- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 13, 2003


Girl chained to bed dies in fire

CLARKSVILLE — A 10-year-old girl who authorities say had been chained to a bed by her ankles was killed in a house fire, and her parents were arrested on manslaughter charges.

Sheriff Wesley Kendrick said investigators believe the blaze early Monday was accidental. Four persons — Lloyd Holt, 32, Teresa Dick, 31, and their two other children — made it out of the house before it burned to the ground.

Firefighters found the body of Molly Holt in her bedroom under debris where the roof had collapsed, a police official said. The official would not say what the parents told investigators when asked why their daughter was chained to the bed.


Assault suspects to be tried as juveniles

HONESDALE — Supporters of students who said they were sexually assaulted at a football camp expressed outrage after a judge Wednesday ordered the older boys accused of carrying out the hazing to be tried as juveniles rather than adults.

Wayne County President Judge Robert J. Conway ordered his decision sealed, but reaction outside the courthouse suggested that he decided against trying the three students from Mepham High School in Bellmore, N.Y., as adults.

The three Long Island students, ages 16 and 17, had been charged with numerous felonies for sodomizing younger teammates with broomsticks, pine cones and golf balls as part of a hazing ritual during a weeklong summer training camp in August in Preston Park.


Man sentenced for hacking Al Jazeera

LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles-area man has been fined and sentenced to community service for hacking into the Web site of satellite TV network Al Jazeera during the U.S.-led war in Iraq and rerouting visitors to a page featuring an American flag and the motto “Let Freedom Ring.”

At a sentencing hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Howard Matz told Web designer John William Racine II: “I don’t think of you as an evil person … but this was a crime. It wasn’t just a childish prank.”

Judge Matz sentenced Racine, 24, to 1,000 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine. Racine vowed to the judge that he would never do such a thing again.


Court allows NAACP challenge

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People can challenge the governor’s elimination of racial and sex preferences in state university admissions.

The 4-3 ruling overturned a 2002 decision by the state’s 1st District Court of Appeal that dismissed the civil rights group’s challenge to Gov. Jeb Bush’s “One Florida” program, which eliminated race as a consideration in state college admissions, and “Talented 20” plan, which guarantees admission to the top 20 percent of each public high school’s graduating class.

The Republican governor has said the policy changes, made in 2000, will increase racial diversity in the state’s universities and colleges.

The Florida Conferences of Branches of the NAACP argued that the rules were a change in policy that could be made only by the Legislature.


Man wins lottery with two tickets

ATLANTA — A Georgia man’s trip to a grocery store yielded not one but two winning tickets for a $70 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot.

The jackpot is good for a cash-option prize of $26.6 million before taxes.

Stephen Cooke said he did not realize until he went to claim the prize that he had bought two sets of winning numbers for Tuesday’s drawing.

“When I saw that one of my three tickets was a winner, I was in shock,” said the 60-year-old school-bus driver, who plans to use his winnings to buy a cabin on a lake and spend time fishing. “I didn’t even think to check my other tickets.”


Call-center closure to cost 200 jobs

HONOLULU — About 200 employees will lose their jobs when Cheap Tickets Inc. closes its Hawaii call center by the end of the year.

The company will keep its headquarters in New Jersey. Most of its operations are located in Denver, where it has a large call center. Increased online travel bookings have reduced the need for call centers, a company spokeswoman said.


Councilman to pick 2 other members

HUDSON — Sean Walker, elected last week to his first term on the Town Council, will get to pick the other two members of the council. The current council appointed Mr. Walker to break a three-way tie in the election results for two other seats.

Mr. Walker is scheduled to announce his decision Nov. 24. The council’s attorney suggested the tactic.


Deputy faces charges in crash

GREAT BEND — Barton County prosecutors asked the state Attorney General’s Office to consider criminal charges stemming from a fatal crash involving a county deputy.

A motorcyclist was killed in September when he slammed into the patrol car of Deputy David Paden, who was trying to make a U-turn. Deputy Paden has been involved in two fatal accidents in the past two years.


Firm puts wreaths on veterans’ graves

AUGUSTA — A company that has donated thousands of its Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery in time for the holidays is expanding the gesture to honor veterans in Maine and 10 other states.

After that, maybe it will go for every veteran’s grave in the country, said Brent Hartford, general manager of Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington.

“We’d like to, over the next five years, put a wreath on every one,” Mr. Hartford said yesterday. About 2.6 million veterans’ graves are located in national and state cemeteries alone, he said.

Teaming up with the American Legion, the company hopes to decorate every veteran’s grave site in Maine with a balsam-fir wreath for the holidays. The Legion is working with Worcester to bring the program to New Hampshire, Nebraska, Arizona, West Virginia, Montana, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Vermont and Connecticut.

Through Legion posts in those states, the company is selling the wreaths for $19.95, which covers a $5 donation to the Legion for its charities.


Man indicted in baby’s death

SALEM — A man who gave a baby boy and his 2-year-old sister arsenic-based weed killer instead of water at a family cookout was charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter over the infant’s death, prosecutors said.

Constantine Pitsas, 75, of Nahant, will be arraigned Thursday on charges of involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Salem Superior Court.

The grand jury indictment Wednesday was for the death of 4-month-old Benjamin Glynn and injuries to the baby’s 2-year-old sister, Morgan.

The two became ill at an Aug. 9 cookout they and their parents were attending at Mr. Pitsas’ home.


Rapist convicted of woman’s death

LIBERTY — A paroled rapist was convicted of first-degree murder Wednesday for suffocating a woman in her lover’s apartment three years ago.

Wayne DuMond, 54, will receive a life sentence without parole for the slaying of Carol Sue Shields, a 39-year-old married mother. Her body had been left bound and nude on a bed in the apartment of a man with whom she had been having an affair.

DuMond was arrested in June 2001, several months after Mrs. Shields’ death, when material under the woman’s fingernails was matched to his DNA, which was in a national database.

DuMond was paroled in Arkansas after serving 13 years of a sentence for the 1984 rape of a teenager. DuMond was awaiting trial in that case when someone castrated him in 1985 in his Arkansas home.


75 wedding gowns stolen from store

LINCOLN — Jennifer Schultz-Hurt can’t understand it. Neither can Lincoln police.

Why would someone steal 75 wedding gowns from her store?

Sometime between 6 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. Tuesday, the gowns, valued at $37,500, were taken from the Bridal Gown Outlet, said Police Capt. Terrence Sherrill.

Mrs. Schultz-Hurt said neither money nor jewelry was missing. The burglars also left behind the standard, more popular dress sizes, she said. Taken were mainly sizes in the 1 to 2 range, as well as several 22-plus sizes.

It’s the second time the store has been burglarized since it opened in 1992.


Boy, 3, witnesses mom’s disappearance

CARSON CITY — A woman is missing and her 3-year-old — who was found wearing a bloody shirt while wandering in a parking lot — has told authorities he saw three men take her and hit her, investigators said.

Bertha Anguiano’s car was found Monday at the elementary school where she had dropped off an older child that morning. Her purse and keys were gone, and her younger son who had been with her was found 90 minutes later in the parking lot in Dayton, 15 miles away. There was no sign of the 33-year-old mother and no indication of a struggle in her car, Sheriff Ken Furlong said yesterday.

The boy said he and his mother were taken to Dayton by three men and that he was hit on the head with an unknown object, authorities said.


Bear tracker used to catch a thief

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico game officials opened a new chapter in crime prevention using a transmitter to track bears in the wild to find a thief who made off with goods from one of their storage sheds.

After falling victim to theft of items such as electronics used in hunters’ education programs, one officer decided enough was enough, and set a trap to catch the thief.

The officer removed the transmitter from a collar used to track bears in the wild and put it into a broken compact disc player he had brought from home.

The thief stole the player from the storage shed, and officials honed in on the beacon with a flyover and an on-the-ground search early this week. They used sophisticated telemetry to lead police to the suspect, who was found at an Albuquerque motel, said Robert Livingston, a department official. Merle Lee Baker, 38, was arrested and charged with felonies.


Records show boy had eating disorder

TRENTON — The oldest of four boys state officials say were starved by their adoptive parents had developed a serious eating disorder long before he was placed in the custody of child welfare officials, according to confidential state records cited in a newspaper report yesterday.

Another of the boys was born prematurely to a drug-using mother and was once suspected of having fetal alcohol syndrome, according to the same records.

State officials say the boys, found weighing less than 45 pounds each, were starved by their adoptive parents. The adoptive parents, charged with aggravated assault and child endangerment, have denied the accusation and said the boys had eating disorders.

The Division of Youth and Family Services reports, obtained by the Star-Ledger of Newark, describe the eldest boy’s eating disorder, saying that by age 2, Bruce Jackson regularly gorged on food and vomited it.

Foster parents Vanessa and Raymond Jackson were charged after Bruce, now 19, was found scrounging through a neighbor’s trash for food.


Student growth delayed from out of state

RALEIGH — Plans to add more out-of-state students to the University of North Carolina system have been put on hold for at least a year as opposition grows angrier.

The UNC Board of Governors originally was scheduled to vote today on raising the out-of-state cap from 18 percent to 22 percent of the freshman class. Opponents fear more out-of-state students would hurt the chances of in-state students.


Wynonna Judd charged with DUI

NASHVILLE — Country singer Wynonna Judd was charged with drunken driving early yesterday after a police officer stopped her Land Rover near Music Row.

The arrest report said Miss Judd had an odor of alcohol about her, watery eyes and dilated pupils, and she didn’t remember how many drinks she had consumed.

Miss Judd consented to a breath test and registered a blood alcohol level of 0.175 percent — more than twice the 0.08 percent legal definition of drunken driving, the report said. An officer said he stopped the vehicle because it was traveling 47 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Miss Judd — who began her career as half of the mother-daughter act the Judds — posted the standard $500 bond for a first offense and was released.

The singer said in a statement later that she had been celebrating her impending wedding and a friend’s birthday “and clearly let my excitement get the best of me.” Miss Judd plans to marry longtime bodyguard D.R. Roach later this month.


Veto stands on marriage law

MADISON — Lawmakers who had passed a bill that would have defined marriage in Wisconsin as solely between a man and a woman failed to override the governor’s veto.

The state Assembly on Wednesday fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required to override Gov. James E. Doyle’s veto of a law he described as “mean-spirited.”

Mr. Doyle, a Democrat, said at the time that state law already clearly prohibits same-sex “marriage.”

Wisconsin 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.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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