- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2003

GEORGIA

Islands house wildlife, wealthy

SAVANNAH — Long Point Hammock is an 8-acre island where wildlife collides with luxury living.

About 1,200 of these mini-islands, called hammocks, dot the Georgia coastal marshes between the mainland and larger barrier islands. Most are only 1 to 10 acres, but their spectacular views and restricted access have attracted wealthy buyers.

Environmentalists say the development of hammocks threatens to pollute the marshes and destroy habitat for animals.

PENNSYLVANIA

Ex-Illinois governor fights death penalty

HARRISBURG — About 1,000 people converged on the state Capitol to urge a suspension of the death penalty, joined by the former Illinois governor who had imposed a moratorium in his state.

George H. Ryan, a Republican, suspended executions in 2000 after 13 death-row prisoners were found to have been wrongfully convicted in Illinois. He said Saturday that Pennsylvania is in a similar position now.

Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, a Democrat, opposes a moratorium on executions. Since taking office in January, he has signed 10 death warrants.

ALASKA

Alaska Natives demand apology

ANCHORAGE — Tribal advocates are seeking an apology from Sen. Ted Stevens, a Republican, saying his reference to the Alaska Native sovereignty movement as a threat to the state was racist.

Mr. Stevens spoke last week on public radio about why he wants to prevent tribes from receiving certain federal grants.

“The road they’re on now is the road to the destruction of statehood because the Native population is increasing at a much greater rate then the non-Native population. I don’t know if you realize that,” Mr. Stevens said.

He said tribes want to have “total jurisdiction over anything that happens in a village without regard to state law and without regard to federal law.”

Mr. Stevens’ chief of staff, David Russell, said the senator meant that if the sovereignty movement is successful, the increase in the Native population would lead to more claims for the creation of sovereign tribes, more tribal courts and more questions about jurisdiction.

ARKANSAS

Jailers accused in ‘beer run’

BENTON — Three jailers are behind bars after sheriffs say they made a beer run with money they stole from a prisoner, then shared a brew with an inmate.

Todd McEuen, 32, John E. Hood, 22, and Christopher Carmen, 21, were arrested on charges of introducing contraband to a jail. Mr. McEuen and Mr. Hood also face misdemeanor theft charges.

Lt. Jim Andrews said the men took money from a prisoner’s locker Tuesday night.

“They then went to a convenience store and purchased alcohol,” brought it back to the jail and drank it, Lt. Andrews said.

“What if something had happened? They were throwing a party when they should have been watching” prisoners, said J.R. Walters, a Saline County justice of the peace.

COLORADO

Inmate’s freedom ends suddenly

LAKEWOOD — Jody Aguirre’s freedom came to an abrupt end Thursday, 28 hours after he squirreled away inside a horse trailer that was carrying saddles from the prison where he was being held.

“He was in his boxers,” said Lora Green, 42, who saw Aguirre’s afternoon arrest in her neighborhood. He had been hiding in a cousin’s apartment, police said.

“I think he was sleeping. He was asking them why they broke down the door, and one of the officers said, ‘You should have answered the door.’”

During his brief visit to the neighborhood, Aguirre was seen but not recognized by some residents, and he even helped one girl capture her puppy after it got away from her.

Aguirre, 40, will be transferred to a maximum security state prison, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

FLORIDA

Woman killed in purse snatching

LAUDERDALE LAKES — A woman dragged to the pavement during a struggle with a purse-snatcher died Friday of her injuries.

Gertrude “Trudi” Nadel, 86, was robbed of jewelry several weeks ago by two men posing as repairmen. Family members said they thought the incident led her to fight back after a man tried to swipe her purse in a drugstore parking lot Thursday.

“She had been so easily duped, and so she fought to show she wasn’t going to give in so easy this time,” said her son, Richard Nadel. “It’s really pretty disgusting they would prey on an old lady like that.”

The suspect was sitting in a minivan when he called out to Mrs. Nadel as she left the store, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. Witnesses saw her struggling with him minutes later.

Mrs. Nadel was dragged several feet before she hit the pavement, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Liz Calzadilla. She suffered head injuries and bruising, and died Friday at Broward General Medical Center.

IDAHO

Couple admit faking hate crime

BONNERS FERRY — Scott and Barbara Zamitalo, who claimed to be victims of a hate crime, confessed it was a cover story for insurance fraud, detectives said.

The couple told police they found a cross in their yard and their carpet doused with diesel fuel and partly burned. The couple — he is white and she is black — later confessed.

IOWA

Authorities seize tiger, black bear

SIOUX CITY — An emaciated Bengal tiger and a black bear were found at two homes in cramped cages, as officials launched an investigation into a suspected exotic animal sales ring in Iowa and South Dakota.

“I believe it’s bigger than just a tiger and a bear. I think there’s more animals out there,” said Chief Deputy Jim Schurdevin of the Union County, S.D., Sheriff’s Office.

The endangered tiger and bear were seized last week after Sioux City police and animal control officials heard that people were attempting to sell exotic animals. They notified the South Dakota county, which is just over the state line, Chief Deputy Schurdevin said.

Union County Detective Mike Bucholz said both animals were left in “extremely bad” living conditions and were in poor physical shape. The tiger weighed 250 pounds, less than half what it should weigh, he said.

No names had been released and no charges had been filed, Chief Deputy Schurdevin said.

The tiger was being cared for at a licensed big-cat facility, while the bear was at Sioux City Animal Control.

KANSAS

Museum recovers Indian artifact

NORTH NEWTON — A museum recovered an American Indian artifact stolen over nine years ago, thanks to a collector who saw it on the EBay Web site.

Keven Hiebert contacted police after noticing the ceremonial dance club was offered for sale with a starting bid of $4,000.

Authorities said the dealer didn’t know the club was stolen and turned it over to police.

KENTUCKY

Diocese will pay millions for abuse

COVINGTON — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington has agreed to pay nearly $5.2 million to 27 persons who said priests sexually abused them in their youth.

The men and women had accused at least six priests of abuse in the 1960s and 1970s at parishes in Lexington and northern Kentucky.

In two agreements announced over the weekend, the payouts were $4.415 million to 24 persons and $750,000 to three others. The amount any individual receives was based on the severity of the abuse and its impact.

The settlements follow meetings between Bishop Roger J. Foys and many of the claimants, who included 22 plaintiffs in a lawsuit and five others who brought out-of-court claims.

Daniel Lucas, one of 18 persons who claimed they were abused by the Rev. Leonard Nienaber in Lexington, said it was a shame the diocese had to wait for the children to grow up for such a reconciliation.

Nienaber, who is in his 90s, has been serving a 10-year sentence at a treatment center in Missouri following his conviction on 10 abuse charges in 1993.

LOUISIANA

State copyrights driver’s licenses

BATON ROUGE — Anyone who makes a fake Louisiana driver’s license or state ID card will now be violating copyright as well as committing forgery.

Some state agencies registered copyright on the sketch of the state Capitol used as the backdrop information printed on each card.

Louisiana is the first state to copyright part of its license and ID cards.

MAINE

Politician says he is a joker

AUGUSTA — Joey Novick, a borough councilor from New Jersey and part-time stand-up comic, told Maine municipal officials last week that humor used effectively is power.

His golden rule to those who serve: Take your work — but never yourself — seriously.

When you feel like a politician, it’s time to get out, Mr. Novick said on the opening day of the Maine Municipal Association’s three-day convention.

Mr. Novick came to Flemington, N.J., in 1989 and has been a councilor in the borough of 4,200 since 1995.

He recalls a political rival who was quoted as saying he wouldn’t make a good elected official because as a comedian he wouldn’t take his work seriously.

Mr. Novick quickly responded with material borrowed from Will Rogers: “I’m a comedian. When I tell a joke, I make people laugh. He’s a politician. When he tells a joke, they make it a law.”

MASSACHUSETTS

Sunday beer sales get support

BOSTON — The House of Representatives gave initial backing to a bill that would allow liquor stores to sell beer on Sundays. The bill would end a state ban on Sunday alcohol sales dating back to Colonial days.

While some store owners welcome the chance to boost sales, others want to retain the existing law that guarantees them a day off.

MINNESOTA

Second student dies from shooting

ST. CLOUD — A 15-year-old boy who was shot in the forehead by a fellow high school student died Friday, hospital officials said.

Seth Bartell is the second victim of the Sept. 24 shooting at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, a small town about 60 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

The teen died moments before a news conference at which hospital officials said the boy’s condition had worsened because of complications from the bullet that remained in the back of his head.

Authorities say freshman Jason McLaughlin, 15, opened fire at Seth and senior Aaron Rollins, who died shortly after the attack.

Seth was shot twice, once in the left side of his forehead and once in the upper left side of his chest, hospital officials have said.

Investigators have not said what the motive might have been.

NEW YORK

Two children die in house blaze

NEW YORK — A fire swept through a home early yesterday, killing two children and prompting a search for their parents, authorities said.

Firefighters responding to the basement fire in a two-story home in Brooklyn found the children, a 2-year-old boy and a girl believed to be 8 or 9, suffering from smoke inhalations. The children were later pronounced dead at a hospital, said Jack Thompson, a Fire Department spokesman.

Authorities were looking for their parents, Mr. Thompson said.

OKLAHOMA

Jury pool large for Nichols trial

McALESTER — Between 600 and 1,000 potential jurors may be called for the trial of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols. Nichols’ trial, set to begin March 1, was moved to McAlester because of pretrial publicity in Oklahoma City.

Nichols is charged with 161 counts of first-degree murder for the April 19, 1995, bombing. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

OREGON

State to design coin for U.S. Mint

PORTLAND — It’s Oregon’s turn to design a coin for the U.S. Mint’s popular 50 State Quarters program, which releases five state quarters a year in order of admission to the Union.

The Mint’s elaborate process now requires that each state submit three to five concepts in a “narrative format.” Oregon, admitted into the union in 1859, became the 33rd state.

TEXAS

Car strikes runners praying on highway

LULING — A car struck a group of high school cross-country runners who had gathered to pray on the side of a highway, killing one and injuring at least three others, police said.

The accident happened early Saturday as the 10 Luling High School students were about to embark on their morning two-mile run, the Austin American-Statesman reported in yesterday’s editions.

The driver has not been charged, police said.

One student died at a hospital. Three others were transported by helicopter to a hospital in Austin, where one was treated and released and another was listed in good condition Saturday night. Information on the third runner was not available.

UTAH

Ex-cop sentenced for bigamy

ST. GEORGE — A judge sentenced a former police officer to a year in jail for bigamy and illegal sex with a girl he took as a third wife when she was 16.

Rodney Holm, 37, also will be registered as a sex offender, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Defense attorney Rod Parker said he will appeal.

Holm was accused of having sex with Ruth Stubbs when she was 16. He was 32 when he took her as a “spiritual” wife, which is not a legally recognized union.

Holm was an officer in Hildale, Utah, and nearby Colorado City, Ariz., where most residents are members of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He lost his officer certification after his conviction.

WISCONSIN

Vatican names new bishop

GREEN BAY — Pittsburgh Auxiliary Bishop David Zubik was named last week to succeed Bishop Robert Banks, a former auxiliary bishop in Boston who became embroiled in the clergy sex abuse scandal.

Bishop Zubik, 54, will be installed Dec. 12 as the 11th bishop in the diocese, which serves about 381,000 Catholics in 16 northeastern Wisconsin counties.

Bishop Banks, who submitted his resignation in February when he turned 75, as required by church law, has led the diocese since 1990.

Before then, he was deputy bishop in the Archdiocese of Boston under Cardinal Bernard Law. Victims of abuse have accused church officials of concealing clergy misdeeds and failing to protect children. Bishop Banks has admitted mistakes were made and apologized publicly.

“The Holy Father has finally accepted my resignation,” a smiling Bishop Banks said.

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