- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2003


Catholics demand bishops’ resignations

MANCHESTER — More than 100 protesters outside St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Sunday called on fellow Roman Catholics to oust two New Hampshire bishops for their roles in the priest sex scandal.

Victims of pedophile priests and groups seeking change within the church rallied outside Bishop John McCormack’s parish church for two hours before and during a morning Mass.

Bishop McCormack has been accused in civil lawsuits of helping move abusive priests from parish to parish while serving as a top aide to Cardinal Bernard Law in the Archdiocese of Boston. Cardinal Law stepped down last December amid similar accusations.

Auxiliary Bishop Francis Christian has been accused of lying about previous sexual misconduct by the Rev. Roger Fortier to corrections officials conducting a presentencing investigation after Fortier was convicted.


Tribe tries to save a dying language

LOST CITY — The kindergarten teacher speaks to her class in Cherokee, telling the children to pull out their mats for nap time. Using their Cherokee names, she instructs “Yo-na,” or Bear, to place his mat away from “A-wi,” or Deer. Soft Cherokee music lulls them to sleep.

These youngsters’ parents were mocked for speaking Cherokee. Their grandparents were punished. But Cherokee is the only language these children will speak in their public school classroom.

By immersing the youngsters in the language of their ancestors, tribal leaders are hoping to save one of the many endangered American Indian tongues.

It is a modest start, consisting of just 10 kindergartners in a single classroom at the Lost City School, 50 miles east of Tulsa. But their Cherokee language instruction will continue throughout their school years.


Marriage gets off to running start

FAIRBANKS — Ken Leary and Jane LeBlond got their marriage off to a running start.

The couple took a break during the Equinox Marathon to exchange vows, then crossed the finish line together.

“We wanted something that meant something to both of us,” Mr. Leary said of the decision to marry during the race Saturday.

They met five years ago when a group of runners gathered for lunch after the 1998 race.

The couple wore black and white running gear with “bride” and “groom” embroidered on the back.

Mr. Leary carried his wife across the finish line in just over four hours.


Time-share members sue company

FLAGSTAFF — Several time-share members filed a class-action lawsuit against the parent company of Los Abrigados Resort and Spa in Sedona.

The suit claims that ILX Resorts continued to sell timeshares and memberships to its Premiere Vacation Club even after all 9,100 rooms at Los Abrigados were booked.

Nancy Stone, president of ILX Resorts, declined to comment, saying the company hadn’t seen the suit.


City to seek tax break for ESPN

BRISTOL — The city is asking the state to create an entertainment development zone that would give a big tax break to ESPN, the sports broadcasting giant that is the city’s largest employer.

Creating an entertainment zone in Bristol would give the company an 80 percent property-tax abatement for five years on all new equipment, new buildings and land purchases. Officials said the tax- break would be worth about $40 million.


Man hospitalized after home invasion

WILMINGTON — An 89-year-old Greenville man was hospitalized yesterday in critical condition after being beaten and burned in a home invasion, authorities said.

Police did not release the name of the victim, whom they discovered when they responded to a report of a man on fire at Lancaster Court Apartments shortly after 7 p.m. Sunday.

Investigators said a man forced his way into a rear window of the victim’s apartment, assaulted the man and ransacked the apartment, then set a fire before leaving.

Authorities believe the victim, who suffered first- and second-degree burns to his head, face, back and hands, was burned while trying to escape the flames.

The victim was taken by police helicopter to Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pa., where he was in critical condition, said Officer Trinidad Navarro, spokesman for the New Castle County police.


Doctor pleads guilty in drug dilution

FORT LAUDERDALE — A urologist pleaded guilty to reduced charges yesterday for giving about 100 prostate cancer patients lower dosages of a medication than he billed their insurance companies for.

Dr. Victor Souaid pleaded guilty to 59 counts of unlicensed wholesale distribution of a prescription drug and health care fraud. In turn, prosecutors agreed to drop a product tampering charge.

He is to be sentenced Dec. 19 and faces up to four years and three months in prison. He will lose his medical license and pay unspecified fines. He also faces deportation because he is a Canadian citizen, U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas said.

The indictment did not say whether any patients suffered ill effects because of his conduct.

The pricey drug, Lupron, doesn’t cure prostate cancer but is supposed to stop the cancer from worsening by halting production of the hormone testosterone.


Five ATV riders die in head-on crash

DOUGLAS — An all-terrain vehicle with six children clinging to it was struck head-on by a car on a rural road at night. Five of the youngsters were killed and the sixth was critically injured.

The car’s driver, Amanda Michelle Troupe, 29, could face homicide charges, investigators said. They were awaiting the results of blood tests on whether she had been drinking.

The woman’s car crossed the center line about 9 p.m. Saturday before hitting the four-wheeler, said Joann Lacey, a State Patrol dispatcher.

The off-road vehicle was built for one adult rider, said Gordy Wright, a spokesman for the Georgia Department of Public Safety. None of the youngsters was wearing a helmet.

The driver of the car was injured in the crash; her condition was not immediately disclosed.

One of the children killed, 14-year-old Coranne Megan Nelson, was illegally at the wheel of the ATV, investigators said.


Study disputes menopause notion

CHICAGO — A new study disputes the widely held notion that menopause makes women scatterbrained and forgetful.

Researchers conducted periodic memory tests on 803 menopausal women over two years and found to their surprise that their memories were just fine. In fact, the women’s scores improved slightly over time; the researchers were expecting a decline.

The researchers, lead by Peter M. Meyer, a biostatistician at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said that if menopausal women are forgetful sometimes, it is probably not because of any harmful hormonal changes in the brain, but because they are busy, distracted and stressed-out dealing with the ordinary pressures of midlife.


Customers won’t be punished for buys

DUBUQUE — Authorities say customers of a pharmacy that was closed this month probably won’t be arrested for buying narcotics over the Internet without a proper prescription.

Regulators say three unidentified Iowans were among those who made Internet purchases through the Union Family Pharmacy before government inspectors shut down its prescription department.

State regulators say the Dubuque pharmacy illegally paired with a company in the U.S. Virgin Islands to sell the drugs.


State treasurer to audit companies

BOSTON — The state treasurer’s office is planning to audit dozens of Massachusetts companies suspected of hoarding millions of dollars in unclaimed assets. The state also plans to sell $65 million in state-held abandoned stocks in an effort to help close a projected $1.5 billion budget deficit.

The audit campaign is targeted at 32 companies that have rarely or never met their legal obligations to submit abandoned or unclaimed property to the Treasury, the Boston Sunday Globe reported.


Conviction upheld in police beating

LANSING — The Michigan Supreme Court upheld the manslaughter conviction of a former Detroit police officer in the beating death of black motorist Malice Green.

The court, in an order earlier this month, said the judge in Larry Nevers’ trial didn’t make a mistake in the way he instructed the jury.

Mr. Green, an unemployed steelworker, was beaten to death with a flashlight outside a suspected crack house in 1992.

Nevers, a white man who has emphysema and lung cancer, was released from prison in May 2001 to serve the rest of his sentence at home.


Divorced man gives liver to ex-wife

ST. LOUIS — A divorced man donated part of his liver to his ex-wife earlier this year — at the suggestion of his new fiancee.

Vivian Corrie of Troy, Ill., learned in 1995 that she had primary biliary cirrhosis, a genetic liver disease that can lead to life-threatening complications. Five years later, her brother discovered he had the same disease. Before he could receive a transplant, he died in 2001 at 56.

Following that loss, she began to look to friends and relatives rather than remain on the list for liver donations.

Her 32-year-old son offered to be the donor. But the young man’s father, Gary Webb, feared that their son was too weak from an accident the year before to undergo the surgery. Then Mr. Webb’s fiancee, Rita Weaver, suggested that he donate his own liver to his ex-wife. He agreed, giving up the right lobe to replace Vivian Corrie’s diseased liver.


Mother charged with child abuse

ALBUQUERQUE — A 10-year-old girl hit by a car was led into oncoming traffic by her mother, who was drunk, police say.

Eva Bitonie, 34, was charged with child abuse after the incident Saturday, according to a criminal complaint.

Police say she was walking across a street with her three children. She said she escorted her children across the street in a spot officers noted was about 200 feet away from a crosswalk, the complaint says. Investigators determined she had forced her children to walk into oncoming traffic, it says.

She was charged with felony child abuse and was being held in jail in lieu of $10,779 bond.


Security tightened at Statue of Liberty

NEW YORK — Security was tightened at the Statue of Liberty because of a threat to destroy the landmark in New York Harbor, authorities said yesterday.

The threat, from a “domestic” source, had warned of an attack on Sunday, authorities said.

No trouble was reported yesterday, and both Liberty Island and neighboring Ellis Island remained open and operating normally, said Edie Shean-Hammond, a National Park Service regional spokeswoman.


Vanderbilt seeks dismissal of suit

NASHVILLE — A judge heard arguments yesterday about whether a lawsuit filed to prevent Vanderbilt University from dropping the word “Confederate” from a dormitory name should go to trial.

The lawsuit, filed last year by the Tennessee Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, claims changing the name of Confederate Memorial Hall would represent a breach of contract — all in the name of political correctness.

UDC, which has 1,300 members in Tennessee and 25,000 nationwide, gave $50,000 nearly 70 years ago to help finance the $150,000 building. That contract was with Peabody College, which later merged with Vanderbilt.

Davidson County Chancellor Irvin Kilcrease did not rule on the issue after hearing arguments from lawyers for both Vanderbilt and the Confederate heritage group, but said he would do so soon.


Murder trial begins for millionaire

GALVESTON — New York real estate heir Robert Durst acted in self-defense when he shot his neighbor, chopped up his body and threw the parts into Galveston Bay in September 2001, defense attorneys said yesterday in opening arguments of Mr. Durst’s trial for murder.

Prosecutors countered that Mr. Durst killed 71-year-old Morris Black in cold blood, then calmly hacked up the body on the floor of his apartment, accidentally cutting holes in the linoleum in the process, in an attempt to get away with the crime.

The frail-looking multimillionaire, 60, stood in the cramped, crowded courtroom and defiantly pleaded not guilty at the start of the proceedings.

Mr. Black, said Mr. Durst’s attorney, Dick Deguerin, was known as a dangerous man prone to violence. Mr. Durst found him in his apartment and ordered him to leave, then saw he had Mr. Durst’s gun and tried to wrestle it from him.

Mr. Durst is the son of the late real estate mogul Seymour Durst, whose company owns numerous Manhattan skyscrapers and helped redevelop Times Square.


Police shoot, wound armed student

SPOKANE — Police shot and wounded a 17-year-old boy who brought a gun to school and fired a bullet into a wall yesterday.

The teenager was reported in good condition at a hospital.

Police said they were trying to establish a motive for the standoff, which took place in a third-floor science classroom at Lewis and Clark High School.

About 2,000 students and staff members were evacuated from the school around midday after it was learned the boy had a handgun. He fired a shot from the 9 mm semiautomatic, but no one was hurt, Police Chief Roger Bragdon said.

SWAT officers negotiated with the boy for about an hour and a half before the teenager “just decided he was not going to talk anymore and got aggressive,” Mr. Bragdon said.

From wire service dispatches and staff reports

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