- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2003


Diana Ross facesDUI charges

TUCSON — Pop diva Diana Ross told a municipal-court judge that she felt forced into taking a breath test during a traffic stop last year.

Miss Ross and her attorney, Stephen Paul Barnard, are seeking to have the results of several breath tests tossed out. They appeared in court Monday to argue their case.

Miss Ross, 58, was cited Dec. 30 and faces three charges related to driving under the influence. Shehas pleaded not guilty. Police said she had a blood alcohol level of 0.20. The legal limit in Arizona is 0.08.


Truck spills bees on highway

CLAYCOMO — This Kansas City suburb was abuzz after a tractor-trailer carrying 520 bee hives hit a slick patch and skidded off a highway interchange, spilling millions of bees.

The accident occurred shortly after 1:30 a.m. Sunday on the entrance ramp linking Interstates 435 and 35, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said.

Driver Steve Beavers was hauling the bees from Millerton, Okla., to Wisconsin, where they were to pollinate cranberry fields. His injuries: multiple stings. Firefighters, police and tow-truck operators got their fair share, too.

Police and firefighters alerted residents throughout the day of the swarming mess.


AIDS group runs out of funds

AUBURN — East Alabama AIDS Outreach says it will close when operating funds run out this month, leaving unassisted 146 persons who have tested positive for HIV. Executive Director Marilyn Swyers says the group needs $20,000 to stay open.

Local officials say they lack funds to help the center. Most clients come from Lee, Macon and Russell counties.


City will close jail after losing subsidy

KOTZEBUE — City officials say they will close the only jail in the far northwest corner of the state Tuesday.

The move follows Gov. Frank H. Murkowski’s decision to eliminate revenue sharing with cities. Kotzebue Police Chief Ed Weibl says a state subsidy hasn’t kept pace with operating costs.

The closure would force Alaska State Troopers to transport more prisoners to Nome.


School district weighs ban on ‘shock pens’

ONTARIO — The Chino Valley Unified school district is considering a ban on “shock pens.”

The battery-powered zappers are a fad among children. They are available on Web sites, at fairs and flea markets, and even from ice-cream trucks.

The principal at Levi Dickey Elementary School has suspended three students for shocking fellow students with the devices, which resemble writing pens.


Janitor throws out trash art exhibit

BOULDER — It’s art to some, yes, but apparently not to the custodian who threw away the newest exhibit at the Boulder Public Library.

After being pulled out of the garbage, “My Favorite Place to Walk in Boulder: Or Found Trash Objects” officially opened Friday at the downtown library. The display features common trash found by University of Colorado art students in otherwise scenic spots citywide.

“This is a slightly different kind of art,” said Karen Ripley, director of cultural programs. “It’s not meant to be beautiful.”


Kessler to join University of California

NEW HAVEN — Dr. David Kessler is leaving his job as dean of the Yale University School of Medicine to take a similar job at the University of California at San Francisco, the schools said.

Dr. Kessler, 52, was President Clinton’s commissioner for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He has held the post at Yale’s medical school since 1997.


Father, daughter swim after boat capsizes

MELBOURNE — A father and his 11-year-old daughter swam five hours to shore after their 8-foot sailboat capsized in the Atlantic Ocean, authorities said.

Benjamin Dilalla Jr., 42, and his daughter Celeste were found Monday night lying on the shores near Floridana Beach after a daylong search, said Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent Gary Harrell.

Suffering from hypothermia, they were taken to Holmes Regional Medical Center. The father was in fair condition yesterday while the daughter was in good condition, hospital spokesman Chris McGahee said.

The two apparently began sailing late Sunday night after Mr. Dilalla parked his truck at a beach access in Melbourne Beach, about 10 miles north of where they swam ashore. They are from the DeLand area.

Police found the truck and became suspicious early Monday because indications showed the boat had been dragged to the water.


Ex-Gov. Maddox, 87, is gravely ill

ATLANTA — Former Gov. Lester Maddox, one of the Old South’s last segregationist governors, was gravely ill yesterday, a family friend said.

Mr. Maddox, 87, has suffered numerous illnesses since leaving the public spotlight, including cancer, a stroke, kidney stones, two heart attacks and an intestinal blockage.

He was at a hospice in Atlanta, said the friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Maddox gained national notoriety for chasing several blacks from his Atlanta restaurant in 1964 and was elected governor in 1996.

The Marietta Daily Journal reported yesterday that Mr. Maddox suffered two cracked ribs about 10 days ago at an assisted-living home where he was recovering from intestinal surgery, and later developed pneumonia.


Production revenues hit all-time high

HONOLULU — Film and television production revenues in Hawaii hit a record last year.

New numbers from the state-run Hawaii Film Office show that the industry generated $146 million last year, a gain of 76 percent over 2001. Hawaii’s production revenues have more than doubled since 1996.


Smallpox shots declared ‘safe’

CHICAGO — Smallpox vaccinations are safe, said a study released yesterday, meaning entire populations may be protected from any terrorist spread of the disease.

The U.S. military vaccinated 450,000 troops without serious consequences, said the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Broad smallpox vaccination programs may be implemented with fewer serious adverse events than previously believed,” said the study’s authors.


Students risk losing security deposits

MUNCIE — Ball State University students may lose more than $150,000 in security deposits after a sheriff’s auction of six apartment complexes near the school.

A court-appointed manager said the apartments had not been maintained properly.

The complexes were sold last week for $11 million after the owners declared bankruptcy in April.


Town crowns grump for 2003

READLYN — There’s a new grump in town.

Every year in Readlyn, a small town about 20 miles north of Waterloo, a new grump is crowned to preside over the annual parade, talent show, dance and other activities in a celebration called Grump Days.

Janice Heineman was crowned Thursday as grump for 2003, after receiving more votes than five other candidates. She presided over the weekend’s festivities.

Grump qualifications are simple: You must live in Readlyn and be at least 65 years old.

Drivers entering the town are greeted with a sign that reads, “Welcome to Readlyn, home to 857 friendly people and one old grump.”


Governor signs ban on bar smoking

AUGUSTA — The governor approved a law yesterday that will ban people from lighting up in bars, making Maine the latest in a growing number of states to restrict smoking.

The new law will move Maine closer to banning smoking in all indoor public places. Smoking is prohibited in restaurants in Maine, and the law makes it illegal to smoke in lounges and taverns, pool halls and certain off-track betting sites.

Maine stands to be the fifth state to mandate smokeless bars.


Woman who was impaled ready to go home

ANN ARBOR — A woman who was 8 months pregnant when she was impaled on a microphone stand has minor aches and a 3-inch scar two weeks later, and her newborn son is perfectly healthy.

Jessie Wickham, 34, lost her balance and fell from the second floor of a loft onto the 3-foot microphone stand. The pole went through the upper chest next to her heart, penetrating the upper left lobe of her lung and hitting one of her shoulder bones.

She has been recovering at the University of Michigan Hospital since the June 11 fall.

Her son, Ryan, was delivered a few days after the accident. The boy went home from the hospital last week.


Man drives miles for Minneapolis lunch

Irv Gordon drove into Minneapolis for lunch over the weekend, which is like saying Bill Gates put some money in the bank or Donald Trump spent a little time working on his comb-over.

Because what Mr. Gordon does is drive — in fact, he has driven his car farther than anyone else.

The 61-year-old man from Long Island, N.Y., has put nearly 2.2 million miles on his 1966 Volvo, landing him in the Guinness Book of Records for the most miles driven by the original owner of a car.

Retired from his job as a middle-school science teacher, Mr. Gordon spends weeks on end behind the wheel of his sporty, cherry-red P1800. He thinks nothing of driving to San Francisco for pie and coffee.


State to boost DUI enforcement

JACKSON — The state Highway Safety Patrol is increasing efforts to catch drunken drivers, officials said.

Television ads airing across the state tell drivers, “You drink, you drive, you lose.” Highway Patrol spokesman Warren Strain said a federal grant will help pay overtime for troopers to work extra hours from Friday to July 7 to enforce drunken-driving laws.


Judge opposes city in float dispute

NEW YORK — The city violated the constitutional rights of two firefighters and a police officer when it fired them for riding on a parade float in blackface in 1998, a judge ruled yesterday.

U.S. District Judge John E. Sprizzo said the government “may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because a segment of society finds it offensive.”

Those on the Labor Day float threw watermelon and fried chicken to parade-goers, the city said. White firefighters Jonathan Walters and Robert Steiner, and police Officer Joseph Locurto sued the city to be reinstated to their jobs.


Work-zone speeders risk license loss

HARRISBURG — Motorists caught speeding through highway work zones risk losing their driver’s license for 15 days under a new state law.

The license suspension applies to anyone caught driving at least 11 miles per hour above the speed limit while highway workers are on the job. Signs with flashing white lights will notify drivers when the heightened penalties are in effect.

State officials say 27 persons, including three highway workers, died last year in work-zone crashes.


Tennis promoter dies at age 81

NEWPORT — Gladys Heldman, whose work in covering and promoting women’s tennis helped pave the way for the start of the women’s pro tour in the United States, has died at age 81.

Mrs. Heldman died Sunday at her home in New Mexico, the International Tennis Hall of Fame announced Monday.

Mrs. Heldman became involved in tennis after her 1942 marriage to former U.S. Junior Champion Julius Heldman. In 1953, she founded World Tennis magazine, and for more than two decades, she was a leading promoter of women’s tennis. She was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1979 for her work on behalf of the sport.


Arts industry contributes $54.5 million a year

CHARLESTON — Sales of West Virginia arts and crafts contribute more than $54.5 million annually to the state’s economy, says a study released yesterday.

The study — the first to put a figure on the state’s arts industry — was sponsored by the state Development Office’s Small Business Development division, and six state arts and crafts organizations, including the MountainMade Foundation in Thomas.


Man surrenders in stepsons’ deaths

MADISON — A man accused of killing two of his teenage stepsons surrendered early yesterday after a 13-hour standoff at a home.

Officers were sent to the residence about noon Monday after receiving reports of gunshots, police said.

They found an 18-year-old lying in the driveway with gunshot wounds. A 15-year-old boy was found in the house after Roger O’Neal, 42, surrendered, officials said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

The two boys, who were not identified, were the suspect’s stepsons, said Sgt. Patrick Grady. The twin brother of the younger boy was away, Sgt. Grady said.

Police said they did not know the motive for the killings.

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