- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2003


Logan airport unveils high-security ticketing hall

BOSTON — Logan International Airport introduced a high-security ticketing hall yesterday with blast-resistant windows, extra space for baggage screening and separate rooms for procedures such as taking off shoes.

The ticketing hall is part of a project to expand the airport’s international terminal. It becomes the first major airport facility incorporating post-September 11 federal security measures to open in the United States.

The two planes that destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11 were hijacked from Logan.

The ticketing hall, which began to be phased in for passenger use yesterday, is the length of two football fields and combines luxury with security. Hundreds of beech acoustic panels cover the ceiling, while the floor is made of black terrazzo — a glamorous departure from Logan’s usually drab decor.


Trains halted after crane severs cables

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — A large crane being carried on a barge tore through overhead cables that serve a railroad yesterday, stranding thousands of commuters.

North Jersey Coast Line trains were halted after the accident around 7 a.m. as the crane was being carried on the Raritan River, said Ken Miller, a New Jersey Transit spokesman.

It was not immediately known how long the service would be out. The wires that were severed provide power to the line’s electric trains and signals, Mr. Miller said.

Some 30,000 trips are made daily on the North Jersey Coast Line, which links New York City and Newark to towns along the Atlantic Coast.


Woman attacked by moose

ANCHORAGE — Kathleen Laughlin knows the rules. Moose inhabit the city’s parks, so it pays to be careful, she says.

That’s why she ties a bell to the handlebars of her mountain bike, to give the moose advance warning of her presence. And that’s why she was going slow when biking on the trails of Hillside Park late last week.

But this time her cautions failed her. Miss Laughlin encountered a cow moose with two spring calves and wound up taking a swift kick in the arm from the animal.

Miss Laughlin, a 42-year-old ski instructor, suffered a broken left wrist.

“I thought when I was out there I was going to die,” she told the Anchorage Daily News. “I just offer a lot of caution to other folks out there. I wasn’t sure I was going to be here to tell you the story.”


Gambling age jumps to 21

PHOENIX — Starting June 1, you’ll have to be 21 to play “21” at Arizona’s casinos. The state is raising the legal gambling age from 18 under a law passed by the Legislature in 2000.

Racetracks and the state lottery anticipate losing an estimated 1 percent to 3 percent of their customers. Casino operators, plus lottery and track officials, expect a small financial hit.


Disney technician dies after fall

IRVINE — A technician who fell 42 feet last month while testing special effects for the stage version of Disney’s animated film “Aladdin,” has died, officials said.

Christopher Bowman, 36, suffered severe head injuries when he fell to the Hyperion Theater stage April 22. He died Sunday. An autopsy was scheduled.

Disney’s “Aladdin, A Musical Spectacular” is a 40-minute stage adaptation of the popular 1992 animated film. Among its illusions are flying carpets and a giant snake that emerges from the stage. Introduced early this year, it is performed two or three times daily.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is investigating the fall.


Volunteers fix up eyesore front yard

PORT RICHEY — Steve and Mildred Nadwairski’s front yard used to be the eyesore of their neighborhood.

Now, thanks to help and donations from volunteers, the retired couple’s lawn is the toast of the town.

A judge ruled earlier this month that the Nadwairskis would have to remove the multicolored swatches of carpeting that served as their lawn, citing a Pasco County ordinance governing “public nuisance items.”

County officials were concerned that the carpet’s constant state of sogginess was a perfect breeding ground for rodents and snakes. Neighbors didn’t like how it looked, so the couple was ordered to remove the carpets and find a solution by June 23.

Volunteers have since come to the couple’s aid, ripping up the lawn and installing new sod.


Demand rises for shark fin soup

HONOLULU — With the growth of Asia’s economies in the past decade, the demand for shark fin soup — which can fetch more than $100 a bowl — has gone up.

“People want to show their wealth a little more, and one way is to have the soup at your party,” said Paul Ortiz, a senior enforcement attorney for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The soup’s popularity in Asia has also led to a rise in unappetizing practices by fishermen eager to cash in.

While shark finning itself is legal, it is illegal for U.S. ships to possess shark fins without the accompanying carcass. But fins are more lucrative than the meat, and fishermen have taken to slicing them off and tossing the rest of the shark — sometimes still alive — back in the water, leaving more room for fins on board.


Mayor says casino would boost economy

CHICAGO — Mayor Richard Daley thinks the nation’s third-largest city should get into the casino business.

Mr. Daley, whose on-again, off-again dalliance with gambling dates back nearly to his election in 1989, waited until after his election to a fifth term in February to declare that a downtown casino would help pay for public services and give the city a leg up on other major convention destinations.

But the mayor wants to put his own twist on gambling. He says he’s interested in a casino only if Chicago can own it, under the theory that the city would rake in more cash than the typical arrangement in which government collects tax from private casino owners.


Alternative schools find success, grow

MORNING SUN — The number of alternative high schools in Iowa is growing as communities look for new ways to keep students in school.

The Clear Creek Amana school district broke ground on a new alternative high school last week. Iowa City is planning a much larger one in the next few years.

Iowa already has 101 alternative high schools.


Last toothpick rolls off line

STRONG — The “Toothpick Capital of the World” has lost its toothpick factory.

Production ended at the Forster Inc. plant that was founded in 1887 by Charles Forster, the Boston man credited with inventing the disposable toothpick. In its heyday, the plant produced 15.6 million toothpicks a day.

All told, 88 persons are losing their jobs; toothpick production is being moved to Minnesota.


Nissan plant gets ready for showtime

CANTON — Nissan officials are keeping quiet about plans for May 27, when the first vehicle rolls off the assembly line at the new plant in Madison County.

The color of the vehicle is a secret. So is the employee’s name who will speak alongside Nissan Chief Executive Officer and President Carlos Ghosn, Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and Sen. Trent Lott.

Mississippi spent $363 million for the plant in exchange for 5,300 much-needed jobs.


Governor to veto health budget bill

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Bob Holden said yesterday he will veto a budget bill that he says shortchanges mental health services and called lawmakers back for a special session.

Mr. Holden sent a letter to lawmakers indicating he will veto the proposed budgets of the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Health and Senior Services. He was surrounded by children with disabilities as he made the announcement.

The Democratic governor said his review of the budget passed by lawmakers on May 9 indicated 5,800 developmentally disabled people would lose services because of cuts in mental health care funding. He claimed the cuts also would eliminate psychiatric services to 3,200 mentally ill adults and 800 emotionally troubled children.


Dropouts increase by almost one-third

LAS VEGAS — The number of students dropping out of Nevada high schools increased by almost one-third in 2001-02, compared with the previous school year, the state Education Department reported.

A new report found 6,136 students, or 6.3 percent of state high school enrollees, dropped out in 2001-02. Five percent, or 4,616 students, quit school in 2000-01.


Mayor praised for prairie dog stand

ALBUQUERQUE — Mayor Martin Chavez has received hundreds of letters and e-mails praising his stance against poisoning prairie dogs.

Mr. Chavez last fall banned the poisoning of prairie dogs on city property. Instead, the critters are being moved to a ranch at Corona, where they are the focus of a study on the economic and ecological effect of reintroducing prairie dogs to ranch land.

Albuquerque officials also have been talking to representatives from adjacent Kirtland Air Force Base, encouraging them to relocate rather than kill the prairie dogs.

Mr. Chavez’s efforts were noted on the Web site of the Humane Society of the United States, bringing the flood of favorable mail.

The mayor said he’s a bit surprised. “Apparently prairie dogs have a larger constituency than balanced budgets,” he said.


Einstein’s papers on relativity released

NEW YORK — A vast trove of Albert Einstein’s personal and professional papers became available yesterday at a Web site dedicated to the life of the acclaimed scientist.

The massive document release coincides with a daylong symposium on Mr. Einstein’s life at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History.

The Web site, www.alberteinstein.info, is a joint effort of the Albert Einstein Archives at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Einstein Papers Project at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech).

The documents include Mr. Einstein’s most important papers on relativity, quantum light theory and other scientific breakthroughs, as well as personal papers relating to his work in the pacifist and Zionist movements.


Probe finds abuse often preceded slayings

RALEIGH — Dozens of defendants charged with killing their spouses or partners received little attention from authorities for assault claims preceding the slayings, the News & Observer of Raleigh found.

Only 34 of the 63 men accused last year of killing their domestic partner or someone caught up in such a dispute were charged with earlier attacks.

The newspaper analyzed 238,000 cases statewide over about five years.


Suspect arrested after asking directions

FLORENCE — A man suspected of robbing a bank was arrested after he told the son of the bank manager he had to get out of town quickly and asked him for directions to the bus station, police said.

Police arrested 48-year-old Sandine LaGrande on Friday after Klamath First Bank was held up earlier in the day. It was not immediately clear how much money was taken.

Jared Torgison — whose mother is the manager at the bank — was on the street across from the bank when a man approached him and asked for directions to the bus station.

Mr. Torgison, whose mother had told him about the robbery, thought Mr. LaGrande looked like the suspect. Mr. Torgison called the bank on his cell phone and told employees to look outside and verify that the man was the one who robbed the bank, police said. They did.

Officers arrested Mr. LaGrande a few blocks from the bank and charged him with second-degree robbery.


Gettysburg College gets $14 million

GETTYSBURG — A Gettysburg College graduate who died at age 104 bestowed $14 million on his alma mater, the largest gift in the school’s history.

Dr. F. William Sunderman, who died March 9, directed that his bequest be used to establish a musical conservatory at the college. The gift includes his collections of antique violin bows and old musical scores.

Dr. Sunderman played the violin at Carnegie Hall; developed an antidote for nickel carbonyl poisoning and tested it on himself while working on the World War II Manhattan Project, which developed the nuclear bomb; and was one of the first doctors to use a crude form of insulin to revive a patient from a diabetic coma.


Nightclub fire judge tours warehouse

CRANSTON — The judge overseeing cases stemming from a deadly nightclub fire toured a warehouse yesterday where evidence from the club, The Station, is being stored.

Bar stools, beer bottles and burned out drums are some of the 717 items attorneys have collected from the site of the nightclub.

Superior Court Judge Alice Gibney, who will oversee all litigation from the Feb. 20 blaze, said she thought it was appropriate to visit the warehouse because of her role in the case. She said she is satisfied with how attorneys are dealing with the evidence that was retrieved from the club’s charred remains.

The blaze at the Station killed 100 people and injured nearly 200 others. It was sparked by rock band Great White’s pyrotechnic display and quickly spread through the wooden building.


Filmmaker extols virtue of education

COLUMBIA — Filmmaker Spike Lee extolled the virtues of a college education during a weekend speech to the Black Expo here.

Mr. Lee also told black parents in the audience to steer their children toward real role models and away from rappers. He said violent images from rappers such as 50 Cent are damaging the next generation.

Mr. Lee, a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, said education was the path to success. He lamented that young black scholars sometimes are ridiculed as fakes who are “acting white.”

The 46-year-old director of such films as “Do the Right Thing” and “Malcolm X” also urged his audience to boycott businesses that display the Confederate flag.


Family, fans honor June Carter Cash

HENDERSONVILLE — Family, peers and fans at June Carter Cash’s funeral Sunday remembered the wife of country great Johnny Cash as compassionate, loving and a music pioneer in her own right.

Her 71-year-old husband, looking somber and composed, was brought into the church in a wheelchair and did not speak at the service. Afterward he was taken to his wife’s light blue coffin, which he bent over for a long moment.

Virginia-born June Carter Cash, a Grammy-winning musician, actress, comedian, author and second-generation member of country music’s seminal Carter Family, died at 73 Thursday of complications from heart surgery.


More arrests made in smuggling operation

HOUSTON — Authorities said yesterday they have arrested three more person in a smuggling operation that packed dozens of illegal immigrants into a sweltering semitrailer last week, killing 19 of them.

Fatima Holloway, 28, identified as riding in the cab of the truck, turned herself in to authorities in Cleveland, U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby said. Juan Cisneros, 22, and Erica Cardenas, 23, were arrested Friday in McAllen.

All three were charged with transporting, harboring and conspiring to transport illegal immigrants. Their hometowns were not released and it was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys. Authorities said they were still looking for at least two more persons.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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