- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2003

SEN. FRIST ON SCENE FIRST, RENDERS AID

Among the first to arrive at that fatal crash on Florida's Alligator Alley this week was the incoming majority leader of the Senate. Tennessee's Bill Frist and members of his family were among the first to arrive after a group in an Izusu were badly hurt (one died) when the vehicle blew a tire and flipped end-over-end several times on the desolate stretch of roadway.

The Nashville Tennessean says that Frist found several people strewn over the area and others trapped in the vehicle. He assisted the medics in stabilizing the injured. Frist is a well known Nashville heart surgeon.

And, not only was Frist there, but another doctor, a nurse and several off-duty paramedics came upon the scene shortly after the one-car crash.

Witnesses say that Frist stayed on the scene until after the last patient was airlifted out. He would not make a statement to reporters, but through a spokesman noted that his "heart goes out to the family in the accident."

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MOST PLAYERS OF HAND-HELDS ARE BOYS

There are some "arcade" games out there for girls, but the hand-held game market remains the domain of young men. A new published report shows that the makers of video games seem to go with the winners.

Since boys were the first market for the toys and have the necessary "stations" to play the software, most of the new games and scenarios are pitched to that sector of the market.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that many companies seem unwilling to take a chance on the young female market, though many say that tie-ins with popular dolls, such as Barbie, could be big hits.

Additionally, most high school- and college-age boys have more available income than do their female counterparts. Games can be costly, some games and hardware are in the $200 range.

One well-publicized attempt at cornering the girls' market was a four-year project called Purple Moon. It eventually folded. Game makers might have gotten a wrong signal from that company's collapse.

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MOTELS ANGRY OVER SPECIAL TAX LEVY

Several motel owners in the Sandpoint, Idaho, area are suing over a newly imposed "tourist" tax. The motels claim that it's not legal to "target" them for the implementation of the new 5 percent lodging tax.

Meanwhile, city fathers tell the Idaho Statesman that the tax will raise as much as $150,000 for the tourist city.

But the owners of motels, hotels, short-term condos and bed and breakfast lodgings say they are being singled out. And they claim that they have a hard enough time convincing people to come visit Sandpoint in the winter. Many people stay in larger cities and don't trek into the cold and snowy climes of the area.

The motel owners who went to court say they are being subjected to a tax that puts an already fragile wintertime lodgings market on the skids.

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AIRLINE MECHANIC SABOTAGES PLANE

When mechanic Corydon Cochran thought a 737 wasn't safe to take off, he scuttled the plane. Now he's in hot water. Court records in Denver, as relayed by the Denver Post, show that the mechanic for Frontier Airlines has been taken to a federal court and charged with trying to sabotage an aircraft.

Cochran claims that he had requested a check of the plane when he noticed a wing light was out and thought it might have been hit by lightning. He reportedly took a large rubber chock (a device used to block wheels when a plane is parked) and threw it into one of the plane's jet engines. The 737 was about to take off from Denver for Dallas.

Airline officials say that if the man thought that the plane was not safe to take off there were other ways of stopping it, including filing a complaint with the FAA supervisor at the airport.

If Cochran is found guilty he could face up to 20 years in prison.

The incident is reminiscent of the stunt pulled by Jimmy Stewart in "No Highway in the Sky." In that scenario Stewart, an airplane designer, pulls the landing gear out from under a plane because he does not think it's airworthy.


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