- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

Governor pays for trip on private jet

JUNEAU Gov. Frank H. Murkowski reimbursed former Alaska banking titan Ed Rasmuson for a ride on his private jet.
Mr. Murkowski paid Mr. Rasmuson $2,790 for the ride home from a Scotland hunting trip out of personal funds, said the governor's spokesman, John Manly.
The trip was the second for Mr. Murkowski since the November election. In December, he met with representatives of the energy industry in Texas. The trip included two days of turkey hunting at his expense, the governor's office said.

City firefighters get help with 9/11 stresses

MANHATTAN The first of a regular series of workshops on alternative healing therapies was held yesterday for the firefighters and spouses who continue to deal with emotional problems related to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Programs offered include meditation, yoga and other therapies to cope with the emotional stress of the attacks and the cleanup efforts.
About 40 people are expected to attend.

New law bans porch furniture
TUSCALOOSA A new law will make it hard for residents to partake in the southern tradition of sitting on the front porch.
The ban, effective March 1, prohibits the use of porch furniture, washing machines and other household items outdoors . Exceptions will include yard sales, screened porches and garages.
Low-income areas and University of Alabama students were the target of the ordinance passed by the City Council last week.
Council President Jerry Plott cast the lone dissenting vote.
"Fundamentally, I have a hard time with the city telling someone what they can have on their back porch," he said. "This is a problem created by university students who don't keep their houses up. We're passing something that affects 35,000 households because of 25 students."

Beetles feast on pine acreage
PRESCOTT Bob Lange once had a hillside view of miles of dense ponderosa pines.
But the view these days consists of fields dotted with stumps.
Mr. Lange was forced to take his own chain saw to a hundred trees to prevent the spread of a pest that is killing wide swaths of forest.
The cause of such devastation is the bark beetle, an insect the size of a grain of rice that has killed about 2.5 million ponderosa pines and at least 4 million pinyon pines in Arizona and 15 million acres across the West and South during the past year. It threatens to destroy even more as drought grips many areas of the nation.

TV actor Eisley dies at age 78
LOS ANGELES Anthony Eisley, the actor best remembered as half of television's glamorous detective duo on the series "Hawaiian Eye," died Wednesday. He was 78.
No cause of death was announced.
Mr. Eisley played Tracy Steele to Robert Conrad's Tom Lopaka in the show.
The show, which ran 1959 to 1963, also starred Connie Stevens as Cricket Blake and Poncie Ponce as taxi driver Kazuo Kim. The show frequently had crossovers with "77 Sunset Strip."
Mr. Eisley, billed as Fred Eisley until Warner Bros. changed his name to Anthony Eisley for the "Hawaiian Eye" role, began his television career in the 1950s with appearances on "Operation Secret," "The Real McCoys" and "Perry Mason."

Commission sued for approving church
STAMFORD Residents filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the state Superior court against the Planning and Zoning Commission for approving a plan for a new church on a 10-acre parcel in the backcountry.
The plaintiffs' lawsuit says the commission did not consider the amount of traffic the new church would generate.
The Planning and Zoning Commission approved a final plan Jan. 21 from the Stanwich Congregational Church to build a new church at 202 Taconic Road.
The group of residents lives near the site of the proposed church.

Man gunned down in wrong-house case
CLEARWATER A man who apparently thought he was entering his town house was fatally shot by his neighbor when he barged inside the look-alike dwelling in the middle of the night, police said.
Jeffrey McNeil, 32, banged on the door of John Arnold's town house early Sunday.
The noise awakened Mr. Arnold, and he loaded a pistol, opened the door and shot Mr. McNeil when he entered and made a threatening move, police said.
No charges were filed because Mr. Arnold appeared to be acting in self-defense, sheriff's spokeswoman Marianna Pasha said.

Wine drinkers fight ban on Web sales
ATLANTA Wine drinkers want to drown a Georgia law that bans Internet wine sales.
They say the ban makes it impossible to buy a vintage that isn't sold in stores.
The state House is considering a bill that would allow people to buy wine directly from a Web retailer and have it shipped to their homes.
The method is common for most products but forbidden when it comes to alcohol.

Evacuees go home after gas explosion
VIOLA A 2-foot-diameter natural-gas pipeline exploded in a rural area Sunday evening, forcing the evacuation of about 15 families.
No one was injured from the ruptured pipeline, which produced flames about 500 feet high, Mercer County Sheriff Tom Thompson said.
Evacuees were allowed to return home yesterday, after the fire was extinguished by shutting off the gas flow in the pipeline, officials said.
The cause of the rupture had not been determined.
The pipeline is owned by ANR Pipeline Co., a subsidiary of Houston-based El Paso Corp., Sheriff Thompson said.

Gummi soldiers sent to Middle East
HOBART Red and green gummi soldiers are ready to be shipped to the Middle East.
Larry Albanese, co-owner of the Albanese Nut and Candy Co. says he hopes to dispatch his gummi candies Bazooka Bob, Rifleman Rich and GI Johnny to troops stationed in the Persian Gulf.
"I wanted to model our candy after the heroes of the world, you know, the good guys," Mr. Albanese said. "And what better time in history for them to be available to our servicemen?"
Albanese Nut and Candy is one of only a few companies that make gummi candy in the United States. The gummi grunts will be available in 14 flavors, including apple and hot cinnamon.

Man threatens electrocution, gives up
LOUISVILLE A Louisville man surrendered Sunday after barricading himself in his apartment for 90 minutes and threatening to electrocute himself.
Officer Dwight Mitchell told the Courier-Journal that police were called just before 7 p.m. to the Brook Street apartment complex after a man in his 50s poured water on the floor and threatened to electrocute himself with a lamp.
Officer Mitchell said the man had been asked by his landlord to leave the building before the incident occurred.
The man eventually came to his door and surrendered. He was transported to University Hospital for evaluation, Officer Mitchell said. The incident remains under investigation.

School officials put off tougher standards
BATON ROUGE Louisiana educators are postponing efforts to create standards geared toward trimming social promotions and ensuring that eighth-graders master math and language skills before moving to ninth grade.
The idea raises so many questions that the state's top school board will wait until at least the end of the year to tackle the issue, instead of doing so this month, said member Leslie Jacobs of New Orleans.

Three arrested on drug counts
EAST WINTHROP Three men were arrested at a motel for bringing heroin and other drugs from New Jersey to sell in Maine.
Two of the men were from New Jersey and one from Maine. Police said the men were part of an ongoing trade in large amounts of heroin.
The men were arrested at the Cobbossee Motel Sunday.

College recognizes homosexual group
NEWTON Boston College has given its stamp of approval to the gay-straight alliance.
For 30 years the college has refused to recognize a campus homosexual organization, saying it conflicts with Catholic teachings.
The new alliance will be a support group that emphasizes Jesuit ideas and morals, and avoids advocating policy changes, officials said.

Class to raise money for Afghan school
NORTHVILLE Khris Nedam's class is raising money to expand the Jamaluddine Wardak Primary School in Afghanistan.
Their goal is to add three classrooms, a library and tin roof to the small school.
The $43,000-expansion comes after another group of sixth-grade students Mr. Nedam taught raised $100,000 to build the school and medical clinic that opened in 2001.

Bankruptcies reach record number
ALBUQUERQUE A record 9,282 bankruptcies were filed in New Mexico last year, a 7.1 percent increase over the previous mark of 8,669, in 2001, officials say.
The 2001 filings were a 23 percent jump over the previous year's 7,037 filings, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.
Mounting consumer debt and a flagging economy are driving the bankruptcy filings, bankruptcy lawyers say.
Consumer debt in the United states has increased 42 percent during the past five years, reaching more than $1.72 trillion in November, the Federal Reserve said.

Officials lose papers related to jail death
MURPHY Papers and computer files from the past four years are missing from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. The include those related to the death of a jail inmate.
State law requires government documents to be available for public inspection. And documents are to be preserved when there is a change in office.
The missing documents include those related to the death of Christopher Lee Wood, who died of diabetes after being denied emergency care in September.
Newly elected Sheriff Keith Lovin told the Charlotte Observer that when he entererd office in December, he found empty filing cabinets and computers wiped clean of files except for operating programs.

Donkey march is vandals' apology
FAIRPORT HARBOR A man and woman marched through town with a donkey to apologize for vandalizing a baby Jesus statue in a church's outdoor nativity.
Jessica Lange and Brian Patrick, both 19, were ordered by a judge to march Sunday after they admitted to vandalizing a statue at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church on Christmas Eve.
The two led a donkey, provided by a petting zoo, for 30 minutes while carrying a sign that said, "Sorry for the jackass offense." Small groups of local residents watched.
The procession allowed Miss Lane and Mr. Patrick to avoid a longer jail sentence for stabbing the statue and defacing it with satanic symbols.

Missing man's truck found in river
PORTLAND Search-and-rescue crews found the pickup of a 37-year-old man and his 3-year-old daughter who have been missing and are presumed drowned in the Deschutes River.
Derek Flowers, a resident of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, and his daughter have been missing since Friday.
Officials told the Oregonian that a Deschutes County Civil Air Patrol plane spotted the pickup Sunday about 40 feet from shore.
Mr. Flowers had been fishing on the banks of the Deschutes. His 1965 pickup was parked at the edge of the river, and inside were his two daughters, ages 5 and 3.
A nearby homeowner told police that Mr. Flowers dove into the water to try to save the 3-year-old.

Historic Naval Home damaged in fire
PHILADELPHIA A fire yesterday severely damaged the historic U.S. Naval Home, a national landmark that was once the home of the Naval Academy.
More than 135 firefighters battled the blaze for two hours before gaining control.
An arson investigation was under way, Fire Commissioner Harold Hairston said.
The marble-column, Greek-style structure was built in 1827, and became a hospital and retirement home for sailors.

State budget cuts women's jobs the most
COLUMBIA Approximately two-thirds of the state employees who have lost their jobs in the past three years have been women, the state Human Affairs Commission said.
Most of the 6,000 jobs eliminated as South Carolina worked through budget constraints were in the $25,000-per-year range. Minority workers made up 35 percent of the work force and lost an equivalent share of the jobs.
The Human Affairs Commission's annual report was sent to the state legislature Saturday.

Red Cross quarantines 70% of blood supply
NASHVILLE The Red Cross quarantined 70 percent of its blood supply after a mysterious contaminant was found, agency officials said.
Blood in bags manufactured by Baxter International Inc. had been found to be contaminated. A spokeswoman for Baxter said the particles were not related to the manufacturing of the bags.
The tainted blood was discovered by the Tennessee Valley region of the Red Cross after reports of white particles in donated blood.
There have been no reports of harmful effects on patients. The Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were testing the particles, which are not considered dangerous or infectious.
The quarantine has left the region low on red blood cells and plasma, the Red Cross said.

Pilot error blamed in F-16s collision
SALT LAKE CITY Errors by both pilots caused the fatal collision of two F-16 fighter jets over the Utah desert in the fall, Air Force crash investigators said .
The crash Oct. 25, about 80 miles southwest of Hill Air Force Base, killed one of the pilots. The other was able to eject safely.
The Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board report said both pilots did not "properly coordinate their flight paths" during a turn.
The cost of the accident is estimated at more than $37 million.

Singing mailman retires after 33 years
BLUEFIELD Bluefield's "Singing Mailman" retired from the U.S. Postal Service Saturday.
Charles Thompson delivered residents' mail with a song for more than 33 years. He decided to retire because recent knee surgery has hindered his ability to deliver mail.
Mr. Thompson is a member of the Scott Street Baptist Church choir and sings mostly religious music at weddings and other events.
He once sang "Happy Birthday" for a 90-year-old woman on his route.

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