- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 17, 2003


U.N. undersecretary wins food award

DES MOINES — Catherine Bertini, an undersecretary-general at the United Nations, has been awarded the 2003 World Food Prize for helping to feed more than 700 million people. Mrs. Bertini, 53, the first woman to independently win the $250,000 prize, will be honored at an Oct. 16 ceremony in Des Moines.

As director of the U.N. World Food Program from 1992 to 2002, she found innovative ways to provide aid to remote or dangerous locations, including North Korea and Afghanistan, World Food Prize officials said.

The prize, awarded annually by the Des Moines-based World Food Prize Foundation, was the idea of Iowa native Norman Borlaug, 1970 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.


Gates gives schools $51 million

NEW YORK — Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced yesterday that his foundation will donate $51 million to create 67 small, academically rigorous public high schools in poor neighborhoods.

“This commitment to high schools is critical,” Mr. Gates said at a news conference. “I think it’s the kind of thing that’s going to keep this country at the forefront.”

The grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was announced at Morris High School in the Bronx, which has been made into five small schools with money from an earlier Gates gift.

Among the officials accompanying Mr. Gates were Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Caroline Kennedy, the chief fund-raiser for city schools.


Police to continue pot probes

JUNEAU — The state attorney general told law officials here Tuesday to continue to confiscate all marijuana, even though a state appeals court made it legal for people to possess up to 4 ounces in their homes.

Officers should investigate the cases in a manner that would allow for federal prosecution, Attorney General Gregg Renkes wrote to the public safety commissioner. Possession of marijuana remains a federal crime.

“This includes seizing and treating as evidence all marijuana found, even if under 4 ounces in the home, and writing reports documenting the investigation,” Mr. Renkes wrote.

The Alaska Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 29 in the case of David Noy, a man arrested for having marijuana in his home in the town of North Pole, near Fairbanks. The decision was based on broad right-to-privacy provisions in the Alaska Constitution.


Cargo plane threat deemed a hoax

PHOENIX — Explosives experts unloaded a grounded UPS cargo plane by hand early yesterday only to find that two threatening phone calls, including one mentioning a bomb, turned out to be hoaxes.

The search for a package mentioned in the calls turned up a box containing bottled water, fabric softener and cabbage, said Jeanine L’Ecuyer, spokeswoman for Sky Harbor International Airport. A United Parcel Service spokesman said the package also contained marijuana.

“This was a hoax,” Miss L’Ecuyer said.

The plane, en route from Los Angeles to Louisville, Ky., with three persons aboard, made an emergency landing at the airport Tuesday night and was taken to a secure area.


Council approves ban on lap dancing

LOS ANGELES — The City Council has voted to ban lap dances and all other physical contact between entertainers and customers at strip clubs, bikini bars and adult bookstores.

A “no-touch” rule would require dancers to remain at least 6 feet from customers — even when dancers are tipped. The council also voted Tuesday to outlaw “VIP rooms,” where nude dancers perform privately.

The ordinance now goes to Mayor James Hahn for his signature. Mr. Hahn has said he will sign the bill.


Small plane crashes into state landmark

STONE MOUNTAIN — A single-engine plane crashed in flames near the top of Stone Mountain, killing at least one person and spewing debris near a Confederate memorial carved into the mountain’s other side, authorities said.

The plane slammed into the side of the giant rock outcropping and burst into flames around 8 p.m. Tuesday, as joggers, cyclists and other visitors were out enjoying the state park, authorities said. Some witnesses said the aircraft appeared to be performing acrobatic maneuvers just before it crashed.

Debris covered a large area on the south side, opposite the memorial depicting Confederate heroes and a sky lift that takes visitors to the summit, Capt. Eric Jackson of the DeKalb County Fire Department said.

Officials did not immediately know how many people were aboard the plane, where it departed from or its destination, Capt. Jackson said. One body was recovered, he said.


College student dies after binge drinking

PEORIA — As Bradley University accepted another award this week for its efforts to curb binge drinking, students on campus mourned a senior who authorities say had been drinking for more than 12 hours before he died.

Robert Schmalz, 22, died Sunday. He was not breathing when friends found him in his room at an on-campus house.

Chief Deputy Coroner Johnna Ingersoll said she was awaiting toxicology results to determine the cause of death. But students said Mr. Schmalz and his Phi Kappa Tau fraternity were celebrating the end of the fall pledge process, known as rush, with a party where alcohol flowed freely.

On Tuesday, university officials picked up the school’s sixth consecutive award from the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse.


School coalition sues over funding

FRANKFORT — An organization representing 164 of Kentucky’s public school districts yesterday sued the two top leaders of the General Assembly, claiming they are shortchanging local schools.

The lawsuit filed in Franklin County Circuit Court asserts that “the General Assembly has a constitutional mandate to provide funding for elementary and secondary schools which is sufficient to provide an adequate education to each and every child in Kentucky.”

The Council for Better Education charges that the legislature has failed to follow through on promises it made in 1990 when it overhauled the public school system and infused it with a significant increase in funding.


Library ponders end to free rides

DETROIT — Suburbanites soon may have to pay a fee to access the Detroit Public Library’s 6.6 million books and renowned special collections. Current policy gives everyone the privileges enjoyed by residents whose taxes provide much of the library’s $38 million annual budget.

About a third of the system’s 450,000 card holders would have to pay a fee under the proposal.


State debates nude dancer mural

HELENA — A mural sculpture on a downtown hotel in Montana’s capital city has local tongues wagging and pundits debating whether the nude dancer depicted shows state Gov. Judy Martz.

The dancer, wearing eyeglasses and sporting a short hairdo with bangs similar to the 60-year-old governor is shown kicking up her heels.

The creator of the mural, Kristine Veith of Seattle, has denied that the figure is Mrs. Martz. She says the figure, one of a series of people in the work, represents a brothel dancer from Helena’s rowdy gold mining history.

A spokesman for the governor, who was once a member of the U.S. Olympic speed skating team, said Mrs. Martz thinks the dancer does depict her.


Dachshunds run in wieners race

GRAND ISLAND — In this race, everyone was a wiener.

About 130 dachshunds participated in the annual Running of the Wieners on Sunday.

The dogs, which are known for the ballpark snack they resemble, competed in three divisions: Little Smokies for those under 1-year-old, Frankfurters for the 1- to 5-year-olds and Senior Sausage for the older dogs.

Three of Brenda Alberts’ four dachshunds entered the race, which is in its third year. The Alberts’ other dog, Flash, didn’t get to run because he was neutered last week.

The best showing for the Alberts, who came to the race from Axtell, went to second-place finisher Tito in the Little Smokies division.


Abstinence ad pulled from radio

CARSON CITY — The state Health Division pulled a public service announcement that suggests teenage girls will feel “dirty and cheap” if they have sex with their boyfriends.

The ad’s language wasn’t appropriate for the 9- to 14-year-old girls they want to reach, health officials said. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU complained when the message first aired on radio stations in August.

The ad was developed with a grant from the federal Child and Maternal Health Agency.


AARP instructs voting seniors

CONCORD — The American Association of Retired Persons is educating voters over age 50 on how to pressure presidential candidates into addressing issues concerning senior citizens.

The advocacy group unveiled a “voter express” van that will travel to campaign events. It plans a series of forums on Social Security, affordable health care and prescription drugs.


Smaller schools have better grades

TRENTON — Smaller high schools have higher levels of achievement and less violence than larger ones, according to a study.

The New Jersey Commission on Business Efficiency compared high schools with 1,000 or fewer students to schools with 1,500 or more.

It recommends large high schools be split into smaller units so students receive more individual attention.


Judge steps down from leadership post

GREENSBORO — A chief District Court judge resigned his leadership position amid criticism for sending around e-mails that poked fun at minorities or were sexually oriented.

William Daisy offered to resign the leadership post but will remain a judge, pending possible action by a disciplinary commission. His salary will drop from $113,135 to $109,556.

The resignation was accepted by state Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake on Tuesday. Chief Justice Lake said Judge Daisy was a good man but the jokes were “totally inappropriate.”

The punishment came on a complaint against Judge Daisy filed with the Judicial Standards Commission, Chief Justice Lake has said. The commission could recommend censuring the judge or removing him from office.


Boy dies from bullet meant for father

PHILADELPHIA — An 8-year-old boy has died after being struck by a bullet authorities said was meant for his father.

Khynief Hatchett died Monday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia about a week after he was shot in the head as he rode in a car with his father and uncle in Philadelphia.

Ronald Burris, 29, was in custody on attempted murder charges before the boy died.


Gunman kills self in hostage standoff

DYERSBURG — A gunman took at least a dozen people hostage in a college classroom yesterday afternoon before killing himself late last night, police said.

Two hostages were wounded during the nine-hour standoff.

Police heard gunshots from inside the building at Dyersburg State Community College around 11 p.m. EDT. The gunman, 26-year-old Harold Kilpatrick Jr., had left a note saying he “wanted to kill some people and die today.”

Dyersburg Police Chief Bobby Williamson said the injuries to the two hostages were not serious.


Official on leave after ‘Sambo’ slur

LONGVIEW — A white school administrator who referred to “Little Sambo” while leading a teachers’ workshop was placed on paid leave for a week.

According to letters from two staff members at the Aug. 11 session, Debby Deck referred to “a Little Sambo sitting in the back of the room” as an example in a discussion on gaining respect from students.

In a letter of apology, Miss Deck, director of career and technology education at Longview High School, wrote that she considered her words a “grave mistake.” She said she never meant to hurt anyone or disrespect their culture, and she didn’t know the term Sambo was negative.

Little Black Sambo is a century-old literary character whose images are considered racist caricatures.


Religious group asks for display near city’s

PLEASANT GROVE — A Utah-based religion asked to display its Seven Aphorisms next to a Ten Commandments display in a city park.

The New Age group Summum made a similar request to the city of Ogden, which resulted in a court battle ending with that city removing its Ten Commandments display.

Pleasant Grove has refused to remove its monument.


Coal miners killed in collision at mine

TWILIGHT — Two coal miners died yesterday after their van was struck by a 190-ton rock truck at a Massey Energy Co. subsidiary’s mine in Boone County.

Rodney Sheets and Billy Birchfield were killed as they were being driven to work at the Twilight Surface Mine at about 7 a.m., company spokeswoman Katherine Kenny said. Their ages and hometowns were not immediately available.

A third miner was injured and was taken to a hospital, Miss Kenny said. • From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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