- The Washington Times - Monday, September 8, 2003

ALABAMA

Governor issues warning on tax vote

MONTGOMERY — Gov. Bob Riley, a Republican, says state government will become “dysfunctional” if voters reject his $1.2 billion tax plan today.

Mr. Riley says the largest budget deficit since the Depression would force the release of 5,000 inmates, increase class sizes as much as 50 percent, cut 10 percent of state employees and end nursing-home care for hundreds of Medicaid patients. Polls show the measure losing.

FLORIDA

90th birthday marked with jump from plane

CLEWISTON — Turning 90 made Guy Glinski want to jump out of a plane. So he took the plunge.

The nonagenarian gave himself a memorable birthday present Saturday: getting into a propeller plane and jumping out at 13,000 feet, tethered to an instructor.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” said Mr. Glinski, a retired carpenter and widower of three years. “I’ll be back next year.”

His daughter, Elizabeth Biersdorfer, 61, hugged him and wished him luck moments before the jump. She didn’t seem surprised — or bothered — by her father’s decision to pick up a new hobby.

Mr. Glinski said he was inspired after reading a newspaper article about an 86-year-old woman who made a tandem skydive.

GEORGIA

Fleeing psych patient killed by truck

CHAMBLEE — A patient fleeing a mental hospital was killed yesterday when he ran into the path of a truck on a highway, police said.

The man was a voluntary patient at Peachford Hospital, DeKalb County police spokesman Dale Davis said. It was not immediately clear why he was running away.

Mr. Davis said the man was hit after jumping a median wall between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 285.

The man was not immediately identified. The accident closed a portion of the highway’s eastbound lanes for about two hours during the morning rush.

IOWA

Governor plans to woo ex-residents

DES MOINES — Gov. Tom Vilsack plans to host a reception in Chicago on Sept. 25 in his continuing effort to persuade former Iowans to move back.

Mr. Vilsack, a Democrat, will tout Iowa’s quality of life and educational opportunities. He will try to reach former residents who may be fed up with lengthy commutes or expensive mortgages or rent.

KANSAS

Bar owners warned about playing song

WICHITA — Police are asking bar owners to be careful when playing the rap song “Put Yo Hood Up” after it apparently incited the gang-related shootings of five persons last month.

Officials said the song encourages club patrons to flash gang signs in a confrontational manner. The disturbance began with the playing of the song. No one died in the shootings.

LOUISIANA

Trade-center steel going into new ship

NEW ORLEANS — About 24 tons of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center are being melted down to form part of a new Navy ship that will be named the USS New York.

Casting of a section called the bow stem was set for today at a foundry in Amite. The section will be shipped later to Northrop Grumman Corp.’s shipyard at Avondale, just outside New Orleans.

“Symbolically, the World Trade Center steel will be the first part of the ship slicing through the water,” said Ed Winter, a spokesman for Northrop Grumman’s shipbuilding division. “That’s in honor of the victims and the heroes of the 9/11 tragedy.”

The steel, primarily from a section of beam about 20 feet long, was salvaged in December from a New York landfill that received much of the debris from the Twin Towers. It was believed to have been part of the south tower, the second of the skyscrapers hit by hijacked airliners but the first to collapse.

MAINE

Governor leads bikers in annual Toy Run

AUGUSTA — About 20,000 motorcyclists roared into Maine’s capital city bearing stuffed animals and other toys to be distributed to children at Christmas.

Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, led this year’s procession on his new Harley-Davidson.

The annual Toy Run, sponsored by United Bikers of Maine, is called Maine’s largest single charity event of the year.

MASSACHUSETTS

Auto club sued in motorist’s murder

BOSTON — In the summer of 1999, AAA received a call about a young woman whose car had broken down in a parking lot on Cape Cod. The auto club told the woman’s stepfather it would send help.

Melissa Gosule never made it home that night. Her body was found in a shallow grave eight days later. She had been raped and stabbed to death.

Miss Gosule’s family sued AAA for unspecified damages, claiming that if the auto club had done its job that night, she would be alive today. Jury selection began yesterday in state court in the negligence and wrongful-death case.

The case is being watched closely because it is the first time AAA has been sued in the death of a motorist who was killed after seeking assistance from the auto club, legal analysts said.

In their lawsuit, Miss Gosule’s parents, Leslie Gosule and Sandra Glaser, and her stepfather, Peter Glaser, claim AAA left Miss Gosule stranded and forced to turn to a stranger for help.

MICHIGAN

Student risks eviction with pet ducks

BIG RAPIDS — Ferris State University has offered free room and board for Beckie Ingham’s pet ducks if she agrees to move them out of her on-campus apartment.

The 27-year-old biology major has until Friday to decide whether she thinks the offer is just ducky — or the university will try again to evict her.

The school said it would keep Miss Ingham’s ducks in an on-campus facility maintained by university personnel, trained in the humane care of birds, and provide food and veterinary services.

Under the compromise, Miss Ingham could visit the mallards, which are the subject of her senior thesis.

Ferris State learned in May that Miss Ingham was keeping the ducks as pets, and told her then she was violating housing policy.

MINNESOTA

Teens seeking drugs call a sheriff

AUSTIN — Two teens accused of searching for a marijuana dealer dialed the ultimate wrong number — they called the Mower County sheriff’s cell phone.

Sheriff Terese Amazi’s cell phone rang around noon on Friday. The caller said she wanted a bag of marijuana. After she said she was the sheriff, the caller said, “I’m sorry,” and hung up.

A few minutes later, the phone rang again. This time, Sheriff Amazi let a deputy answer.

The caller again asked for a bag of marijuana, and the deputy — who called himself “Dupe” on the phone — arranged for a meeting at a convenience store an hour later.

“Apparently, they didn’t know the meaning of ‘Dupe’ as in ‘duped’ either,” Sheriff Amazi said. “It’s incredible.”

The girls, ages 15 and 17, were arrested at the scene. Police said they found cash for the marijuana and drug paraphernalia on both girls. One was released to her parent and the other was turned over to a probation officer.

MONTANA

Clinic to relieve hospital overcrowding

WARM SPRINGS — The state mental hospital is so crowded that an emergency clinic will be opened next week, officials said. About 200 patients are squeezed into the hospital, which is designed for 135.

Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Attorney Mike Grayson blames the overload on state budget cuts that have left patients unable to fill their prescriptions for medication.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Wood proposed for boiler fuel

PORTSMOUTH — Public Service Company of New Hampshire has proposed replacing one of its coal- and oil-burning boilers with one that burns wood. The change could reduce pollution and bolster the market for low-grade wood.

Regulators will review the project this month. Environmentalists say they are cautiously optimistic about the project.

NEW MEXICO

Oil, gas potential studied in forest

CIMARRON — The U.S. Forest Service is studying oil and gas potential in the Valle Vidal, an area of the Carson National Forest that once belonged to Pennzoil.

The study could lead to drilling on nearly half the scenic 100,000-acre expanse. Officials expect no decision on drilling before mid-2007.

NEW YORK

Gay school opens amid demonstrations

NEW YORK — The first publicly funded school in the United States for homosexual, bisexual and transgender teenagers opened in New York yesterday as a handful of protesters rallied across the street.

There were also demonstrations of support for the Harvey Milk High School. In front of the building, people cheered and held up banners with slogans such as “God made us Queer.”

It was the first day of classes for the school named after a homosexual San Francisco politician assassinated in 1978.

The school, which for 20 years was funded privately and had just two classes, is now bankrolled jointly by the city education department and a homosexual rights youth advocacy group, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, a first for the United States.

“I am offended because this school is only for a particular sexual orientation,” protester Reuben Israel said yesterday.

School Principal William Salzman said the school was not segregationist. He said it provided a safe learning environment for children who had been physically or emotionally abused in other schools because of their sexual orientation.

OKLAHOMA

Judge moves Nichols’ state trial

OKLAHOMA CITY — The murder trial for Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols will be held more than 100 miles from the site of the bombing, a state judge ruled yesterday.

District Judge Steven Taylor decided to move the trial to the southeast Oklahoma city of McAlester because of extensive pretrial publicity. It is to start on March 1.

Nichols’ attorneys had asked that the trial be moved out of state, and state prosecutors wanted it held closer to Oklahoma City.

McAlester, a city of 16,000 people, is about 130 miles southeast of Oklahoma City.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Beekeepers struggle to keep craft alive

PIEDMONT — J. Milton King has racks of beekeeping supplies on his screen porch ready to sell cheap or even give away if he can find the right young person to take up the craft.

So far, Mr. King, who at 86 has been hobbled in recent months by a blood clot in his leg, has had no takers.

“The old people like him are dying out,” said 73-year-old Ernest Kastner, who learned beekeeping from Mr. King a few years ago after the mentor left a jar of fresh honey at his house. “And there just aren’t enough young people to take over.”

Beekeeping is a hard, sweaty and sometimes painful job that yields a small, sweet reward. Swarms of beekeepers have quit during the past few decades, frustrated by long hours and made broke by new pests invading hives.

TENNESSEE

Rafting season lingers into September

OCOEE — Rafting season on the Ocoee River is lasting past Labor Day this year because of maintenance work on the Blue Ridge Dam, officials say. The work has meant an almost daily release of water into the river.

Tennessee Valley Authority officials say the releases will last through Sept. 28, but the flows could vary depending on rainfall.

TEXAS

Curious dog finds lost class ring

HOUSTON — Arlene SoRelle-Tharpe’s dogged determination and her curious canine’s persistent pawing got Bob Connor reunited with his college class ring after more than 30 years.

Mrs. SoRelle-Tharpe’s husband was in their back yard two years ago when he noticed their boxer Spike scratching at something on the ground. It turned out to be a man’s University of Houston class ring embossed with the year “67,” the degree “BS” and the initials “RJC.”

On Friday, she found Mr. Connor, whose family had owned the home directly behind Mrs. SoRelle-Tharpe’s.

Mr. Connor lost the ring more than 30 years ago while playing fetch with his dog Spot in his parents’ back yard. He tried finding it, even using a metal detector. “I gave up on it,” he said.

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