- The Washington Times - Monday, March 3, 2003

FLORIDA
New screening quickens travel
MIAMI James and Shirley Kelley returned from a weeklong Caribbean cruise yesterday and found that the problem of lugging their bags to the airport had literally been taken out of their hands.
At the Port of Miami, an airline official gave them their boarding passes while a federal baggage screener checked their belongings for traces of explosives. Moments later, their luggage was sent to a truck that would be sealed and sent to Miami International Airport. All the Kelleys had to do was get to the airport on time for their flight home to Baltimore.
The new Transportation Security Administration program, part of an effort to maintain high security while reducing headaches for passengers, is about halfway through a 90-day trial run.

NEW YORK
Mayor joins in St. Patrick's Day parade
NEW YORK Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg marched yesterday in a St. Patrick's Day parade that included homosexual groups excluded from a much larger celebration on Fifth Avenue set for March 17.
"I'm glad everyone's here marching," said Mr. Bloomberg, who walked at the front of a group of several hundred participants in the 15-block parade through heavily Irish sections of Queens. "I wish all parades could be that way."
Mr. Bloomberg also plans to participate in the March 17 event. Homosexual groups are barred from marching in that parade.

ALABAMA
Job discrimination claims decline in state
BIRMINGHAM Federal filings of employment discrimination charges are slightly down in Alabama, despite an upward trend nationwide.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said 84,442 filings charging discrimination in private businesses were lodged with the agency Oct. 1, 2001, through Sept. 30, 2002, up 4.5 percent from the previous year.
But in Alabama, there were 3,227 discrimination claims for fiscal 2002, down from the 3,405 filed the previous year, the Birmingham News reports.

ARIZONA
Lawsuit halts range construction
FLAGSTAFF Construction of a shooting range near Flagstaff has been halted by a legal action brought by a group of area residents.
The state Game and Fish Department must complete a land swap with the U.S. Forest Service to build the proposed $8 million Bellemont Shooting Facility.
However, no transfer of deeds or building at the site will be allowed until a lawsuit filed by a group of Flagstaff area residents is heard in May, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court.
A spokeswoman for the group that filed the lawsuit welcomed the halt in construction.
"We don't know when this will happen, but it could be May until we know what the judge will rule," said Celia Barotz, speaking for Citizens to Relocate the Range. "It's basically great news for us."
Game and Fish officials broke ground at the site three months ago and planned by August to open a range for archery and pistol and rifle shooting. The lawsuit demands a yearlong study to assess the environmental effect of the range.

CALIFORNIA
Fugitive arrested on abuse charge
SAN DIEGO A high school wrestling coach surrendered after sheriff's deputies discovered he was a fugitive suspected of assaulting a girl in Northern California.
Nicholas John Martinez, 22, a volunteer wrestling coach at Santana High School in Santee, is suspected of molesting a 12-year-old girl in April in Lake County northwest of Sacramento.
Mr. Martinez used the alias Daniel Randall and had been an assistant wrestling coach at Santana since mid-January.
Sheriff's officials said they received a tip Friday that Mr. Martinez was wanted and called the school. He surrendered at the San Diego Central Jail about 8 p.m. Friday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Mr. Martinez was listed on the Web site of the television program "America's Most Wanted." He was on leave from the Army near Clear Lake in Lake County in April when authorities suspect he molested the girl. He was arrested a short time later in New York but posted bail and disappeared.

CONNECTICUT
Yale workers going on strike
NEW HAVEN About 5,000 employees of Yale University plan to walk off the job today for a five-day protest amid deadlocked contract talks.
The bulk of the protesters are clerical, technical, service and maintenance workers from locals 34 and 35 of the Hotel and Restaurant Employees International. They will be joined by several hundred graduate students, whose union is not recognized by Yale, and about 150 dietary workers from Yale-New Haven Hospital.
The walkout the seventh by Yale workers in the past 35 years will close the university's dining halls and require managers to do such work as running Yale's power plant or answering telephones. The university said the walkout was a publicity stunt.
"The purpose of this strike is to generate publicity, not to disrupt university operations," said Yale spokesman Tom Conroy.
The university has offered a six-year contract, with annual raises of 4 percent for most workers for Local 34 and 3 percent for Local 35. That offer has not changed since negotiations began a year ago.

ILLINOIS
Hyperactivity linked to sleep disorders
CHICAGO Some hyperactive children thought to be suffering from attention deficit disorder may just be overtired because they are bad sleepers or heavy snorers, researchers said.
"To the parent, the message is if you have a kid who is hyperactive and snores, think about the possibility that the two may be connected," said study author Dr. David Gozal of the University of Louisville.
In his study published in the journal Pediatrics, Dr. Gozal found that about a quarter of 5- to 7-year-old children with mild symptoms of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also snored. In some cases, the breathing problems reached the level of sleep apnea, where breathing is blocked repeatedly through the night.
"Over the years, we have observed many of those cases who came off their ADHD medications once they were treated for their sleep apnea," Dr. Gozal said.

INDIANA
Nightclub shooting leaves 3 dead
ANDERSON A man fatally shot his estranged wife and another woman as a crowd spilled out of a central Indiana nightclub early yesterday, then killed himself, police said.
The club, a former rural schoolhouse, had been rented for a dance party for Madison County's Hispanic community. About 75 people were leaving about 1 a.m. when gunfire erupted in the parking lot, said sheriff's Maj. Ron Richardson.
Maj. Richardson said Gregorio Llanas, 27, killed his wife, Gloria Llamas Llanas, 27, then fatally wounded Oralia Llamas Contreas, 36, before shooting himself in the head.
Mrs. Llanas had a protective order against her husband, and the two were divorcing, police said.

NEW JERSEY
'Terrorism' cases mostly involve students
NEWARK New Jersey prosecutors say they handled 62 "international terrorism" indictments last year however, of those, all but two involved Middle Eastern students accused of paying impostors to take English tests for them, according to a newspaper analysis.
Nearly all of the students are free on bond. Nine have already been convicted, and most of those have been fined between $250 and $1,000 and sent back to their countries, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported yesterday.
The English exam is an entrance requirement for foreign students at many U.S. colleges.
"There is not one whit of evidence that connects any of these people to terrorism," said Lawrence S. Lustberg, who represents 25 Saudi students charged with hiring others to take their tests.
But Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark, said, "There are very reasonable factors behind the investigation that compelled us and the Department of Justice to look very closely at these individuals." Among prosecutors' concerns: Several students held pilot's licenses.

NORTH CAROLINA
Small-plane crash kills five on board
ARARAT A small plane crashed shortly after takeoff in northwestern North Carolina, killing all five persons on board, authorities said.
The Beech A-36 went down Saturday evening in a lightly wooded area near the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport, said Surry County Emergency Services Director John Shelton.
Mr. Shelton said the plane disappeared from radar screens when it was about three miles out, but the wreckage was found about 13/4 miles from the airport.
"The assumption is that the plane was trying to get back to the airport because it had gotten into trouble," Mr. Shelton said.

WASHINGTON
Wedding bells ring for military couples
LAKEWOOD With deployment to the Middle East coming any time now, Army Sgt. William Armstrong, 25, has a lengthy to-do list. At the top of his list: get married to Senior Airman Megan Hallam, 22.
On Friday, the couple married in a small, cozy commercial chapel near Fort Lewis.
"We were going to get married in October, but with the current world situation, we decided to move it up," Sgt. Armstrong said.
All around the nation, courthouses and wedding chapels near major military bases say they've seen a recent surge in the weddings of military personnel before deployment.
Officials here and in San Diego, Las Vegas and even Bell County, Texas the site of the Army's Fort Hood say that soldiers, sailors and airmen have been walking down the aisle in increasing numbers in recent weeks.
The military couples have pragmatic reasons as well as romantic ones. Some say they want to make the union legal so that their spouses can receive information or updates from the military during their deployment. Also, should they be killed, their spouses would be entitled to death benefits.

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