- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 4, 2003

CALIFORNIAUnabomber’s cabin gets reprieveRANCHO CORDOVA — The Montana cabin where Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski lived avoided destruction yesterday, minutes before officials were to dismantle the infamous one-room shack.Officials wheeled the 10-by-12-foot plywood cabin out of a storage facility outside California’s capital, Sacramento, for a scheduled demolition, but the firm’s president emerged to say there had been a change in plans, and gave few details.”This cabin will not be dismantled today,” said Randy Turtle, president of SafeStore, the storage company that has had the shack since it was brought from Montana for Kaczynski’s 1998 trial.PUERTO RICOFireworks replace bombs at ViequesVIEQUES — Fireworks exploded and chanting erupted, but there also were incidents of vandalism as the tiny Puerto Rican island of Vieques began festivities early yesterday to mark the formal end of its six-decade role as a staging area for U.S. Navy war games.Just hours after the party got under way, a group of young, masked protesters overturned and vandalized Navy vehicles, destroyed a guardhouse and set a Fish and Wildlife Service boat ablaze, eyewitnesses said.As midnight passed, hundreds of people gathered at the entrance to Camp Garcia, chanting “Peace for Vieques.”ALASKAJury clears state of wildfire negligenceANCHORAGE — A state Superior Court jury on Wednesday cleared a state agency of charges that its negligence caused a wildfire to spread and destroy about 400 buildings in 1996.Deliberating a day after a seven-week trial held in Palmer, a city 40 miles north of Anchorage, the jury ruled against a group of homeowners who had sued the state over the Miller’s Reach fire, the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.The state argued that forestry officials responded prudently but that an unexpected wind shift and conditions fanned the flames.ARIZONADeath row inmate to be resentencedPHOENIX — The Arizona Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of a convicted murderer, ordering that a jury decide whether Scott Lehr should be executed.The court reviewed the case after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that juries must make certain presentencing decisions. Lehr was convicted in the 1992 slaying of 21-year-old Belinda Cronin.COLORADOBoy, 4, saves his mother’s lifeCENTENNIAL — A 4-year-old boy saved his mother’s life Wednesday morning by dialing 911 and informing operators that her blood sugar was dangerously low.”My mom can’t walk or talk,” Nathan Compton told the operator after finding his mother, Shayne Compton, collapsed on the floor of the family room. “Mommy’s blood sugar’s low,” he said, from a script his parents had rehearsed with him for just such an emergency.Mrs. Compton, who has lived with diabetes for the past 30 years, said her insulin pump had failed and a replacement worked sooner than expected, essentially delivering a double dose that lowered her sugar to a critical level. “I keep giving him hugs and kisses,” Mrs. Compton told the Rocky Mountain News, “and you tell him things like, ‘You saved Mommy.’ “FLORIDAWorld War I vet dies at 101WEST PALM BEACH — Al Ross, who was believed to be the last surviving World War I veteran in Palm Beach County, died Wednesday at Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton. He was 101.Mr. Ross was a fixture at patriotic celebrations throughout the county. He appeared at dozens of Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Fourth of July observances, led the Pledge of Allegiance at countless civic group lunches and became a living history lesson in elementary school classes.ILLINOISLandmark ruling plaintiff guilty of murderCHICAGO — Daniel Escobedo, the plaintiff in a landmark 1964 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a suspect’s right to an attorney, has been convicted of killing a shopkeeper with an ice pick in 1983.Escobedo, 65, could face a life sentence after the jury handed up the verdict Wednesday after deliberating for about an hour.In Escobedo v. Illinois, the high court threw out his conviction in the slaying of his brother-in-law after finding that Chicago police had violated his constitutional rights by denying repeated requests for an attorney.The ruling was later expanded in Miranda v. Arizona, giving rise to the Miranda warning in which police advise those under arrest about their rights, including the right to remain silent.INDIANACop to sing anthem before Indianapolis 500INDIANAPOLIS — Daniel Rodriguez, the New York City policeman who became known for his stirring renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” after the September 11 attacks, will sing the national anthem before the start of the Indianapolis 500.Mr. Rodriguez, who is on leave from the police department, has performed at the World Series, the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, the White House and Disneyland’s 47th birthday.He recently released a second album, “From My Heart,” which follows “The Spirit of America,” which reached No. 1 on Billboard’s classical crossover chart last year. MAINEChurch case turns into homicide probeAUGUSTA — State police said yesterday that they have opened a homicide investigation into what is suspected to be arsenic poisoning of a man who fell ill after a reception at a northern Maine church.Walter Reid Morrill, 78, died Monday, a day after the reception at the Gustaf Adolph Lutheran Church in New Sweden.A dozen persons reported feeling sick and two church members remained in critical condition yesterday. Police said an item at the church was found to contain arsenic.MINNESOTATwo arrested in murder mysteryLONG PRAIRIE — Two men arrested in a triple homicide in this rural town also are suspects in two deaths in their hometown, Minneapolis, that occurred a week earlier, police said yesterday. Murder charges were filed yesterday against Christopher Earl, 20, and Jonathan Carpenter, 21. Police said they did not know of any links between the suspects and the victims, adding that the motive in both cases appeared to be robbery.The bodies of Holly Chromey, 49, and her children, Katie Zapzalka, 18, and Jerrod Zapzalka, 16, were found Monday in their home in Long Prairie, about 100 miles from Minneapolis.NEW MEXICORocket-powered sled breaks world recordHOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE — A rocket-powered sled shot down a 3-mile straightaway in about six seconds to break a 2-decade-old world record.The monorail sled set the land speed mark for rail vehicles early Wednesday at the Holloman High Speed Test Track, testing a 192-pound bullet-shaped payload being developed by the 846th Test Squadron and the Missile Defense Agency.Preliminary numbers put the sled’s speed at Mach 8.6 — almost nine times the speed of sound — or about 6,400 mph, said Lt. Col. James Jolliffe, commander of the test squadron. NEW YORKJudge delays ruling on fare increaseNEW YORK — A judge yesterday held off on deciding whether to block transit fare increases for more than 7 million riders, saying he wanted more information from the commuter group trying to stop the change.Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Louis York asked the Straphangers Campaign to submit additional documents by the end of the day to prove it has legal standing to represent commuters who use trains or buses run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.Sometime after that, Judge York said, he will rule on the requested temporary restraining order, which would freeze any fare increase immediately.NORTH CAROLINAUniversity to drop mandatory swim testCHAPEL HILL — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will drop its mandatory swim test for students in the fall of 2006.Currently, every student must jump or dive into a pool, swim 50 yards and stay afloat for five minutes. Students who fail the test don’t get their diplomas unless they obtain a medical excuse.OREGON Film director donates papers to universityPORTLAND — James Ivory, known for his lavish period dramas and longtime association with producer Ismail Merchant, donated his personal papers to the University of Oregon, where he studied architecture.The 26 boxes of papers include production files, screenplays, photographs, correspondence with cast members, notebooks, press kits, movie reviews and costume designs. Mr. Ivory’s films include “A Room With a View” (1986), “Howards End” (1992) and “The Remains of the Day” (1993).WASHINGTONGrandmother wins lottery for third timeSEATTLE — Monika Culbertson sure is lucky for someone who says she doesn’t like to wager.The 58-year-old German-born grandmother of four has won more than $4 million in three separate state lottery drawings.”I’m not a gambler,” she said after learning that she had won in the Washington State Lottery for a third time. “There really isn’t any way to explain it.”She receives $200,000 in annual payments from the $4 million jackpot that she won in 1997. On Saturday, she won the $50,000 Lucky for Life drawing. She also won $1,000 in Quinto in October 2001. The total: $4,051,000.

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