- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 17, 2003

MICHIGAN

Authorities find no Hoffa evidence

HAMPTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Authorities dug under a backyard pool in a residential neighborhood yesterday in search of clues in the disappearance of ex-Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, but the eight-hour search came up empty.

Nearly 28 years after Mr. Hoffa, 62, disappeared from the Detroit area, law enforcement officials were combing the site where an informant said a briefcase that purportedly contained information related to the case was buried.

When nothing was found, the search was ended, said Jeffrey Werner, chief of the Bloomfield Township Police, the lead investigative agency in the case.

“We thought this information was pretty good, and that’s why we went to all this effort, and we’re frankly disappointed that we didn’t find something,” he said.

NEW JERSEY

Painful cost of drugs

MAYS LANDING, N.J. — Marc Snyder can’t get his mind off the high cost of his prescription drugs. Thanks to a growing display outside his home, his neighbors are thinking about it, too.

Photocopies of prescriptions cover upstairs windows, surround the door and fill blue plastic tarps draped over the yellow house. Mr. Snyder said they are prescriptions he could not afford to fill for severe sciatic pain in his leg.

A large sign declares the week-old display “The Great Wall of Prescriptions” and asks Congress for help.

“It’s not an eyesore,” said Adrienne Reyes, who lives across the street. “It’s a good way to advertise.”

Most of the 157 prescriptions from the past couple years would cost around $100 or more each, Mr. Snyder said. That means filling all of them would cost at least $15,000.

ALASKA

Moose’s jump over car falls short

WASILLA — The familiar Alaska moose encounter goes like this: Moose jumps in front of car; car hits moose.

Less familiar is the story an Italian tourist will be able to tell about his encounter this week.

Ippolito Gallovich, 51, had parked his car on the shoulder of a road watching a moose when the animal decided to jump over the vehicle.

Unfortunately for the moose and Mr. Gallovich’s rented 2003 Lincoln Town Car, the animal misjudged the distance. Instead of clearing the car, the moose landed on the windshield, breaking it. The animal then scrambled back to the pavement and disappeared into the woods, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

ARIZONA

Bobcats pop

in at two homes

TUCSON — Allen and Mariellen Knight heard a thump in the night and awoke to find a bobcat in the atrium of their house. Less than a mile away, Cap Pearson walked into the house he is renovating and found a bobcat in his fireplace.

Both cats escaped their encounters safely.

Robert Fink, a wildlife manager with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, snared, caged and released the large adult that fell into the atrium, and Mr. Pearson and a friend shooed their bobcat, a youngster, out of Mr. Pearson’s house.

“This is the season for this kind of stuff,” Mr. Fink told the Arizona Daily Star. “Bobcats do very well in areas like this, and when it’s cool and wet around homes, that’s where they’ll be.”

CALIFORNIA

Officials identify leg found on beach

BODEGA BAY — For four years, officials tried to identify the man whose leg had washed ashore near Bodega Head.

On Monday, officials said it belonged to Walter Karl Kinney, who dropped from sight around the time the leg and a human tooth were found on the beach.

“We were stumped, basically,” coroner’s Sgt. Will Wallman said. “But then, out of the blue, we get a phone call from a woman in Ohio asking about a missing person.”

It was Rene Kemp, asking about her father.

With a name, Deputy Dennis Duckett reopened the investigation. Before seeking a DNA match, Mr. Duckett asked local hospitals whether Mr. Kinney, who is presumed dead, had ever been a patient. He had, for foot problems. There also were X-rays.

CONNECTICUT

University kidnapper insane, judge says

BRIDGEPORT — A judge ruled Tuesday that a recent graduate of Fairfield University was insane when he held 28 persons hostage for hours in a classroom by saying he had a bomb.

The judge found Patrick Arbelo, 25, not guilty of kidnapping by reason of insanity and ordered him committed to state custody for evaluation.

Mr. Arbelo, a legally blind 2001 graduate, entered a classroom last Feb. 12 and took 27 students and a professor hostage. He announced that he was a member of “The National United Federalist Socialist Party” and said that a box he was holding was a bomb. He also pulled out a knife, police said.

In his ruling, the judge cited psychiatrists who said Mr. Arbelo suffers from a mental illness that manifests itself in a hatred of Jews and nonwhites.

DELAWARE

Groups criticize river proposal

WILMINGTON — Two environmental groups say taxpayers would lose badly on a proposal to deepen the Delaware River’s main shipping channel from 40 feet to 45 feet.

An analyst hired by the National Wildlife Federation says the project could lose 22 cents to 50 cents for each dollar spent. The cost of the project is estimated at more than $300 million.

FLORIDA

Governor extends special session

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Gov. Jeb Bush extended a special legislative session on medical malpractice insurance through Monday, saying he was confident that Senate and House negotiators could reach a compromise on limiting some lawsuit damages.

The governor said yesterday that legislators were closing in on an agreement but hadn’t settled on the amount that malpractice victims should be able to collect for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.

Mr. Bush has pushed for a strict $250,000 limit on noneconomic damages. The Senate has proposed variations on a higher limit — possibly $500,000 — with some exceptions. The House has been in general agreement with the governor.

GEORGIA

Researchers say tree could help fight cancer

ATLANTA — The Southern magnolia — the state tree of Mississippi — may have cancer-fighting properties, Emory University researchers said yesterday.

The researchers found that seed cones from magnolia trees have an antitumor compound known as honokiol, an ingredient that also is found in a type of Japanese herbal medicine.

The researchers found that honokiol can inhibit the growth of new blood vessels, a main cancer-fighting strategy.

In lab tests, honokiol inhibited the growth of cells that line the walls of blood vessels. It also cut mouse tumor growth in half, according to the Emory study, published last month in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

HAWAII

Marine’s good deed turns costly

HONOLULU — Cpl. Quentin Gwynn jumped into the ocean near a popular Honolulu tourist spot to save a teenager from drowning. During the rescue someone swiped his valuables.

Firefighters credit Cpl. Gwynn, on vacation after serving in the war in Iraq, with saving the 16-year-old boy’s life on Monday.

After the commotion, Cpl. Gwynn and his girlfriend realized that someone had stolen her backpack, which contained a camera, identification, money, credit cards and a key to their rented motorcycle.

“It’s really hitting home right now. It’s disheartening,” said Cpl. Gwynn, 21. “They could have picked someone else to steal from.”

Cpl. Gwynn arrived in Hawaii on Sunday aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. The ship had deployed Jan. 17 for Iraq.

IOWA

Man loses case to stop cleanup

DAVENPORT — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by a Davenport man who said the city couldn’t force him to clean up his 4.5-acre property because he had deeded it to an Indian tribe.

Larry Bell said that his property wasn’t subject to city, county and state jurisdiction. The city attorney says the city is now free to take Mr. Bell to state court.

KANSAS

Toddler dies, had been left in hot car

PARK CITY — A 22-month-old girl died after being left all day in 100-degree temperatures in a sport utility vehicle her family had agreed to lend to relatives, authorities said.

Alyssa Dillman and her 4-year-old brother were dropped off by their father Monday morning at an uncle’s house. He then drove away in another vehicle without notifying the uncle, said Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Maj. Jackie Stuart.

Maj. Stuart said the boy left the car and went inside his uncle’s mobile home. When asked where his sister was, the boy said she was “sleeping,” Maj. Stuart said. He said the family apparently assumed the girl had stayed at home.

Alyssa was not found until 5:30 p.m., when her mother returned to pick up the children. The girl was pronounced dead at the hospital.

KENTUCKY

Grenade attack case gets transferred

FORT CAMPBELL — The decision on whether to court-martial a 101st Airborne Division soldier charged in a grenade attack in Kuwait will be handled by a different military body, officials said yesterday.

Sgt. Hasan Akbar, 32, is charged with two counts of premeditated murder and three counts of attempted murder and could face the death penalty if convicted. It will be up to the new jurisdiction to decide whether he will be court-martialed in the March attack, which killed two.

Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the 101st, said in a statement that the case is being transferred to the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., because the 101st continues to be busy with operations in Iraq.

MASSACHUSETTS

Study says covers give no relief from mites

BOSTON — Two studies found that mite-proof bed coverings, at least by themselves, fail to relieve asthma and allergies, a discovery that challenges the frequent advice of doctors.

Doctors and medical groups widely recommend mite-proof bed coverings to treat allergies and the asthma that the creatures can cause.

Up to 50 million Americans have allergies. Studies suggest that 40 percent to 60 percent of allergy sufferers in some areas are sensitive to dust mites, near-microscopic creatures that live in house dust and lay eggs in bedding. The tightly woven coverings — typically priced about $120 for a set — hold in their irritating allergens and keep new mites from bedding.

The findings were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

MINNESOTA

Trooper saves a life, again

HUTCHINSON — About 8:30 p.m., Jeff Goldsmith, a Minnesota state trooper, got a call that a 14-year-old boy had had a seizure and was choking on a wad of gum.

About a minute later, he arrived at the house and hurried to where Randy Erickson was on his knees trying to breathe. Then Randy stopped breathing. Seconds later, the 43-year-old trooper was performing the Heimlich maneuver and saving a life. Again.

It later dawned on Mr. Goldsmith that the March 22 incident marked the fourth time he had saved a life in his 20-year career.

He was honored with a ceremony and another award for saving a life.

MISSISSIPPI

Woman dies after factory shooting

JACKSON — A woman who was critically injured during a co-worker’s shooting rampage last week has died, bringing the number of victims to six killed and eight wounded.

DeLois Bailey, 53, died Tuesday afternoon, said Ann Weddington, a spokeswoman for the Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center in Meridian.

Doug Williams opened fire at a Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian on July 8, shooting 14 co-workers before committing suicide.

OREGON

Tribes reap windfall from chinook sales

CASCADE LOCKS — The way Tony Gardee sees it, the Columbia River gives, and the Columbia River takes away.

This week it’s giving. For the first time in 38 years, American Indian tribes on the river have elected to sell a bountiful crop of fresh-caught summer chinook, a salmon that typically weighs 20 pounds to 30 pounds.

At $2 a pound, many of the fish sell out in about an hour from the ice chests fishermen bring to parking lots and boat landings off Interstate 84, along 150 miles of the Oregon side of the river.

The river’s three-day season ended yesterday.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Employees vote against King Day

GREENVILLE — GreenvilleCounty employees on Tuesday voted against making Martin Luther King’s birthday a county holiday, dashing the hopes of Greenville native the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The vote means that Greenville and York counties remain the only two counties in South Carolina that do not close their offices on the national holiday honoring King.

The local council had asked the county’s 1,500 employees to choose five days off next year from a list of 10 holidays, including the one honoring the slain civil rights leader.

Workers’ voted to take Good Friday, Labor Day, the day after Christmas, the day after Thanksgiving, and a floating personal holiday to be taken whenever the worker chooses.

TENNESSEE

University to audit president’s spending

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee said it plans an in-house audit of President John Shumaker’s expenditures.

The investigation comes at the suggestion of Gov. Phil Bredesen after questions were raised about Mr. Shumaker’s use of the university plane, his credit-card expenses and role in no-bid contracts.

Mr. Shumaker was hired last year with a $733,550 annual compensation package.

WISCONSIN

Inmate charged in child-sex case

WAUPACA — A prison inmate is accused of asking a woman he had befriended to groom two young girls to have sexual relations with him once he was released.

Thomas C. Smith, 45, was charged Monday with two counts of conspiring to commit first-degree sexual assault of a child and one count each of conspiring to commit child enticement and conspiring to expose a child to harmful material. The 74-year-old woman was charged earlier in the case.

Smith was discovered when prison officials monitored his phone calls to the woman and notified local authorities, the complaint against the woman said.

According to the complaint, the woman befriended Smith while he was in prison, and he asked her to prepare the two girls. The charges against her stem from acts she is accused of committing on the older girl.

The two girls, ages 11 and 9, were placed in protective custody.

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