpool’s identity was lost, and the location of his remains was unknown until this year.

In September, recently disinterred remains were positively identified as Mr. Vanderpool’s by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. His remains were identified through dental records and other evidence.


Groups seek protection for sea otters

ANCHORAGE — Two animal welfare groups have sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to force the federal government to place an Alaska sea otter on the endangered species list. The lawsuit was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity in Oakland, Calif., and the Turtle Island Restoration Network.

The southwest Alaska northern sea otter population has been declining sharply since the 1980s.


Airport to build people-mover system

PHOENIX — Officials at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport say they plan to build an automated people-mover system to cope with increasingly clogged streets and curbsides.

The rail-guided system is expected to cost about $700 million and take nearly a decade to complete. The airport expects to open part of the system in 2008. Another phase will open in 2012.


Makua Valley training agreement reached

HONOLULU — The Army will ban the use of artillery shells and mortars when soldiers resume live-fire training at Makua Valley this week before being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, preservation groups and military officials said.

The agreement permits realistic training while limiting threats to the 4,190-acre valley’s cultural sites and endangered species, said the cultural preservation group Malama Makua and the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund.


Treatment reduces blindness in preemies

CHICAGO — Early treatment for an eye disease common in premature babies can help spare them from going blind or suffering poor vision, a government study found.

Because the condition, called retinopathy of prematurity, sometimes goes away on its own, standard practice has been to start treatment — laser therapy or freezing to stop blood vessel growth — only in babies whose condition has gotten significantly worse.

The study involved 401 infants who were born an average of about three months early and weighed less than 2.75 pounds at birth. In each infant, researchers treated one eye conventionally and gave laser therapy to the other eye about two weeks earlier, at about nine weeks after birth.


Law school replaces Christmas tree

INDIANAPOLIS — Complaints about the religious implications of a Christmas tree led officials at the Indiana University School of Law to replace it with two smaller trees and a poinsettia-filled sleigh.

The school removed the 12-foot tree after complaints that it celebrated Christianity but excluded other religions. Officials say the new display represents Indiana’s woods and does not have religious meaning.


Soldiers to grow corn in Iraq

DES MOINES — Some soldiers in Iraq said they are hoping they’ll soon be eating sweet corn grown in their own garden. Sgt. Ray Reynolds of Denison and Sgt. Jeff Vore of Vining asked three friends back home to send them some sweet corn seeds so they could grow their own.

A seed company helped the friends send 10 pounds of seed.


Missing hikers said to have been spotted

BACHELDER’S GRANT — A group of high school students who had set out for a weekend camping trip and disappeared during a snowstorm might have been spotted yesterday by a game warden pilot.

“By the air, we found this group walking single-file and we’re sending someone in to confirm it’s this group of missing students,” said spokesman Mark Latti of the Maine Warden Service.

Three college students missing on a weekend hike in another part of western Maine were found safe yesterday.


Officials concede system fouled up

LANSING — A $459 million computer system meant to streamline child-support payments and enforcement is so riddled with glitches that it could be years before it works effectively, state leaders say.

In some cases, parents who pay support are getting notices that they haven’t paid and the money isn’t reaching those who need it, families say. Officials concede the system was rushed to completion.


Dead baby found on lakeshore

OLD FRONTENAC — Four teenage girls walking along a beach in southeastern Minnesota discovered a dead baby Sunday.

The teens told investigators that they had thought the baby was a doll when they first spotted it on the shore of Lake Pepin, a scenic body of water along the Mississippi River that is known for its fishing and picturesque bluffs.

Goodhue County Sheriff Dean Albers said the baby looked like a newborn, and that it had not been on the beach long. The baby was believed to have been 1 to 5 days old.

“The body was laying at the water’s edge, partially in and partially out of the water,” Mr. Albers said. “We are not sure if the body washed up on shore or if someone placed it there.”

The body was found near a small brush pile that marked the beginning of a wooded area, the sheriff said. He did not have information on the sex of the child.


Budget shortfall forces schools to cut jobs

GREAT FALLS — Officials say Heart Butte schools will have to cut at least 13 jobs to deal with a $700,000 budget shortfall. Superintendent Leonard Guardipee said declining enrollment meant less federal and state aid.

The school said it probably will lay off some bus drivers, janitors and maintenance workers. Teachers should be able to keep their jobs at least until the end of the semester.


Former congressman dies at 76

SANTA FE — Former Rep. Joe Skeen, an 11-term congressman from New Mexico who was first elected as a write-in candidate, died after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, a family spokesman said yesterday.

Mr. Skeen, 76, died in sleep Sunday night with his wife by his side, longtime family spokesman Jerry McKinney said.

The Republican politician and sheep rancher from southern New Mexico was a champion of ranchers’ and farmers’ interests while in Congress.

Mr. Skeen first entered politics in 1961, when he was elected to the New Mexico Senate. When Mr. Skeen had his first congressional victory in 1980, he was only the third person elected to the Congress as a write-in candidate, Republican Party officials said.


Bear hunt opens amid protests

VERNON — Slogging through a foot of snow left by a weekend blizzard, hunters ventured into the woods yesterday in New Jersey’s first bear hunt in 33 years, prompted by a rising number of complaints about the animals breaking into suburban homes and raiding trash cans.

About two dozen protesters rallied near a weigh station at Wawayanda State Park, chanting, “Stop the slaughter, save the bears.” They took to the woods with video cameras to monitor the hunt, which went ahead despite a number of legal challenges.

Hunters bagged at least 40 bears by the afternoon, the largest being a 225-pound female, the state Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife said.

The hunt was held to reduce a bear population that has swelled across northwestern New Jersey.


City sued over jogger case

NEW YORK — Three young men who spent 7 years in jail for the notorious 1989 rape of a Central Park jogger before their convictions were overturned filed $50 million lawsuits yesterday, saying the district attorney’s office, police and others had violated their civil rights.

Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana Jr. and their families filed the suit in Manhattan federal court almost a year after a state court threw out the convictions of the three men and two others in one of the city’s most racially charged criminal cases.

The highly publicized case was about the rape of a white female jogger, who was found unconscious and beaten in the city’s most popular park. She spent two weeks in a coma, never fully recovered and has permanent neurological damage, including balance problems, headaches and double vision.

Evidence later uncovered — the confession of a serial rapist that he alone had attacked the 28-year-old jogger, backed up by DNA tests — resulted in the dismissal of the convictions.


Knife, blood found in missing-student case

GRAND FORKS — A knife and blood matching Dru Sjodin’s type were found in the car belonging to the man accused of kidnapping the University of North Dakota student, a source told the Associated Press yesterday.

The source confirmed earlier media reports about the blood and a knife sheath being found in the parking lot of the mall where Miss Sjodin had disappeared.


Student fatally stabbed on bus

PORTER — A 16-year-old boy was fatally stabbed on a school bus yesterday by a fellow student, who was arrested after jumping out the rear door and running off, police said.

Investigators said they had not established a motive for the slaying. But school Superintendent Jim Borin told KTUL-TV of Tulsa that there had been disputes between the boys, both of them sophomores.

“Something had occurred over the weekend and previous times,” Mr. Borin said.

The killing occurred aboard a bus traveling down a rural road to Porter High. Ten other students, ages 8 to 15, were aboard. The victim was killed with a large kitchen knife, authorities said.

The boy suspected in the killing was found hiding near a pond about three miles away.


Skinhead ringleader gets three years

PORTLAND — The ringleader of a skinhead gang was sentenced yesterday to nearly three years in prison for burning crosses at a Jewish cemetery and spray-painting racist graffiti on a Korean church.

Brian Raymond Hauth, 27, who lives in Montana, pleaded guilty in the summer to civil rights and conspiracy charges.

According to the FBI, Hauth was the “commander” of a teen hate group called the Oregon State Boot Boys. Prosecutors said he and other boys had taken part in the vandalism in 2000 and 2001.


Polygamy prompts custody dispute

HALLAM — Tracey L. Roberts isn’t trying to stop her ex-husband from voicing his support of polygamy, a belief that broke up their marriage.

But she doesn’t want him teaching their 10-year-old daughter, Kaylynne, about the practice or exposing her to it in any way. She has won her point in a lower court but her ex-husband, Stanley M. Shepp, has taken the case to the state Supreme Court.

A judge in May last year granted Mrs. Roberts and Mr. Shepp joint custody, saying Kaylynne would continue being raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

But Common Pleas Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh prohibited Mr. Shepp from “teaching [Kaylynne] about polygamy, plural marriages, or multiple wives,” at least until she is 18.


Company to move to plants overseas

EAST GREENWICH — A semiconductor maker announced that it was moving East Greenwich manufacturing to its plants in Slovakia and the Czech Republic, leaving 330 workers without jobs.

About 100 positions in design, marketing and quality control will remain. A year ago, the company employed 600 people in East Greenwich, down from 900 in 2001.


Videotape shows dog was used in drug raid

CHARLESTON — A police videotape shows that Goose Creek officers may not have followed department procedures when they used a drug dog in a guns-drawn raid at Stratford High School last month.

The department’s rules say people should be out of the area being searched before drug dogs are brought in. The raid turned up no drugs.


Fisherman finds torso in suitcase

HOUSTON — A man fishing in Galveston Bay found a headless torso inside a floating suitcase and spotted a plastic bag that contained a head, authorities said.

Three persons were in custody for questioning yesterday, but none had been charged, authorities said.

The body parts were discovered Sunday, about a mile from where another headless torso was discovered two years ago in a widely publicized case involving New York real estate heir Robert Durst, authorities said. Mr. Durst was acquitted of a murder charge last month.

Officials identified the remains found Sunday as belonging to Ranferi Arizaga, 30, of Houston.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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