- The Washington Times - Monday, June 23, 2003


Evacuation urged as rain raises lake

BRADENTON — Emergency officials urged residents to evacuate more than 600 homes downstream from Lake Manatee yesterday as excess water from the reservoir, swollen by days of torrential rain, gushed through a dam’s floodgates.

Some homes were flooded yesterday morning as officials released water into the Manatee River to keep the lake, which rose 5 feet higher than normal, from pouring uncontrolled over its emergency spillways.

Divers and crews working with a crane and cables had to force open the dam’s third floodgate, said Mike Stone, a spokesman for the state emergency management division.


Community keeps tradition alive

NEW SWEDEN — This year’s annual Midsommar Celebration also helped this Swedish-American community recover from grief about church arsenic poisonings.

The Maine Historic Swedish Colony’s annual celebration centers on a 20-foot-tall maypole, or Majstang. Children perform Swedish songs and dances around the pole, and festivities also include art displays, a bonfire and a traditional Swedish smorgasbord.

Two months ago, 16 church members drank arsenic-laced coffee at a social hour at Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church. Reid Morrill died and another, later implicated in the poisonings, killed himself.

Mr. Morrill’s wife, Ellie, attended the festival and made ice cream.


Former congressman dies at age 76

PHOENIX — Former Rep. Bob Stump, who represented Arizona in Congress for 26 years and served as chairman of the House committees on Armed Services and Veterans Affairs, has died at age 76.

Mr. Stump died Friday at a Phoenix long-term care center of myelodysplasia, a rare blood disorder, said Lisa Atkins, his longtime chief of staff.

Mr. Stump, a Republican, was a strong conservative and a consistent supporter of increased spending on the military and veterans. He retired from Congress in 2002.


‘Seven Year Itch’ writer dies at 81

LOS ANGELES — George Axelrod, the playwright and Hollywood screenwriter best known for “The Seven Year Itch,” and his adaptations of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “The Manchurian Candidate,” has died. He was 81.

Friends said Mr. Axelrod died in his sleep of heart failure Saturday at his home in Los Angeles.

His first big success came with his 1954 stage version of “The Seven Year Itch,” a risque social satire about a middle-class man who has an affair, which was made the next year into a notoriously watered-down film starring Marilyn Monroe.

He was nominated for an Academy Award for his 1961 adaptation of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” He wrote numerous other screenplays and three novels.

He is survived by his three sons, seven grandchildren and a sister.


Boy, 11, arrested in shooting of father

FOUNTAIN — An 11-year-old boy was arrested during the weekend after he fired five shots at his father, hitting him once in the chest, after an argument about chores, police said.

The bullet that struck Steve Worley did not break the skin, said Fountain Police Chief John Morse. Mr. Worley, a police officer in nearby Colorado Springs, was treated at a hospital and released.

His son was being held at a juvenile facility on suspicion of attempted murder and possession of a handgun by a juvenile.

The bullet that hit Mr. Worley might have been bad or have had a light load of powder, Chief Morse said.


Prisoners have high school graduation

CHESHIRE — Alexis Melendez had goose bumps as he faced a gymnasium full of people and began his high school graduation speech.

“Who would have thought this would be our graduation?” the 18-year-old asked his 36 fellow graduates. “I’m hoping nobody.”

Melendez’s classmates weren’t typical high school graduates, however. They are inmates who received General Education Development certificates at the state’s Manson Youth Institution last week, wearing royal blue caps and gowns over their tan prison jumpsuits as “Pomp and Circumstance” played in the background.


Panel adds $52 million for school construction

DOVER — A new measure would give Delaware school districts an extra $52 million next year for school construction and renovation, allowing several districts to move ahead with work they had delayed because the state couldn’t pay its share of the bills.

The extra money was announced yesterday as the General Assembly’s Bond Bill Committee finished work on the state’s $576.6 million budget for construction and major equipment purchases next year.


Cards created for corporate villains

ATLANTA — Inspired by the military’s most-wanted card deck of Iraqi war figures, two Atlanta men have created a deck of cards for the United States’ corporate villains.

“The Stacked Deck” has caricatures of former Enron Chief Executive Kenneth L. Lay (the ace of spades), Arthur Andersen’s former CEO Joseph Berardino (the ace of hearts) and, Martha Stewart (queen of hearts.)

The creators are Douglas Quinby, a marketing director for a midsize technology company, and J.R. Mayhew, co-founder of Cyfun Media, an interactive marketing agency. They say they have sold several hundred decks at $12.95 each from their Web site in less than two weeks.


Museum to close, but art will stay in city

CHICAGO — After more than two years of controversy and legal infighting, the board of the Terra Museum of American Art has decided to close the museum next year.

The art collection assembled by Daniel Terra will remain in Chicago, but the museum will be closed in late October 2004, the board decided Friday.

The Terra Foundation for the Arts, which oversees the Terra Museum, said many of the works will be moved to the Art Institute of Chicago, where Mr. Terra had discussed placing his collection before his death in 1996, said James Wood, director and president of the Art Institute.


Suspect caught when officer borrows his car

DES MOINES — A city police officer showed that he would do just about anything to catch his man, even borrow the suspect’s car.

Officer James Butler was working security in a local Wal-Mart store last week when he heard the blare of a car stereo in the parking lot. The driver of the car, Derrick Sanders, 25, was wanted on more than a half-dozen warrants. He jumped out of the car and took off running when he was asked for identification.

“I got in his car and started after him,” Officer Butler said.

The suspect disappeared into a nearby Radio Shack, but Officer Butler used the car to block the store’s back door and employees blocked the front door. Minutes later, Mr. Sanders was in custody.


Part for Bush carrier being sent to Navy

PASCAGOULA — The first in a series of mammoth propellers for a new Navy aircraft carrier left Rolls-Royce’s Bird-Johnson operation in Mississippi last week.

The 30-ton, 21-foot propeller made of a nickel-aluminum bronze is the first of eight props built in Pascagoula, with 12 more refurbished by Rolls-Royce on the way.

It is being shipped on a flatbed truck to Walpole, Mass., where it will be machined. Then, it will return to Rolls-Royce for further work before being transported to Northrop Grumman in Newport News, Va., to be installed on the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush.


Pilot error blamed in fighter collision

LAS VEGAS — Pilot error was to blame for the collision of two F-15C Eagle fighter planes in a training exercise over the Nevada desert, Air Force investigators have found.

No one was hurt badly in the March accident.

Capt. Matthew Zamiska did not coordinate his flight path with the other pilot and misjudged the other pilot’s position after taking a simulated shot at the “enemy” aircraft, said a statement issued Friday by Nellis Air Force Base.

Capt. Zamiska’s commander will determine whether any disciplinary action is warranted.


Woman allowed to sue to keep yard sign

PHILADELPHIA — Sybil Peachlum has been fighting York City Hall for a decade because of a lawn sign with an anthropomorphized peach holding a newspaper with the headline, “Peachy News. Jesus is Alive.”

The city says the 3-by 5-foot sign, which until recently was planted in Miss Peachlum’s front yard, violates zoning rules. Miss Peachlum says the ban violates her right to free speech.

A lower court dismissed her lawsuit seeking to keep the sign, but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it last week, declaring that after anguishing before a city appeals board, her case deserves to be decided by a judge.

“Peachlum’s claim,” the court wrote, “is clearly ripe.”

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