- The Washington Times - Monday, July 14, 2003


Underwater festival gets fish ‘dancing’

BIG PINE KEY — Nearly 400 people took a dive over the weekend to listen to a local radio station’s underwater broadcast in the Florida Keys.

The 19th annual Lower Keys Underwater Music Festival took place Saturday amid fish and other marine life at the Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary, a coral reef six miles south of Big Pine Key.

The six-hour submerged songfest featured selections including the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” music from the film “The Little Mermaid” and Jimmy Buffett’s “Fins.”

“We played some humpback whale songs, too, but didn’t attract any humpback whales,” said event founder and coordinator Bill Becker, news director of radio station WCNK.

“It’s just a beautiful reef and some of the smaller fish, like the sergeant majors, were swimming to the music,” said Cheri Vaughn of Naples.


Hurricane warning posted for coast

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning yesterday for more than 200 miles of Texas coastline as Tropical Storm Claudette gathered strength in the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil and natural-gas companies evacuated hundreds of workers from drilling and production rigs in the Gulf, campers headed inland from coastal areas, and surfers were warned to stay out of the water.

On South Padre Island, workers piled sand into berms at beach accesses, but Mayor Bob Pinkerton said there were no plans yet to evacuate the resort community.

By yesterday afternoon, Claudette’s center was about 275 miles east of Corpus Christi, with maximum sustained wind blowing at 65 mph, still 9 mph shy of hurricane strength, the National Hurricane Center said. The center said the crew of an offshore oil rig reported gusts reaching 85 mph.


Plane crashes; 2 survivors found

GUSTAVUS — Two survivors from a small plane that crashed off the Alaska coast were rescued from an island beach early yesterday, and Coast Guard crews were searching for four others who had been aboard the plane.

The plane was carrying six persons from Utah when it went down Sunday night near Gustavus, about 50 miles west of Juneau near the entrance to Glacier Bay National Park, Coast Guard Petty Officer Darrell Wilson said.

Mr. Wilson said the pilot of the privately owned Cessna 401 had radioed Juneau air officials about 9:30 p.m. Sunday saying he was out of fuel and trying to land in Gustavus.

The two survivors found yesterday told the Coast Guard they swam about a mile from the plane to an island, where they were spotted about 8 a.m. and picked up by a fishing boat, Mr. Wilson said. The men said two other persons also apparently got out of the plane, but neither had been found.


Limbaugh to join ESPN football team

BRISTOL — ESPN has said, “Megadittos, Rush.”

The sports network announced yesterday it has added conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh to the team on its “Sunday NFL Countdown.”

ESPN said it hired Mr. Limbaugh, whose radio show is heard in more than 650 markets worldwide, to “provide the voice of the fan and to spark debate on the show.” He makes his debut Sept. 4, the night of the NFL opener.

“I am a big fan of the NFL, and now I get to do what every football fan would love to do,” said Mr. Limbaugh, one of whose longtime segments is the “Environmentalist Wacko” method of picking NFL games. “I get to take my observations from the living-room couch to the ESPN studios and talk football with the best journalists and players in the business.”


Nurses’ strike enters 11th week

HONOLULU — A nurses’ strike at Wahiawa General Hospital is entering its 11th week.

Management requested a break in negotiations Saturday after a 14-hour bargaining session, the Hawaii Nurses Association said. They are set to resume today.

About 60 nurses walked off the job May 5 over salary, benefits and safety concerns.


Being overweight may heighten Alzheimer’s risk

CHICAGO — A study published yesterday found that overweight women may have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s — the latest report to link the disease to vascular factors such as hypertension and diabetes.

Researchers found “a striking relationship” between being overweight at age 70 and developing the mind-robbing dementia 10 to 18 years later.

“I think that what it means is that overweight and obesity continue to be a public health problem” and that as women age it’s “still something that women need to be concerned about in relationship to their health risks,” lead author Deborah Gustafson said.

The study, published in yesterday’s Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at the relationship between dementia and body-mass index, or BMI — a height-to-weight ratio. It included 392 Swedish women and men who were followed from age 70 to 88 as part of a geriatric population study in Sweden.

The connection between large body size and dementia was found only in women.


Youngsters form 62 percent of homeless

DES MOINES — A study by Iowa’s Interagency Task Force on Homelessness found that youngsters make up 62 percent of Iowa’s homeless population. That’s compared with nationwide estimates that range from 20 percent to 40 percent.

High rates of domestic violence in Iowa are a factor that contributes to the number of homeless youth, said Ray Morley, a consultant for the state Department of Education.


State leads nation in coal-mining deaths

LOUISVILLE — Kentucky leads the country with seven of the 20 coal-mining deaths recorded so far this year, federal safety officials say. That continues a pattern set by Kentucky for most of the past decade.

Experts say Kentucky’s deaths reflect the safety problems of small, underground mines that are common in the state.


Violent crime reported on increase

BOSTON — Reported incidents of violent crime increased 27 percent on the city’s subways and 11 percent on public transit buses and commuter trains since 2000, according to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Officials said most of these are fistfights, not stabbings, muggings or shootings.

Officials said they hope 26 new MBTA police officers will make a difference.


Alligator spotted in county pond

ST. LOUIS — There are plenty of critters you’d expect to see in and around a Missouri pond. But an alligator isn’t one of them.

Kurt Brinkmeyer spotted a 3-foot-long alligator in a north St. Louis County pond July 7 while mowing grass.

The Brinkmeyers decided to defer to the Humane Society and animal control consultants on the best way to trap the wayward reptile. They eventually were linked up with Keith and Connie Skiles, who own an exotic pet store in nearby Ferguson.

On Wednesday night, Mr. Skiles and a Brinkmeyer relative, Eric Webb, 16, waded into the shallow pond. At 10:45 p.m., the American alligator surfaced. Mr. Webb shined a flashlight in its eyes to temporarily blind it while Mr. Skiles grabbed it.

A veterinarian planned to give the alligator, dubbed Wally, a physical. If its health checks out, Mr. and Mrs. Skiles expect Wally to join other alligators at the Riverside Reptile Ranch in Stanton, Mo.


Brains and eggs remain menu mainstay

MISSOULA — Short-order cook Dianna Keeland looks a little disgusted as she takes a cow brain from the fridge and tosses the grayish, softball-sized organ onto the grill.

“They look like something a human being shouldn’t eat,” Miss Keeland said.

She chops the sizzling mass into bite-size bits, scrambles in some eggs, onion and peppers and serves the steaming plate to a waiting customer at the Oxford restaurant bar.

Across the West and South, brains and eggs are still a menu mainstay.

Southerners consider pork brains a delicacy, but here, in the heart of beef country, Miss Keeland fries up cow brains — and the orders haven’t stopped despite mad-cow disease scares.


Officials on trial in restaurant incident

OMAHA — Lawyers defending a City Council member and a former elections official said yesterday that a young woman accused them of improper conduct as a way to get money.

The trial of City Council Vice President Chuck Sigerson and former county Election Commissioner Pat McPherson stems from a Feb. 7 incident involving a 17-year-old restaurant worker.

Mr. Sigerson is accused of pulling up the woman’s bird costume at a Red Robin restaurant after Mr. McPherson reportedly groped her.

In opening statements, defense attorney Matt Heffron said the young woman has a history of lying and thought she could get the men to pay her by accusing them of inappropriate behavior. Prosecutor Denise Frost said the girl was an innocent victim.

Mr. Sigerson is charged with disturbing the peace and Mr. McPherson is charged with third-degree assault and disturbing the peace.


Commuter train derails, snarling rail traffic

SECAUCUS — A New Jersey Transit commuter train lost a wheel yesterday morning and two cars derailed, delaying thousands of travelers in the busy corridor between Newark and New York.

Twelve persons were taken to hospitals, but none of their injuries was life-threatening, hospital officials said.

The cars derailed but remained upright shortly before 8 a.m. near Secaucus, about five miles west of New York.

The 12-car train was carrying about 1,200 people, transit officials said.

New Jersey Transit’s executive director, George Warrington, said the search for the cause of the accident focused on mechanical failure, but he could not rule out other factors, including human error.


Prize-winning weaver dies of heart failure

ALBUQUERQUE — Prize-winning weaver Evelyn Anselevicius, whose monumental tapestries are displayed worldwide, died July 2 of congestive heart failure. She was 79.

Mrs. Anselevicius used geometric patterns in her large weavings, such as a 65-by-16-foot tapestry at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, and a 35-by-40-foot tapestry at a Chicago bank.

Her husband, George Anselevicius, dean emeritus of the University of New Mexico school of architecture, said his wife’s tapestries typically ran large — at least 6 by 7 feet.

Born Evelyn Jane Hill, Anselevicius grew up in the Texas Panhandle. She sculpted and painted before becoming a full-time weaver, her husband said.

In 1953, her work was shown in the International Good Design Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


Kennedy collectibles up for auction

NEW YORK — More than 300 intimate items belonging to John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie — ranging from underwear to a presidential campaign notebook — will be up for auction this weekend.

Among the more notable lots are a pair of the former president’s World War II Navy-issue boxer shorts, valued at between $400 and $500, and the gloves and handbag Jackie wore to her husband’s inaugural ball.

The 331 documents and artifacts are being sold by the former first lady’s private secretary, Mary Gallagher and her personal attendant, Providencia Padres.


Big lottery winners could remain anonymous

BISMARCK — Proposed rules for North Dakota’s new state lottery would allow big winners to remain anonymous, and give businesses a chance to get discounts on buying large numbers of tickets. Lottery customers could also buy tickets with a credit card.

The state plans to begin its lottery early next year. North Dakota will join the multistate Powerball game.


Sirens may be revived for terrorism warning

OKLAHOMA CITY — The wail of an outdoor siren put Kenneth Jacobs on notice that danger was approaching before tornadoes struck near his home in May.

“It was loud,” said Mr. Jacobs, whose home was undamaged during two days of twisters. “It made you more on guard for what was going on.”

Sirens have long been used for storm warnings, but now the Federal Emergency Management Agency is studying whether they can warn people of biological, chemical or nuclear attack.

Thousands of sirens were built across the country during the Cold War to warn citizens in case of nuclear attack, but the federal government stopped the program and the sirens fell silent in many of the nation’s largest cities. Other cities put them to use to warn of tornadoes.


Men ride coaster 35 times in a row

WEST MIFFLIN — To mark the Thunderbolt’s 35th season at Kennywood Park over the weekend, Mark Eaton and three others rode the wooden coaster 35 times in a row.

“After the first four or five, I was thinking that maybe I had made an error at 51 years of age,” the California man mused.

Then, he got his roller-coaster rhythm.

“After about 10 or 11, you get used to knowing when to lean left and when to lean right. So you learn as you go,” Mr. Eaton told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

And what did he do after 2 hours on the Thunderbolt?

“It was tough to get this fat boy out of that thing and relax,” Mr. Eaton said. “At 6 [feet] 5 [inches], I don’t fold very well.”


Man claims to be descendant of Lewis

LOWER BRULE — If the inscription on the gravestone of Sheldon Fletcher’s great-great-great grandfather is correct, Fletcher is related to history.

According to the headstone, Joseph Lewis DeSmet’s father was Meriwether Lewis, one-half of the famous Lewis and Clark team that led an expedition 200 years ago across the central and western portions of the United States.

History books don’t talk about Mr. Lewis fathering a child in South Dakota. But the story has been handed down through five generations of Mr. Fletcher’s family. Ancestral accounts say an American Indian woman named Ikpsapewin, also known as Winona, gave birth to Mr. Lewis’ child — Joseph Lewis DeSmet.

Mr. Fletcher’s family has drawn up a family tree spanning seven generations. At the top are two names: Lewis and Ikpsapewin.

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