- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2003

FLORIDA
Officer runs over French tourists
MIAMI BEACH A French tourist remained in critical condition yesterday, a day after a police officer ran his vehicle over the woman and her sister while they were sunbathing on a beach. The sister died of her injuries.
Sandrine Tunc, 26, and her sister, Stephanie, 27, were struck while sunbathing on a crowded beach Saturday.
Officer George Varon apparently didn't see the two as he searched for robbery suspects who had been reported nearby, police spokesman Bobby Hernandez said Saturday.
Sandrine Tunc was in critical condition at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

TENNESSEE
Jones gives plot to PayCheck
NASHVILLE Country music star George Jones is donating a burial plot next to his own for colleague Johnny PayCheck, who died last week.
"Anything of this nature, it's taken care of by friends," Mr. Jones told WSMV-TV in an interview.
Friends said Mr. PayCheck died broke. He played in Mr. Jones' band early in his career, and the two later recorded an album together called "Double Trouble."
Mr. PayCheck, best known for the hit "Take This Job and Shove It," had been in a nursing home with emphysema. He was 64.

ALASKA
Snow shortage plagues skiers
ANCHORAGE While the U.S. East Coast dug out from several feet of snow last week, the winter scene in Alaska was starkly different, with dog-sled racing in peril, snowmobiles sidelined and skiers mournful.
An unusually warm winter and weeks of Seattle-style rain have left much of Alaska with a serious snow shortage. The Anchorage area has received only about half the normal snowfall, according to the National Weather Service.
As a result, several major winter events have been canceled or sharply altered.
Alyeska Resort south of Anchorage has said it would be unable to host the U.S. Alpine Championships in late March. Although snowpack is heavy at the mountain's top, too little snow at the bottom makes long ski races impossible.
The famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, also scheduled for next month, has moved its starting line from the usual spot outside of Anchorage to Fairbanks, a 350-mile drive north. It is the first time in the race's 30 years that such a major route change has been made.

ARIZONA
Actor dies of heart attack
PRESCOTT Paul Richard "Pete" Schrum, a character actor who appeared in dozens of TV shows, movies and commercials, died last week of a heart attack. He was 68.
In a career that spanned three decades, Mr. Schrum played everything from prospectors to salesmen, villains to henchmen. Mr. Schrum's credits included a recurring role as Uncle Ed Kanisky in the 1980s sitcom "Gimme a Break." He portrayed Santa Claus in Coca-Cola ads that ran for more than a decade.
He appeared in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" as a shotgun-wielding bar owner.

ARKANSAS
Car careers into auction crowd
JONESBORO A car being driven to the auction block went out of control and plowed into a crowd of spectators, injuring nearly two dozen persons, three critically, authorities said over the weekend.
An auction employee was driving the 1996 Kia Sephia on Friday night when it went out of control, said Keith Campbell, general manager of the Jonesboro Auto Auction.
Twenty-two persons were believe injured; three adults were in critical condition Saturday. At least 15 people treated at hospitals were released by Saturday afternoon.
A hospital spokesman said injuries consisted primarily of fractured bones and cuts.
Jonesboro police did not know Saturday what caused the accident; officers at the scene said the vehicle's accelerator pedal may have gotten stuck.

CALIFORNIA
U.S. Customs seizes 10 tons of marijuana
SAN DIEGO U.S. Customs officers have seized 10 tons of marijuana worth about $9 million from a truck on the border with Mexico, a Customs Service statement said Saturday.
The statement said a narcotics-detecting dog found the cache at the Otay Mesa cargo facility .
"It is believed to be the single largest seizure of marijuana ever on the Southwest border," the statement said.
More than 4,000 plastic-wrapped packages of the narcotic were found in boxes inside the tractor-trailer rig with California license plates.
The truck driver, Carlos Ibarra, 39, of Tijuana, was arrested, the statement said.

HAWAII
Owner convicted for enslaving workers
HONOLULU The owner of an American Samoa garment factory was found guilty last week of money laundering and involuntary servitude for enslaving workers from Vietnam and China.
The federal jury also convicted Kil Soo Lee, 52, of conspiracy and extortion. Lee owns Daewoosa Samoa Ltd., which made clothes for J.C. Penney Co. and other retailers before its closure.
"Kil Soo Lee has exploited over 200 Vietnamese and Chinese people in what amounted to nothing less than modern-day slavery," U.S. Justice Department attorney Lou deBaca said.
The trial, which began Oct. 23, had to be heard in Honolulu because American Samoa is the only U.S. territory without a sitting federal judge. The jury began deliberations Feb. 6.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that the defendants ordered beatings for employees who disobeyed, had workers starved, and threatened deportation if they spoke out on the working conditions.

MICHIGAN
Man rasies smaller flag after neighbors complain
CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP A man ticketed after complaints that his flag's flapping made too much noise has settled on a quieter way to show his patriotism.
Ray Saelens was ticketed recently after a next-door neighbor complained that the 18-by-12-foot American flag kept him awake at night.
Mr. Saelens, a self-employed mason, rejected suggestions that he take the flag down at night. Instead, he proposed switching to a 15-by-10-foot American flag an offer accepted by neighbors Mark and Sue Grucz.
Mr. Saelens said the September 11 terrorist attacks prompted him to pay $4,000 to install a flagpole behind his home along Lake St. Clair's Anchor Bay, north of Detroit.
Sue Grucz said it wasn't the flag to which they were objecting it was the noise in the wee hours of the morning. She said she hopes the smaller flag will be a good solution.

MISSISSIPPI
Ammonia leak empties hotels
GULFPORT A cloud of ammonia leaked from a chemical plant early yesterday, forcing tourists to evacuate eight hotels along the Gulf Coast. Authorities said it appeared someone had tried to steal the chemical, possibly to make illegal drugs.
Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport also was shut down for seven hours, and several churches canceled or postponed Sunday services after police advised residents to stay indoors.
A couple of emergency workers had to be treated, but no other injuries were reported, police Sgt. Joseph Ashmore said.
Anhydrous ammonia, used to make fertilizer, is highly explosive. Exposure irritates the skin and airways and can be fatal.
Occupants in the more than 950 rooms combined in the eight hotels were evacuated and told to head north.

MONTANA
Program matches teachers with schools
MELSTONE When rumors start swirling that one or two teachers may leave this small town, school administrators become nervous.
They know it won't be an easy task to attract young teachers to Melstone: The town of 150 persons doesn't have much of a social life, and the closest mall or McDonald's is located about 80 miles away, in Billings.
But beginning this spring, a program at Montana State University will match professionals seeking a new career with small, rural schools, such as the one in Melstone, that are growing more desperate every year to fill teaching positions
Participants in the program who agree to teach for at least three years in any of about 160 mostly rural school districts in Montana, Wyoming or South Dakota will receive a $5,000 stipend to help pay for teacher education.
NEVADA
Volunteers find possible shuttle debris
LAS VEGAS Teams searching for parts shed by the Space Shuttle Columbia as it broke apart found more small metal fragments yesterday in a rural part of southeast Nevada.
Digital photographs of the material were sent to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for analysis. Several small scraps of aluminum also were found Saturday.
NASA has not confirmed whether any debris west of Texas came from the shuttle.
Casey Wood, who was sent by NASA to aid in the search, said he was "80 percent sure the items" were from Columbia. Mr. Wood is an employee of NASA contractor United Space Alliance in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The search of the about 30-square-mile area near Panaca, nearly 170 miles north of Las Vegas, began Friday and was expected to conclude today. NASA requested yesterday that the search be expanded about 35 miles west of Panaca, search officials said.

NEW MEXICO
82 frozen cats found in home
MESILLA PARK More than 100 cats and the frozen carcasses of 82 others were removed from the four-bedroom house of a woman living alone, authorities said.
Las Cruces police went to the home in southern New Mexico last week after receiving reports of foul odors, Lt. Juan Moreno said.
Las Cruces and Dona Ana County Animal Control officers helped to remove the cats. Inside a kitchen freezer, officers found 82 frozen cats each inside a one-gallon freezer bag bearing a brief description and date, Lt. Moreno said.
The woman, 46, was taken to Memorial Medical Center for examination and was later released. Officers said the cats were strays taken in by the woman.

NEW YORK
Helen Keller stars meet before revival
NEW YORK Patty Duke Helen Keller on Broadway in 1959 meet Skye McCole Bartusiak, Helen Keller on Broadway in 2003.
Miss Duke, 56, who starred with Anne Bancroft in the original New York production of "The Miracle Worker," talked last week to the cast of the revival before a rehearsal.
The production opens April 24 at the Music Box Theatre with Oscar-winner Hilary Swank playing Annie Sullivan, Helen's tenacious teacher.
Miss Duke, who ends a run over the weekend in the Broadway revival of "Oklahoma!" told the performers they didn't need any acting advice, but she did extol the value of "good padding" to Miss Swank and 10-year-old Skye for the show's ferocious fight sequences.
The revival of the William Gibson drama, directed by Marianne Elliott, plays a pre-Broadway engagement next month at the Charlotte Repertory Theatre in North Carolina.

NORTH DAKOTA
New board game has historical twist
GRAND FORKS Tom and Terry Swenson have a new game with a historical twist.
The couple have developed a family board game based on the expedition of explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who traveled up to the Pacific Northwest 200 years ago.
The Lewis & Clark Family Game, which the Swensons developed over four years with help from a Wisconsin design company, is aimed at more than one audience.
"We wanted to interest the history buff, and yet we don't want to exclude a family from sitting around and playing the game," Tom Swenson said.
Players start at Camp Dubois in Illinois, and follow a blue trail to Fort Clatsop in Oregon. They then follow a green trail back in a mad dash to be the first to reach St. Louis and win the game.

OREGON
School budget crisis inspires comic strip
PORTLAND Oregon's school budget crisis is hardly a laughing matter, but don't tell that to the maker of the comic strip "Doonesbury."
Garry Trudeau's strip this week will introduce the nation to the plight of Oregon's cash-strapped schools by poking fun at the decision to cut 24 days from the Portland school year.
The strip will spend the week mostly lampooning President Bush for his pledge to be the education president.
"Education-wise, I still stand by my original challenge to the American people," Mr. Bush says in one of the panels. "Leave no child behind, except in Oregon and a few other loser states."
The strip was inspired by the failure of Measure 28, a temporary tax hike that voters defeated last month.

PENNSYLVANIA
Cable TV pioneer dies at 77
PHILADELPHIA Daniel Aaron, a cable television pioneer who was one of the founders of Comcast Corp., died last week of Parkinson's disease. He was 77.
Mr. Aaron was known for stressing the rights of Comcast employees and opposing top-heavy management.
In 1963, he, Ralph Roberts and Julian Brodsky founded American Cable Systems, which began with a single cable system in Tupelo, Miss. It changed its name to Comcast in 1969 and has become the nation's largest cable TV company.
Mr. Aaron and his family, came from Nazi Germany in 1938.

VERMONT
Submarine crew member takes cooking classes
MONTPELIER Spc. Dedrick Sullivan's submarine crew mates are likely to have been very happy that he was left behind when they went to the Persian Gulf.
Mr. Sullivan, 24, stayed in New England when the USS Montpelier was deployed so that he could spend two weeks at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) learning the finer points of producing haute cuisine for the crew.
He hopes to "cook up something special" when he returns to the nuclear attack sub.
Mr. Sullivan has toured the school's various restaurants and campus facilities and learned the art of baking bread and pastries.
NECI President and Chief Executive Officer Fran Voigt said the courses were free of charge.

WEST VIRGINIA
Ohio city's water judged world's best
BERKELEY SPRINGS The public water in Montpelier, Ohio, was voted the world's best by judges who tasted samples from as far away as Bosnia.
Eight countries, 23 states and the District of Columbia were represented at the 13th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Taste, which honored winners in five categories on Saturday.
Montpelier won in the municipal category, followed by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Los Angeles; Desert Hot Springs, Calif.; Canora, Canada; and Kinross Charter Township DPW in Kincheloe, Mich.
The bottled-water prize went to Mountain Valley Spring Water of Hot Springs, Ark. The best carbonated water came from Harrogate Spa Water of Harrogate, Great Britain. Clear Creek Water Co. of Farmington, N.M., won for purified drinking water, and StoneClear Springs of Vanleer, Tenn., won for package design.

WISCONSIN
Lawmakers approve tribal gaming bill
MADISON State lawmakers adopted a bill last week that gives them the final say in approving Indian gambling contracts, after complaints that the governor gave up too much in negotiating a deal for the Oneida Nation.
Eager to plug a huge budget deficit, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle reached an agreement earlier in the week giving the Oneida a permanent compact that allows more games and higher betting limits in exchange for $38 million over two years.
The bill's sponsors in the Republican-controlled Legislature said the agreement would eliminate state oversight of casinos and open up Wisconsin to Las Vegas-style gaming.


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