- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2003


Gorilla escapes from Boston zoo

BOSTON — A 300-pound gorilla will be kept off display after it escaped from its zoo enclosure for the second time in two months, attacking a 2-year-old girl and a teenager.

The gorilla, known as Little Joe, escaped Sunday night and roamed through the Franklin Park Zoo and along nearby streets for nearly two hours before it was sedated with tranquilizer darts.

Eighteen-year-old Courtney Roberson, who works at the zoo, was taking 2-year-old Nia Scott for an outing when Little Joe escaped. The gorilla grabbed the child, threw her to the ground and jumped on her. Family members said Nia had a gash on her cheek and needed several stitches.


Bridge replica to recognize slave

ALBANY — An emancipated slave who became one of the South’s leading 19th-century bridge builders is being honored with a Flint River overlook patterned after a covered bridge he completed here in 1858.

Volunteers have been bolting huge timbers in place and screwing down the decking as the memorial to Horace King takes shape on the river’s west bank in Albany. The structure will not span the river, but will extend out from the bank for about 32 feet as an overlook resembling one end of King’s bridge.


Moore files commandments appeal

MONTGOMERY — Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore asked the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday to allow his Ten Commandments monument to be displayed in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building, contending such a ruling is long overdue.

Chief Justice Moore filed a 31-page brief asking the Supreme Court to hear his appeal of federal court rulings that his Ten Commandments monument was unconstitutional. Chief Justice Moore said in his brief that the court “has failed to provide a uniform rule of law” about the display of religious items in public places.

The monument was moved in August into a storage room, setting off two weeks of protests outside the building by Chief Justice Moore’s supporters.


Environmentalists oppose border fence

TUCSON — The Wildlands Project, an environmentalist group, says it fears that Border Patrol plans to build more fences and roads will prevent jaguars and pronghorns from crossing between Mexico and the United States.

The Border Patrol argues the infrastructure is essential to national security and will protect southern Arizona’s ecology since illegal border crossers dump trash, start wildfires and disturb habitat.


Band vows to defy antisuicide law

TAMPA — The leader of the rock group Hell on Earth said yesterday that an onstage suicide will happen during a private St. Petersburg concert this weekend in defiance of a new city law designed to stop it.

“The show will go on,” Billy Tourtelot said. “It will be available on the Internet and it will be in the city limits [of St. Petersburg].”

Earlier yesterday, the St. Petersburg City Council unanimously approved an emergency ordinance that makes it illegal in the city to conduct a suicide for commercial or entertainment purposes, and to host, promote and sell tickets for such an event.

Circuit Judge John C. Lenderman of St. Petersburg granted the city a temporary injunction against the band yesterday, preventing them from advertising the show and allowing the suicide. The judge scheduled a hearing in the case Thursday.

Hell on Earth says it is using the suicide by a terminally ill person at Saturday’s concert to raise awareness of right-to-die issues.


State, cruise industry reach agreement

HONOLULU — A tentative agreement between the state and North West CruiseShip Association will require cruise ships to file a report within 10 days of any illegal release of sewage into Hawaiian waters.

State officials say the state now won’t have to check records to determine responsibility.


Astronaut’s home to be museum

MITCHELL — The southern Indiana home where astronaut Virgil “Gus” Grissom grew up has been restored and will open next spring as a museum.

Mr. Grissom, one of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, died along with Roger Chaffee and Ed White in January 1967, when the Apollo 1 command module caught fire during a launchpad preflight test.


Police kill moose, angering onlookers

PORTLAND — Police shot and killed a bull moose in shallow water near a popular jogging trail, enraging onlookers.

The moose, which weighed nearly 1,000 pounds, had been wading for hours Sunday in Back Cove, a mile-wide bay in the heart of the city.

Police said they had no choice but to kill the moose, which had come within 100 feet of shore, because of the danger it might charge the large crowd of people.

Male moose can be aggressive during mating season, now under way. Tranquilizing the beast was not an option because it would have drowned.


Property fight leads to shooting death

MINNEAPOLIS — A property dispute scheduled to be heard in Minneapolis’ “harassment court” erupted in gunfire yesterday, leaving one woman dead, a man wounded and another woman in custody, police said.

One woman was shot in a restroom and a man, a lawyer, outside the courtroom at the Hennepin County Government Center. Police arrested a woman in the shootings, which apparently involved a property dispute between the two women, said Hennepin County Sheriff Pat McGowan.

The shooting occurred before their case was to be heard, said Chief Judge Kevin Burke of Hennepin County District Court. The court handles relatively minor disputes where people represent themselves.


Air-traffic controller appeals dismissal

GREAT FALLS — The only air-traffic controller charged with violating a nationwide shutdown on September 11 is appealing the decision.

William C. Noble III was fired in April for allowing a FedEx cargo plane to take off from the Great Falls airport on September 11. A federal magistrate convicted him this summer of violating a Federal Aviation Administration order, a misdemeanor, and fined him $500. In his appeal, Mr. Noble, 47, contends the FAA order was not clear.


Court rules garbage is private

CONCORD — The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled yesterday that garbage is private, even when it has been put out near the street for collection.

The 4-1 decision runs counter to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and high courts in most other states. But the court said New Hampshire’s constitution provides a stronger expectation of privacy than the U.S. Constitution.

The decision came in a case in which police searched a man’s trash and found wire scrapers coated with marijuana residue. Based on that and the observation that John Goss appeared to have a light for growing plants, police obtained a warrant to search his home, where they seized marijuana and three pipes.


Standoff ends as 3 bodies found

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — A seven-hour standoff with a man suspected of shooting two police officers ended yesterday when police entered his home and found three bodies inside.

Authorities did not immediately identify the bodies and would not say whether one was the gunman suspect, Gary Highland.

Mr. Highland had barricaded himself in the home yesterday morning after two officers were shot and wounded when they went to the home to investigate a shooting at a bar.

Officer Joseph McFadden was listed in critical condition. Officer Kenneth Buck was treated at a hospital and released. Authorities would not provide details of their wounds. The two were investigating a shooting at Kennedy’s Bar, a half-mile from the trailer.


Plane makes emergency landing

DAYTON — A plane carrying 50 persons made an emergency landing at the Dayton airport yesterday after a fire-indicator light came on and the pilot reported suspicions of smoke in the cockpit.

US Airways Flight 2803, which had taken off from the airport bound for Pittsburgh, landed safely, said airport spokeswoman Sharon Sears.

Miss Sears said the passengers got off the plane through the emergency exits and were taken to the terminal.


Man steals Ferrari during test drive

ARDMORE — Where can one hide a $729,000 Ferrari during rush hour?

That’s what police in the Philadelphia suburbs want to know, after a man drove off with a red Ferrari F50 during a test drive.

The missing Pennsylvania-based Ferrari F50 — which can hit 60 mph in less than 4 seconds and tops out at 203 mph — hasn’t been seen since the Sept. 16 test drive at Algar Ferrari in Rosemont.

Police theorize the eye-popping Italian roadster — of which Ferrari made just 349 — was hustled into a trailer and quickly shipped overseas for sale on the black market. It was designed as a street version of a Formula One race car.


Potato Head statue taken from driveway

NEWPORT — Mr. Potato Head is missing, and police want to know who took the tourism-touting tater.

The 6-foot-tall, 150-pound statue was stolen Friday from the driveway of a private estate. James Leach called police after he heard his driveway alarm sounding about 3 a.m. He looked outside and saw a vehicle near the street.

The statue was located within the gates of the 17-acre Malbone Estate, which were open at the time, Mr. Leach said.

In 2000, the Rhode Island Tourism Division introduced the Mr. Potato Head figures to promote the state as a family tourist destination. Several of the statues were auctioned off to benefit charity.


University to accept $2 million from bingo

ORANGEBURG — South Carolina State University will accept an offer from the Catawba Indian Nation to donate $2 million a year from the tribe’s planned bingo operation in Santee.

University officials say accepting the money doesn’t mean the university endorses the bingo hall.


‘The Locust’ wins corn dog contest

DALLAS — Rich “The Locust” LeFevre is living up to his nickname.

Like the swarming bugs that eat everything in sight, the Nevada man ate virtually every corn dog in front of him Sunday, winning the first World Corny Dog Eating Championship at the State Fair of Texas.

He managed to eat a dozen corny dogs — as they call corn dogs in these parts — in just 10 minutes.

The International Federation of Competitive Eating says it’s also the world’s first corn-dog-eating record.


Agency won’t pursue chemotherapy for boy

SALT LAKE CITY — The state of Utah is dropping efforts to take custody of or force chemotherapy on a cancer-stricken boy whose parents were charged with kidnapping the child to avoid such treatment.

The family’s fierce resistance to chemotherapy — recommended by at least four doctors — makes forced custody and treatment unworkable because parents need to approve of chemotherapy, Carol Sisco, a spokeswoman for the Division of Children and Family Services, said yesterday.

Parker Jensen, 12, was diagnosed earlier this year with Ewing’s sarcoma, a deadly cancer. Doctors have advised that the boy get chemotherapy, but Daren and Barbara Jensen have refused, fearing the treatment would stunt Parker’s growth and leave him sterile.

The Jensens, who want to pursue alternative treatments for Parker, fled Utah in August after the state ordered them to turn the boy over to their custody to receive chemotherapy.


Hundreds riot along Fraternity Row

SEATTLE — Hundreds of people along Fraternity Row near the University of Washington built a huge bonfire, overturned a car and threw rocks and bottles before police in riot gear broke up the crowd, authorities said yesterday.

One person was hit in the head with a bottle, but no serious injuries were reported from early Sunday’s disturbance. One person was arrested for investigation of damaging a police car, and more arrests were likely after investigators interviewed witnesses and reviewed videotapes.


Mothman legend drawing tourists

POINT PLEASANT — Mayor Jim Wilson was skeptical that a 37-year-old legend about a red-eyed, winged apparition would draw visitors to this Ohio River town.

But after seeing a steady stream of tourists looking for all things Mothman, Mr. Wilson is a believer. Point Pleasant has embraced the local legend, holding an annual Mothman Festival this year and recently erecting a metal statue on a downtown street.

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