- The Washington Times - Monday, October 20, 2003

KENTUCKY

Raccoon hunters gather for showdown

AURORA — Raccoon hunters say it’s the love of dogs, the thrill of a hunt and the drive for cash that sends them into the woods night after night for more than a week with headlights attached to their heads chasing after raccoons.

“It’s worse than running around with women,” said Todd Drake, 38, a poultry farmer who drove in from Monroe, N.C., to compete in the 2003 Professional Kennel Club’s Super Stakes and World Championship at the Kenlake State Resort Park in western Kentucky.

In all, 3,000 dogs of six raccoon-hunting breeds were expected to participate in the hunt, which started at sundown Thursday night and will end Saturday.

NEW JERSEY

Californian wins Monopoly title

ATLANTIC CITY — A rolling Monopoly game that started on a chartered train dubbed the “Reading Railroad” ended Saturday with a victorious national champion.

Matt McNally, of Irvine, Calif., took the top prize, walking away with $15,140 in real money — equal to the amount of funny money in a Monopoly game.

Forty-eight contestants played the final rounds on the “Reading Railroad,” wrapped in giant images of Marvin Gardens, Pennsylvania and Baltic avenues, and other Monopoly properties. Mr. McNally will represent the country in the world championships in Hong Kong next year.

ARIZONA

Maricopa becomes state’s 88th city

PHOENIX — Arizona gained its 88th municipality and its first new city in almost a decade with the official incorporation this week of the city of Maricopa.

The farming community about 25 miles south of Phoenix is expected to grow from a population of 5,000 to 200,000 over the next 10 years.

CALIFORNIA

Flight attendants sue, claiming discrimination

LOS ANGELES — Six former flight attendants have sued Korean Air, claiming they were discriminated against because they are Korean-Americans.

The women, all U.S. citizens, were part of a group of flight attendants hired for their ability to speak both Korean and English, said Kaylynn Kim, an attorney for the women.

In a complaint filed last week, the women contended the airline laid off everyone in their group, citing economic hardship, then hired Korean nationals to replace them.

The company denied wrongdoing and refused to comment on pending litigation, Korean Air attorney Cynthia Filla said.

CONNECTICUT

Mom sentenced for pimping children

BRIDGEPORT — The prostitute who provided her preteen daughter and niece to former Waterbury Mayor Phil Giordano for sex was sentenced Friday to 10 years in federal prison.

“I can’t conceive of anything more horrible that a mother could do to her child,” U.S. District Judge Alan Nevas said when he imposed the sentence.

The woman could have received up to 20 years under federal guidelines on charges that she conspired with Giordano to entice the girls, who were 8 and 10, into sex at various times between November 2000 and July 2001, when he was mayor.

But prosecutors asked the judge to consider the woman’s cooperation in prosecuting Giordano, who is now serving 37 years for violating the girls’ civil rights. He also faces state sexual-assault charges.

IDAHO

Historic synagogue set to move

BOISE — The country’s oldest continuously used synagogue west of the Mississippi will soon becoming a wandering Jewish shrine, at least for a day.

This week, workers will hoist the Ahavath Beth Israel synagogue off its foundation in Boise and drive it through city streets across town, where it will become part of a newly constructed Jewish center about four miles away.

The synagogue, built 108 years ago, faced increasing traffic and a lack of space for its growing membership, so its members decided to move the building.

An elaborate ceremony will accompany the move. At 11 p.m. Saturday, a service marking the end of the Sabbath will be held in a parking lot across the street as hydraulic jacks raise the building and roll it onto moving dollies. An off-road pulling truck will take the building to its new location.

Visiting clergy and Jewish scholars will offer readings and prayers en route. The building’s journey is expected to take six to eight hours.

At 8 a.m. Sunday, services will be held at the new site. A tree will be planted and breakfast served. A choir and Klezmer band will perform.

INDIANA

Police nab thief at coin-count machine

ELKHART — Detective Fred Mock knew exactly where to find a man suspected of stealing about $180 worth of pennies.

David Headrick, 19, was caught dumping about 18,000 pennies into a coin-counting machine at a grocery store Wednesday, Detective Mock said.

The pennies and a few hundred quarters were taken during a robbery in which an 88-year-old man was tied up with a phone cord and punched in the head, Detective Mock said.

“I got to thinking, ‘If I was a person who did this, I’d want to convert this to currency as quickly as possible,’” Detective Mock said.

Mr. Headrick was held Thursday on preliminary charges of robbery and possessing stolen property.

KANSAS

Judge suspends Topeka mayor

TOPEKA — Mayor Butch Felker was suspended by a judge Friday after being accused of falsifying a campaign-finance report.

District Attorney Robert Hecht made the accusation in a lawsuit last month, saying the mayor had masked donation amounts and concealed the identities of some contributors. The only penalty Mr. Felker faces is removal from office; no criminal charges have been brought.

At the prosecutor’s request, District Judge Eric Rosen suspended the mayor while the case is pending. City Councilman Duane Pomeroy, who serves as deputy mayor, will be acting mayor.

LOUISIANA

Escaped inmate caught on highway

LIVINGSTON — One of two men who escaped from jail by slipping under a chain-link fence and scaling a ladder over razor wire was captured yesterday after a motorist spotted him walking along a highway. The second escaped inmate remained at large.

The two men, accused in separate killings, broke out of jail Saturday while they were out of their cells for an hour of exercise, Sheriff Willie Graves said.

Gerald Bordelon was captured by Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputies and Louisiana State Police less than a mile from the prison, said sheriff’s Detective Stan Carpenter. Mr. Bordelon awaits trial on murder and kidnapping charges in the death of his 12-year-old stepdaughter.

John Priest, who was still at large yesterday morning, was convicted Thursday night of manslaughter and obstruction of justice for killing a man and burning his house. Priest said he had killed Ralph Noland Jr. in self-defense.

MINNESOTA

Lawmaker’s mother dies at 81

MINNEAPOLIS — Della Mae Ramstad, mother of U.S. Rep. Jim Ramstad, died last week from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. She was 81.

“She was a champion of the underdog and an advocate for public service, and she instilled that in her children,” Mr. Ramstad, Minnesota Republican, said during the weekend.

Mr. Ramstad said his mother knocked on 8,612 doors when he ran for his first Minnesota state Senate seat in 1980. He said his mother volunteered to help disabled children at a nearby school while he was growing up in Jamestown, N.D., and that she often would spend holidays delivering food to others.

She also was president of the O.W. Fode Cos. of Jamestown, a conglomeration of five companies related to the automobile and farm-machinery industry that was founded by her parents, Oscar and Amelia Fode.

MONTANA

$50,000 unpaid to crime victims

HELENA — The Corrections Department, which took over Montana’s victim-restitution program, discovered that some counties were holding thousands of dollars in unpaid benefits.

One county was holding about $50,000 intended for crime victims. Corrections officials said some district-court clerks didn’t understand how the money was supposed to be handled. The department said it will mail payments to victims.

TEXAS

Doctors say twins improving rapidly

DALLAS — One week after doctors separated 2-year-old Egyptian twins joined at the crown of the head, one of the boys has been taken off a mechanical ventilator and their condition may soon be upgraded from critical to guarded, doctors said yesterday.

Dr. James Thomas, director of critical care at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, where Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim were separated last Sunday, said Mohamed was taken off the breathing aid and his brother may be removed from the apparatus today.

Ahmed suffered some seizures on Friday night and has not recovered as quickly as his brother from a 34-hour operation in which a team of five neurosurgeons separated some brain material the boys shared as well as the shared circulatory systems that feed blood to their brains. Dr. Thomas said Ahmed has had no further seizures since Friday night.


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