- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 1, 2003

Police surround mail truck after chase

MIAMI A gunman seized a mail truck yesterday and forced the postal carrier to lead police on a 90-minute low-speed chase through the streets of Miami before he released his hostage and surrendered.
Surrounded by heavily armed police, the gunman, who was not identified, backed slowly out of the truck with his hands over his head, ending a five-hour drama that was covered by TV helicopters and broadcast nationally.
The gunman, believed to have a rifle and handgun, let his hostage go about an hour before he gave up. The woman, apparently unharmed, climbed out of the truck and ran to police.
The chase began after the gunman seized the mail truck and fled, firing shots at pursuing officers, Miami-Dade County police Detective Randy Rossman said. A second man was arrested and was being questioned, he said.

Ryan had extensive patronage system
CHICAGO Former Republican Gov. George Ryan doled out hundreds of patronage jobs, contracts and favors to people with clout when he was secretary of state, according to a list opened in court.
The 555-page list contains the names of legislators, union leaders, party officials and reporters. The favors included help getting jobs and minor things such as providing a special license-plate number.
Patronage in state government is not uncommon nor illegal, and prosecutors did not charge that those named had committed a crime. But the list, which witnesses said was compiled for a former top aide, illustrated how thoroughly the patronage system permeated Mr. Ryan's office.
Prosecutors said it also showed that Mr. Ryan's patronage operation may have gone beyond legal boundaries. They said some members of Mr. Ryan's staff granted favors in exchange for political support and that people who worked on the list were doing so on state time.

Governors Island returns to New York control
After more than 200 years under federal control, Governors Island in New York Harbor was transferred to New York state yesterday for $1.
Gov. George E. Pataki handed a dollar bill to President Bush at the White House to complete the deal for the island, which is between Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.
Mr. Pataki the island would be used as a teacher-training center as well as for recreational and cultural purposes.
Negotiations between the federal government and New York began eight years ago. In April Mr. Bush agreed to the transfer and made it official yesterday.

Soldier suffers reaction to smallpox vaccination
One soldier inoculated against smallpox has suffered a potentially serious skin reaction to the vaccine, and officials are investigating whether a second ill soldier is also reacting to the shot, the Pentagon said yesterday.
It was the first report of any serious reaction of Americans receiving the vaccinations, which began in December for the military and are just now getting under way for civilians.
The first case, a 30-year-old Army man at a U.S. base, was a skin reaction called generalized vaccinia, and officials were confident it was linked to the man's vaccination 10 days earlier.
In the second case, a 26-year-old Army man was admitted to an overseas military hospital for encephalitis, a brain disease that can cause paralysis or permanent neurological damage. Diagnostic studies could not confirm that his reaction was due to his smallpox vaccination.
Both men are in good condition, the Pentagon said.

Florida Sen. Graham undergoes surgery
Sen. Bob Graham of Florida underwent heart surgery yesterday and is expected to take a month to recuperate before deciding whether to seek the Democratic presidential nomination.
Capitol physician Dr. John Eisold, Mr. Graham's attending doctor, said the "uncomplicated procedure" went well and that the senator was in stable condition in the cardiac intensive care unit at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.
The 66-year-old Mr. Graham is "resting comfortably," Dr. Eisold said. "We anticipate a full recovery."

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