- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

ALABAMA
Guard summons 700 troops
MONTGOMERY In the state's largest single call-up in the last year, 700 Army and Air National Guard troops from five units were ordered to active duty.
More than 5,000 Alabama Guard members have been activated about 30 percent of the Guard's strength in Alabama, which has the nation's fifth-largest Guard. The 700 troops will be deployed overseas.

CALIFORNIA
Court delays ban on Pledge
SAN FRANCISCO A federal appeals court yesterday put on hold its ruling barring the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public classrooms, pending an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The order followed a request from the Elk Grove Unified School District near Sacramento. A girl who attends school there is the daughter of the man who filed the suit that led the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to find the Pledge unconstitutional.
Without yesterday's stay, public schools in nine Western states would have been banned from reciting the Pledge with its reference to "under God." Those states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
The stay gives the school district 90 days to ask the Supreme Court to review the ruling.
In June and again on Friday, the San Francisco-based appeals court ruled that the Pledge is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion when recited in public schools.

COLORADO
Bar owner jailed for shooting laptop
LAFAYETTE George Doughty's computer will never crash again. It will never run again, either.
Mr. Doughty was jailed over the weekend on suspicion of shooting his Dell computer four times with a revolver earlier that day in the middle of the Sportsman's Inn Bar and Restaurant. The computer took all the bullets. No one was injured.
He then hung the destroyed laptop on the wall "like a hunting trophy," Lt. Rick Bashor with the Lafayette Police Department told the Boulder Daily Camera.
Mr. Doughty, 48, who owns the establishment, is accused of putting the customers and bartender in danger.

CONNECTICUT
Ex-Yale provost dies at 82
NEW HAVEN Georges May, a scholar of French literature who led Yale University as provost and dean of undergraduates during tumultuous times on campus, died Friday from a heart condition. He was 82.
Mr. May's specialty was French literature of the 17th and 18th centuries, and he was an authority on French Enlightenment figures Diderot and Rousseau.
In 1971, he was made a chevalier in the French Order of the Legion of Honor.
He was awarded Yale's William Clyde DeVane Medal in 1992 for a lifetime of scholarship and undergraduate teaching.
Mr. May was dean of Yale from 1963 to 1971, as Yale started admitting female students and as civil rights and anti-Vietnam War demonstrations sprang up on campus. He was Yale provost, the second-highest position at the university, from 1979 to 1981.

FLORIDA
Court hears suit on gay-adoption ban
MIAMI A federal appeals court had tough questions for both sides yesterday on the constitutionality, morality and rationality of Florida's ban on homosexual adoptions, the only law of its kind in the nation.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the advocacy group Children First say the 1977 law pushed by singer-activist Anita Bryant should be thrown out because it bans the state from considering homosexual applicants as adoptive parents.
The state child-welfare agency allows homosexuals to be foster parents and permanent legal guardians. Five homosexual men who have been taking care of foster children for years sued the state, challenging the law. They appealed after U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King dismissed their lawsuit in 2001, saying the law is in the best interests of children.
Attorney Casey Walker, arguing for the state before a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, insisted yesterday that Florida's priority is adoption by married couples, which he said encourages a stable home environment and promotes heterosexual role models.

IDAHO
Skiers advised on clean trails
SUN VALLEY The usually pristine ski trails north of Ketchum are noticeably less so this year as a growing number of skiers bring along their dogs, leaving their droppings along the way.
Courtesy ski patroller Cindy Hamlin picks up as many as 40 piles a day on a four-mile section of the trail near the Sawtooth National Recreational Area headquarters.
To keep the trails from going to the dogs, Blaine County Recreation District trail coordinator Shelley Preston has erected signs reminding skiers that county code requires dog owners to remove their pets' waste or face a $300 fine.

KANSAS
Laid-off adults taking teen jobs
WICHITA Laid-off adults have taken so many of the jobs traditionally filled by teens in the summer that organizers have canceled Wichita's annual job fairs. More than 11,000 aviation layoffs since September 2001 have forced many adults to take minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet.

KENTUCKY
Activists urge boycott of malls
LOUISVILLE Civil rights activists urged residents to boycott Louisville's shopping malls and retail chains beginning this week. They are protesting a grand jury's failure to indict a white police detective who fatally shot a handcuffed black man. A shuttle is planned to transport shoppers across the Ohio River to Indiana.
Locally owned businesses are exempted from the boycott, organizers say.

MAINE
Skier-days record may be broken
PORTLAND Ski areas say a strong March could help break the record of 1,323,542 skier days set in 2000-01.
This winter's heavy snow kept slopes packed from Christmas through last month's school vacation week. One skier day is equivalent to one skier visiting slopes anywhere in the state.
However, a war with Iraq, a sluggish economy and rising gas prices could threaten the season's success.

MASSACHUSETTS
High court considers gay 'marriage' case
BOSTON The state's highest court debated a case yesterday that could make Massachusetts the first state to legalize homosexual "marriage."
The Supreme Judicial Court is considering an appeal of a ruling that said the legislature, not the courts, should decide whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.
Justices questioned attorneys about whether the state's prohibition of same-sex unions was comparable to past bans on interracial marriages and how the laws could be changed without sanctioning other unions, such as polygamy.
Attorney General Judith S. Yogman argued the optimal setting for procreation and child-rearing is a family with a parent of each sex.
The case was brought by seven same-sex couples who sued the state after they were denied marriage licenses in 2001. A ruling is not expected for several months.

MICHIGAN
Couple throw hockey wedding
CADILLAC Kelly Merchand and Mike Malmborg got a chilly start in married life.
The couple were married Saturday at the ice rink of the Wexford Civic Arena in front of friends, family and teammates from their league hockey teams. A DJ played a Detroit Red Wings theme song.
Miss Merchand and Mr. Malmborg wore hockey jerseys, and pastor Bryan McConnell performed the ceremony while wearing a black-and-white striped referee's jersey.
"We just wanted something unique," the bride said after the wedding.

MINNESOTA
Mosquito experts discuss concerns
MINNEAPOLIS Hundreds of bug experts have gathered for a six-day conference to discuss ways to control mosquitoes, amid fears of West Nile virus outbreaks and heightened concern that the insects could be used in a bioterrorism attack.
Last year, the United States recorded more than 4,000 cases of West Nile and 256 deaths from the mosquito-borne virus that causes fevers and aches and can lead to potentially fatal swelling of the brain.
"It's just an amazing story of an invasion," said Roger Nasci, a research entomologist in the Fort Collins, Colo., office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mr. Nasci was among the more than 600 scientists and government officials attending this week's 69th annual meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association that began Monday.

MISSOURI
Farmer finds rare meteorite
FAIRFAX Farmer Gary Wennihan may have made a meteoric rise to wealth.
Mr. Wennihan, 60, was tossing aside rocks in his soybean field to prevent damage to his combine when he picked up a strange-looking rock in the fall of 2000.
It turned out to be a rare meteorite scientists say could be worth as much as $1 million.
Ben Rogers, a Northwest Missouri State University student who attends Mr. Wennihan's church, offered to take it to his geology professor. After polishing away the layers of rust, Mr. Rogers and assistant geology professor Richard Felton found a shiny metallic surface. A leading meteorite expert at UCLA concluded that nothing similar had ever been found.

NEW MEXICO
Young buyers drive housing boom
ALBUQUERQUE A local housing boom is being partly driven by buyers in their 20s, according to the Home Builders Association of Central New Mexico.
Interest rates below 6 percent have fueled the residential boom, setting records over the past two years in sales of existing homes and new-home construction.

NORTH CAROLINA
Mexican transplant teen is laid to rest
LOUISBURG Jesica Santillan, the Mexican teenager who died last month after a bungled heart-lung transplant, was laid to rest in a rural North Carolina cemetery yesterday as the ethical debate over her treatment continued.
The 17-year-old girl's small, white coffin was slipped into a mausoleum wall and covered with a slab of pink granite as her parents watched. On a sunny, springlike day, about 100 mourners gathered at the small graveyard east of Louisburg for the outdoor service.
Last week, a family spokeswoman said Jesica would be buried in the United States because her illegal immigrant parents feared they would barred from returning to this country if they held a funeral in their native Mexico.

OREGON
Doctors dropping obstetric practice
PORTLAND Doctors who deliver babies are planning on reducing or eliminating their services, especially in rural areas, because of rising malpractice insurance costs, a study suggests. A total of 125 doctors who used to perform deliveries have dropped out of obstetrics in the past four years alone. That amounts to 22 percent of all those delivering babies, according to the Oregon Health & Science University study.

PENNSYLVANIA
Accused kidnapper plans insanity plea
PHILADELPHIA A former school bus driver accused of taking 13 children on an unauthorized field trip in January 2002 will use an insanity defense at trial, authorities said.
Otto L. Nuss, who has a history of mental illness, notified a federal judge recently of the insanity defense, said Richard Manieri, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors can now hire a psychiatrist to evaluate Mr. Nuss. That evaluation should occur within the next 30 days, according to court records.
Because of the notification, Mr. Nuss' March 19 trial date has been postponed indefinitely.
Prosecutors say Mr. Nuss, 63, carried a loaded rifle and 98 rounds of ammunition on his regular bus route and took 13 Berks Christian School students on an unauthorized 100-mile trip to suburban Washington.

TEXAS
Molten metal found on shuttle tiles
HOUSTON Molten aluminum was found on Columbia's thermal tiles and inside the leading edge of the left wing, bolstering the theory that the space shuttle was destroyed by hot gases that penetrated a damaged spot on the wing, the accident investigation board said yesterday.
Roger Tetrault, a board member, said he suspects the melting occurred because of the penetrating gases and also because of the intense heat of falling through the atmosphere.
Investigators have theorized that foam or other debris that broke off the shuttle's big external fuel tank during liftoff Jan. 16 damaged the wing perhaps the leading edge, perhaps the area around the wheel well and allowed hot gases to penetrate the wing and destroy the shuttle.

NEW YORK
Sikh charges police with discrimination

NEW YORK A Sikh man filed a lawsuit yesterday against the New York City Police Department and its chief, Raymond Kelly, after he was dismissed from the force for refusing to remove his turban or beard.
"They made me feel like I didn't belong to this city. They made me feel betrayed," Amric Singh Ratour, 22, told reporters.
The lawsuit charges the police department and Chief Kelly with unlawful employment discrimination on religious grounds. Wearing a turban and beard are two of the five central tenets of the Sikh faith. Mr. Ratour had hoped to become a traffic-enforcement agent.

NORTH DAKOTA
Opera holds pet talent show
FARGO Jacoby the beagle was more interested in sniffing the competitors than in beating them.
The dog's owner, Deb Haarsager, tried to prompt him by singing "Amazing Grace," but it didn't work. "He always howls along," she said.
Jacoby was among about 25 dogs and cats taking part in the Fargo-Moorhead Opera's first talent show for pets last weekend. The pets competed in five categories, including stage antics, and singing and howling.

VERMONT
Smuggling heightens border fears
MONTPELIER The arrest last week of a man who police say had bales of marijuana tossed to him from a helicopter underscores a growing problem for Vermont authorities: drug smuggling across the state's porous border with Canada.
A top state official said Monday that Canadian organized crime groups are increasingly bringing drugs into the United States through the relatively unguarded Vermont border, and heightened security fears add another alarming dimension to the problem.
"The border has received millions of dollars in enhancements … and they can still fly a helicopter across the border in broad daylight," said Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Kerry Sleeper.
Mr. Sleeper said smugglers know Vermont is an easy target.
"Every smuggler in Canada knows the New York border is more secure," said Mr. Sleeper, who is also the state's top homeland security official.

WASHINGTON
State sues U.S. over nuclear waste
OLYMPIA Washington state sued the federal government yesterday to halt the shipment of radioactive waste to the Hanford nuclear reservation until the Energy Department commits itself to cleaning up and removing 78,000 barrels of waste already stored there.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Spokane. The state seeks a permanent injunction against new shipments until enforceable benchmarks for the cleanup are in place.
The state and federal governments have been negotiating for months. In December, the department informally agreed that nuclear waste now stored at Hanford would be dug up, repackaged and eventually shipped to a plant in New Mexico.
But Gov. Gary Locke and state Attorney General Christine Gregoire said the government inexplicably walked away from that agreement, leaving the state with only promises.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide