- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2003

CALIFORNIA

Judge releases records in Peterson case

MODESTO — The judge overseeing the murder case of Scott Peterson ordered that logs of telephone calls made between Mr. Peterson and his lawyer and investigator earlier this year be turned over to his new defense attorney, Mark Geragos.

Police listened in on or recorded at least two of the 69 calls between Mr. Peterson and Modesto lawyer Kirk McAllister as part of widespread monitoring that also taped Mr. Peterson’s calls with reporters. Mr. Geragos said he expected to receive the police records yesterday afternoon.

In a pretrial hearing held yesterday, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Al Girolami also said he was considering a gag order on lawyers in the case to prevent leaks fueling news stories.

Judge Girolami said he would rule by the end of the week whether to unseal police reports and arrest warrants and autopsy results of Mr. Peterson’s slain wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn son. Those documents were being sought by newspapers.

RHODE ISLAND

Actress receives honorary degree

PROVIDENCE — Oscar-nominated actress Laura Linney received an honorary degree from her alma mater, Brown University, during its commencement ceremony.

Miss Linney graduated in 1986 from the Ivy League university with a degree in theater arts.

The 39-year-old was nominated as best actress for her role in the 2000 film “You Can Count on Me.” More recently, she appeared in “The Life of David Gale” with Kevin Spacey.

Also receiving honorary Brown degrees Monday were former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia; Chinese dissident Xu Wenli; Lowery Stokes Sims, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem; genetic researcher Joan Argetsinger Steitz; and former U.N. Undersecretary-General Brian Urquhart.

ARIZONA

Veteran flies plane from World War II

MESA — As a present, a former World War II pilot got to do something he hadn’t done in almost six decades: fly in a P-51 Mustang.

Leroy Steiger, wearing his old flight suit, took a 25-minute flight Sunday in a plane identical to the one he flew over Germany during World War II. The flight was a birthday gift from his family.

“I never thought I would be able to do this again,” he said before the flight. “This is the most fun I’m going to have in 58 years.”

The P-51 entered the war in 1943 and served as an escort for B-17 and B-24 bombers.

FLORIDA

Ammonia leak closes schools, burns trees

TAMPA — An ammonia leak from a ruptured pipeline blackened acres of trees and forced the closing of two schools yesterday.

The leak, about 20 miles southeast of downtown Tampa, led school officials to move more than 2,000 children.

Crews shut off the ammonia supply and pumped water into the broken pipeline to try to stop the leak of toxic vapors.

Nearby residents were advised to stay inside and traffic was detoured around the leak, which happened on a main thoroughfare near an upscale development with 1,200 homes.

IDAHO

Divers search for missing toddler

IDAHO FALLS — A woman described as mentally ill was charged yesterday with murder, accused of jumping into the Snake River with her granddaughter in an apparent murder-suicide attempt, authorities said. The toddler remained missing.

Kelley Jean Lodmell, 38, was to make her initial court appearance yesterday afternoon on a charge of first-degree murder. She also was charged with kidnapping for taking her granddaughter from another family member Sunday in Utah.

Rescue divers continued to search the murky waters of the river for the body of 19-month-old Acacia Patience Bishop.

Authorities said the charges were based on physical evidence and several hours of interviews with Mrs. Lodmell, described as a paranoid schizophrenic.

Mrs. Lodmell had stopped taking medication for her illness, according to her daughter, Casey Lodmell, who is Acacia’s mother.

ILLINOIS

Mayor adds beehives to City Hall garden

CHICAGO — The buzz around City Hall has nothing to do with politics, money or influence. It is the sound of thousands of honeybees.

The city called in beekeepers to install hives on the roof this spring to help pollinate flowers in the building’s rooftop garden.

Adding bees apparently was Mayor Richard Daley’s idea.

Mr. Daley had the garden planted three years ago after seeing similar ones in Germany and deciding it would be a good way to absorb storm runoff, purify the air and insulate the building.

KANSAS

Roofing nails cause slew of flat tires

TOPEKA — Hundreds of roofing nails were strewn along the Kansas Turnpike, flattening the tires of about 40 vehicles, including a Kansas Highway Patrol car.

The 2-inch nails were found on about an 80-mile stretch of the turnpike Monday on either side of Topeka, in both the north- and southbound lanes, said Lt. John Eichkorn, Highway Patrol spokesman.

Investigators believe the nails were put on the highway deliberately because they were so spread out.

KENTUCKY

‘Adventure Playground’ expected to open

LOUISVILLE — Although the $14 million upriver expansion of Louisville’s Waterfront Park won’t be completed until next spring, its centerpiece — a 3.5-acre, $2 million Adventure Playground — will be ready for public play by late July, the Courier-Journal reports.

It’s going to be “an amazing project that should get national attention,” said David Karem, executive director for the Waterfront Development Corp., which manages waterfront projects and oversees the park.

Joanne Hiromura, a landscape architect based in Acton, Mass., designed the playground.

MAINE

Legislators to work on health coverage

AUGUSTA — Legislators resume work this week on Gov. John Baldacci’s plan to ensure all Mainers get health coverage.

The committee reviewing the legislation was scheduled to hear yesterday how the state Medicaid agency, MaineCare, will be integrated into Dirigo Health, a key component of the proposed universal health care system.

MICHIGAN

Group takes blame for torched houses

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP — The radical environmental group Earth Liberation Front is claiming responsibility for fires that destroyed two houses near Ann Arbor in March.

The slogan “ELF, no sprawl” was spray painted on the garage door of a house next to one of those burned March 21 in the Mystic Forest subdivision. On its Web site, the group claims responsibility for the fires, which it says caused $400,000 in damage.

The group also takes responsibility for burning luxury homes being built near Philadelphia late last year. A picture of a burning home is featured on the Web site, along with instructions on how to start fires.

The FBI has said it considers the Earth Liberation Front one of the nation’s most prolific domestic terrorist organizations.

MINNESOTA

Woodbury bear just a delinquent

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL — A 100-pound black bear cub that startled residents in Woodbury on Monday is, painful to say, a juvenile delinquent.

But what would you expect? The mother threw the youngster out at an early age.

The wanderings of the cub and others in its age group began with their mother’s spring ritual, wildlife manager Bryan Lueth told the Star-Tribune. As sows prepare for a new breeding season they drive off their cubs, which have been with them for about two years, he said.

The result? “Juvenile delinquents that are trying to find their place in the world,” Mr. Lueth said. The cub probably isn’t dangerous, but he said it could cause damage — tearing down bird feeders or upending garbage cans — to find something to eat.

MISSISSIPPI

City lures teachers with home loans

JACKSON — Jackson’s public schools plan to fight a teacher shortage with a housing-loan program.

A $180,000 pilot program would set aside $6,000 loans for 15 newly hired teachers and 15 current teachers so they can buy home in the city.

MONTANA

Biologists capture large grizzly bear

GREAT FALLS — Biologists believe they have captured one of the biggest grizzly bears ever found south of the Canadian border.

The 11-year-old bruin stands 9 feet tall, will weigh about 1,000 pounds by the end of summer and has paws the size of saucepans.

The bear was tagged for tracking and released back to the Rocky Mountain Front.

NEBRASKA

Schools to adopt four-day week

ELBA — Elba Public Schools will adopt a four-day school week next year to cut costs.

Superintendent Caroline Winchester said the move is expected to save the district between $20,000 and $50,000 in utility and busing costs and staff salaries.

NEW JERSEY

Casino to offer $1,000 tokens

ATLANTIC CITY — The cost for the most expensive slot-machine tokens in Atlantic City may soon double.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, scheduled to open this summer, has been given temporary approval to offer machines that accept $1,000 tokens. The most expensive token now in use in Atlantic City is $500.

The $1,000 coins are in limited use in Las Vegas but will make their debut in Atlantic City at the Borgata. Of the casino’s 3,640 slot machines, two will accept the $1,000 tokens.

The top payout for the $1,000 machines is $1 million. The Casino Control Commission will hear public comment on the slot-machine proposal through July 18 before making a final decision.

NEW MEXICO

Crews repairing railroad track

LAGUNA — Crews worked yesterday to repair railroad track ripped up by a 13-car derailment that forced the evacuation of about 80 homes because of possible chemical fumes.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailed Monday afternoon at Laguna Pueblo, about 40 miles west of Albuquerque. No injuries were reported, but authorities ordered the evacuation after detecting what they believed were chemical fumes.

The 49-car train was carrying small amounts of hydrochloric acid and toluene, said Lena Kent, a spokeswoman for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

NEW YORK

Botched-raid death ruled homicide

NEW YORK — The death of a Harlem woman who went into cardiac arrest after a mistaken drug raid on her apartment has been ruled a homicide.

A police informant had wrongly identified 57-year-old Alberta Spruill’s apartment as one used by a drug dealer to stash cocaine and heroin. During the raid May 16, officers detonated a flash grenade and handcuffed the woman.

Her heart disease was aggravated by the raid, the medical examiner’s office said yesterday .

Police announced yesterday that the department will keep track of search warrants with a centralized database.

NORTH CAROLINA

Heavy rains burst three earthen dams

HOPE MILLS — Two small earthen dams broke under the pressure of rain-swollen lakes in southeastern North Carolina yesterday, a day after high water breached a dam in a neighboring county about three miles away.

Pressure on the dams started when 6 to 8 inches of rain fell in the area from early Sunday to early Monday, said Scott Sharp of the National Weather Service. An additional 1 inches fell through yesterday morning.

The two dams breached yesterday morning held back ponds along Rockfish Creek, said Doc Nunnery, director of emergency services for Cumberland County. One was 150 feet long.

On Monday, a municipal recreation lake dam in Hope Mills burst after a floodgate got stuck, prompting the evacuation of about 40 houses and a rest home.

PENNSYLVANIA

Town celebrates anniversary of founding

BIGLERVILLE — This small town in central Pennsylvania recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding — 36 years after celebrating its 150th.

Historians looking at courthouse records years ago had apparently confused records of Biglerville with those of the founding of Idaville, a village about six miles north.

As a result they believed Biglerville, sometimes called the Apple Capital of Pennsylvania, was 86 years older than it was.

“The records were talking about a town that was halfway between Gettysburg and Carlisle,” said longtime Biglerville resident Marion Harbaugh. “Biglerville isn’t halfway.”

SOUTH CAROLINA

Low-income seniors get free produce

SWANSEA — Melba Gleaton arrived early at the old gymnasium, anticipating a crowd eager to get coupons for free fresh fruit and vegetables from farmers markets.

Miss Gleaton, 72, and other low-income seniors waited more than an hour before workers started handing out the $25 coupons.

The $15 million federal program is available to all states. This year, 37 states and three tribal organizations are participating.

It attracted more than 20,000 South Carolinians last year, and officials expect a similar turnout this year.

The residents, like Mrs. Gleaton, have to be 60 or older and have a personal income of less than $1,384 a month.

TENNESSEE

Law-enforcement officers learning Spanish

LAWRENCEBURG — A new program is helping law-enforcement officers learn basic Spanish.

It’s so popular that eight three-day sessions scheduled this summer are filled.

Tennessee’s Hispanic population nearly tripled in the past decade to 123,838, according to the 2000 Census.

TEXAS

Missing editors drift back to shore

CORPUS CHRISTI — Hanging on to their capsized catamaran, three newspaper editors missing for about 15 hours in the Gulf of Mexico drifted safely back to shore early yesterday.

Kimberly Vetter, Jen Deselms and Tom Van Dyke, editors for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, came in at 6 a.m. yesterday, the newspaper reported on its Web site. They had been missing since they went out on a 19-foot catamaran at about 2:30 p.m. Monday.

“We swam when we saw the shore,” said Miss Vetter, adding that no one was injured.

Friends became concerned when the three, expected to be out for about an hour, did not return. The Coast Guard began searching by air and boat.

WISCONSIN

4 persons killed when plane crashes

ARBOR VITAE — A twin-engine plane crashed in the woods shortly after takeoff, killing all four persons on board.

Thomas Lappin, 63, and his wife, Anne, 61, of St. Charles, Ill., died when the plane crashed Sunday night near Lakeland Airport in Arbor Vitae, about 270 miles north of Madison. The plane was heading for DuPage Airport in West Chicago, Ill.

Also killed were pilots Carl Price, 64, a chief pilot for American Airlines, and Edward Vogler, 53, a retired American pilot.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator John Brannen said is likely to take investigators two days to piece together what happened, because the eight-seat plane, a Piper PA-31P Navajo, was badly damaged.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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