- The Washington Times - Monday, September 22, 2003


Motorcyclists pay tribute to Cherokees

WATERLOO — Tens of thousands of motorcyclists offered a rumbling, 200-mile tribute Saturday to Cherokee families who were forced from their homes to present-day Oklahoma in the brutal trek that became known as the Trail of Tears.

The annual ride from Chattanooga, Tenn., to northwest Alabama, began in 1994. Eight motorcycles started the drive that year, but their number swelled to about 100 by the time they reached their destination. On Saturday, the caravan stretched as long as 40 miles as it entered Waterloo, said Debbie Wilson, director of tourism in nearby Florence.


Helicopter crashes near Grand Canyon

PHOENIX — Recovery crews hiked into a rugged area of the Grand Canyon yesterday to reach the remains of a sightseeing helicopter that crashed with seven persons aboard. Authorities said there were no survivors.

The helicopter, operating out of Las Vegas, went down after noon Saturday in rugged terrain about 60 miles east of Las Vegas.

The French-made Aerospatiale helicopter had taken off from the Grand Canyon West Airport with the pilot and six passengers aboard and had been headed for the bottom of the canyon, said Federal Aviation Administration operations officer Larri Frelow.


Unions OK contract, return to work at Yale

NEW HAVEN — Two Yale University labor unions approved new contracts last week by nearly unanimous votes, ending a three-week strike marked by vocal protests and more than 200 arrests.

Members of Locals 34 and 35 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union planned to return to work today.

“It’s better than I expected,” said Jeremy Walker, a locksmith and member of Local 35. “They got a lot more out of Yale than I thought Yale was going to give them.”

The eight-year contract includes annual raises of 3 percent to 5 percent, job security and other benefits for 4,000 workers. It also includes a big increase in pensions: 40 percent on average for workers with 30 years or more on the job.

“These agreements will ensure that Yale has the quality work force it needs to support its critical educational and research missions,” university President Richard Levin said in a written statement.


Man charged in serial rapes

MIAMI — A 32-year-old Honduran man was ordered held without bond yesterday after he was charged with sexually assaulting several women and girls, one 11 years old.

For months, police had characterized the assaults as the crimes of a single serial rapist, and their inability to catch him had worried women and the parents of girls in the Little Havana area, where seven girls and women have been raped over the past year.

Miami Police Chief John Timoney said that DNA evidence had linked Reynaldo Elias Rapalo, 32, to all seven attacks. One victim was 79 years old. The 11-year-old was raped as she arrived home from school, authorities said.


$150,000 awarded for botched salon job

ATHENS — It was far worse than just a bad hair day.

A jury awarded $150,000 to a woman who was left mostly bald after a visit to a salon.

Mary Lynn Reddish, 43, went to a Regis Salon in October 2000 to have a mild hair relaxer applied to her wavy blonde tresses, but after the treatment, clumps of her hair came out in the wash and even more were pulled out when her hair was combed.

Miss Reddish said she was left nearly bald as the result of a chemical reaction from the hair-relaxing product and the dye used to bleach her hair blonde.

The damage to her hair follicles probably cause premature hair loss as she ages, said her attorney, Danny Love.

On Sept. 12, a Clarke County Superior Court jury awarded Miss Reddish $150,000 in compensation for mental anguish, as well as wigs and other expenses she incurred.


Girls found dead left notes on arms

HOPKINSVILLE — Two teenage girls found dead in what police said was a murder-suicide left notes on their arms, and neither girl’s body showed signs of a struggle, a coroner said.

Christian County Deputy Coroner Randy Graham would not discuss what the notes said.

One of the girls also left a written note at her house that talked about a boyfriend, Mr. Graham said.

After examining the bodies, Mr. Graham said it appeared that Kamesha Polk, 16, shot 17-year-old Tiffany Prince in the chest then shot herself in the head. Police said Tiffany’s father found the bodies Wednesday slumped in his daughter’s car in a parking lot across the street from their Christian County High School.


Private lawyers given public defender cases

LAKE CHARLES — To ease the load on the overburdened public defender office, every private lawyer in Calcasieu Parish can expect to be assigned criminal cases to handle.

Judge Al Grey said he personally will take only criminal cases and urged that two other judges on the 14th Judicial District bench do the same.

Judge Grey’s comments came after a hearing on about 400 cases assigned to the public defender’s office.


Waitress returns lost $2,000

HANNIBAL — Mark Twain once called honesty “the best of all the lost arts.” It’s an art that hasn’t been lost in his own hometown.

A Hannibal waitress was getting praise from her boss after returning $2,000 to the tourist who lost it.

Haley Cassidy found an envelope on the floor of Ole Planters Restaurant recently after a group of people had finished their meal. She looked inside and found $2,000 in cash.

Haley, a Hannibal High School junior, ran out of the restaurant, found the group that she had served and returned the cash.


Authorities clear crocodile as pet

SPRAGUE — Crikey, mate. What’s the fuss?

Lancaster County Sheriff’s deputies turned up at Cedric Fowler’s home last week after getting a complaint that he was keeping children in the same area as a pet crocodile.

Turns out, it’s perfectly legal as long as it doesn’t put anyone at risk.

Mr. Fowler, who has owned the crocodile for five years, said he cleared his pet with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, state health officials and even the sheriff’s department.

“It’s illegal to release them into the wild though, but holding them for pets is not,” said Bruce Morrison with the Game and Parks Commission.

Mr. Fowler said he feeds the crocodile rats, fish or frogs about once a week. The dwarf cayman probably will grow no bigger than 6 feet long and weigh no more than 100 pounds.


Area 51 gets OK to stay top-secret

CARSON CITY — President Bush renewed an exemption allowing the Air Force to keep mum about its top-secret operations at Groom Lake, also known as Area 51, in southern Nevada.

President Clinton first issued the exemption in 1995 in response to lawsuits filed by injured Nevada workers seeking information about environmental practices at the site.

Secrecy surrounding the site has fueled speculation about UFOs, aliens and other strange occurrences.


‘Free State’ voting experiment begins

CONCORD — Some 5,000 liberty-minded Americans have been holding an election, but for a state rather than a candidate, and the one they choose will be a laboratory for what they call the biggest experiment in democracy since the Revolutionary War.

Balloting concludes today, and the winning state is to be announced Oct. 1. Then members of the Free State Project hope to quadruple their numbers within two years, move there and start transforming it into a national model for small government, few laws and individual liberty.

“Projects of this kind have been done before on much larger scales,” says project founder Jason Sorens, 26. He cites the Pilgrims, the Mormons and the migration of liberal, back-to-the-soil types to Vermont 30 years ago.


Kosher foods giant dead at 89

VERONA — Bernard Manischewitz, whose kosher foods company was renowned for sweet wine and matzo, died Saturday at his home. He was 89.

He had been suffering from heart disease.

Mr. Manischewitz represented the last generation of his family to run B. Manischewitz, the company founded by his grandfather in 1888 in Cincinnati. Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz made the unleavened bread Jews eat at Passover based on a 5,000-year-old recipe.

The business grew, expanding to a second plant in Jersey City in 1932 that eventually became the company’s base of operations. The plant also became a worldwide model for machine-made matzo.

Bernard Manischewitz joined the company in the 1940s, after graduating from New York University.


Highway blocked by 800 baby pigs

OKLAHOMA CITY — Interstate 40, the main east-west highway in Oklahoma, was closed for several hours last week when about 800 baby pigs spilled onto the road after the truck transporting them overturned, police said.

Several pigs were killed when their vented livestock truck overturned just east of Oklahoma City. The pigs, all of which were younger than a year, had little idea what to do with their first taste of freedom.

The freeway was closed in both directions as state troopers, firefighters and ambulance workers doubled as farm hands in a bid to prevent the pigs from running amok in the Oklahoma City suburbs and return them to a pig farm, police said.

Some of the pigs plunged to their deaths when they jumped off a highway bridge near the wreckage as law enforcement officials were closing in for their capture.

Several motorists who stopped at the scene asked if they could take home a pig or two in their pickup trucks, said James Watson, an Oklahoma state trooper. He added all of the surviving pigs were captured and were being held at a livestock pen in Oklahoma City.


Freight train engineer stops in intersection

POTTSTOWN — A freight train engineer who said he had exceeded the number of hours he could work stopped his train in a downtown intersection for two hours and refused to move, police said.

The engineer, whose name was not released, told police he was instructed by his supervisor to stop the train after passing the intersection Friday. But he didn’t pull the train far enough forward to raise the intersection’s crossing gates.

He told officers he had passed the limits set by federal law, which restrict the maximum hours engineers may operate a train without being replaced, police said.

Police and fire officials directed traffic around the gates until a second engineer arrived and moved the train.


Deputies wound suicidal man

KNOXVILLE — A half-dozen sheriff’s deputies fired 28 shots at a suicidal man wielding a pellet gun and bearing a target on his chest, superficially wounding him with a single round.

Records released last week detail the number of shots fired in the incident. After the shooting, Thomas Martin McGouey, 51, was treated for a gunshot wound to his right shoulder.

Mr. McGouey was released from a hospital and booked into the Knox County Detention Facility.

Sheriff Tim Hutchison said Mr. McGouey had painted a bull’s-eye symbol on his chest. The words “Let Me Die” had been scrawled on Mr. McGouey’s torso, Mr. Hutchison told the Knoxville News Sentinel.


Unemployment rate stabilizes in state

AUSTIN — The jobless rate in urban parts of Texas held steady at 6.6 percent in August, the Texas Workforce Commission said.

Chairman Diane Rath says a stabilizing jobless rate and increase in nonseasonal jobs are encouraging signs.

After excluding seasonal patterns, the commission estimated that the state added 28,500 jobs, the biggest increase in more than two years. Miss Rath says employment growth will be key to continued economic development.


Governor donates blood to patient

OLYMPIA — Gov. Gary Locke responded to an emergency call for his blood at the Puget Sound Blood Center.

Mr. Locke’s donation was needed for a patient who had been receiving multiple transfusions. Mr. Locke’s blood has some rare protein markers that were a perfect match.

The governor, a Democrat, is a longtime advocate of blood donation and the national bone marrow registry.

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