- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2003

NEW YORK

Edmund Hillary to receive award

NEW YORK — Conqueror of Everest Edmund Hillary is to be honored by Life magazine with its inaugural Achievement Award 50 years after his historic ascent of the world’s highest peak.

The award, which recognizes individuals whose contributions to the world community “surpass the public record of the deeds,” will be presented at a gala reception in New York City on June 5, the magazine’s publishers said in a statement yesterday.

“We want to recognize those individuals who have helped shape the watershed events of our time,” said Life publisher Andy Blau.

Mr. Hillary, 83, was in the Nepalese capital, Katmandu, yesterday. He was the guest of honor at festivities marking his ascent of Everest on May 29, 1953, with the late Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. They were the first to achieve the feat.

OKLAHOMA

Autoworkers back after tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY — Hundreds of autoworkers revved up General Motors’ assembly line yesterday for a 14-hour crash effort to finish work on the 400 sport utility vehicles left incomplete when a twister raked the plant earlier this month.

The May 8 tornado knocked out the plant’s power station, toppled its cooling towers and peeled the roof and siding off the paint shop. But it left the SUVs untouched. For 20 days, the vehicles, without engines or interiors, sat in silent darkness on a motionless conveyor belt.

The assembly area hummed again yesterday as nearly 900 employees cranked up their machinery. Two shifts — a day crew and a night crew — are back for one week only. The autoworkers then will go back to waiting, collecting 95 percent of their pay, until the 2,800-employee plant reopens for good.

ALASKA

4 persons killed in plane crash

ANCHORAGE — Two mountain climbers, a tourist and a pilot were killed Wednesday when their small plane went down in Denali National Park and Preserve, according to officials with the National Park Service.

The wreckage of the air-taxi service plane was spotted shortly before 3 p.m. by an employee of another air-taxi service company, Park Service spokeswoman Jane Tranel said.

One of the victims was pilot Keli Mahoney, 35, of Talkeetna, a musher who ran twice in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and twice in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. Also killed were climbers Bruce Andrews, 39, of Lafayette, Colo., and Mark Wagoner, 31, of Snow Camp, N.C., as well as sightseeing passenger Carolyn Disselbrett of Salem, Ore.

The Cessna 185 departed Talkeetna at 12:50 p.m. and crashed in a relatively flat area at an altitude of about 8,200 feet, according to John Quinley of the Park Service.

CONNECTICUT

Pioneer novel donated to Yale

NEW HAVEN — One of the nation’s pre-eminent black scholars will donate to Yale University the first known novel written by a female slave, the university said Wednesday.

The 301-page manuscript, “The Bondwoman’s Narrative,” by Hannah Crafts, is the story of a female slave, laced with commentary about the worlds of slaves and masters.

Henry Louis Gates Jr., the chairman of Harvard University’s Department of Afro-American Studies, found the manuscript in an auction of black memorabilia.

He researched and edited the book and got it published last year. “The Bondwoman’s Narrative,” likely to have been written between 1853 and 1861, reached several best-seller lists.

Mr. Gates is donating the book to Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. A ceremony for the donation was scheduled for today.

ILLINOIS

Judge refuses to stop expulsion

CHICAGO — A federal judge yesterday turned down a last-ditch effort to reverse the expulsion of a high school senior who joined in a hazing incident at a park earlier this month that was videotaped.

U.S. District Chief Judge Charles P. Kocoras told an attorney for Liat Gendelman, 18, that going on with the case could damage the student’s reputation.

His refusal to grant a temporary restraining order against Northfield Township School District 225 appeared to end Miss Gendelman’s legal battle. Her attorney, Dolores Ayala, said she would not appeal.

The teenager was among 31 students at Glenbrook North High School expelled May 25 after the May 4 hazing incident. Senior girls slugged and pushed junior girls, and showered them with mud, garbage, paint and feces while onlookers, some hoisting beer cups, cheered them on.

LOUISIANA

Suspect in serial killing denied bail

BATON ROUGE — A man accused of raping and murdering five women in Louisiana was ordered held without bail yesterday as prosecutors said they will seek the death sentence.

Derrick Todd Lee, 34, made a brief initial appearance via video hookup before Commissioner Rachel Morgan of the 19th state Judicial District Court. The FBI returned Mr. Lee to Louisiana on Wednesday, after he was captured in Atlanta the day before.

Mr. Lee was denied bail, which is customary in cases in which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The judge also said she would appoint a public defender for Mr. Lee, who said he could not pay for his defense. The brief hearing was not open to the public.

MAINE

Seniors cross border for cheap prescriptions

CALAIS — A bus carrying 18 seniors seeking cheaper prescription drugs traveled to Canada yesterday.

Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud, who accompanied the group, expressed hope that a Supreme Court ruling last week allowing Maine to move forward with a prescription-drug program will end the need for trips across the border.

NEBRASKA

Lawmaker eyes war with Iowa over gambling

LINCOLN — A Nebraska lawmaker is so fed up with constituents crossing the state border to gamble that she proposed going to war with neighboring Iowa.

“I’ve been cautioned that the members of the Iowa legislature might not take it kindly,” said Sen. Pam Brown of Omaha.

Her proposed amendment read: “The sovereign state of Nebraska declares a state of hostility with the sovereign state of Iowa until such a time as the state of Iowa ceases the unjust and relentless appropriation of the resources of the citizens of Nebraska.”

She offered the amendment to a proposed constitutional amendment that would ask votes to approve casino gambling in Nebraska. She later withdrew the tongue-in-cheek proposal, offered to get her colleagues focused on the seriousness of the issue.

Supporters of the casino measure have complained that Nebraskans spend an estimated $250 million a year at casinos in Council Bluff, Iowa, just across the border from Omaha.

NEVADA

Historic casino destroyed by fire

LAS VEGAS — A historic casino that was once the only integrated gambling spot in Las Vegas and played host to the likes of Sammy Davis Jr. and Nat “King” Cole was destroyed in a fire yesterday.

Two persons were injured and about 100 were evacuated from apartments in what were once the Moulin Rouge casino’s hotel rooms. The apartments were detached from the casino and weren’t on fire.

The Moulin Rouge opened in 1955 as the first integrated casino in Nevada. Frank Sinatra, Mr. Cole and Mr. Davis were among headliners who appeared in the Club Rouge showroom.

The casino closed after six months, but in 1960, city and gambling leaders met there to officially desegregate the Las Vegas Strip.

A damage estimate was not immediately available, and the cause of the fire was being investigated.

OREGON

Cargo ship fined for illegal dumping

PORTLAND — The owners of a Ukrainian cargo ship were fined $275,000 for not keeping accurate logbooks and illegally dumping tons of oily waste overboard, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

Inspectors said the ship’s oil record book misrepresented how waste was being disposed.

RHODE ISLAND

Ex-Providence mayor appeals conviction

PROVIDENCE — Former Providence Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has appealed his racketeering conspiracy conviction, saying the government failed to prove that he operated a criminal enterprise out of City Hall.

The appeal says the government offered no direct evidence that a conspiracy existed, nor that the 62-year-old Cianci, who has been in federal prison since December, was its leader.

The government “presented no direct evidence of conspiratorial meetings, conversations, or other communications,” attorney Terry MacFadyen wrote in the appeal filed Wednesday.

Cianci was convicted June 24 on one charge of racketeering conspiracy. He was sentenced Sept. 6 to five years and four months in prison.

SOUTH DAKOTA

State’s wheat crop expected to be good

PIERRE — A nearly perfect spring has preened South Dakota wheat, and the coming harvest is expected to be the best in four years.

John Rickertsen, Extension Service agronomist at Rapid City, says he is encouraged by the lush, green wheat fields he has surveyed in recent weeks. Frost in some areas last week dampened that enthusiasm, but Mr. Rickertsen says it appears that most wheat survived with little damage.

“The wheat looks tremendous,” he said. “We’ve had moisture about everywhere, and I think we have the potential for an excellent crop.”

The South Dakota Agricultural Statistics Service rates 73 percent of the winter wheat crop as good to excellent, 21 percent as fair, and the remaining 6 percent as being in poor condition.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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