- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2003


Memorial held for Madame Chiang

NEW YORK — Madame Chiang Kai-shek was remembered yesterday as a world leader whose life spanned three centuries, the “first lady of first ladies” whose intellect encompassed East and West.

“Her death removes the last prominent figure from the World War II generation,” said former Sen. Bob Dole, Kansas Republican, who joined more than 1,600 other mourners at St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue for a memorial service.

Madame Chiang, who died Oct. 23 at the age of 105 at her New York City home, was American-educated. Her 1927 marriage to Gen. Chiang Kai-shek thrust her into the forefront of world events.

Gen. Chiang’s Nationalist government ruled China during World War II when the Japanese occupied much of the country.


Governor resigns to head EPA

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Michael O. Leavitt, a Republican, formally resigned yesterday to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

His lieutenant, Olene Walker, was sworn in as Utah’s first female governor.

Mr. Leavitt became the state’s first governor to leave office before the end of a term. He is expected to take his EPA oath today.

During the same ceremony in Utah’s Capitol, lawyer Gayle McKeachnie was sworn in as Mrs. Walker’s lieutenant governor. Mrs. Walker will serve out the remainder of Mr. Leavitt’s term, which ends in January 2005, but has not indicated whether she plans to seek a full term in the 2004 election.


Officials approve shooting of wolves

ANCHORAGE — Alaska game officials on Tuesday approved the state’s first program in more than 15 years to shoot wolves from aircraft, despite a campaign by opponents decrying the plan as inhumane.

The eradication program is planned for areas where declining moose populations have been blamed on wolf predation, around McGrath in the interior and large parts of the Nelchina basin east of Anchorage.

“We understand the importance of moose populations, particularly for subsistence reasons,” Board of Game Chairman Mike Fleagle said at a news conference.


Voters shoot down peaceful initiative

DENVER — Voters here weren’t quite ready to give peace a chance as they overwhelmingly voted down a ballot measure on Tuesday that would have required city officials to lower the burg’s stress level.

Known as the “peacefulness initiative,” Measure 101 lost by a 68 percent to 32 percent margin, despite no organized opposition. Its main proponent, former transcendental meditation instructor Jeff Peckman, said his aim was to lower “societywide stress” through means such as offering soothing music and health foods at public buildings.

But voters ultimately appeared to agree with critics that the measure would turn the city into a national laughingstock. The measure drew international press coverage after Mr. Peckman gathered the required 2,500 signatures to put it on the city ballot.


One killed, four wounded in shooting

BOSTON — A shooting at a city bus station killed one person, wounded four others and sent bystanders screaming and running for cover yesterday. Police said a gunman was arrested.

The shooting took place at the Dudley Square bus station in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood, police Officer Nadine Taylor-Miller said. Two of the wounded had life-threatening injuries, one was in critical condition, and the fourth was grazed in the leg, she said.

Details about the gunman were not known. However, authorities said that the person was in custody and that police had recovered the weapon.


State rated as least generous

CONCORD — New Hampshire is holding tightly to its distinction as the stingiest state, according to an annual index of charitable giving.

For three of the past five years, New Hampshire has been at the bottom of the Generosity Index, which compares what residents of each state earn with how much they give. New Hampshire surrendered the miserly title to Rhode Island the other two years.

New Hampshire residents donated $462 million, an average of about $2,400 per taxpayer, according to the Catalogue for Philanthropy. That looks especially stingy considering the state’s relative wealth. Its average income of $51,000 is eighth-highest in the country, while its average giving ranks 48th.

By comparison, Mississippi, the most generous state, had an average income of $34,000.


Juror’s curiosity prompts mistrial

COLUMBUS — A juror whose curiosity caused a mistrial was handed down a stern 15-minute lecture from a judge who found her in contempt of court.

Franklin County Municipal Judge Teresa Liston accepted an apology and repayment of $1,198 in court costs from Fasanthia Wilkerson.

Miss Wilkerson, 48, was accused of disobeying the judge’s order not to conduct outside investigations by driving past the site of a contested traffic stop before deliberations.

She had said she wanted to see whether a club mentioned in testimony was one she used to frequent in her youth, so she drove down the street where the traffic stop occurred. She mentioned the detour to fellow jurors, and the jury foreman sent a note to Judge Liston, who declared a mistrial.

Christopher Hurd, acting as his own attorney in the traffic case, “left this courtroom disappointed, with no confidence in the jury system,” Judge Liston said. He since has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless operation.


Judge orders release of nightclub fire tapes

WARWICK — A judge ordered the state attorney general’s office yesterday to release about 270 phone calls and audio transmissions between rescue personnel recorded the night a fire ripped through a West Warwick nightclub, killing 100 persons.

The tapes will likely be released today.

Superior Court Judge Mark Pfeiffer made his ruling based on requests from the press seeking more information about what happened at the Station nightclub on Feb. 20.

The transmissions include 277 phone calls among police, firefighters and other first responders. They do not include calls by club patrons or other civilians. The Attorney General’s Office said eight of those will be edited to delete sensitive information, such as the identification of victims.


Janklow’s record unsealed by judge

FLANDREAU — Some evidence prosecutors want to use in the manslaughter case against Rep. Bill Janklow was unsealed Tuesday, including a driving record listing seven accidents and 12 speeding tickets.

But Circuit Judge Rodney Steele also ruled that other evidence might bias potential jurors in advance of the South Dakota Republican’s trial. It will remain sealed for now.

Judge Steele’s ruling means the public can attend part of a hearing Monday during which attorneys will argue about what evidence should be included in the trial, which is scheduled for the week of Dec. 1.

Mr. Janklow, who did not attend Tuesday’s hearing, is charged with felony second-degree manslaughter and three misdemeanors for an Aug. 16 traffic accident near Trent that killed a motorcyclist.


Grisly photos shown in murder trial

GALVESTON — Prosecutors waved grisly photographs of a butchered body in the courtroom yesterday as they urged jurors to convict New York real estate heir Robert Durst of murdering and then dismembering his neighbor in a run-down Texas apartment.

In closing arguments, his attorneys accused prosecutors of relying on “emotional Hail Marys” like the photographs because they had no proof that Mr. Durst meant to kill Morris Black.

Mr. Durst, 60, has admitted killing Mr. Black. He said the two were scuffling over a gun in Mr. Durst’s $300-a-month Galveston apartment on Sept. 28, 2001, when it discharged and the bullet struck Mr. Black in the face.

But prosecutor Joel Bennett told jurors that Mr. Durst murdered Mr. Black on purpose so he could steal his identity. Investigators think Mr. Durst was trying to evade authorities who wanted to question him about the 1982 disappearance of his wife and the 2000 murder of friend Susan Berman in Los Angeles.

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