- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 25, 2003


Bomb prompts rise in Yale security

NEW HAVEN — Uniformed police officers with bomb-sniffing dogs were stationed around campus yesterday as Yale University began its two-day commencement celebration less than a week after a bomb exploded in the university’s law school.

In a baccalaureate address, Yale President Richard C. Levin told graduating seniors that the explosion Wednesday and other events such as the war in Iraq and the September 11 attacks should remind them of the uncertain world they face.


I-80 opens after bridge falls

BIG SPRINGS — One westbound lane of Interstate 80 was reopened yesterday after crews spent the night removing debris from a crash that caused a bridge to collapse.

Half the collapsed overpass had been removed by morning. The bridge collapsed Friday night after a tractor-trailer slammed into its center support column. The truck driver died in the crash.


Russian fires darken skies

ANCHORAGE — Hundreds of wildfires in southern and eastern Russia are raising gigantic plumes of smoke that are drifting with the jet stream across the Bering Sea, and over Alaska and western Canada, atmospheric specialists say.

The result is a high-altitude haze across much of Alaska. The smoke particles are so fine that they stay aloft longer, so there is no smell of smoke nor imminent danger to air quality, other scientists said.

“It’s a very, very thick haze,” said Glenn Shaw, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. “The sun is barely casting a shadow.”

Visibility in his town, Mr. Shaw said in a phone interview with the Anchorage Daily News, was down to 20 miles.


Spiders bite jail inmates

JONESBORO — Spiders have infested a county jail in northeast Arkansas, biting at least 15 inmates and confounding the exterminator.

The main offender appears to be the brown recluse spider, as long as three-quarters of an inch with long, skinny legs and a violin-shaped mark on its head.

Inmate Tim Steele, 26, showed off his lower left leg last week, inflamed and red from a bite. A brown recluse’s bite can cause a rash, swelling and flulike symptoms, and, in rare cases, can cause kidney failure, seizures and coma, the National Institutes of Health says.

“We’re doing the best we can to get rid of” the spiders, Sheriff Jack McCann said.


Police rescue child in washing machine

POMONA — A 2-year-old girl was rescued from a locked, running washer at a coin laundry, and her mother was arrested after a surveillance tape showed her putting the child into the machine, police said.

An officer smashed the window of the machine with his baton to rescue the girl, who was “submerged in water,” police Sgt. Matt Stone said.

The child was unconscious but breathing when she was pulled from the washer Saturday. She was taken to a hospital, where she was listed in serious condition with cuts, scrapes and bruises. She had inhaled some water but was expected to survive, Sgt. Stone said.

Her mother, Erma Osborne, 35, of Pomona, was arrested for investigation of child endangerment and held on $10,000 bail.

The machine apparently locks automatically when the wash cycle begins and does not unlock until the cycle ends, Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Dan Ramirez said.


Five found dead after standoff

MAYPORT — Police found five persons dead inside a home early yesterday after a SWAT team captured a man who held police at bay in a 12-hour standoff.

The bodies were in different stages of decomposition in various rooms of the home, said Jacksonville Sheriff Nat Glover.

It was not clear how long they had been dead, how they died or who they were, he said. Police had no further details yesterday.

Williams Wells, 27, surrendered shortly after midnight after police officers persuaded him to release his 4-year-old son, authorities said. The boy was not harmed.

Police had been called to the home Saturday afternoon but backed away when Mr. Wells threatened suicide. Lt. David Coffman talked to him on the phone during the standoff, and police used a remote-control robot to deliver a pizza, soda and electronics to the home.


Poisoning at church called mistake

BOSTON — The arsenic poisoning of a Maine church group that killed an usher might have been an accident, a lawyer told the Boston Globe after learning the contents of a suicide note left behind by a key suspect in the case.

An attorney for the estate of Daniel Bondeson said the suicide note describes how Mr. Bondeson wanted to give the church group a “bellyache” from chemicals stored in a family barn, the Globe reported Saturday. Mr. Bondeson killed himself just days after the poisoning claimed one life and hospitalized 15 persons in New Sweden, Maine, last month.

Alan Harding, the attorney for Mr. Bondeson’s estate, said the note refers to a terrible mistake in which Mr. Bondeson laced the church group’s coffee with arsenic instead of a less-harmful substance, the paper reported.


Internet qualifier wins poker tournament

LAS VEGAS — It was only fitting that an accountant named Moneymaker would put down $40 and walk away with $2.5 million and the title of champion Saturday in the 34th annual World Series of Poker.

Known to his friends as Money, Chris Moneymaker, 27, also became the first person to win the prestigious tournament by qualifying on the Internet.

“I got lucky along the way,” Mr. Moneymaker said. “I bluffed a lot during this tournament, but somehow I got away with it.”

Amid cheers of “Go, Money,” the Spring Hill, Tenn., resident faced off against Ihsan “Sam” Farha in a final round that began Friday and ended early Saturday at Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel & Casino.

The tournament began May 19 with a record-breaking 839 players. A surge in online gambling and a rise in the game’s popularity drew dozens of unknowns.


House explosion kills 1, injures 6

MOULTONBOROUGH — Investigators found the body of a girl yesterday after a series of explosions destroyed a three-story house, jolting a lakeside neighborhood and injuring six family members.

Authorities said yesterday that the fire was started by propane gas and that the home’s propane tank had ruptured.

Neighbors along Lake Winnipesaukee said the house was engulfed in flames after the first explosion, which was followed by one involving the propane tank in front of the home. A gas grill appeared to have caused a third, smaller explosion, neighbors said.

The victims were three generations of the same family, apparently staying at the home for the long holiday weekend, Police Chief Scott Kinmond said.


Meow Mix chief bitten by dog

NEW YORK — It could have been a catastrophe, but Meow Mix Chief Executive Richard Thompson is recovering, with his sense of humor intact, after being bitten by a Rottweiler.

The encounter happened just as Mr. Thompson is about to start “Meow TV,” a feline-friendly comedy on cable’s Oxygen network that features cat yoga, cat haiku and sporadic video of squirrels and fish.

Mr. Thompson said he was walking on the Upper East Side when the dog bit him on his backside. His wound was bandaged at a hospital, and Mr. Thompson said that he was finding it difficult to sit comfortably.


Family buries dead immigrant

HOUSTON — Mateo Salgado Perez bought his way onto a sweltering trailer with hopes of being reunited with his wife, Emilia, and their seven children in Houston.

He never made it back to them.

Mr. Salgado Perez, a 45-year-old restaurant worker, was buried Saturday in an emotion-filled funeral service attended by nearly 100 people 10 days after he died in a trailer that was smuggling dozens of illegal immigrants into the United States.

“We buried him in Houston because all his family is here,” said his brother, Adrian Salgado. “This is a very difficult day. He tried to come back because he wanted to see his family.”

Mr. Salgado Perez, one of 19 immigrants who died in the trailer, called Houston home for 20 years but was recently deported back to Mexico.


Student experiment survived shuttle crash

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of Utah students has learned that their science experiment aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia was found in a Texas parking lot and could produce useful data.

The aluminum box of salt crystals, an experiment by students from Moab, was recovered in Nacogdoches, Texas, a day after the disaster that killed seven astronauts Feb. 1.

Lockheed Martin officials who organized the student experiments learned that the Moab experiment survived the disaster.

The salt-crystal box had been placed in a temperature-controlled container in the cargo bay of the shuttle, which disintegrated on its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Investigators are focusing on a damaged wing that may have led to the shuttle’s breakup.

Four tiny crystals survived. which could allow the students to complete their experiment. They cultivated the crystals to compare with those sent aboard the Columbia and hoped to learn how gravity affected crystal growth.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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