- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2003

COLORADO
Snowshoer feared buried in avalanche
DENVER Rescuers went back to work yesterday in the search for a man feared buried by an avalanche Monday near Loveland Ski Area.
The missing snowshoer, a 47-year-old resident of Ken Caryl Ranch south of Denver, was caught in the snow slide at about 3:30 p.m., a second snowshoer told authorities.
The men were snowshoeing, one behind the other, in a horizontal descent when the slide broke loose in two places at an elevation of 11,000 to 12,000 feet.
Neither had an avalanche beacon, which transmits a signal 20 to 30 meters on a standard radio frequency.
The survivor was in front and did not actually see his companion get swept away.

KENTUCKY
Fire kills five, including three children
MADISONVILLE A fire at a wood-frame house killed five persons early Monday, including a mother and her three children, and left one woman in critical condition.
The victims likely died from smoke inhalation, since their burns were not substantial, Coroner John Walters said.
Authorities believe a malfunctioning electrical outlet sparked the fire, said Ken Meredith, an investigator with the state Fire Marshal's Office. A smoke detector was found in the home, but the batteries were disconnected, investigators said.
All six persons lived as renters in the single-story house, officials said.

ARKANSAS
Governor's power challenged on education
LITTLE ROCK The House passed legislation authorizing the General Assembly to make two-thirds of the appointments to the state Board of Education, stripping much of the governor's influence on public education. Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee opposes the bill.
It would also give the reconstituted board the power to hire and fire the director of the state Department of Education.

CALIFORNIA
Runoff plan not likely ready for November
SAN FRANCISCO The city's instant runoff system may not be ready for the November mayoral election, officials said.
San Francisco was supposed to be the first major city in the country to use the voter-approved system that lets voters rank their top three choices in order for every office.
The new system is designed to prevent holding a second election.

FLORIDA
Japanese tourist had gasoline, grill at airport
MIAMI A Japanese tourist was arrested after carrying a canister of gasoline and a barbecue grill through Miami International Airport, police said.
Atsushi Ishiguro, 45, was charged Friday with creating a safety hazard and a violation of airport security directives, police said. He was released on $1,000 bail Monday.
Mr. Ishiguro was traveling on American Eagle Airlines from Jamaica to the Bahamas when airport security stopped him on a layover in Miami.
Mr. Ishiguro was taken into custody when he refused to give up the gasoline canister. Two boxes of matches and a barbecue grill were also found in his possession.
Authorities became more suspicious after examining Ishiguro's passport, which includes stamps from Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.
The FBI and the Immigration and Naturalization Service are reviewing his case.

IDAHO
Pediatricians conduct blood lead screening
COEUR d'ALENE Pediatricians throughout Idaho have agreed to conduct blood lead screening for children to meet Medicaid program obligations.
A federal magistrate issued a judgment in a class-action lawsuit last month faulting the state for not screening poor children for lead hazards. State health officials hope to start the program next month.

INDIANA
Infant boy found next to dead mother
LEBANON A 2-month-old boy was found in an apartment next to his mother's corpse, police said.
The child was in critical condition.
The baby and the body of Melissa York, 29, were found in their apartment Monday, when a friend checked on them at the request of family members. Police said Miss York had been dead for three to four days.
The infant was in a crib crying when the two were found. The apartment was warm, which may have helped the child survive, said Dr. Tom White, a pediatrician at Witham Memorial Hospital.
The child was treated at Witham for severe dehydration before being airlifted to St. Vincent Children's Hospital in Indianapolis.
Police said Miss York may have had a pre-existing medical condition.

MAINE
Wal-Mart donation to aid Great Northern workers
AUGUSTA Wal-Mart department stores handed over a $25,000 check yesterday to help Great Northern Paper Co.'s idled workers and their families.
The donation, turned over to Democratic Gov. John Baldacci in his State House office, comes from stores in eastern and northern Maine, and the Wal-Mart Foundation.
The money will go to a pantry and be used to help paper workers with groceries and heating fuel.
Wal-Mart community relations official Don Emmons says more help is on the way from the big chain.
Donations from Wal-Mart stores all over the state will pay for a shopping spree in Sam's and Wal-Mart stores to buy more goods needed by the jobless paper workers.

MICHIGAN
Prank leads to lockdown of five Avondale schools
AVONDALE Police briefly locked down five Avondale school buildings Monday afternoon after a prank caller said he was a student and threatened to harm himself in a school, officials told the Detroit Free Press.
No one was injured, and police found no weapons or situations in the buildings, including Avondale High School, the administration building and a Montessori kindergarten, officials said.
All exterior and classroom doors were ordered locked in the buildings after the call from a cell phone around 1:30 p.m.
The lockdown was lifted before 3 p.m., and students were released from the schools in small groups so they could be monitored by authorities.

MINNESOTA
Residents suggest ways to balance budget
ST. PAUL Minnesotans responded with gusto when Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty sought help balancing the budget.
In seven weeks, residents sent more than 3,700 suggestions to an Internet link.
The suggestion box yielded no magic bullet for shedding a projected $4.56 billion deficit. Officials do say it's been a useful barometer of public opinion.

MISSOURI
Nurse charged with not citing abuse
SPRINGFIELD A southwest Missouri nurse was charged yesterday with not reporting suspicions of abuse of a foster child just days before his death from what prosecutors say was further abuse.
Leslie Ann Brown, 40, is charged with one misdemeanor count each of not reporting evidence of abuse to the state Division of Family Services and of not reporting it to a doctor at the hospital where she worked.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The state requires health care workers and others who work with children and older adults to report any suspicions of abuse or neglect.
On Aug. 10, rescue workers in Willard went to the home where 2-year-old Dominic James was living.
They found him unconsciousness on the floor.
During treatment, emergency workers noticed what they called a series of small, round dime-to quarter-sized bruises running parallel along the boy's spine. They also noticed a red bruise under his eye.
The information was relayed to Miss Brown, who reported only the bruise under the eye. Dominic was released from the hospital Aug. 14.
On Aug. 18, he returned to the hospital and died two days later of what prosecutors called abusive head trauma.

MONTANA
Blaze threatens explosives-filled garage
HELENA Valley fire crews doused a blaze Monday in a garage containing gas bottles, ammunition and black gunpowder.
Two vehicles and a motorcycle were destroyed in the fire, the Helena Independent reported. Jerry Shepherd, West Valley Fire Chief, said he briefly pulled crews out after he was told there were a couple pounds of black powder in the garage.
Once crews found out where the explosive material was, they quickly snuffed the blaze. Oxygen and acetylene bottles for welding equipment were also stored in the garage.


NEBRASKA
Young farmers' group marks 75 years
SCOTTSBLUFF The largest organization dedicated to advancing agriculture and agricultural science will celebrate its 75th anniversary this week.
The National FFA organization has 457,000 members.
Chapter members in western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming will use the week to show appreciation to their schools and communities.
That will include demonstrations of the skills they have achieved through the FFA, which was once called Future Farmers of America.
The organization's goals are for premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

NEW HAMPSHIRE
School official fights gun-ban proposal
DEERFIELD Until recently, school board member Don Gorman sometimes wore a pistol to board meetings at the Deerfield Community School, concealed underneath his clothing, the Concord Monitor reported.
Mr. Gorman carried the gun to the school, as well as on errands, not for protection, he said, but to exercise his Second Amendment rights.
A libertarian, Mr. Gorman said he believes banning guns at the school would violate those rights.
The majority of the school board, however, feels the guns should go. Board members have asked selectmen to expand a 1998 ordinance banning firearms from town buildings to include the school.
If selectmen approve the measure after presenting it at a public hearing tomorrow, those found with a firearm in the school will face a $500 fine for the first offense and $1,000 for each additional one.

NEVADA
Lawmakers review need for remedial courses
CARSON CITY They graduated from high school with grade-point averages of 3.0 or better. But once they get into college about 30 percent of Nevada's Millennium Scholarship winners end up in remedial courses, the Assembly Education Committee was told Monday.
Assemblyman Wendell Williams, Las Vegas Democrat and chairman of the committee, said 30 percent was a high figure. It may show there is grade inflation in high schools that helps some undeserving students qualify for the Millennium Scholarships.
The $10,000 Millennium Scholarships are awarded to Nevada students who graduate from high school with a B average and attend college in the state.
They are funded by the state's share of the nationwide tobacco settlement.

NEW JERSEY
Princeton wins approval for deer plan
PRINCETON Township officials won state approval of a revised deer-management plan that includes a capture-kill method opposed by animal rights activists.
The township agreed that sharpshooters won't take deer on private property whose owners allow hunting. The plan also includes an experimental deer contraception vaccine.

NEW MEXICO
Henning defense denies talk of cannibalism
ALBUQUERQUE Defense attorneys representing the woman convicted of kidnapping and killing Girly Chew Hossencofft have one word for prosecutors' assertions that she ate her victim: "nonsense."
The singular retort was filed last week in state District Court by attorneys Gary Mitchell and Monica Baca in response to prosecutor's assertions that she might have resorted to cannibalism to dispose of the body, the Albuquerque Tribune reported.
Prosecutors stated in a sentencing memorandum filed Dec. 31 that several people reported that Miss Henning had "consumed the flesh of Girly Chew Hossencofft."
They also said Miss Henning, 50, was known to be devoted to extraterrestrial guru David Icke, who professes the notion that reptilian aliens who live undetected on earth must drink human blood to maintain their human facades.
Miss Henning was convicted in October of first-degree murder, kidnapping and eight other charges for the Sept. 9, 1999, disappearance and presumed death of the estranged wife of her lover, Diazien Hossencofft.

NEW YORK
911 workers accused of mishandling call
NEW YORK The supervisor of a 911 operator accused of improperly handling a distress call from four drowning teenagers faces a hearing on a charge of not following police procedure.
The police department filed the administrative charges last week against the supervisor, who could be demoted or dismissed because of the charges, police officials said.
The teenagers placed a frantic 911 call Jan. 24, telling the operator that their rowboat was "taking on water" in Long Island Sound. The call went dead after 12 seconds, before any additional information could be given.
The operator consulted the supervisor after trying unsuccessfully to trace Long Island Sound as the location of the call. The two decided they did not have enough information to dispatch help.
As a result, efforts to rescue the teens did not begin until the following day, when their parents reported them missing.

TEXAS
Group reads Bible aloud in front of City Hall
MANSFIELD A small group of Christians started reading the Bible aloud in front of City Hall on Monday morning with plans to read it 20 hours a day until finished.
The event is modeled after the annual Bible Reading Marathon in Washington, organizers said.
"I had heard they have been doing this for several years on the Capitol grounds, and it was just kind of a vision that the Lord gave me that this would be an excellent opportunity to dedicate our new City Hall," said Alice Biggs, 68, who organized the reading.
Mansfield's $5.8 million City Hall opened Nov. 5.
Mayor David Harry, who didn't attend Monday's readings, said he is glad to see the religious community being civic-minded.


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