- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2003

ARIZONA
Ross says she was lost, not drunk
TUCSON Singer Diana Ross said that she was trying to rent a video and got lost when she was stopped for purportedly driving under the influence, according a police report.
Tucson police Officer Scott Sullivan stopped Mrs. Ross early Monday morning after someone reported that a vehicle was going south in the northbound lanes of a street in northeastern Tucson.
Officer Sullivan's report, released Tuesday, said Mrs. Ross, 58, consented to a field sobriety test but fell down and laughed while trying to stand on one leg and count to 10.

LOUISIANA
Police seek DNA samples to nab killer
LAFAYETTE Police will ask up to 100 men in the Lafayette area to voluntarily submit DNA samples to investigators searching for the killer of four women whose slayings have unnerved southern Louisiana.
Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom would not say when police planned to contact the men.
The list was drawn up after police received more than 400 tips since last week, when a Lafayette Parish woman became the killer's latest victim. The other victims lived in the Baton Rouge area.
Police have linked all four slayings to one killer through DNA evidence left at the crime scenes.

CALIFORNIA
Smoking banned near playgrounds
SACRAMENTO California, long at the cutting edge of anti-smoking legislation, took that role one step further on New Year's Day with a new law to ban smoking within 25 feet of a playground.
The question on the minds of people on both sides of the debate over second-hand smoke is how far such laws will go, the Modesto Bee reports.
Philip Morris, the cigarette manufacturer, took a neutral position on the playground bill because it focused on a setting used primarily by children. The company is less likely to stay on the sidelines in other cases that restrict outdoor smoking, spokesman Thomas Ryan said.

COLORADO
State reimburses local fire agencies
BOULDER The state Forest Service paid out $9.5 million in reimbursements to local fire agencies for extra work during one of Colorado's worst wildfire years.
Dozens of wildfires in 2002 left nine firefighters dead and 915,000 acres burned.
In 2001, reimbursements to local fire agencies totaled $1.3 million.

FLORIDA
Salvation Army refuses money from Lotto winner
MARCO ISLAND The Salvation Army will not accept a $100,000 donation from a Florida Lotto winner because its local leader didn't want to take money associated with gambling.
David L. Rush, 71, announced the gift last week. He held one of four winning tickets in the $100 million Florida Lotto jackpot drawing of Dec. 14 and took a $14.3 million lump-sum payment.
Maj. Cleo Damon, head of the Salvation Army office in Naples, told Mr. Rush that he could not take his money and returned the check, which another official had accepted.
"There are times where Major Damon is counseling families who are about to become homeless because of gambling," said spokeswoman Maribeth Shanahan. "He really believes that if he had accepted the money, he would be talking out of both sides of his mouth."
Mr. Rush also donated $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity and $50,000 to the Rotary Club of Marco Island. Both groups accepted the gifts.
"Everybody has a right to be sanctimonious if they want to be," said Mr. Rush. "I respect the Salvation Army's decision. I do not agree with it, but that is their prerogative."

ILLINOIS
Rates of autism higher than reported
CHICAGO Autism appears to be at least as common among American children as it is in European children, says a study released Tuesday that suggests previous U.S. studies have vastly underestimated the true extent of the behavioral disorder.
Researchers with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who studied data on almost 290,000 children in the Atlanta area found that prevalence rates for broad-spectrum autistic disorders were 34 per 10,000 children.
The figure, which researchers said erred on the conservative side, is substantially higher than the four per 10,000 seen in several U.S. studies conducted in the 1980s and early 1990s, and in line with several European studies.
The increase is most likely a factor of better and earlier diagnosis of the complex disorder, which is characterized by social and cognitive difficulties, and is seen more often in boys than girls.

INDIANA
Bills seek to limit stores selling alcohol
INDIANAPOLIS Two state lawmakers plan to introduce bills during the coming legislative session to reduce the number of stores that can sell beer and wine.
Sen. Thomas J. Wyss and Rep. Robert K. Alderman, both Republicans from Fort Wayne, said their bills would define clearly what qualifies as a grocery store in state law on the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Critics of current law say it allows too many types of retailers, including convenience stores, to claim they are grocery stores in order to qualify for permits to sell alcohol.
"Convenience stores are the 2002 equivalent of a neighborhood grocery," said Grant Monahan, president of the Indiana Retail Council.
The retail council will oppose efforts to restrict permits, Mr. Monahan told the Indianapolis Star. "This is simply an effort by the package-liquor industry to eliminate the competition," he said.

KENTUCKY
Exhibit to tell Ali's tale
LOUISVILLE A two-floor exhibit at the Muhammad Ali Center will tell the story of the boxing great, from childhood to heavyweight champion to globe-trotting humanitarian.
The center is expected to open in downtown Louisville in late 2004. Design work on the exhibits is about 40 percent complete, said Mike Fox, president of the center.
The Louisville-born Mr. Ali and his wife, Lonnie, have monitored the development of the exhibits. The preliminary work "blew Muhammad's socks right off," capturing what he is all about, his wife said.
The exhibit also deals with Mr. Ali's turbulent days in the 1960s when he joined the Nation of Islam and refused induction into the Army on religious grounds during the Vietnam War.

MINNESOTA
Ventura shows off new set of wheels
ST. PAUL Gov. Jesse Ventura has a new set of wheels big ones.
Less than a week before returning to private life, Mr. Ventura was showing off his new copper-colored 2003 Hummer outside the Capitol on Tuesday. He slid into the driver's seat, cranked up Led Zeppelin on the 10-speaker sound system and promised: "It'll knock your socks off."
The Hummer is a loaded version of the military Humvee, the squat vehicle often seen on television during the Persian Gulf war. Mr. Ventura said he wanted one because "I live in Minnesota and I don't want to get stuck."

MISSISSIPPI
Elected Democrat changes parties
NEWTON State Sen. Terry Burton, elected three times as a Democrat, announced that he was switching his party affiliation to Republican.
Mr. Burton, 46, said, "I really truly feel the Republican Party is the party of inclusion and the modern Democratic Party is the more exclusive party."
Mr. Burton is a former mayor of Newton.

PENNSYLVANIA
Pilot charged after knife found in bag
HARRISBURG A Comair pilot was charged with disorderly conduct after federal airport screeners found a knife in his carry-on bag, police said.
Capt. Rickey L. Mayle initially denied he was carrying a knife, which was detected Sunday by an X-ray at Harrisburg International Airport before he was to board a flight to Atlanta, police said.
A screener searched the bag and found the knife with a 3-inch-long serrated blade.
Capt. Mayle, 46, later said the knife had been in his bag since September, and he had forgotten about it, police said.
The FBI was investigating the incident, officials said.
The early-morning flight was delayed more than an hour until another pilot could be found, said Comair spokesman Nick Miller.
Capt. Mayle was released without bail pending a preliminary hearing, police said. He did not return a telephone message left at his home Tuesday.

SOUTH DAKOTA
Foss, WWII hero and governor, dies
SIOUX FALLS Joe Foss, a former South Dakota governor and World War II hero who shot down 26 enemy planes, died yesterday. He was 87.
Mr. Foss had not regained consciousness after he suffered an apparent aneurysm in the fall. He died at a hospital in Arizona, said South Dakota Gov. William J. Janklow.
A Republican, Mr. Foss served in the state Legislature for five years before becoming governor in 1955. He won both the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Flying Cross as a Marine pilot during World War II.
Mr. Foss, who served as an Air Force colonel in the Korean War, was born April 17, 1915, on a farm east of Sioux Falls. He was the first commissioner of the American Football League, hosted the ABC-TV show "The American Sportsman" and was chosen president of the National Rifle Association in 1988, serving through 1990.

WISCONSIN
Sheep story wins liar contest
BURLINGTON Sandi Weld, of Sorrento, Fla., said that when she moved to Iron Mountain, Mich., her sheep began producing steel wool.
Tall tale? You bet. Mrs. Weld is the winner of the 72nd World Champion Liar Contest, sponsored by the Burlington Liars Club.
Mrs. Weld won by writing: "When I moved to Iron Mountain, Michigan, I brought my pet sheep. He grazed on the mineral-rich grass. When it came time to shear it in the spring, I ended up with nine pounds of steel wool."
She said she got the idea for the story from her 7-year-old son, Ken, who, when he first heard of steel wool, asked what kind of sheep produced it.
R.M. Eimermann, of Oconomowoc, received an honorable mention for saying his brother Ollie was so smart that he could do crossword puzzles without looking at the clues. Gene Lasch, of Shawno, was mentioned for writing that when he spoke, his wife would listen. Pleasant Prairie's Wayne Everts was honored for his lie about his father's horse who was so smart that he could put on his own shoes.


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