- The Washington Times - Monday, October 20, 2003

PENNSYLVANIA

Civil War artifacts to stay in North

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia museum won’t send its huge collection of Civil War weapons and memorabilia — which ranges from a plaster cast of Abraham Lincoln’s face to reams of journals and diaries — to Virginia, under a deal announced yesterday.

The state has authorized up to $15 million to match money the Civil War Library and Museum raises to expand its crowded Pine Street brownstone or build a new facility. The deal would end more than two years of litigation touched off when the cash-strapped museum proposed moving much of the collection to a proposed site in Richmond.

COLORADO

Mother in drownings sees pastor

LAMAR — A woman accused of drowning her daughter and son was allowed a visit by her pastor during the weekend as she remained in jail on suicide watch.

Rebekah Amaya, 32, was booked Saturday in the deaths of Grace Headlee, 4, and Gabriel Amaya, 5 months.

Mrs. Amaya arrived at the jail Saturday from a hospital in Colorado Springs where she was treated for wrist injuries that authorities said she apparently inflicted on herself in a suicide attempt.

CALIFORNIA

Last Titan II rocket deploys satellite

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE — The last Titan II rocket thundered into space over the weekend carrying a military weather satellite, ending a 15-year program of recycling the nation’s stockpile of Cold War intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Lockheed Martin converted 14 of the 140 Titan II missiles it built, with Saturday’s launch being the 13th successful one over the past 15 years. The 14th converted rocket is expected to be placed in a museum.

Lockheed Martin expects to launch three more of the larger Titan IV rockets, with the last scheduled for 2005. After that, the Titan family will be retired.

CONNECTICUT

New archbishop named in Hartford

HARTFORD — Bishop Henry J. Mansell, who removed accused sex-abuser priests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., will replace Hartford Archbishop Daniel Cronin, church officials said yesterday.

Archbishop Cronin submitted his resignation last year when he turned 75, the mandatory age of retirement for bishops. Lawsuits filed in January claim that Archbishop Cronin did not do enough to protect victims of sexual misconduct while he was a supervisor in the Boston Archdiocese.

Bishop Mansell, 66, has overseen the Buffalo diocese since 1995. In September, he removed an undisclosed number of priests, although he was criticized for not naming them.

FLORIDA

House passes bill in feeding-tube case

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House voted last night to give Gov. Jeb Bush the power to intervene in the case of a brain-damaged woman whose feeding tube was removed last week by her husband.

The House voted 68-23 in favor of the bill. The state Senate planned to take it up today.

The bill would give the Republican governor 15 days to order a feeding tube reinserted in cases like Terri Schiavo’s. The governor’s power would be limited to cases where a person has left no living will, is in a persistent vegetative state, has had nutrition and hydration tubes removed, and where a family member has challenged the removal.

Mrs. Schiavo, 39, meets all the bill’s requirements.

ILLINOIS

Vaccinations offered to homosexual men

CHICAGO — The Chicago Department of Health is offering free inoculations against bacterial meningitis to homosexual men on the city’s North Side in response to a meningitis outbreak that has killed three persons.

Dr. John Wilhelm, the city’s health commissioner, said laboratory tests confirmed Sunday that four of six meningitis cases reported so far were from a bacterial strain for which there is an effective vaccine. The recent cases center on a group of homosexuals who have had close contact since Oct. 1.

The health department ordered 7,500 doses of the vaccine, at a cost of $50 per dose, officials said.

KANSAS

Greyhound dog draws record bid

ABILENE — For $70,000, you’d think the sale of a greyhound involved a bus.

But it was a greyhound of the fast, four-legged kind that drew the winning bid — a record — at the semiannual auction of the National Greyhound Association in Abilene.

The 16-month-old dog, Rooftop Gizmo, was bred and raised by Emporia resident James Potter. Mr. Potter sold 10 dogs Saturday for a total of $274,200, including $45,000 for Gizmo’s littermate, Rooftop Rip Cord.

Mr. Potter showed his dogs a few days before the auction in the National Greyhound Association Fall Meet. The association, which is the official registry of racing greyhounds in North America, holds meets and auctions twice a year for pups.

Gary Weber of Milliken, Colo., bought Rooftop Gizmo with plans to send the dog to Wheeling, W.Va., where racing purses are 10 times higher than in Kansas.

KENTUCKY

Two-headed snake found in state

CENTERTOWN — Hunter York was afraid of snakes, but he couldn’t resist the two-headed reptile he found.

The 10-year-old said he picked up the black king snake with a stick, then noticed it grabbed the stick with two heads.

The 8-inch female reptile hasn’t eaten since Hunter found it Oct. 4.

Ed Zimmerer, a Murray State University biology professor and herpetologist, estimated the occurrence of a two-headed snake at one in 10,000. “They usually don’t live too long,” he said.

The snake might be unable to determine which is the dominant head or have some internal problems that interfere with eating, Mr. Zimmerer said.

MASSACHUSETTS

Lawyer says plaintiffs OK settlement

BOSTON — The Boston Archdiocese’s record-breaking $85 million settlement with hundreds of victims of priestly sexual misconduct has won the 80 percent approval needed to take effect, a church attorney said yesterday.

Thomas Hannigan Jr. said he received signed agreements from more than 442 of the 552 plaintiffs.

Now, each victim will describe his case to a mediator, who will decide the amount the person will receive, within the range of $80,000 to $300,000 set by the agreement. That process is set to begin today, said Mitchell Garabedian, who represents 120 plaintiffs.

Those who opt not to sign the agreement are planning to take their cases to trial, said plaintiffs’ attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr.

MISSISSIPPI

Thousands sue silica company

JACKSON — More than 17,000 people in Mississippi are suing U.S. Silica, claiming silica sand has caused them to develop an incurable lung disease.

Silica sand is used to make glass and is a common ingredient in many products. Prolonged exposure to silica dust can scar lungs and make it difficult to breathe.

The rise in litigation has prompted skepticism by some industry officials because silica-related deaths are falling.

MONTANA

Couple marry at Wal-Mart

MISSOULA — The nuptials of Ford Lund and Rae Bauer were strictly a company affair — a Wal-Mart wedding.

“We met here, we work here, we bought our cake here and our rings. Wal-Mart is our family,” said Mr. Lund, 74. His new wife is 48.

They met as co-workers in the garden department. Their wedding Saturday was on the lawn in front of the store. Fellow employees, granted a special break to attend, cheered and applauded when the newlyweds kissed. Then the couple had their wedding photos taken at the store’s portrait studio.

Like most weddings, the day was not without its difficulties. “We lost the rings, and we are still not sure where they are at,” the bride said.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Bear hunt breaks seasonal records

CONCORD — Hunters have already bagged so many black bears this fall that the state is considering cutting the season short.

The wildlife department says the bear hunt is breaking records in northern New Hampshire, mostly because a limited natural food supply has forced bears out of the forest and into cornfields and back yards, making them more vulnerable.

NEW JERSEY

Grandmother charged in toddler’s death

MOUNT HOLLY — A woman accused of leaving her 22-month-old grandson to die inside a burning vehicle was charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Police said 41-year-old Pamela Dreadin was driving in a rural area around 3 a.m. Sunday when her Ford Bronco ran off the road and its engine caught fire.

Mrs. Dreadin went to a house nearby to call for help but did not mention that her grandson, Michael Malinowski, was in the car until 10 minutes later, when a police officer arrived, authorities said. By the time rescue crews arrived, the fire had engulfed the vehicle, killing the child.

NEW YORK

Fire on ferry forces evacuation

NEW YORK — A fire on a Brooklyn ferry forced the evacuation of eight passengers and four crew members yesterday morning, but there were no injuries, the Coast Guard said.

The rescue comes less than a week after 10 persons died when a Staten Island ferry careened into a pier.

The Brooklyn passengers and crew were transferred to fire department and Coast Guard vessels after the fire broke out on the Sea Streak Liberty at 9:25 a.m., according to Chief Dave French, a Coast Guard spokesman.

SOUTH CAROLINA

State joins town in prayer-ruling appeal

COLUMBIA — The state will join the town of Great Falls in appealing a federal judge’s order banning the Town Council from praying to religious figures, State Attorney General Henry McMaster said.

Darla Kaye Wynne, a Wiccan, sued in 2001 to stop the council from referring to Jesus Christ in prayers before or after meetings. She said the prayers violated the First Amendment.

TEXAS

Man hijacks bus, loses control; 6 injured

DALLAS — A 34-year-old man commandeered a city bus, claiming he was being pursued by gang members, then lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a yard, injuring himself and five others, authorities said.

The bus narrowly missed a house Sunday, damaging a garage. The vehicle was heavily damaged, and rescuers had to cut into it to free the man, said Morgan Lyons, a spokesman for Dallas Area Rapid Transit.

Police said they expect to file robbery and assault charges against the man when his condition improves, although he is now in critical condition. His name was not immediately released.

The man boarded the bus at a regular stop “and said he was being chased by gang members and wanted to be taken to Dallas police headquarters,” Mr. Lyons said. He indicated he might have a weapon, Mr. Lyons said.

UTAH

Toddler dies after 12-foot fall

SALT LAKE CITY — A toddler died after falling 12 feet from a second-story apartment window onto a sidewalk.

The 21-month-old boy had climbed onto a chair near a living-room window Friday and was pushing on the screen when it gave way, Detective Dwayne Baird said. The child’s name was not released.

WASHINGTON

Judge orders end to teachers strike

SEATTLE — A judge yesterday ordered an end to the longest teachers strike in state history.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Linda Krese told 650 striking teachers in the Seattle suburb of Marysville to return to work without a new contract, ending a seven-week walkout over pay and work rules.

The teachers union will vote on whether to accept the judge’s order tomorrow or to continue a strike that has already canceled 36 days of school for 11,000 students.

Teachers could be fined up to $250 a day if they do not comply with the order, legal sources said.

Judge Krese, who had previously scolded both sides for refusing to compromise even during four days of court-mandated mediation, granted an order requested by parents and endorsed by the school board.

WEST VIRGINIA

Polluted water spills into creek

CHARLESTON — State environmental regulators are investigating a spill of polluted water from a Massey Energy subsidiary’s surface mine into a tributary of the Little Coal River.

An undetermined amount of untreated pit water from Independence Coal Co.’s Red Cedar Surface Mine No. 1 entered Trace Branch of Spruce Laurel Fork. Pit water contains rock, dirt and other debris picked up by water as it runs across the surface of an exposed mining area.

It was not clear when the spill occurred. The state Department of Environmental Protection learned of the incident Sunday afternoon, said Jeff McCormick, head of mining enforcement.

WISCONSIN

Deputy fatally shot; gunman found dead

GREEN LAKE — A standoff between officers and a man who fatally shot a sheriff’s deputy responding to a domestic disturbance report ended early yesterday when authorities said they found the man dead.

Prosecutor Guy Dutcher said authorities entered the man’s apartment around 4 a.m. yesterday. He declined to say whether the man killed himself.

The standoff began around 4:15 p.m. Sunday after police received a call about a domestic dispute. Mr. Dutcher said the deputy responded to the call and was fatally shot, and the assailant locked himself in the apartment.

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