- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2003

MASSACHUSETTS

Huston, Scorsese to get Hasty Pudding awards

CAMBRIDGE Actress Anjelica Huston and director Martin Scorsese will receive the annual Hasty Pudding awards from the nation's oldest undergraduate dramatic organization.

The Hasty Pudding awards, announced yesterday at Harvard University, are given to performers who have made a "lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment."

The award ceremony occurs after performer-led events.

Miss Huston, an Academy Award winner for best supporting actress in the 1985 film "Prizzi's Honor," will lead a parade through the streets of Harvard Square on Feb. 6 with Harvard students dressed in drag.

Mr. Scorsese, who recently received a Golden Globe for "Gangs of New York," will appear at the opening night of the troupe's theatrical production "It's a Wonderful Afterlife."


WYOMING [SOFTRETURN]Methane drilling worries ranchers

SPOTTED HORSE Mike Foate ordered two unfamiliar men off his ranch when they claimed to own the place.

The men were from a company that owns the rights to mineral reserves beneath Mr. Foate's Rocking Horse Ranch. The company, Mr. Foate learned, is gearing up for full-throttle drilling for coal-bed methane in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana.

Landowners like Mr. Foate have "split estates," in which the rancher owns the land, or "surface rights," but someone else owns the minerals, oil or gas beneath. Some landowners are getting worried they will receive more demands from developers for access to their land.

Sometime early this year, the U.S. government is expected to lift a moratorium that has halted new drilling for coal-bed methane in much of the region for the past two years.


ALABAMA

City considers banning furniture from porches

TUSCALOOSA The old couch and the rusting washing machine on the porch a Southern tradition to some, an eyesore to others may have to be moved inside by college students and other Tuscaloosa residents under a proposed law.

The City Council is expected to act today on a measure banning indoor furniture from being placed outdoors. First-time violators would face a $100 fine, plus $175 in court costs.

People seeking to keep Tuscaloosa spiffy could report violators by calling a special phone line set up earlier to point out yards with overgrown grass.


ARIZONA

Commission eyes peaks protection

TUCSON The Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission will meet tomorrow to consider protecting some peaks and ridges from development.

The commission plans to recommend proposals on 22 peaks.

The commission had recommended 52 others for varying levels of protection and 24 for no protection.


ARKANSAS

State moves to pass 'clean urine' bill

LITTLE ROCK Something smells funny in the Arkansas drug-testing business, and a state legislator thinks it might be the urine.

Jay Martin, a freshman state representative, won passage through the Arkansas House of Representatives last week of his measure that will make it illegal to sell or use urine to falsify a drug or alcohol screening test.

Mr. Martin said he was urged to introduce the "clean urine" bill by a local drug-testing company that complained of widespread trafficking in urine not tainted by drugs. Many of the sales in the market are made over the Internet, he said.

Maximum penalties for violating the law will be 90 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The bill is headed to the state Senate, where action is expected soon.


CALIFORNIA

To move, Santa had to lose chimney

CARPINTERIA Workers having difficulties moving a 5-ton Santa Claus finally found a solution.

The Highway 101 landmark for a half-century was scheduled to move to Oxnard. But the 22-foot-high Santa was too tall to clear overpasses and power lines along the 30-mile route from Highway 101.

Movers considered laying him face down on a flatbed trailer. But after inspecting his crudely braced interior, they decided Santa had to remain upright to remain intact.

So workers chopped off the 5-foot plywood base painted to look like a red-brick chimney.

The water company, which owns a freeway-adjacent parcel, will spend about $5,000 on a concrete foundation, lighting and landscaping for the statue in its new home.


COLORADO

Erosion may disturb gunslinger's graves

GLENWOOD SPRINGS Erosion could unearth the graves of gunslinger Doc Holliday and others in the 115-year-old Linwood Cemetery, historians say.

The Frontier Historical Society, which formed a committee to take care of the city's most popular tourist attraction, determined that erosion was the cemetery's most immediate need.

Holliday, who trained as a dentist, became a legend in 1881 when he joined Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan Earp in a gunbattle with the Clanton gang at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz.


DELAWARE

State creating regional teaching license

WILMINGTON Delaware is working with surrounding areas to create a license that would eliminate the red tape teachers face when they move among jurisdictions.

Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia are among the jurisdictions the license would allow new teachers to move to without requiring new tests or additional courses.

A regional education group will vote on the license in March.


FLORIDA

Verdict overturned in gun trial

WEST PALM BEACH A judge threw out a $1.2 million verdict yesterday against the company that distributed the gun 13-year-old Nathaniel Brazill used to kill his teacher 2½ years ago.

Circuit Judge Jorge Labarga ruled that the Nov. 14 award for the teacher's widow was inconsistent because the jury also determined that the gun used to kill Lake Worth Middle School teacher Barry Grunow was not defective.

Pam Grunow sued gun distributor Valor Corp. after her husband was gunned down in a school hallway in May 2000. She said Valor could have made the gun safer by installing a lock or other device.

Nathaniel, who was sentenced to 28 years in prison, said he pointed the .25-caliber Raven gun at his favorite teacher to scare him and never intended to pull the trigger.


GEORGIA

Ice block crashes through roof

LAWRENCEVILLE A beach-ball-sized ice block crashed through a roof and landed in an unoccupied bedroom.

Rachel Smith, 23, and her 6-year-old half-sister, Barbara, were not injured when the 2-foot-wide chunk landed in their shared bedroom one morning last week.

The homeowner, Christine Woodward, said the Federal Aviation Administration told her that the piece of ice might have fallen from a passing airplane.

The FAA said it is investigating.

"We've heard of cases happening before, but it is very rare," FAA spokesman Christopher White said. "A lot depends on the prevailing winds."


HAWAII

Former commander releases book

HONOLULU Integrity Publishing will release a former commander's book today, nearly two years after his submarine, the USS Greeneville, accidentally plowed into a Japanese fishing boat, killing nine boys and men.

"The Right Thing" is co-written by retired Navy Cmdr. Scott Waddle and Ken Abraham, who also helped Lisa Beamer, wife of Todd Beamer, tell her story. Mr. Beamer is believed to have led passengers against September 11 hijackers on United Airline Flight 93.

Mr. Waddle's 242-page book takes readers through the February day he was at the helm of the sub on an outing with 16 special guests aboard.

The collision of the Greeneville into the training boat Ehime Maru off Pearl Harbor on Feb. 9, 2001, was the worst civilian-Navy accident in a generation.


ILLINOIS

Study links sleep to heart disease

CHICAGO Too little or too much sleep may cause a serious health risk, a study says.

Nearly 72,000 nurses participated in the study, which determined that women who averaged five hours or less of sleep each night were 39 percent more likely to develop heart disease than women who averaged eight hours.

Those sleeping six hours a night had an 18 percent higher risk of developing blocked arteries than the eight-hour sleepers.

On the other hand, nine or more hours of sleep was associated with a 37 percent higher risk of heart disease.

The study was published in yesterday's Archives of Internal Medicine.


KANSAS

Rocker donates $15,000 for organ

LEAVENWORTH Rocker Melissa Etheridge made her hometown's wish come true by donating $15,000 for an organ.

Miss Etheridge, who grew up in Leavenworth, donated the $15,000 needed to buy an organ the town had its eye on for a long time.

Leavenworth citizens restoring a small 1913 carousel that will be on display during the Feb. 28 Taste of Leavenworth next month wanted a band organ to go with the carousel.

The organ will display a brass plate that says: "Given to the Great People of Leavenworth, with much appreciation. From Melissa Etheridge."


KENTUCKY

Petition does not force meeting on gay unions

LOUISVILLE A petition drive in the Presbyterian Church did not receive enough support for a meeting aimed at strictly enforcing church bans on ordaining homosexuals or performing same-sex unions.

Thirteen ministers or elders withdrew their names from the petition, church leaders said yesterday.

That left the petition short of the signatures needed to convene a first-ever special meeting of the General Assembly, the main legislative body in the 214-year-old denomination.

The petition spearheaded tension within the 2.5-million-member denomination about homosexual issues.


MINNESOTA

Patches of water appear in frozen lakes

GLENWOOD Patches of open water have been showing up on several Minnesota lakes despite recent subzero temperatures, experts say.

Experts guess that heavy rains from last year, combined with a late freeze, caused a surplus of groundwater that is being pumped through springs into lake bottoms.


NEW HAMPSHIRE

Collie saves owner in wheelchair

HAMPSTEAD A collie named Jarrod saved his owner, who uses a wheelchair, Jan. 6.

The 1½-year-old dog pushed his owner, 61-year-old David Levesque, away from beneath his snow-covered roof and down a stairway seconds before the roof collapsed onto the deck.

The 12-by-14-foot roof was later estimated at nearly 4,000 pounds.

Mr. Levesque, disabled by severe arthritis and spinal problems, said he was leaning against a railing and reaching up with one of his arm crutches to remove some snow when Jarrod started pushing him.


NEW JERSEY

Boy strangled in laundry accident

NEWARK A 12-year-old boy was strangled when his clothing was caught in a washing machine at his apartment complex, authorities said.

Deshaw Young's mother found him in the building's laundry room Sunday afternoon. She went to check on him after he did not return after leaving to put clothes in a machine.

He was taken to University Hospital in Newark, where he was pronounced dead.


NEW MEXICO

Governor wants to fix dangerous road

SANTA FE Gov. Bill Richardson said he wants to renovate what locals call "Satan's Highway," one of the most dangerous roads in the state.

Mr. Richardson wants the change to start with the number of the route, officially known as Highway 666, because of the association of the triple sixes with Satan.

Because of poor conditions, Highway 666 has some of the highest fatalities per mile of any road in New Mexico.

Highway 666 runs north-south for about 160 miles in the northwestern part of the state, mostly through an American Indian reservation, connecting the towns of Gallup and Shiprock.


NEW YORK

Canadian company hopes to start ferry

NIAGARA FALLS A Canadian company is preparing to start a ferry service across Lake Ontario in spring 2004.

The 28-mile boat trip would take 40 minutes, less than half the time it takes by car. And the ferry will run between Niagara County and Toronto.

International Fast Ferry Corp. is seeking $40 million in state tax credits.


NORTH CAROLINA

Officials suspend neurosurgeon's license

RALEIGH A well-known neurosurgeon's license was suspended indefinitely after the state medical board ruled that he had performed unnecessary procedures on eight patients.

Dr. Michael Rosner, a neurosurgeon from Hendersonville, gained national attention for his treatment of fibromyalgia.

The procedure, which involves removing bone from the back of a patient's skull or spine to relieve pressure, was featured on ABC's "20/20" program in March.


OREGON

Paddle-wheeler to make historic voyage

SALEM A steamboat will journey on the Willamette River from Salem to Portland for the first time since 1916.

The paddle-wheeler Willamette Queen will take passengers in Salem on Feb. 1 for the 100-mile trip.

During the steamboat era, from 1850 to 1916, about 50 paddle-wheelers cruised the Willamette.


PENNSYLVANIA

Thieves use dog door to steal safe

PITTSBURGH Thieves got away with a safe containing $435 in cash last weekend after they crawled through a doggie door into the Washington County Humane Society.

Police Lt. Dan Levi told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the thieves gained entry by breaking through the gate of an outdoor dog run in the rear of the shelter, then wiggling through the small opening.

A 215-pound gray safe was stolen from beneath an office counter. It contained $435 in cash, $673 in checks and $646 worth of credit-card receipts.


TEXAS

Crewmen fired for refusing vaccines

CORPUS CHRISTI Three civilians in the U.S. merchant marines who refused to receive smallpox and anthrax vaccinations say they were fired from a crew ship carrying Army vehicles.

Erik Ortwein of Tacoma, Wash.; Lino Remorin of McAllen, Texas; and Jose Camales of Puerto Rico said the ship's captain, Joseph Hood, fired them Sunday after they refused to sign papers committing them to be immunized.

The three were assigned to the Cape Taylor, one of three "ready reserve" ships moored at Corpus Christi. The ship is believed to be heading to the Middle East with Army tanks and trucks.

Mr. Hood said no one had been fired and declined to comment on the shots.


WEST VIRGINIA

Divorcing man kills children, self

HORNER A man in the middle of a divorce shot two of his children and a foster child, burned down a house the family was building, then went into the woods and killed himself, officials said yesterday .

Gayle Sams' wife and their 14-year-old daughter escaped to a neighbor's house to call 911.

Two 4-year-olds and a 17-year-old boy were killed when Mr. Sams, who was living elsewhere, went to the family's home late Sunday.

The children's bodies were found upstairs in the farmhouse.

Sams' body was found yesterday morning.



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