- The Washington Times - Friday, February 21, 2003

KENTUCKY
Factory explosion injures 26 workers
CORBIN An explosion and fire at a southern Kentucky insulation factory injured 26 workers yesterday morning, at least 11 of them critically.
Firefighters battled the blaze for hours, but the cause of the explosion at CTA Acoustics was not immediately known. State labor inspectors were being sent to the site.
Jim Tomaw, legal counsel for CTA in Corbin, said 150 of the company's 561 employees were in the plant when the explosion occurred near an oven where raw fiberglass is manufactured.

NEVADA
Roundup of horses, cattle concluded
RENO The Bureau of Land Management has wrapped up the seizure of cattle and horses owned by two American Indian sisters involved in a decades-old land dispute with the federal government.
The government maintains that Mary and Carrie Dann have been illegally grazing hundreds of animals on federal property for decades, though the sisters maintain it belongs to their tribe under an 1863 treaty.
The bureau said 534 horses belonging to the Western Shoshone sisters were taken off the range in the final roundup that began Feb. 6 and ended Tuesday night.

ALABAMA
Ex-official sentenced in kickback scheme
CARROLTON Former Pickens County Commissioner Jerry Fitch, convicted of receiving about $63,000 in a kickback scheme, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
He also paid a $100,000 fine and will be on probation for an additional 10 years. Fitch, 54, was convicted in 1998 of using his position to benefit from a $346,000 contract to close the county landfill.

CALIFORNIA
Condor found fatally shot
SAN FRANCISCO One of the original California condors brought from the wild into a captive-breeding program during the 1980s has been fatally shot.
The bird, a female called Adult Condor 8, was captured in 1986 and released into the wild in 2000 after giving birth to about a dozen chicks. The carcass was found Feb. 13 in a remote area of Kern County.
"This is a senseless death that strikes a blow at our efforts to bring these great birds back from the edge of extinction," Gov. Gray Davis said yesterday.
The condors are an endangered species, and anyone found guilty of killing one could face a year in jail and a $100,000 fine.

DELAWARE
Police mourn death of canine-unit veteran
WILMINGTON Wilmington police officers are mourning the death of a canine colleague.
Pietie, a 5-year veteran of the force's canine unit, died Wednesday morning during MRI testing to examine something that became lodged in his nose while he was chasing two robbery suspects and later became infected, said Lt. Carolyn Henry, the unit's supervisor. Pietie, who had an allergic reaction to the dye used in an MRI, was the first dog the unit has lost, Lt. Henry said.

HAWAII
Trust reports first loss in decades
HONOLULU Kamehameha Schools reported its first annual loss in more than two decades.
The charitable trust said it lost $89 million for the fiscal year ending June 30, but it increased spending on educational programs to a record $223 million.
The trust, Hawaii's largest private landowner, has assets valued at $5.4 billion.

LOUISIANA
Two policemen, gunman die in shootout
ALEXANDRIA A gunman ambushed a police SWAT team approaching a house with a search warrant yesterday, killing two officers and wounding three others. In the ensuing two-hour gunbattle, the man also died.
The injured officers were in stable condition, authorities said. No names were released.
They said the SWAT team was searching for a man wanted for ambushing another officer in the same neighborhood Wednesday.
That officer was ambushed by a hail of about 20 shots while responding to an apparently false report of a robbery. His patrol car also was sprayed with bullets, but he was not hit.
Capt. Thomas Cardwell estimated that 500 shots were exchanged during the gunfight yesterday, which occurred south of downtown in an area where drug dealing is common.
"He was lying in wait and he opened up," Capt. Cardwell said.

MASSACHUSETTS
Moratorium sought in church lawsuit
BOSTON The Boston Archdiocese and lawyers suing the church in more than 400 sexual-abuse cases filed a request in court yesterday seeking a 90-day hold on all litigation while they pursue a settlement.
If Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney approves the request, both sides will suspend any action on the lawsuits and try to work out an agreement through mediation.
"We will try to spend our time exchanging information, evaluating the cases, mediating them, negotiating them, trying to work out a settlement," said lawyer Jeffrey Newman, whose firm represents 270 persons who say they were molested by priests.

NEW MEXICO
Habitat designated for silvery minnow
ALBUQUERQUE About 157 miles of the Rio Grande and a tributary through central New Mexico have been designated critical habitat for the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday that the area from Cochiti Dam south to Socorro County is the tiny fish's last remaining range in New Mexico.
The designation means that the service must be consulted before federal agencies undertake, authorize or fund any activities that could affect the fish.

NEW YORK
Jane Pauley to leave NBC
NEW YORK Jane Pauley, the co-anchor of "Dateline NBC," will be leaving the network in June after 27 years there. Her resignation was announced yesterday on NBC's "Today" show, which she had anchored for 13 years.
Miss Pauley, 52, decided not to renew her contract, opting instead to begin the next phase of her career, said Ann Curry, "Today" co-anchor. Miss Pauley had returned recently after taking several months off to write a book.

NORTH CAROLINA
Bush supporter sells 'freedom fries'
BEAUFORT You can get fries with your burger at a restaurant here, but just don't ask for french fries.
Neal Rowland, the owner of Cubbie's, now sells fried potato strips as "freedom fries" a decision that comes as Americans watch French officials back away from supporting war against Iraq.
"Because of Cubbie's support for our troops, we no longer serve french fries. We now serve freedom fries," says a sign in the restaurant's window.

OKLAHOMA
House weighs bill to lift tuition-raise limit
OKLAHOMA CITY Legislation authorizing state colleges and universities to set their own tuition and fees and raise millions of dollars in new revenue was sent to the House.
Schools have been forced to trim their budgets because of a statewide budget shortfall estimated at $678 million next year.
The measure would lift the 7 percent limit on tuition increases.

SOUTH DAKOTA
Stolen-tractor chase ends in crash
SISSETON A man on a stolen tractor led authorities on a low-speed, two-state chase that ended when the farm vehicle crashed into a police car and pickup truck, totaling both.
Thomas Arthur Dahl, 29, of Herman, Minn., faces charges including intentional damage to property and possession of stolen property.
Authorities said that after his pickup truck ran into a snowy ditch early Tuesday, Mr. Dahl reportedly stole a tractor from a farmyard and then led sheriff's deputies on a more than 20-mile chase from western Minnesota to a Hutterite colony in eastern South Dakota.
Sheriff Donald Montonye said the man reportedly had been drinking, but was "rational, coherent, cooperative and apologetic" when the chase ended.

TENNESSEE
Crime-fighting duo sounds like lunch
There have been a lot of great crime-fighting duos. Joe Friday and Bill Gannon. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Starsky and Hutch. Shelby County, Tenn., has one, too: Franks and Beans.
With Deputy Mike Franks already on his staff, sheriff's Lt. Mike Jewell couldn't resist when Deputy Gary Beans walked through his door. He had to put them together, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
"They call us Beenie Weenies," Deputy Beans said.

VERMONT
Bookseller purges files to avoid searches
MONTPELIER Some booksellers are troubled by a post-September 11 federal law that gives the government broad powers to seize the records of bookstores and libraries to find out what people have been reading.
Bear Pond Books in Montpelier will purge purchase records for customers on request, and it already has dumped the names of books bought by its readers' club.


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