- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2003

Conditions force Iditarod change
KALTAG Poor trail conditions have forced yet another route change halfway into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Race officials decided over the weekend to drop the final leg of the route between Anvik and Shageluk after trail-breaking crews encountered impassable conditions, Iditarod Executive Director Stan Hooley said.
"Most of the stretch between Anvik and Shageluk is very icy with no snow cover," Mr. Hooley said. "There's really no way to navigate it."
Race Marshal Mark Nordman said organizers had notified the field of almost 60 mushers.

School cashes in on singer's shirt
WILKESBORO Pop singer Avril Lavigne wears a Wilkesboro Elementary School T-shirt in the video for her song "Sk8er Boi," and the school is cashing in.
The green-and-gold T-shirts hadn't been sold for at least four years, but with the Canadian singer generating new interest, the school's Parent Teacher Organization ordered 500.
Principal Mike Dancy said he learned that Miss Lavigne probably found the shirt in a New York thrift store.
About 300 of the shirts have been sold on EBay to buyers as far away as Sweden and Thailand. The shirts sell for $20 online or $10 at the school.

Bishop retires after 21 years at helm
TUCSON Bishop Manuel D. Moreno is retiring early because of failing health but will continue to perform services within the southern Arizona diocese he has headed for 21 years, the diocese said.
Pope John Paul II accepted Bishop Moreno's request to resign as spiritual leader for about 350,000 Catholics so he could retire early, at age 72. The mandatory retirement age is 75.
Bishop Moreno, who has Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer, was replaced by Coadjutor Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas.

Fifth-graders charged in poison plot
DENVER Prosecutors filed charges against seven fifth-graders five girls and two boys accused of plotting to poison a classmate by putting pills, glue, lead and chalk in her drinks.
Five students were charged last week with attempted second-degree assault and conspiracy, both felonies, District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough said. Two others were charged with misdemeanor reckless endangerment, she said.
Three of the students were expelled, a Denver Public Schools spokeswoman said.
The students were suspended in January after an 11-year-old girl reported finding the items in her water bottle and soda over three days.

Boeing delays rocket launch again
CAPE CANAVERAL Boeing Co. yesterday again delayed the launch of a Delta IV rocket carrying a $200 million defense communications satellite, citing the potential for high winds.
Officials said there was a 70 percent chance of winds over 50 mph, topping the 18 mph limit for launch. They will try again today.
Engineers will use the delay to make "minor" repairs after the attempted launch Saturday, according to Boeing officials.
The Delta IV rocket launch will add a ninth satellite to the Defense Department's network of satellites used by the Pentagon to communicate with battlefield commanders. The satellite will be operational in May and could be used in the event of a war against Iraq, depending on the length of the conflict, according to an Air Force official.

Publisher retiring for personal reasons
HONOLULU Don Kendall, president and publisher of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, announced his resignation Saturday, saying he and his wife will return to British Columbia to be closer to their five grown children.
"Our decision is strictly personal," said Mr. Kendall, who also will step down as president of the newspaper's sister publication, MidWeek, on March 29.
Canadian newspaper executive David Black named Mr. Kendall president of the newspapers Dec. 1, 2000, as his Black Press Ltd. was buying the two publications.

City to seek bids for morgue transport
CHICAGO For years, Chicago police officers have complained about one particular part of the job: transporting dead bodies to the morgue.
Now, after pressure from the police union, the city has agreed to find a private firm to take over the task.
The city plans to open bids March 31 for any contractors interested in the business. Among the requirements: The contractor must be able to carry 7,000 dead bodies, with a minimum of six vans or hearses ready at all times.

Portraits in Capitol honor state's women
FRANKFORT A portrait of the late singer and actress Rosemary Clooney is one of four new artworks hanging in the Kentucky Capitol.
Miss Clooney, a Maysville native, died in 2002 at age 74.
Other portraits are of Kentucky first lady Judi Conway Patton, in honor of her advocacy for victims of domestic violence, child abuse and breast cancer; Katherine Peden, the first female U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky and a leader in economic development; and Jean Ritchie, a songwriter, author and champion of traditional folk music.
The portraits are part of the Kentucky Women Remembered exhibit, which honors women who made outstanding contributions to the state.

Flight school ends special program
BATTLE CREEK One of the nation's largest aviation colleges is dismantling its foreign-pilot training program, hobbled in the past two years by the September 11 attacks and an airline industry slump.
Western Michigan University's College of Aviation will temporarily replace the program, instituted in 1997, with one that trains both U.S. and foreign students. It still will allow students to become certified to fly either in Europe or the United States.
Foreign student enrollment is down this year to 26 all of whom will graduate this spring from a peak of 126 in 1999, a school spokesman said.
Airlines such as British Airways, Ireland's Aer Lingus and Emirates Airline in the United Arab Emirates sponsored most of the foreign students and paid their tuition, but quit the practice after amassing huge losses brought on largely by the terrorist attacks.

Deer test negative for wasting disease
ST. PAUL Minnesota officials said they found no signs of chronic wasting disease in wildlife after testing samples of 5,002 deer killed by hunters last fall.
"It's good news as far as it goes," Department of Natural Resources wildlife researcher Mike DonCarlos said Friday. But he cautioned that the results don't necessarily mean that all deer are free of the fatal brain disease in Minnesota, where hunters shoot about 200,000 of the animals every year.
Chronic wasting disease destroys the brain in deer, elk, moose and caribou and causes the animal to grow thin and die.

Springsteen plays Atlantic City
ATLANTIC CITY The Boss finally played Atlantic City the city and the song.
Bruce Springsteen, whose bleak ballad of redemption "Atlantic City" was released in 1982, had never headlined here before Friday, when he played to a sell-out crowd of about 12,500 at Boardwalk Hall.
Taking the stage to the strains of "There She Is, Miss America," Mr. Springsteen and his eight-member band wasted no time in giving the crowd what it came to hear, playing "Atlantic City."

Plane crashes into power lines
ALBUQUERQUE A small private plane plowed into power lines as it prepared for landing, killing all three persons aboard.
The single-engine plane went down Friday night two miles from Double Eagle Airport on the western edge of the city, said state police Lt. Robert Shilling.
The victims were identified as Richard Fuller, the pilot; Erik Fuller, his son; and Patrick Chavez, a family friend. Family members said they were

Losses increase amid walkout by musicians
NEW YORK Losses were mounting as musicians on strike against the use of taped music in Broadway musicals continued their walkout for the third day yesterday.
Producers of the more than 15 shows unable to take to the stage put the losses for one weekend alone as high as $30 million, NY1 television reported.
Three-hundred-and-twenty-five musicians are taking part in the job action and were protesting yesterday in the heart of the theater district.

Emergency phone gets wrong number
BISMARCK The new emergency telephone in Gov. John Hoeven's office rang three times in its first week, but it wasn't news of a disaster or terrorist attack.
One caller had a wrong number. The other two were telemarketers.
"It was a guy trying to sell him two pizzas on special," Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. "We're trying to figure out what kind of a disaster is taking place, and it's some guy trying to give the governor a two-for-one."
At the behest of the federal Department of Homeland Security, the nation's governors are having secure telephone links installed in their offices to communicate during emergencies.

Man accused of driving van into abortion clinic
HOUSTON A man convicted of a 1994 attack on an abortion doctor is accused of driving his van into the front doors of a Planned Parenthood clinic last week. There were no injuries.
Deputy Constable Willie Winfree, who was working private security at the clinic, was among the first to approach the man after he emerged from the white van, which was driven three feet into the clinic and stopped just short of a metal detector.
The man, identified as Frank Lafayette Bird, 61, was arrested on a felony criminal mischief charge.

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