- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 30, 2003

Cactus thieves targetretirement communities
SURPRISE Retirees here have a prickly problem: cactus thieves.
Police say crooks have snatched cactuses from the yards of about 50 homes in Sun City and Sun City Grand, retirement communities west of Phoenix.
"Every morning, I look out to see if my three cactus are still there," said Rose Marie Kery, 62.
Surprise Police Detective Scott Bailey said the thieves, who target shallow-rooted golden barrel cactuses, may be posing as landscapers to swipe the yellow-spined cactuses, which retail at about $150 each. The losses have added up to about $10,000 in Sun City Grand.

Army cartoonist buried at Arlington
ARLINGTON A cold and steady rain began 30 minutes before cartoonist Bill Mauldin's burial yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery. Willie and Joe would not have been surprised.
Mr. Mauldin's fictional GIs slogged their way through Europe, coping with mud and much worse by poking fun at officers and "green" enlisted men.
"His timing was excellent," son David Mauldin said after the graveside service attended by two former wives, seven children and numerous grandchildren. Mr. Mauldin, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, died last week at 81 of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Woman sentenced for Vietnam protest
SAN FRANCISCO A woman who tried to light herself on fire in front of a Vietnamese official to protest the Communist government was sentenced yesterday to the minimum sentence of five years in federal prison for arson and assault.
At the hearing, Ngoc Hanh Dang Nguyen denounced the Communist regime she fled in 1989. The mostly Vietnamese crowd applauded when she ended by raising her fists and saying, "Freedom for Vietnam. Human rights for Vietnam."
Supporters applauded again when U.S. marshals whisked the 46-year-old French resident and mother of four from the courtroom.
Ngoc Hanh reeked of gasoline Dec. 13, 2001, when she entered a San Francisco hotel ballroom where Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dzung was addressing business leaders. Federal agents subdued her as she struggled to light gas-soaked torches.
Self-immolation is a traditional Vietnamese form of protest.

Court says bar owners can be held liable
HARTFORD The state Supreme Court ruled that bar owners can be held liable for unlimited damages if they serve intoxicated patrons who injure others.
The ruling reversed a 1990 decision that limited bar owners' liability for intoxicated patrons to $20,000 per person injured and $50,000 for anyone killed.

First cloned baby said to be in Israel
FORT LAUDERDALE The head of the group that claims to have cloned humans testified under oath yesterday that the first clone, a baby girl known as Eve, is in Israel rather than the United States.
Brigitte Boisselier, president of Clonaid, made the disclosure during a hearing into whether Florida should appoint a guardian for the child. Circuit Judge John Frusciante then ruled that he had no jurisdiction and threw out the case.
She also maintained under oath that two other cloned babies have been born since Eve's birth late last month.
Clonaid was founded by the man who also created the Raelian religious sect and claims life on Earth was started by extraterrestrials.

Woman pleads guilty to assisted suicide
GRIFFIN A woman who admitted to fatally shooting her two sons suffering from Huntington's disease avoided murder charges yesterday by pleading guilty to breaking Georgia's little-used assisted-suicide law.
Under the agreement, Carol Carr, 64, will serve five years in prison followed by five years of probation, Spaulding County Superior Court Judge Ben Miller said.
She also will not be the primary caretaker of her surviving son, 38-year-old James Scott, who also has the nerve disease.
Carr had faced two counts of felony murder and two counts of malice murder for shooting Michael Randy Scott, 42, and Andy Byron Scott, 41, on June 8, in a Griffin nursing home. Both men were unable to communicate and were bedridden in the advanced stages of the nerve disease, which also killed their father.

Coed found guilty in death of infant
MURRAY A college student was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the death of her newborn daughter, who was found stuffed in a plastic bag in a dormitory room trash can.
A Circuit Court jury issued the verdict Tuesday night against Angelita Turner, who had been on trial for the second time on a murder charge. The jury also had the option of convicting Turner of reckless homicide but decided on the middle charge, manslaughter.
The jury recommended a sentence of 10 years for the 23-year-old Murray State University student. Sentencing was set for March 10. With credit for time already served, Turner could be eligible for probation within three months.
A September murder trial resulted in a mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict.

National Park Service buys island parcel
BAR HARBOR The National Park Service has bought a 12-acre parcel on Bar Island from former NBC correspondent Jack Perkins to complete its ownership of the island.
The sale was completed last week for $1.4 million, according to documents at the Hancock County Registry of Deeds.
The 68-acre island, which is part of Acadia National Park, will not be developed, according to Len Bobinchock, the park's acting superintendent.
The National Park Service bought the parcel to ensure public access and conserve it as part of Acadia, Mr. Bobinchock said.

Student convicted of killing counselor
SPRINGFIELD An 18-year-old student was convicted of murder yesterday for repeatedly plunging his knife into the heart of a high school counselor who had told him to remove the hood of his sweat shirt.
Corey Ramos will receive an automatic life sentence with the possibility of parole after 15 years.
Ramos stabbed Theodore Brown eight times during a 2001 classroom brawl that erupted after the counselor repeatedly told the student to follow school rules by removing his hood. Mr. Brown, a Pentecostal minister who had worked in public schools since 1996, managed to walk to the school nurse's office but died minutes later.

Rights pioneer Parks to be honored
DETROIT Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks will be honored at a 90th birthday celebration next month, according to the foundation named for Mrs. Parks and her husband.
The Feb. 14 event at the Detroit Opera House will feature a musical performance by the Three Mo Tenors. Proceeds will benefit six programs that provide services to adolescents through the Rosa and Raymond Parks Foundation.
Mrs. Parks' refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955 landed her in jail and sparked a bus boycott that is considered the start of the modern civil rights movement.

Town fires teacher for racist remarks
CRYSTAL CITY The city school board voted unanimously to fire a teacher who told a class she opposed interracial marriage and believed mixed-race couples should not have children.
Eighth-grade teacher Jendra Loeffelman, who was tenured with 13 years in the 700-student district, maintains her concern was only that mixed-race children might be victims of teasing.
Crystal City Superintendent Ron Swafford would not comment on what grounds the board used to fire rather than discipline the teacher.

Actress, spouse tout film about firefighters
ALBANY Sigourney Weaver and her husband-director, Jim Simpson, promoted their new film about firefighters who died in the September 11 terror attacks during a visit to the state Capitol.
"The Guys" tells the story of a Brooklyn fire captain [Anthony LaPaglia] who enlists the help of a reporter [Miss Weaver] to write eulogies for men he lost in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
"It shows a little bit of light that came out of that catastrophe," Mr. Simpson said Monday. He showed a trailer of the film at a news conference attended by state senators and local firefighters.
"The Guys" is slated for release March 28.

King widow makes appeal for peacemakers
AKRON Young people need to "answer the call of history" and be peacemakers, says the widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
Coretta Scott King made the appeal before hundreds of people Monday night at the E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall at the University of Akron.
Mrs. King urged young people in the audience to lead their generation and those that follow into a future that holds "a peace that humanity has never known."

Conservationists seek protection for lamprey
GRANTS PASS Environmentalists opened a new front in the battle to protect the habitat of West Coast salmon, seeking Endangered Species Act protection for lampreys, jawless fish that swim in much the same waters.
A coalition of 11 conservation groups from California, Oregon and Washington petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday to list four species of lamprey as threatened or endangered.
Protecting lamprey would lead to broader restoration of the ecosystems they share with salmon and overcome a legal vulnerability exploited by property rights groups that have targeted threatened species listings for salmon, said Wendell Wood of the Oregon Natural Resources Council.

Physician charged in insurance case
CHARLEROI A physician has been charged with prescribing unneeded painkillers and asking for sexual acts in exchange for drugs.
Authorities said Dr. Doyle Tarwater, 53, was arrested on charges of Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud and indecent assault. He was released on bail.
An undercover agent went to Dr. Tarwater's office in June, posing as a Medicaid recipient who was involved in a minor car wreck, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Dr. Tarwater asked the woman what type of drug she would like during a visit in July. The woman said she wanted Vicodin, a prescription painkiller. Between June and September of that year, Dr. Tarwater prescribed 224 pills of Vicodin for the woman during 17 visits, authorities said.
On Sept. 9, the doctor offered to write a prescription for the painkiller Percocet in exchange for sexual favors, authorities told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Legislators reject sales-tax proposal
PIERRE A state House committee rejected a proposal to exempt groceries from the state sales tax.
Rep. Mary Glenski, the bill's sponsor, said eliminating the tax would give low-income families enough money to buy food for three weeks each year.
Opponents argued the proposal would cost the state more than $45 million a year.

Bishop says Iraq war 'violates God's law'
NASHVILLE A high-ranking Methodist bishop will appear in an anti-war commercial aimed at persuading President Bush, a fellow Methodist, that a U.S. attack on Iraq would violate "God's law."
The 30-second commercial, featuring Bishop Melvin Talbert and actress Janeane Garofalo, is expected to be broadcast beginning today to New York and Washington viewers of the CNN and Fox cable news networks, said Stephen Drachler, a United Methodist spokesman in Nashville.
In a statement, Bishop Talbert, who joined a 13-person delegation of religious leaders on a five-day mission to Iraq over the New Year's holidays, criticized the Bush administration's push toward war to remove Saddam Hussein.
"No nation under God has that right," said Bishop Talbert, a former bishop of Seattle and San Francisco who teaches at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville. "It violates international law. It violates God's law and the teachings of Jesus Christ."
TrueMajority, a liberal advocacy organization started by Ben and Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen, produced the TV commercial. It is sponsored by the National Council of Churches.

U.S. shuts down consulate in Mexico
The United States yesterday shut down its consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, as part of an "aggressive" criminal investigation into visa fraud at the mission, the State Department said.
"We have closed the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, in order to conduct a thorough investigation and comprehensive examination of the consulate's visa operations," spokesman Richard Boucher said.
He said investigators from the Justice Department and the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service were leading a probe into charges that "a number of individuals received visas illegally from this consulate."
Mr. Boucher declined to comment on how many suspect visas had been issued or say which, if any, consulate staff members were under investigation.

Police seek stepfather of abandoned child
SALT LAKE CITY A man who abandoned a toddler in a shopping cart at a Salt Lake City store has been identified as the boy's stepfather, who married the child's mother a month ago, police said yesterday.
Police said the boy was 3-year-old Jonathan Jacob Corpuz from Reno, Nev., and was clean and well-dressed when he was left sitting in a shopping cart in a store aisle Saturday.
The man was identified as Lyle Montgomery of Reno. Police said a Nevada woman recognized the boy when she saw his picture on television Tuesday.
"We are anticipating filing charges through the District Attorney's Office for child abuse for 'intentionally and knowingly placing this child at risk,' which is a violation of state law," Salt Lake City police Sgt. Fred Louis said in a statement. Both Mr. Montgomery and the boy's mother are missing.

Court reverses ban on mine-waste disposal
CHARLESTON A federal appeals court has overturned a ruling prohibiting the government from issuing permits to dispose of waste from mountaintop mining operations into mountain streams.
The decision, released yesterday, said U.S. District Judge Charles Haden's ruling last year restricting the Army Corps of Engineers was overly broad. The court sent the case back to Judge Haden for further review.
The three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also lifted an injunction Judge Haden issued last year prohibiting the dumping.
The mining industry has increasingly relied on removing mountaintops to expose coal seams. Excess rock and dirt is dumped into nearby valleys, often covering streams.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide