- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 20, 2003

Jackson helped club stay open
The Rev. Jesse Jackson had used his influence to try to keep Chicago officials from closing the E2 nightclub, where 21 persons died in a stampede Monday.
Black ministers and politicians had rallied around the club's owner in disputes about building and fire-code violations, and the bar's liquor license.
Dwain J. Kyles said that city authorities were engaged in a "witch hunt" against minority businesses. Mr. Jackson signed a letter to city officials in April supporting Mr. Kyles' request for extra police protection to keep the business open.
The owner's father, the Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, was a founding member of Mr. Jackson's Operation PUSH, and the two men were with Martin Luther King when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.

Johnny Paycheck dead at age 64
NASHVILLE Country singer Johnny Paycheck, the hard-drinking singer best known for his 1977 working-man's anthem "Take This Job and Shove It," has died at 64.
Mr. Paycheck had been bedridden in a nursing home with emphysema and asthma. He died Tuesday, Grand Ole Opry spokeswoman Jessie Schmidt said.
Specializing in earthy, plain-spoken songs, Mr. Paycheck recorded 70 albums and had more than two dozen hit singles. His biggest hit was "Take This Job and Shove It," which inspired a movie by that name and a title album that sold 2 million copies.
His other hits included "Don't Take Her, She's All I Got," (which was revived 25 years later in 1996 by Tracy Byrd), "Slide Off Your Satin Sheets," "Old Violin" and "You Can Have Her."

Fighting passengers face charges
The flight started with coos and kisses on Valentine's Day but ended with a drive to jail for two men and a woman. Flight attendants were caught in the middle of a budding relationship turned sour between Robert G. Radder and Dollie L. Drape on a flight from Seattle to Anchorage. Gregory L. Alexander, another passenger, helped accommodate the romance at first but later erupted in anger, and now all three face federal charges of interfering with a flight crew, which is a felony, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Author pleased with TV movie
BLYTHEVILLE John Grisham says he was pleased with an advance version of a TV movie based on his autobiographical novel, "A Painted House."
The Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, scheduled to air April 27 on CBS, features "a lot of cotton and mud," Mr. Grisham said. Scenes were filmed in the area.
Mr. Grisham, who grew up in northeast Arkansas, said he expects the TV movie to premiere in Jonesboro, probably at Arkansas State University. He said Hallmark officials were expected to hold the premiere in mid-March.

Four die as truck plunges into canal
PEARBLOSSOM A pickup truck veered off a Mojave Desert highway and plunged into the California Aqueduct yesterday, killing four persons, including three children. Another child was in critical condition after being pulled from the murky water without a pulse.
At least five persons were in the truck when it sank in 15 feet of water. Divers were searching for other possible victims in the aqueduct, which carries water to Southern California.
Three of the victims ages 1, 3 and 10 died after being submerged for 20 to 30 minutes, said Dr. Calvin Lowe of the trauma center at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles. The fourth victim was a 30-year-old woman who died at Antelope Valley Hospital.
A 14-year-old girl remained on life support at Childrens Hospital. No names were released.

Rescuers find body of avalanche victim
GEORGETOWN Dogs led rescuers Tuesday to the body of a Colorado man buried by an avalanche. About 30 rescuers had been searching for the 47-year-old snowshoer who was caught in the snow slide Monday afternoon.
The man had been snowshoeing with another man in single file down a slope in a recreational area 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 homing signal. The second man contacted authorities.

Parole board reduces sentence for killer
TALLAHASSEE A man whose attorney unsuccessfully argued that "television intoxication" led him to murder a neighbor at age 15 had seven years shaved from his life sentence yesterday.
Ronny Zamora, 40, now is scheduled for release June 7, 2005. He was denied parole in 2001, but the Florida Parole Commission reconsidered his eligibility for release.
Zamora's attorney, Ellis Rubin, tried to portray Zamora as a youngster driven insane by years of watching violent TV. He said Zamora was unable to distinguish the real world and his television fantasy world when he gunned down Elinor Haggart, 83, at her Miami Beach home in 1977.

Cold foils try at kissing record
ORONO Bitter temperatures foiled the University of Maine's attempt to win back a kissing crown.
The university set a record on Valentine's Day in 1996 with 1,420 couples smooching at once. The mark was broken in 2000 when 1,588 couples locked lips in Sarnia, Ontario. On Friday, only 943 University of Maine couples came out to go for the title.
Organizers blamed the low turnout on cold weather and the university's loss in a hockey game earlier in the evening that prompted many students to leave the game before the kissing event got under way.
Freshman Josh Luce said the event was nonetheless fun. Plus the smooch with his kissing partner was "definitely a 10."

Judge rejects archdiocese's request
BOSTON A judge yesterday refused to dismiss more than 400 sex-abuse lawsuits involving the Boston Archdiocese, rejecting the church's argument that allowing them would violate the First Amendment.
Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney's ruling allows the lawsuits, accusing the archdiocese of ignoring accusations of clergy abuse, to go forward.
Church attorneys had argued that the court does not have jurisdiction over cases that involve the relationship between a church supervisor and a priest because that involves church policy, which is protected by the First Amendment.
The judge wrote yesterday that what is at issue in the lawsuits is not an internal church dispute, but claims against church officials, saying they were negligent in their supervision of priests they knew had been accused of sexually abusing children.

Anti-Bush T-shirt banned at school
DEARBORN School officials ordered a 16-year-old student to either take off a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "International Terrorist" and a picture of President Bush or go home, saying they worried it would inflame passions at the school where a majority of students are Arab American.
The student, Bretton Barber, chose to go home. He said he wore the shirt Monday to express his anti-war position and for a class assignment in which he wrote a compare-contrast essay on Mr. Bush and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Schools spokesman Dave Mustonen said students have the right to freedom of expression, but educators are sensitive to tensions caused by the conflict with Iraq.

Patrons escape unharmed from club fire
MINNEAPOLIS About 120 people escaped unharmed after a band's pyrotechnic display apparently set the ceiling on fire at the Fine Line Music Cafe.
Club owner Dario Anselmo said management had reviewed safety procedures with the staff hours after a panic killed 21 persons in a Chicago club.
The fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage.

Governor makes more budget cuts
JACKSON Gov. Ronnie Musgrove made his third round of budget cuts this fiscal year.
"Not a single education budget is being cut," Mr. Musgrove said Tuesday in announcing the $33 million in reductions that will affect all other state agencies. No state employees should lose their jobs because of the cuts, he said.
Earlier rounds of cuts came in November and December.

Man fleeing police steals six cars
HANNIBAL A 24-year-old man fleeing police apparently wasn't satisfied with just one stolen car.
Police said Mark D. O'Brien broke into a half-dozen cars and crashed or abandoned them before finally being taken into custody Friday. He was charged with violating his probation from a previous auto-theft offense.
The chase began in Hannibal in northeastern Missouri and ended with O'Brien's arrest in neighboring Ralls County, when he lost control of the sixth stolen vehicle, Hannibal Police Lt. Michael Lawzano said.

Slain woman's mother wins court battle
CONCORD The state Supreme Court sided with Helen Remsburg on some questions in her lawsuit against Docusearch Inc. over the slaying of her daughter.
She says the Internet data company broke laws in helping a stalker find Amy Boyer, 20, in Florida.
The court said invasion of privacy and consumer protection laws could apply, suggesting the case may continue to federal court.

Rescuers reach dog stuck on ice floe
NEWARK A dog stranded on a chunk of ice in the middle of the Passaic River was brought ashore yesterday by rescuers in a rowboat who spent three hours fighting the current and dodging ice floes to reach the animal.
An animal shelter worker and a fire captain set out in the 8-foot-long boat after somebody reported seeing the 40-pound Rottweiler mix trapped on the ice.
When they reached the dog, shelter worker George Smith slipped a noose over its neck, followed by a leash, and gently tugged the reluctant animal toward the boat.
Mr. Smith and Kearny Fire Capt. Tom McDermott, both exhausted from rowing, steered the boat to shore about 300 feet away. Other rescuers bundled up the dog and rushed it to a shelter. Nobody had claimed the dog by yesterday afternoon.

Gardener plucks $128 million jackpot
NEW YORK Cambodian-born gardener Phin Suy will be able to stop and smell the roses for as long as he likes after having the only winning ticket in last week's $128 million multistate Mega Millions jackpot lottery.
Mr. Suy was introduced as New York's biggest lottery winner in a news conference yesterday and promptly announced he had quit his job planting flowers in Central Park, where he had worked as a landscaper since 1992.
A lump-sum payment of $75 million before taxes will ensure that Mr. Suy, his wife and two children will not miss the $38,000 salary he drew from helping to beautify Central Park.
Mr. Suy, who emigrated to the United States from Cambodia as a teenager in 1985, said he bought one $5 quick-pick ticket, in which the numbers are produced randomly by computer, on his daughter's fifth birthday.

Marines charged in parachutes case
CAMP LEJEUNE Two Marines have been charged with attempted murder in the sabotage of more than a dozen parachutes that left three soldiers slightly injured in the fall, the military said yesterday.
Lance Cpl. Antoine Boykins, 21, of Baltimore, and Lance Cpl. Julian Ramirez, 25, of Los Angeles, were charged Feb. 12. They have been in the brig at Camp Lejeune since January.
A base spokesman, Staff Sgt. Jay Connolly, would not comment on a possible motive for the sabotage and did not know what sentences the charges carry.
The two also were charged with reckless endangerment, conspiracy and destruction of government property, Sgt. Connolly said. Lance Cpl. Ramirez also was charged with unauthorized absence.

'Flying Farmer' leaps over 25 hay bales
MAKOTI The man known as the "Flying Farmer" has taken off again.
In his latest stunt, John Smith jumped a car over 25 hay bales a distance of more than 160 feet in a field northwest of Makoti. The car landed on its nose and almost flipped over on the frozen ground.
Mr. Smith said he told his wife, Melinda, that if he didn't sell the straw bales by Feb. 1, he would jump over them with a car. "She kind of chuckled, but she's not chuckling anymore," he said Sunday.
Mr. Smith, 38, who is listed in the Guinness Book of Records for other driving stunts he has performed since 1990, said he hopes to set two more world records, and is looking for a promoter.

Cologne at airport brings quarantines
PHILADELPHIA An innocent spray of cologne from a Saudi Arabian college student caused authorities in Philadelphia to quarantine a hospital emergency room, a doughnut shop and a drugstore yesterday, officials said.
The incident began at Philadelphia International Airport around 12:45 a.m., when the 22-year-old man arrived at a security checkpoint while trying to make a flight to Saudi Arabia after a day of travel problems spawned by a major snowstorm.
The student's visa was fine, the FBI said later, but airport security asked him about a container of liquid in his luggage. While trying to show that the container was a bottle of cologne, the man, whom authorities did not identify, inadvertently sprayed its aromatic contents onto two airport security guards, officials said. But the action prompted airport security to issue a code-red hazardous materials alert.

Columbia landing gear found near reservoir
HEMPHILL Space Shuttle Columbia's nose landing gear has been found largely intact in the woods near Toledo Bend Reservoir, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said yesterday.
Navy Capt. Chris Murray said residents found the gear and notified divers who were searching the eastern Texas lake for shuttle debris.
NASA spokesman Dave Drachlis said NASA identified the object as Columbia's nose gear.
Divers and officials with the Navy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Galveston and Houston police departments continued searching the lake for pieces of the shuttle. Witnesses reported that large pieces splashed into the water after the spacecraft disintegrated Feb. 1.

Investigators search for homeless handyman
SALT LAKE CITY Investigators are trying to find a homeless man who Elizabeth Smart's sister says resembles the girl's kidnapper.
A man known to the Smarts as "Emmanuel" has been identified as Brian David Mitchell, Police Detective Dwayne Baird said Tuesday. The family said he worked on their roof and did yard work in November 2001.
Police have been looking for the man since October when Elizabeth's younger sister, the sole witness in the June 5 disappearance, told her parents she thought Emmanuel could have been the kidnapper.
They were able to identify Emmanuel as Mr. Mitchell when the man's sister contacted them after the Smarts showed a sketch of him at a Feb. 3 news conference.

Theater needs to raise $1.5 million
SEATTLE Act Theatre, a fixture on Seattle's arts landscape for 38 years, says it needs to come up with $1.5 million by tomorrow.
The nonprofit, downtown theater is about $1.7 million in debt and has only $3,000 in cash.
Board members are trying to raise money to buy it time for restructuring and to produce a 2003-04 season.

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