- The Washington Times - Monday, November 3, 2003


Fire hits home of ‘Radio’

ANDERSON — A week after the film “Radio” premiered around the nation, the man whose life inspired the film awoke to find his room engulfed in flames.

The early Saturday morning fire destroyed James Robert “Radio” Kennedy’s room, but caused only minor damage to the rest of the house he shares with his family, said Anderson fire battalion Chief Dale Horne.

Mr. Kennedy, a mentally disabled man who became an inspiration first for the local football team and then for the entire community, awoke, saw the flames and woke his brother.


‘Mr. Republican’ dies at 87

KINGSPORT — Jimmy Quillen, who spent 34 years in Congress and earned the title “Mr. Republican” in Tennessee, died yesterday morning at a Kingsport hospital.

Mr. Quillen, who had been in ill health for several years, was 87.

Mr. Quillen’s tenure as a U.S. representative, beginning in 1963, was longer than any other Tennessean in history. He replaced the late Rep. B. Carroll Reece after the 1962 election. In 1996, he decided not to seek another term.


Smugglers of aliens disguise vehicles

TUCSON — Immigrant smugglers trying to fool law- enforcement officials have painted vehicles to look like a Federal Express van and even U.S. Border Patrol vehicles.

Last week, they tried again — using a vehicle painted to look like a Phoenix TV news truck.

Agents tipped to a home in Naco believed to be harboring illegal aliens watched as 10 persons climbed into a Ford Explorer and an Isuzu pickup truck.

The sides and front of the Explorer were painted with a large “12” and other station insignia on the sides, including the phrase “12 Stands for Local News.”

Agents found five undocumented immigrants in each vehicle and charged each driver with felony alien smuggling, Border Patrol spokesman Andy Adame said.


Charter funding makes ballot

DENVER — Two Colorado charter schools are making history by placing their own funding initiatives on tomorrow’s ballot.

The Brighton Charter School in Brighton and the Knowledge Quest Academy in Milliken are asking voters to approve extra property taxes to fund construction projects at their schools, marking what is believed to be the first time charter schools have used the ballot process for fund raising.

Education advocates are watching the outcome of the election as a gauge of public support for charter schools, which fall under the auspices of school districts but are run by independent boards and often feature specialized curricula.

The state’s 10-year-old charter school law allows such schools to go directly to the voters for funding if the school districts fail to include them in their own bond measures.

The Brighton Charter School is asking voters for $4.5 million over 10 years to build a new high school, which is now housed in the old county court building next to the county jail. The Brighton School District has a separate bond measure that requests $50 million.

The Knowledge Quest Academy is requesting $1.4 million over 10 years for a new school building. Its school district, the Johnstown-Milliken School District, is asking for $500,000 annually for operating costs and almost $16 million for a new elementary school.


Exterminators capture emu

PENSACOLA — A 6-foot-tall emu led a half-dozen pest-control workers on a 90-minute chase through woods and brush before the flightless bird was snared and then gang-tackled.

Gene Ham has caught raccoons, opossums, coyotes, deer, squirrels, foxes and other critters in his job with Jones/Hill Pest Control, but last week’s chase was his first encounter with an emu, an ostrichlike bird native to Australia.

The emu was taken to a zoo near suburban Gulf Breeze after being caught west of Pensacola near Perdido Bay.


Juvenile crime hits new low

HONOLULU — Serious juvenile crime in Hawaii reached a record low for the fifth consecutive year in 2002 as the state’s overall crime rate climbed 12.2 percent, according to the state Attorney General’s Office. The number of violent crimes rose 2.9 percent last year, compared with 2001, while a 44.5 percent surge in motor vehicle thefts led the 12.7 percent increase in overall property crimes.


Pediatricians issue new advice on poisons

CHICAGO — Parents should avoid the old standby poison remedy of ipecac syrup and instead call poison control centers when children ingest toxic substances, the American Academy of Pediatrics says, reversing a long-standing position.

For decades, doctors have recommended that parents keep a bottle of ipecac on hand to induce vomiting when children ingest something poisonous. The antidote is made from roots of the tropical ipecac plant.

Recommendations for using it have been based more on intuition rather on than any hard evidence that home use is effective, said Dr. Milton Tenenbein, director of the Manitoba poison control center and lead author of the new guidelines, which appear in December’s issue of Pediatrics, being published today.

Dr. Tenenbein said poison control centers have been phasing out use of ipecac for several reasons. It sometimes causes prolonged vomiting and lethargy. Those symptoms can complicate diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Tenenbein said.


Tourist slump forces museum to cut back

STURBRIDGE — Old Sturbridge Village will cut back hours, reduce some admissions prices and may cut up to 10 percent of staff because of a fall-off in tourism, officials said.

The museum, which re-creates early 19th-century New England village life, will close Mondays and Tuesdays for the first three months of 2004.


Baby dies in day care accident

MINNEAPOLIS — Will Hibicke was a happy baby. Big blue eyes. Chubby cheeks.

For most of their lives, Will and his 3-year-old sister, Taylor, were in day care at the home of Kristine Kroschel. The parents said that she loved those children, and that Will’s death last week was a freak accident.

Miss Kroschel was moving a television set on a stand away from a wall but apparently didn’t see that Will had crawled near, authorities reported. The television tipped and fell on Will’s head, he said. Investigators don’t believe that Miss Kroschel tried to hurt the baby, but they will send the case to the county attorney’s office to see whether neglect charges are appropriate, he said.

Will died at a hospital about 2 hours after the accident, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune reported.


No federal charges pending in crash

JACKSON — Federal officials said yesterday that a woman who rammed her car into an arena where President Bush had just given a speech had no intention of harming the president and no federal charges are pending against her, but she will face state charges.

A friend said the woman, Betina Mixon, 29, may have wanted to hurt herself.

After interviewing her, investigators determined she had “no direction of interest toward the president whatsoever,” Ann Roman, a Secret Service spokeswoman, told the Associated Press yesterday. She said the woman faces state charges that could include aggravated assault.

Mr. Bush had just spoken at a Saturday campaign rally for Haleys Barbour, the Republican nominee for governor, and was in his limousine preparing to leave, a senior administration official said.


Hot water frees mountain lion cubs

HELENA — A railroad inspector and a game warden used the age-old trick of a little hot water to free three mountain lion cubs stuck to a railroad track.

Pat O’Rourke was inspecting the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe main line near Butte on Friday when he saw three cubs frozen to the tracks. One was on its back, and one was stuck by its tail. The third had a paw on a railroad spike and its belly on the track.

The young mountain lions apparently had crossed Silver Bow Creek in the 10-degree air before walking onto the steel rails and getting stuck.

Mr. O’Rourke called for help and Marty Vook, a state game warden, responded. He brought the hot water.


German wins beard championship

CARSON CITY — A German with snow-white sideburns sweeping gracefully outward 8 inches from his face overcame strong competition to win the Sixth World Beard and Moustache Championships here.

In a silver-gray morning suit and top hat to highlight his whiskers, Berlin native Karl Heinz Hille beat a field of 130 sporting beards shaped into fantastic twisting whorls and rapierlike moustaches to gain the title World Champion.

“I feel as happy as a pig in mud,” said Mr. Hille, who also won the category for Imperial-shaped whiskers.

Competitors from 10 nations vied for honors in 17 categories of beard, sideburn and moustache fashions in the Nevada state capitol on Saturday.


Dropped phone leads to delays trains

NEW YORK — A man trying to fish his cell phone from a commuter train toilet got his arm stuck, forcing the train to stop and causing delays throughout the rail system.

Thousands of commuters were delayed and several trains were rerouted while rescue workers tried to pull him out, a Metro-North Railroad spokesman said Thursday.

Edwin Gallart, 41, of the Bronx, dropped his cell phone in the toilet of his Mount Vernon-bound train shortly after it left Grand Central Terminal during rush hour on Wednesday, Metro-North spokesman Dan Brucker said.

The train was held at a station after a passenger heard Mr. Gallart’s cries for help.

When train workers failed to pry Mr. Gallart’s arm free, police officers and firefighters were called in to use a blowtorch to cut apart the stainless-steel toilet.

The phone was not recovered.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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