- The Washington Times - Monday, January 6, 2003

NORTH CAROLINA
Mrs. Dole's mother improving in hospital
SALISBURY Mary Hanford, the 101-year-old mother of Sen.-elect Elizabeth Dole, has been upgraded to satisfactory condition at Rowan Regional Medical Center.
Mrs. Hanford, who has had heart problems, was admitted to the hospital Thursday after becoming ill at her home, although she was alert and talking to medical staff upon arriving at the hospital.
Mrs. Dole, who is to be sworn in tomorrow as a senator, had said she expected her mother to remain hospitalized through the weekend.

PENNSYLVANIA
Town proposes ban on teen smoking in public
ROBESONIA Ben Harris, 17 and a smoker since he was 9, doubts he'll quit, even if officials in this borough of 2,000 near Reading enact a proposal to prohibit anyone younger than 18 from smoking outdoors.
The council was expected to vote today on the proposed ordinance, which requires violators to pay a $50 fine. But the council has decided to hold off on a decision while its attorney researches whether the proposal conflicts with a state law that pre-empts local anti-tobacco ordinances.
State law bars minors from purchasing tobacco, but local police have no authority to cite users.

CALIFORNIA
Rocket fuel pollution strains water supplies
LOS ANGELES A toxic chemical used to fuel Cold War-era missiles and the rockets that put a man on the moon has left a legacy of contamination across the Southwest, where it pinches the region's already tight supply of drinking water.
The chemical, called perchlorate, pollutes much of the lower Colorado River the main water source for 20 million people across the Southwest and has forced the shutdown of hundreds of wells in California.
State and federal officials are still debating how much risk perchlorate poses when ingested and what limits should be set for the chemical, a process slowed partly by lawsuits filed by defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin Corp. that worry they could be on the hook for billions of dollars in cleanup costs.

COLORADO
Mechanic accused of damaging engine
DENVER A Frontier Airlines mechanic was arrested after, authorities say, he threw a wheel block into the running engine of a plane preparing for takeoff at Denver International Airport.
According to an arrest affidavit, Corydon Van Dyke Cochran had wanted to prevent the Boeing 737 from departing because he feared it was unsafe after being hit by lightning on an earlier flight.
Mr. Cochran, 44, has been charged with destruction of an aircraft, said FBI spokeswoman Ann Atanasio. The plane was removed from service to repair minor damage in its engine and resumed flying.

FLORIDA
Hopes donate funds for Air Force widows
SHALIMAR Bob Hope and his wife, Dolores, have donated $1 million for a welcome center and auditorium at an Air Force Enlisted Foundation's housing complex named for the comedian.
Groundbreaking is set for today at Bob Hope Village in this Florida Panhandle town next to Eglin Air Force Base. The housing complex is for widows of Air Force enlisted men.
The new 6,000-square-foot building will be named for retired Air Force Col. Bob Gates, 83, who flew Mr. Hope around the world when the comedian entertained troops during World War II.
The Bob Gates Welcome Center-Auditorium will include a stage and seating for 170. It is intended mainly to serve Bob Hope Village's 400 residents, but also will include conference rooms for seminars and business meetings.

HAWAII
High-rise residents say jet too close
HONOLULU Residents of a high-rise told federal authorities a China Airlines jumbo jet flew dangerously close to the side of their 41-story building.
Ana Marie Vaisanen said she could see passengers inside the Boeing 747 as it swept past her 12th-floor condominium at Century Center on Saturday morning. Some residents told television station KITV the plane came within 30 feet of the building and that one of its wings passed over the fourth-floor recreation deck.
Federal aviation officials yesterday said the jumbo jet was slightly off-course when it approached Honolulu's airport but not enough to substantiate the residents' claims.
The 747 was less than a mile off course Saturday morning, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitze said. He said the plane flew over land when its normal course to Honolulu International Airport would have kept it over the ocean, but would not speculate why.

INDIANA
Group fights sex-offender law
INDIANAPOLIS The Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed an appeal last week in state Supreme Court, disputing a law allowing sex offenders' pictures and addresses to be posted online.
Critics of the law said it makes it more difficult for offenders to find jobs and exposes them to harassment. Attorney General Steve Carter said the law protects the public because studies show convicted sex offenders have a 15 percent to 80 percent chance of being repeat offenders.

LOUISIANA
DA rebukes prosecutors for Grim Reaper ties
GRETNA Two assistant district attorneys were rebuked for wearing ties decorated with a hangman's noose and the Grim Reaper at a hearing in a capital murder case.
Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick said he told Donnie Rowan and Cameron Mary that the ties were inappropriate, and that they should never wear anything like them to work again.
"They were a joke, although a poor joke," Mr. Connick said. "People do those kinds of things. I saw one defense attorney wear a tie that said 'not guilty.'"

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Explosion kills one at tennis court
GRANTHAM An explosion collapsed an elevated tennis court yesterday, killing one person and injuring at least three others at a private recreational community in central New Hampshire, authorities said.
A woman who answered the phone at a nearby cross-country ski center said the outdoor tennis court had a floor heated by propane gas and that something had exploded.

NEW MEXICO
Shooting spree victim had bailed out suspect
ALBUQUERQUE A woman who was shot to death along with two men in an Albuquerque business district had bailed the accused gunman out of jail just two weeks earlier, police said.
Karl Knapp had been jailed on a battery charge against Jane Johnston, his girlfriend of two years. He was released Dec. 20, when she posted his bail, Sgt. Carlos Argueta said.
On Friday, police said, Mr. Knapp, 48, went to the window-covering business where she worked and opened fire, killing Miss Johnston, 42; business owner Steven Goodwin, 49; and Greg Maguire, 49, the general manager of an adjacent business.
Mr. Knapp shot himself in the chest before surrendering, authorities said, but he is expected to recover.

OREGON
Actor promoting alternative fuel sources
ASHLAND Dennis Weaver, who starred in the television series "McCloud" and "Gunsmoke," is promoting alternative fuel sources and his nonprofit environmental group.
Mr. Weaver and his wife, Gerry, created the Institute of Ecolonomics a decade ago to study ways to reconcile the needs of the economy and the environment.
"I want people to become aware of the importance of relating to the Earth, to become aware of what we're doing to it now," he said in a speech last week. "Scientists are telling us in no uncertain terms that we are now in the process of destroying what we have. But we have the technology to make a veritable Garden of Eden in this place we live."
The Weavers built a home in 1989 at Ridgway, Colo., of materials that included recycled tires and aluminum cans.

WASHINGTON
Sleeping screener prompts evacuation
SEATTLE Four of the five concourses at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were evacuated yesterday, delaying thousands of post-holiday travelers, because a security screener fell asleep at his post.
Security personnel checked the concourses, some with explosive-sniffing dogs, said Bob Blunk, Transportation Security Administration director for the airport.
"There's no indication anything happened. It's just that somebody fell asleep," airport spokesman Bob Parker said.
The screener, discovered napping at about 6 a.m., apparently was asleep for eight to 30 minutes, Mr. Parker said. The concourses were reopened about 8:10 a.m.
No decision had been made on action against the employee, Mr. Blunk said.

WISCONSIN
Newspaper ad finds kidney donor for girl
MADISON A 5-year-old received a kidney last week from a donor who answered a newspaper ad placed by the girl's mother.
Angela Rushford and the donor were in stable condition over the weekend at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison, a hospital spokeswoman said. Doctors expect the two to remain hospitalized for a week to 10 days.
"I owe David Harper a lot," Angela's father, Tony Rushford, said shortly after the surgery. "When I was a kid, my hero was Spider-Man. Now it's David Harper."
Angela has polycystic renal failure, a condition doctors say is usually seen in older people. Mr. Harper, 38, of Mount Morris, Ill., responded to an ad her mother placed in the Rock River Times. The ad offered money, but Mr. Harper declined on religious grounds.
"I'm just trying to relate what Christ would do," he said.

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