- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 12, 2003


Man arrested in abortion-clinic plot

MIAMI BEACH — A man suspected of plotting to bomb abortion clinics was arrested after coming “perilously close to carrying out his plans,” the FBI said.

Stephen John Jordi, 35, was in the final stages of planning imminent attacks on abortion clinics north of Miami-Dade County, U.S. Attorney Marcos Jimenez said. The prosecutor did not say exactly how far along the plot was and would not identify the clinics.

Mr. Jordi was charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence, distribution of information relating to making and using explosives for arson, and possession of an unregistered firearm or destructive device.


300 sickened by hepatitis

PITTSBURGH — The number of people sickened by a hepatitis A outbreak at a Mexican restaurant continued to climb, with state health officials this week confirming at least 300 cases since early September.

Of the cases linked to a Chi-Chi’s restaurant about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, 31 were in Ohio, eight in West Virginia, one in Florida, and one in South Carolina.

The restaurant voluntarily closed Nov. 2 and has not reopened. Seattle lawyer William Marler said his firm has already filed a lawsuit against the restaurant.


Actor returns to internment camp

ROHWER — A cypress root harvested from an Arkansas swamp 60 years ago is one of the few mementos that “Star Trek” actor George Takei has from his childhood at a World War II internment camp.

The gnarled knee reminds him of a part of his past that he had revisited only in his mind — until this week. As he traveled Sunday through this remote stretch of farmland, where he and more than 8,500 other Japanese-Americans lived during the war, Mr. Takei spoke of finding resilience in beauty.

“What [the root] symbolizes for me is that my parents were able to survive by finding and creating things that were beautiful,” Mr. Takei said.

Mr. Takei, 64, who portrayed Hikaru Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series, returned to the former Rohwer Relocation Center to bring awareness to an effort to preserve the history of the Arkansas camps by the Little Rock-based Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Japanese-American National Museum. Mr. Takei is chairman of the museum board.


Blind woman sues fertility clinic

DENVER — A woman who has accused a clinic of denying her fertility treatments because she is blind testified yesterday that she felt humiliated when doctors refused to help her become pregnant.

Kijuana Chambers, 33, testified at the start of her trial in federal court that doctors at the Rocky Mountain Women’s Health Care Center performed four rounds of artificial insemination in 1999 but stopped when she refused to hire an occupational therapist to evaluate the safety of her home.

Her lawsuit seeks unspecified damages, claiming that the clinic violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Miss Chambers said she always wanted a child, but it had seemed impossible because she is a lesbian. She found another clinic to do the procedure and gave birth to a daughter, Laurina, on Jan. 1, 2001.


Screening rooms delayed at airport

ATLANTA — Officials at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport say construction of luggage-screening rooms underneath the airport has been delayed until January.

They cited negotiations with federal officials over payment and design details.

Construction of the $215 million project is expected to last about 14 months.


Driver crashes while changing clothes

LAPORTE — A truck driver crashed his semitrailer while trying to change clothes, as he drove 60 mph on a northern Indiana highway.

Terry Gilmore, 59, of Ohio, told investigators he had set his cruise control so he could change while driving on U.S. 6 Monday night, the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department said.

He misjudged a curve and rolled off the road and into two fences, police said. Mr. Gilmore was not seriously injured but was taken to LaPorte Hospital as a precaution.

The crash caused officers to close a portion of the road for more than three hours.


Plan would toughen utility cutoff rules

DES MOINES —State regulators are considering a proposal that would make it harder for utility companies to disconnect delinquent customers during the winter.

Companies can’t disconnect low-income Iowans who miss payments when the temperature drops below 20 degrees. A plan being considered by the state utilities board would raise the threshold to 32 degrees.


Drug dealer convicted in sheriff’s slaying

SOMERSET — A self-described drug dealer was convicted yesterday of complicity in the assassination of a crime-fighting sheriff, who was gunned down last year after delivering a re-election campaign speech.

Kenneth White, 57, showed no sign of emotion when the jury returned, after 45 minutes, with a verdict that could result in the death penalty.

Earlier in the day, White took the stand to deny being a part of the scheme to kill Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron. He answered with an emphatic “no” when asked by his defense attorney and the prosecutor whether he was involved.

Sheriff Catron, 48, was shot minutes after delivering a campaign speech at a fish fry in Shopville on April 13, 2002. A single bullet fired from about 80 yards away killed the sheriff, known for his tough stand against drugs.

Jeff Morris, a former deputy who was running against the four-term sheriff, and Danny Shelley, who was helping in Morris’ campaign, both have pleaded guilty to their roles in the slaying.


Collector reels in rare fishing lure

BOXBORO — A South Carolina construction worker reeled in a rare fishing lure at an auction of fishing collectibles, paying more than $101,000 for the 10-inch hollow-bodied copper minnow.

Tracey Shirey bought the lure, made by gunsmith Riley Haskell in Painesville, Ohio, in 1859, at an auction held over the weekend at the Boxboro Holiday Inn by Lang’s Sporting Collectibles.

“I’m on top of the world,” Mr. Shirey said. “That’s the Holy Grail of fishing lures, I do believe. That’s the best piece of tackle known to man. I’ve had hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of lures, and none of those adds up to what that one piece means to me.”

The minnow rests in a box with “R. Haskell” stamped on one end. It features scale detail and defined fins and is the only one of its size. About a dozen Haskell Minnows in smaller sizes have turned up in recent years.


Classes canceled on Muslim feast day

DEARBORN HEIGHTS — The Crestwood School District is canceling classes on the Muslim feast day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the monthlong Ramadan fast. Superintendent Oscar Brown scheduled a staff development day for Nov. 25.

Schools in nearby Dearborn, which has the state’s largest concentration of Arab-Americans, began closing on Eid al-Fitr in 2001.


City leaders ready for new logo

OMAHA — City leaders are painting the town red to show off a new logo.

“O!” in red spray paint was painted on sidewalks at major street intersections last week, in hopes that businesses and passers-by will pick up on the playful attempt to spread the word that Omaha is full of surprises that can attract tourists and conventions.

“Keep your eyes and your ears open, you will be surprised at what’s to come,” said Sharon Brodkey, spokeswoman for the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

The new slogan comes about six months after officials in the city dropped the unpopular “Omaha: Rare, Well Done.”


Track owner threatens to move

SCARBOROUGH — Scarborough Downs wants residents in neighboring Saco to vote on allowing slot machines at the harness-racing track.

Owner Sharon Terry said she would consider relocating to another community after Scarborough residents rejected slots last week.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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