- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 17, 2003

Lead investigator says shuttles should fly again

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The man leading the investigation into the crash in February of the Space Shuttle Columbia said yesterday that he sees “no show stoppers” that would prevent the remaining three shuttles from returning to flight.

That was good news for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which must fly shuttles to keep the $95 billion International Space Station program operating.

Retired Adm. Harold Gehman was at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida yesterday with six other members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board to inspect the shuttle’s wreckage.

Teacher pleads guilty to crimes against teen

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — A married teacher who kidnapped a 15-year-old student and had sex with him in a Las Vegas hotel has agreed to a two-year prison term.

Tanya Hadden, 34, pleaded guilty Friday to felony counts of lewd acts with a child and unlawful sexual intercourse, and to misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child-stealing, her attorney, Mark McDonald, said.

San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Michael Dest gave Hadden credit for the nearly seven months she will have served in jail by the time she is sent to prison. She had faced as long as five years.

Muslim woman’s veil problem for license

ORLANDO, Fla. — A Muslim woman fighting to get her driver’s license back may argue the that state infringed upon her freedom of religion and due-process rights.

But Judge Janet C. Thorpe rejected Frida Sultaana Freeman’s argument that Florida violated her rights to privacy and free speech when it took her driver’s license last year.

Miss Freeman, 34, is suing to get the license back. The photo on the license hides most of her face, except her eyes, behind a veil known as a niqab. She wears the veil for religious reasons.

Miss Freeman obtained the license wearing the veil, but after September 11, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles told her to replace the photo.

Jury awards family of teen $2.1 million

LOS ANGELES — The family of a teenager killed by police in a case of mistaken identity will receive $2.1 million in compensation for his death. A federal jury deliberated about four hours Friday in the lawsuit filed by the family of Antonio Saldivar, 18, said their attorney, Ray Brown. The jury denied punitive damages, finding that Huntington Beach police Officer Mark Wersching did not act with reckless disregard in the May 5, 2000, shooting. Police said Mr. Saldivar was holding a toy rifle when he was fatally shot.

Senator wants health law aimed at minorities

ATLANTA — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist yesterday said he would sponsor legislation aiming to eliminate health disparities among minority populations, including a boost in federal support for historically black medical schools.

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