- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2003

TEXAS

Twins doing well after surgery

DALLAS — Two-year-old Egyptian twins whose fused heads were surgically separated over the weekend were doing well yesterday but were still not out of the danger zone, a doctor said.

Ahmed and Muhammad Ibrahim had been born joined at the top of their heads, but with separate brains. Brain scans yesterday found no bleeding and little swelling from the 34-hour operation.

“The neurosurgery team is quite pleased with what they see,” said Dr. James Thomas, chief of critical care at Children’s Medical Center.

LOUISIANA

Eight church members die in crash

TALLULAH — A church bus taking Texas senior citizens on a 16-day tour of historical sites around the East slammed into a cotton-hauling tractor-trailer parked on the shoulder of a highway yesterday, killing eight persons and injuring at least seven.

The bus driver survived the wreck and told investigators he may have fallen asl

eep at the wheel before crashing into the truck around 11 a.m. on Interstate 20 in northeastern Louisiana, state police Sgt. C.K. Thompson said.

ALABAMA

Mayor scolds worker for panning film

MOBILE — The head of a city museum is in trouble with the mayor for writing a stinging review of the Civil War epic “Gods and Generals” that accuses the film of downplaying the role of slavery.

George Ewert, director of the Museum of Mobile, panned the movie in a piece published by the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center in its magazine as well as on its Web site.

Mayor Mike Dow reprimanded Mr. Ewert for the review in a letter Friday, telling him not to write similar articles without approval from him and the chairman of the museum board. Mr. Dow, who has been at odds with Southern heritage groups, called the review inflammatory.

ALASKA

Judge orders ruling on Senate initiative

ANCHORAGE — A judge ordered Lt. Gov. Loren Leman to decide by Oct. 25 whether to certify a ballot initiative that could change how vacancies in the U.S. Senate are filled. The initiative would require a special election rather than gubernatorial appointment.

Three Democratic lawmakers filed the initiative after Frank H. Murkowski, a Republican, appointed his daughter to the Senate to fill out his term after he was elected governor.

CONNECTICUT

First lady releases book about sons

HARTFORD — State first lady Patty Rowland has written a children’s book based on her sons’ experiences in the governor’s mansion.

Mrs. Rowland said “Marvelous Max the Mansion Mouse” is a gift to her two teenage sons for their patience with the family’s life in the political spotlight. Proceeds from the book will benefit the Literacy Volunteers of America.

ILLINOIS

Obese Americans growing rapidly

CHICAGO — The proportion of Americans who are severely obese, weighing 100 pounds or more than they should, has quadrupled in recent years, to one in 50 adults from one in 200, a study reported yesterday.

“The most dramatic part of the ‘obesity epidemic’ has remained hidden, namely, that the prevalence of clinically severe obesity is increasing twice as fast as the prevalence of obesity,” said Roland Sturm of the RAND Corp. in Santa Monica, Calif.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association Web site, a person is considered obese when the extra pounds they carry add up to more than 30 percent of their ideal body weight.

INDIANA

Lawsuit filed in missing-girl hoax

LEBANON — The mother of a long-missing girl has filed a lawsuit against a woman charged with falsely portraying herself as the child.

Donna Walker, 35, of Topeka, Kan., was served with the suit in her Boone County jail cell during the weekend. She is accused of pretending to be Shannon Marie Sherrill, who was 6 when she disappeared in 1986 from outside her mother’s home about 30 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The suit seeks to block Miss Walker from profiting from the case and says she invaded the privacy of the Sherrill family by claiming the girl’s identity and intentionally causing emotional distress and fraud.

KENTUCKY

Ex-Miss America kills cyclist with her car

LOUISVILLE — The wife of Lt. Gov. Steve Henry struck a bicyclist with her car, killing the woman, police said.

Heather French Henry, who was Miss America 2000, told police that the sun was in her eyes as she was turning at an intersection Sunday evening and struck the 43-year-old woman, who was crossing outside the crosswalk.

Witnesses told police that Mrs. Henry had a green light at the time. Mrs. Henry and her infant were not injured.

MASSACHUSETTS

Sex predator escapes from center

BRIDGEWATER — A man has escaped the state treatment center for sexually dangerous persons where he was committed 19 years ago, corrections officials said yesterday.

John McIntyre was present for an inmate count at 9:30 p.m. Sunday and discovered missing at about 11 p.m., Correction Commissioner Michael Maloney said at a news conference.

Mr. Maloney said it appeared that McIntyre escaped through a second-story window, lowering himself with an electrical cord, and had scaled an 18-foot perimeter fence.

NEVADA

Town holds outhouse races

VIRGINIA CITY — They rolled down the main drag of this old town before cheering fans and awestruck visitors, in competition for the Royal Flush Trophy, a glass outhouse.

Welcome to Virginia City’s annual Outhouse Races. The races began in 1999 and are inspired from the time, decades ago, when Storey County banned outhouses and citizens protested by putting their outhouses on wheels and parading them down Main Street.

NEW YORK

Pakistani accused in terror case

NEW YORK — A Pakistani national arrested last week in New York on charges of attempting to assist an al Qaeda suspect who once lived in Maryland illegally regain entry to the United States will be arraigned today in federal court in New York.

Uzair Paracha, 23, who has permanent resident alien status in the United States, was named in a five-count federal grand jury indictment handed up in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accusing him of providing material support to al Qaeda.

PENNSYLVANIA

Escaped inmate gives himself up

WILKES-BARRE — A prison inmate charged with two murders and suspected of others surrendered to police at his home last night after three days on the run, a state police spokesman said.

Hugo Selenski, who escaped Friday night from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility by climbing down a 60-foot rope of knotted bedsheets, was taken into custody 8:45 p.m. after his attorney called to arrange the surrender, said Trooper Tom Kelly, a spokesman for state police in Wyoming, Pa.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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