- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Columbia crew enshrined on memorial

CAPE CANAVERAL — Remembered as seven brave explorers, the Columbia astronauts were honored yesterday with the unveiling of their names carved into the national Space Mirror Memorial.

“They were accomplished scientists, doctors and pilots, united in their common desire to explore space,” said John Young, the first commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Filling the front row of chairs were the immediate families of Col. Rick D. Husband, Cmdr. William C. McCool, Capt. David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderson, Cmdr. Laurel B. Clark and Col. Ilan Ramon. They were joined by the relatives of other astronauts who died on duty.


8 inmates escape county jail

BLOUNTVILLE — Eight inmates, held on charges as serious as attempted murder, escaped from the Sullivan County Jail early yesterday but one was recaptured soon after, the sheriff said.

Jailers discovered that the men were missing at about 4:30 a.m. EST.

Authorities said the men escaped by using a plumbing access in a wall and then an air duct to get to the roof. The inmates then stole a pickup truck from a nearby county schools garage and drove it through a fence.


Rudolph’s defense seeks files on Jewell

BIRMINGHAM — Lawyers representing Eric Rudolph against charges in an abortion clinic bombing have asked the government for information on security guard Richard Jewell, who was investigated but never charged in the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta.

Rudolph is charged with the Olympic bombing as well as the bombing that killed a police officer and critically injured a nurse at a women’s clinic in Birmingham. Court documents made public Monday indicate that Rudolph’s attorneys are seeking government documents about Mr. Jewell as they try to show that someone other than Rudolph is to blame.

Mr. Jewell was cleared publicly of any involvement in the bombing and “there’s not one shred” of evidence linking him to the crime, Jewell attorney Lin Wood said yesterday. The FBI cleared him three months after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported he was being investigated in the Olympic bombing that killed one woman and injured 111 persons.


Artificial reef to let divers play, learn

JUNEAU — Juneau recreational divers and government officials have created Alaska’s first artificial reef.

Volunteers sank a 48-foot boat in Auke Bay to cap a 14-month effort. A local company donated the vessel. The reef will serve as a playground and training site for divers.


Military mortuary to open at Dover

DOVER — A $20 million mortuary is expected to open early next month at the Dover Air Force Base, officials say.

The base already has the largest military mortuary in the nation, and the new facility is twice as big as the old one. It will offer a state-of-the-art first stop for the remains of casualties of war from abroad.


Teen back in school after violent story

ATLANTA — A high school freshman expelled for a story she wrote in her private journal has returned to Roswell High School.

Rachel Boim, 14, wrote about a student who dreams of killing an unnamed math teacher.

The school board decided to return Rachel to school until it can discuss the case next month. She was assigned a new art teacher and math teacher.


State’s vodka world renowned

GRANT — A little vodka operation in the heart of Idaho’s potato country found itself in rare company after last week’s release of the 2003 International Review of Spirits.

Silver Creek Distillers’ Blue Ice Vodka was given a 93 rating — second only to the Stolichnaya from Russia and Monopolowa from Austria, each with a score of 94.

Silver Creek’s other potato vodka, Teton Glacier, received a 92 rating and earned a gold medal.

The results are a sign that Idaho potatoes have what it takes to make world-class vodka, said Gray Ottley, Silver Creek’s director of strategic planning and customer relations.

Blue Ice is ready to introduce a major marketing campaign in the coming year.


1 in 10 say no to chocolate

CHICAGO — About one in 10 Americans does not like chocolate, says a pre-Halloween candy report released yesterday.

The report from market researchers Mintel Reports said about 9 percent of Americans do not like or eat chocolate of any kind.

For the majority of people who do, however, milk chocolate is the overwhelming favorite, preferred by about two-thirds of consumers over dark chocolate.


Aspirin linked to pancreatic cancer

BOSTON — A study raises concern that frequent use of aspirin, long thought to prevent some kinds of cancer, actually might increase the likelihood of pancreatic tumors, although researchers caution that more study is needed.

The research, part of the highly regarded Nurses Health Study at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, came to the unexpected conclusion that women who take aspirin twice daily might have nearly double the risk of this rare form of cancer.

Evidence is building that regular aspirin use can reduce the risk of colon cancer, which is three times more common than pancreatic cancer. Aspirin also is recommended routinely to prevent heart attacks.

“This finding does not mean that women should no longer use aspirin,” said Dr. Eva Schernhammer, one of the researchers. “There are still important benefits to the drug.”

The study, based on a long-running follow-up of more than 88,000 female nurses, was presented Monday in Phoenix at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.


Lunch ladies hit $95 million jackpot

MINNEAPOLIS — It was only a 25-cent gamble, but it paid off big for 16 lucky lunch ladies from a small town in Minnesota.

The 16 women chip in that amount every month for a $4 lottery pool, and this weekend they hit the jackpot, netting $95.5 million in the multistate Powerball lottery.

“I thought maybe I had copied the numbers down wrong,” said Donna Lange — one of the 16 winners — describing her first reaction on hearing the news.

The winning ticket was pinned on a bulletin board in the school kitchen where Mrs. Lange works. But she was able to roust a colleague, Karen Overman, and the two hotfooted it down to Holdingford Schools in Holdingford, and confirmed their suspicions.

The women, some of whom have been part of the pool since 1990, can chose between a lump sum of $2.1 million or $135,000 a year for 30 years.


County dropped from drug task force

THOMPSON FALLS — Sanders County has been cut from a regional drug task force in northwestern Montana because it hasn’t been able to supply a deputy to serve on the team.

Kevin Burns, supervisor of the 11-member Northwest Drug Task Force, said it doesn’t have enough officers to serve Sanders County if the county cannot contribute manpower.


Students accused of computer theft

HOMER — Nine students are accused of stealing 15 laptop computers from their northeastern Nebraska school while authorities responded to a shootout in nearby South Sioux City.

Dakota County Sheriff’s Deputy Randy Walsh said the seven boys and two girls worked together to steal the computers from Homer High School. All the computers were recovered, Deputy Walsh said.


Statue honors Andy and Opie

RALEIGH — The jaunty, whistled theme of “The Andy Griffith Show” almost could be heard yesterday as the star of the television classic dedicated a bronze sculpture of Andy and Opie on their way to the fishing hole.

“That beats anything. I kind of wish I looked like that now,” the white-haired Mr. Griffith, 77, told a crowd of 300 that gathered next to a pond in Raleigh’s Pullen Park for the morning unveiling.

Ever since “The Andy Griffith Show” debuted in the 1960s, Mr. Griffith has been known as Sheriff Andy Taylor — the genial Southern sheriff of the idyllic town of Mayberry. Some of the people at the park yesterday kept the characters alive by wearing T-shirts with pictures of Andy, Deputy Barney Fife, Aunt Bea, Opie, and oddball mechanic Gomer.

The cable network TV Land agreed to build and maintain the statue at no cost to the city.


Suspect accused of forcing wedding

LEBANON — A man dragged his girlfriend from her apartment by her hair and forced her to marry him in hopes that it would prevent her from testifying against him in a criminal case, prosecutors said yesterday.

Gregory Hogg, 41, apparently thought that a law that spouses cannot be forced to testify against each other would prevent Cheryl Skaggs from taking the stand, prosecutor Rachel Hutzel said.

But Miss Skaggs, 43, can still testify if she wants, Miss Hutzel said.

Mr. Hogg had been accused of threatening two employees of a bar after he was ejected for disorderly behavior on Aug. 15.

The two were married Oct. 3. Mr. Hogg was arrested on Oct. 13 after Miss Skaggs managed to alert a police officer, Miss Hutzel said.

Mr. Hogg was indicted Monday on charges including kidnapping, domestic violence and intimidation of a witness. He was jailed on $352,000 bail.


Heir testifies about dismemberment

GALVESTON — New York real estate heir Robert Durst testified yesterday that when he cut up his neighbor’s body, it was like “a nightmare with blood everywhere.”

Mr. Durst, accused of murdering Morris Black, 71, had said a day earlier he did not recall details about the dismemberment. But when pressed by prosecutor Joel Bennett yesterday, he said he remembered the blood.

“It was like waking up from a dream or a nightmare with blood everywhere,” Mr. Durst said. “I remember like I was looking down on something and I was swimming in blood and I kept spitting up and spitting up and I don’t know what is real and I don’t know what is not real.”

During his fourth day of testimony, Mr. Durst said he then cleaned his apartment with a mixture of water and cleanser.


Thurmond left $200,000 estate

COLUMBIA — Strom Thurmond left most of his estate, estimated at $200,000, to family, former aides and favorite institutions.

The value of the assets might be more than $200,000 after an inventory is complete, said Jim Jones, the attorney for the estate.

Mr. Thurmond died June 26 at age 100. He retired in January after serving 48 years in the Senate. He also was an educator, state senator, state judge and governor.

The nine-page will of the nation’s oldest and longest-serving U.S. senator was filed Monday at the Aiken County courthouse, the (Columbia) State reported yesterday.


Cabbie rewarded in bank robbery

SALT LAKE CITY — A cabdriver who shuttled a man to and from a U.S. Bank branch is getting a $2,000 reward.

That is because he pointed authorities to his client, who, police said, robbed the bank Nov. 12.

But the cabdriver’s information alone didn’t do the trick.

Five months later, the U.S. Bank branch was robbed again. Information from another witness led police to the same suspect, Salt Lake County Deputy Sheriff Peggy Faulkner said. The second witness also is getting a $2,000 reward, police said.

The suspect, Steven Early, has been charged in federal court in the two bank robberies.


Bicycle bridge to connect paths

BURLINGTON — Construction is under way on a bicycle bridge over the Winooski River to connect bike paths in Burlington and Colchester.

The 560-foot span originally was expected to cost about $1.4 million, but the price rose to $3.1 million after adjustments to allow for boat traffic and the addition of an elevated walkway. It should be finished by June.


Bears seized in raid will stay together

ARLINGTON — Corky and Pumpkin were together when they were seized by agents in a drug raid at the Canadian border. Together, they were nursed back to health.

This week, the two black bears will leave the Sarvey Wildlife Center together to join more than 600 creatures at the nonprofit Wild Animal Orphanage in San Antonio.

“They went through the abuse together and are bonded to each other,” Sarvey volunteer Jeff Guidry said.

The bears were seized Jan. 27 when U.S. Customs agents found 166 pounds of marijuana in a trailer carrying the bears at the border crossing in Blaine.

At the time, the bears weighed 300 to 400 pounds, rather than the normal 200 to 300, because they had been fed whole turkeys. They couldn’t climb, and their teeth and claws were broken.


Government to give 465,000 gun locks

MADISON — The federal government plans to distribute 465,000 free gun locks to state residents during the next year as part of a plan to prevent children from accidentally shooting themselves or others, said Gov. James E. Doyle, a Democrat.

The locks are part of the Project Childsafe of the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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