- The Washington Times - Monday, February 2, 2004


Inmates surrender, release guard

BUCKEYE — A prison hostage standoff ended yesterday when a corrections officer was released from the guard tower where a pair of inmates had held her for two weeks, a Corrections Department spokeswoman said.

The inmates surrendered, said spokeswoman Cam Hunter, adding that the guard, whose name was not released, was receiving medical attention.

The guard and a male officer were taken hostage Jan. 18 at the medium- to high-security Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis. The male officer was released Jan. 24.


Woman feared abducted found alive

WHEELING — A woman was found wrapped in duct tape and inside a plastic garbage can in her ex-husband’s storage unit yesterday, a day after she called 911 from the back of his truck saying he had abducted her.

Teri Jendusa-Nickolai, 38, was hurt, said Wheeling Deputy Police Chief John Stone, but he did not say how badly. Mrs. Jendusa-Nickolai was found in a storage facility where her ex-husband, David M. Larsen, works.

Mr. Larsen, 39, was arrested Saturday when he reported for work as an air traffic controller at Palwaukee Municipal Airport. The couple’s children were found safe with a baby sitter in another Chicago suburb after being dropped off by Mr. Larsen.


Game gone awry lands men in jail

CONWAY — Three men were arrested on felony charges after a game of Taboo went awry at a home here.

Officers were called to the home last week after two men threatened others with guns because they were losing the game, in which one teammate gives clues about a certain subject matter, but using certain words is taboo.

One of the people in the apartment told police that the men were yelling and cussing and had threatened them with handguns.

Officers searched a car at the scene for weapons and found hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia. The men, ages 21 and 23, were arrested on suspicion of felony aggravated assault.


Drug dogs to search schools

TUSTIN — Drug-sniffing dogs will be on the prowl when students in this Orange County suburb arrive for classes in the fall.

The Tustin Unified School District board voted to allow the canine searches of lockers, desks, unattended backpacks and vehicles at two high schools and two middle schools. Officials said they wanted to take a “proactive approach.”


Family sues mental hospital

MIDDLETOWN — A wrongful-death lawsuit was filed against a state mental hospital by the family of a 39-year-old psychiatric patient who died while being restrained.

The family of James Bell says inadequate training and grossly negligent care by doctors and staff at Whiting Forensic Institute contributed to Mr. Bell’s death April 3, 2002.


Frat brothers punished for stunt

ATHENS — Three University of Georgia students who killed, skinned, burned and ate a raccoon have been ordered by their fraternity to complete community service and apologize.

Erik Zimmerman, Patrick Perry and Ivan Garcia may be further penalized by Phi Kappa Psi’s national organization, Associate Dean Claudia Shamp said last week.

Sanctions approved by university officials, the fraternity’s university chapter and the national organization require the students to perform 25 hours of community service at the Humane Society in addition to the 14 hours required by the fraternity.

The students also must apologize and give a speech about animal cruelty to the chapter.

The Dec. 12 incident sparked a furor among animal activists, who called for the students to be prosecuted and expelled from the fraternity.


Ambulance plane reported missing

HONOLULU — An air ambulance on its way to pick up a patient from another island disappeared over land apparently after trying to fly around strong winds, authorities said.

The twin-engine Cessna and its crew of three were reported missing shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, according to the Coast Guard.

The plane, operated by Hawaii Air Ambulance, was coming from Honolulu and was about 65 miles from its destination of Hilo on the Big Island when it was last heard from, the Coast Guard said.

Members of the Coast Guard, Hawaii County Fire Department, Civil Air Patrol and Hawaii Air National Guard combed the area yesterday.


Airport to upgrade main runway

TERRE HAUTE — Officials plan to upgrade the main runway at the Terre Haute International Airport, which hasn’t had major repairs for 15 years.

The 9,025-foot-long runway is in need of major repair to eliminate debris, mainly from crumbling pavement, airport officials said. It will cost an estimated $18 million. The federal government will pay 95 percent of the cost.


Man hurt by package bomb

WASHINGTON — A man opening up his mail was injured when a homemade bomb inside a package exploded, postal officials said.

Daniel A. Owens, whose right hand was injured, received the parcel last week at his home in Washington County, said U.S. Postal Service Inspector John Salanitro.

Mr. Salanitro said the package had been mailed earlier in the week from Wamego, about 80 miles southeast of Washington.

“I can assure you this wasn’t a random act of terrorism,” he said. “People shouldn’t be worried about randomly receiving packages like this.”

A $10,000 reward is being offered by the Postal Inspection Service for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the crime.


Estranged husband attacks wife

HUNTINGTON — A woman’s estranged husband beat her with a pipe when she returned home after getting a restraining order against him, authorities said.

Donald G. Cornelius Jr., 46, pleaded not guilty Friday to eight charges, including assault with intent to murder, kidnapping, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and violating a restraining order.

His wife, Kim Anderson-Cornelius, suffered skull fractures and other injuries.


Man names son ‘Version 2.0’

HOLLAND — Tacking Jr. or II onto a boy’s name is too common, a new father decided, so the self-described engineering geek took a software approach to naming his newborn.

Jon Blake Cusack talked his wife, Jamie, into naming their son Jon Blake Cusack 2.0.

Version 2.0 was born Tuesday at Holland Community Hospital, and the parents took him home Friday.

After 2.0’s birth, the Cusacks sent out an electronic birth announcement.

“I wrote in the birth announcement e-mail stuff, like there’s a lot of features from version 1.0 with additional features from Jamie,” Jon Cusack said.


Teen uses sword to catch fugitive

SULLIVAN — Joshua Cary heard a noise in the basement, grabbed a sword from his big brother’s collection and went downstairs to investigate.

The 14-year-old didn’t mince words.

“I’m going to give you until the count of three to come out or I’m going to stab you,” he yelled Thursday, according to his mother, Rebecca Cary.

Soon a handcuffed man emerged, saying, “I didn’t do it.”

Joshua led the man upstairs at sword point. His mother ran outside and found police searching for an escaped prisoner. The man, Mark A. Brown, who had broken free after he was picked up on a parole violation, was taken back into custody.

Joshua’s mother said the swords are for decoration, but noted that her older son, a soldier stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., and awaiting deployment to Iraq, had told Joshua that he “needed to take care of his mom and sister. And he did.”


Employees lose free-toll benefit

ATLANTIC CITY — Employees of the Garden State Parkway will no longer be able to ride the toll road for free, unless the trip is related to work.

The policy change is part of a merger of the agencies that run the parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike. Workers still can drive free while commuting or while on highway business.


City settles suit over pregnancy tests

NEW YORK — The city settled a federal lawsuit filed by five female students who were forced to undergo tests for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases after they skipped school to attend a “hooky party” where there was sexual activity.

School policy regarding medical tests for students also would be revised under the settlement, the New York Times reported yesterday. The amount the girls would be paid was not disclosed.

The lawsuit was filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union after the eighth-grade girls cut school to attend the party in April. They were told that they could not return to school without a doctor’s note that included the test results.

The lawsuit said the forced tests violated the students’ privacy and their right to attend school. Under new guidelines, school officials cannot order such tests or require students to say whether they are pregnant or have a disease, the Times reported.


Second man says he is highway sniper

COLUMBUS — A day after announcing that a 911 caller had taken responsibility for a string of highway shootings, investigators said Saturday that another man has called and threatened to attack police officers.

Investigators say they think the man who called early Saturday morning is different from the man who repeatedly called 911 last Monday to claim responsibility for 20 shootings at cars, school buses and homes on or near a section of Interstate 270 south of the city. One person was killed in November.

“It’s gonna get worse,” the latest caller said. “I am intending to start shooting at the police now.”

Sheriff’s officials said they have warned law-enforcement officials statewide of the latest caller’s threats, and a task force on the shootings was taking both sets of calls seriously.


Crystal ball causes small house fire

SHAWNEE — Firefighters in Shawnee knew they had the cause of a small house fire when they peered into a crystal ball.

Fire Prevention Officer Jimmy Gibson found the ball when he reached into a hole burned into a sofa after the flames were doused. Firefighters placed the ball in the grass, and within 30 seconds the ground was smoking.

Firefighters think the ball was taken off a table, where it usually was displayed, and placed on the couch by the homeowner’s grandchildren. Mr. Gibson said the ball worked like a magnifying glass in sunlight, directing light into a heat beam.

The blaze was confined to the sofa and no one was injured. The homeowner gave Mr. Gibson the crystal ball, which he plans to keep on his bookshelf.


Indians fight housing development

JOSEPH — More than a century after Chief Joseph delivered one of the most heartbreaking surrender speeches in history, the Nez Perce Indians are girding for battle again, this time in the courtroom.

The tribe is trying to stop construction of 11 upscale homes on a grassy ridge near the tribal cemetery that includes the grave of Chief Joseph’s father, Old Chief Joseph.

The grave is on a 5-acre site that serves as the trail head for a National Historic Trail that follows the route Joseph’s band of Nez Perce took in 1877 during their desperate flight from a U.S. Cavalry unit.

That flight ended 1,500 miles away when Chief Joseph surrendered, saying: “I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.”

The Nez Perce and two other Northwest tribes have filed a legal challenge to the proposed housing development with the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners.


Cancer survivor killed by intruder

RALEIGH — For the past few years, Karla Baker had battled cancer and won.

But when she arrived at her home Thursday afternoon and surprised burglars, the life she had fought so hard and long to maintain was gone in an instant.

Mrs. Baker, 44, was shot in the head when she came upon the intruders. A juvenile suspect is in custody; he was captured two blocks away.

“At this time we do have one suspect,” Lt. Walter Norris of the Memphis Police Department told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Lt. Norris said police were seeking at least one other suspect, but he declined to answer additional questions.


Propane leak blamed in explosion

EL PASO — A leak from a propane tank used to fuel a small stove led to an explosion and fire that killed four persons and injured three, authorities said.

All those killed — a man, a 6-year-old boy and girls ages 2 and 7 — had been unable to escape a bedroom because the window had been blocked partially by bunk beds, fire officials said.

Two women, ages 35 and 61, and a 12-year-old boy were taken to the University Medical Center’s burn unit in Lubbock after the fire late Friday.


Lawyer reinstated after disbarment

CHEYENNE — A former Wheatland city attorney who was disbarred in 1995 has been reinstated by the Wyoming Supreme Court. The court concluded in an order issued two weeks ago that Frank J. Jones has been rehabilitated.

Mr. Jones was disbarred for violating several rules of professional conduct. His two earlier petitions for reinstatement had been denied.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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