- The Washington Times - Monday, November 10, 2003


Man killed in hostage standoff

NEWPORT CENTER — Police say a gunman killed one person and wounded at least one other, peppering police with gunshots during a three-hour standoff Thursday.

The standoff ended when several hostages disarmed the suspect, police said.

Darcy Petit, 30, pleaded not guilty Friday to a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his father, Samson Petit. The suspect also was charged with two counts of attempted murder.


Ceremony greets new bridge

VALLEJO — With speeches, parades and a blowtorch, Californians opened the nation’s first major new suspension bridge since 1973, a 3,400-foot span across the Carquinez Straits 25 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The $400 million Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge is 410 feet high and designed to withstand an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.0. It is named for a local ironworker who survived a fall from the Golden Gate Bridge during its 1936 construction. Mr. Zampa died at 95, weeks after turning the first shovel of dirt for the new bridge in 2000.


Popular diets help heart, study shows

ORLANDO — No matter which diet you are on, if you eat less and lose weight you also lower your risk for heart disease, doctors told a conference yesterday.

Weight Watchers, the high-fat Atkins diet, the low-fat Ornish diet and the high-protein, moderate carbohydrate Zone diet all help people lose weight and all reduce cholesterol, but in different ways, the researchers said.

“On average, participants in the study reduced their heart disease risk by 5 percent to 15 percent,” Dr. Michael Dansinger of Tufts University in Boston told a meeting of the American Heart Association.

While the dieters reduced heart disease “risk factors” such as cholesterol levels, overall blood pressure did not drop much.


Explorers find gold in shipwreck

SAVANNAH — After searching the ocean for more than 10 years, marine explorers found crates of gold this week at the site of a Civil War-era shipwreck about 100 miles east of Savannah.

Archaeologists and technicians from Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. last week found 80 gold coins and at least two wooden crates of gold coins buried in the sediment, said company spokeswoman Laura Lionetti Barton.

The gold’s worth is not known, said the spokeswoman, who added the old coins still must be lifted carefully from the ocean floor.

“We don’t want to scratch them,” she said.


Union members charged in fires

CHICAGO — Seven members of a movie projectionists union were charged along with two associates last week with trying to settle labor disputes by setting fires and carrying out beatings at theaters in 10 states.

Federal prosecutors said the crimes were intended to scare officials of three major theater chains. In two cases, theater managers were beaten — with a pipe in one case, with a bat in another.

The 15 fires and other crimes took place from New York to Texas, and blazes were started with moviegoers in the theaters, forcing mass evacuations, according to the indictment.


Church council joins Taco Bell boycott

JACKSON — The National Council of Churches voted to join two consumer boycotts. The boycotts are against Taco Bell and Mt. Olive Pickle companies for farm worker conditions.

With 36 member churches comprising 50 million Christians, the NCC is the largest religious body to endorse the boycott of Taco Bell.


Body parts found in FedEx package

KIRKWOOD — FedEx workers discovered a shipment of two human legs and an arm when one of the boxes was found leaking at a company depot, police said.

A Las Vegas donor research company sent the limbs to a man who sells body parts to doctors for use in research projects, Kirkwood police spokeswoman Diane Scanga said. The FBI, state agencies and local police determined no laws were broken, she said.

The shipment was discovered last week when one of the boxes was found leaking at a FedEx depot in nearby St. Louis. Workers learned each package contained a limb, wrapped in dry ice.

Police refused to identify the addressee, who was issued a warning for apparently operating an unlicensed home business.


Man fatally shot at friend’s memorial

PITTSBURGH — A 20-year-old man was fatally shot while attending a party celebrating the life of a slain friend, police said yesterday.

Marcus Sewell was shot in the head Saturday at a Pittsburgh row house. He died at Allegheny General Hospital.

Authorities said about 20 people were at the house to honor Ronald Holland, 19, who was fatally shot on Sept. 9.

Police said they had no motive or suspect in Mr. Sewell’s slaying.


State investigates school drug raid

GOOSE CREEK — State police are investigating a drug sweep in which more than a dozen local officers charged into a crowded high school hallway with their guns drawn and handcuffed students.

No drugs or weapons were found during the sweep, and there were no drug-related arrests.

Videotape from Stratford High School surveillance cameras Wednesday morning showed dozens of students, some of them handcuffed, sitting on a hallway floor against the walls as police officers watched them with guns drawn and police dogs sniffing backpacks and bags strewn across the hall.

Prosecutor Ralph Hoisington told the Charleston Post and Courier in its Saturday editions that he asked the State Law Enforcement Division on Friday to look into suspicions of police misconduct.


Picasso, Matisse lead art exhibit

HOUSTON — A pair of New York and Texas art dealers exhibited for the first time a heretofore secret trove of works by famed artists Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso.

The prints, about 230 in total, were on display in two shows at Houston’s Meredith Long & Co. gallery and at Adelson Galleries in New York. The New York show closed Saturday, and the Houston show will be open until Nov. 20.

“These are probably two of the most important artists of the 20th century,” said Meredith Long, a lanky Texan whose major passion besides art is hunting. He opened his gallery in 1957.

The collection is another in a long line of exhibitions showing Picasso and Matisse, two lifelong friends and artistic rivals. But Mr. Long said this show highlights the individuals, where others have shown how each influenced the other by sharing and competing.


Ground broken for rail segment

SEATTLE — Work is set to begin on the first segment of Seattle’s light rail system, the largest public works project in the city since construction of Interstate 5 in the 1960s.

Public officials and community leaders broke ground over the weekend on the 14-mile Central Link line, which will connect downtown to the southern suburb of Tukwila. It is scheduled for completion in 2009 and is expected to move more than 42,000 people a day by 2020.

Of the $2.44 billion cost, $2 billion will come from local sources and $500 million will be a federal grant.

Transit authorities hope ultimately to build a 24-mile line from Northgate shopping area north of the city to Sea-Tac airport, and east to link the suburban city of Bellevue.


Governor vetoes marriage bill

MADISON — Gov. James E. Doyle vetoed a bill last week that would define marriage in Wisconsin as solely between a man and a woman.

Mr. Doyle, a Democrat, said state law already clearly prohibits same-sex “marriage” and called the legislation mean-spirited.

State law now defines marriage as a contract between a husband and wife. But supporters of the bill have warned that activist judges could interpret the language loosely and redefine marriage to include homosexual couples. They said the bill would ensure homosexual “marriage” would not be allowed or recognized in Wisconsin.

State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the bill’s authors, said he expects homosexual couples will challenge Wisconsin’s current statutes in court. He also said it was likely a homosexual couple would seek a “marriage” in another jurisdiction where it is legal and return to Wisconsin seeking legal recognition.

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