- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2004


Sex-abuse victim found dead

BOSTON — Patrick McSorley, who said he had been molested by defrocked priest John Geoghan and was one of the most outspoken of those who claimed to be Boston clergy sex-abuse victims, was found dead early yesterday, his attorney said.

The cause of death was not immediately announced. Mr. McSorley, 29, nearly drowned in a river last year, but denied he had attempted suicide.

Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian said Boston police called him early yesterday and told him Mr. McSorley had died.

Mr. Garabedian would not comment on the cause of death, saying all members of Mr. McSorley’s family hadn’t been notified. He said Mr. McSorley was found in a friend’s apartment in Boston’s North End.


Jury selection begins in Nichols trial

McALESTER — About 400 persons were sworn in yesterday as potential jurors in the trial of Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols on murder charges that could send him to death row.

Nichols, 48, is serving a life sentence on federal charges for the deaths of eight federal law officers in the April 19, 1995, bombing. The state charges involve the 160 other victims and the unborn child of one of those killed.

Jury selection is expected to take two weeks.

The jury orientation was conducted under heavy security in a school auditorium a few blocks from the courthouse.

About 160 of the prospective jurors were ordered to report to court yesterday for the start of jury selection. The rest were ordered to return tomorrow.


Device explodes, injuring woman

FORT SMITH — A woman who said she picked up a “suspicious-looking device” outside a vacant house yesterday suffered severe leg injuries when the object exploded, police said.

The woman, the house’s caretaker, said she was carrying the object across the street to a friend’s house when it blew up, said police spokesman Sgt. Jarrard Copeland.

“We’ve canvassed the neighborhood looking for any other suspicious packages or devices,” he said.

Police, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives closed off the area and would not identify the woman.


Blake given week to find lawyer

LOS ANGELES — A judge yesterday gave actor Robert Blake another week to find a new lawyer after he and his third defense attorney parted ways because of “irreconcilable differences.”

The murder defendant appeared in court without an attorney and gave Judge Darlene Schempp a list of lawyers he has interviewed.

Judge Schempp warned Mr. Blake against seeking lawyers from outside California whose travel could create delays. She set a new trial date of Sept. 9.

The 70-year-old former “Baretta” star is accused of murder in the 2001 death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley.


Convicted developer gets probation

WILMINGTON — A real-estate developer who bribed a New Castle County councilman to clear the way for a subdivision approval and then cooperated with a federal investigation was sentenced to two years of probation yesterday.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson also ordered Mario B. Capano, 60, to pay a $40,000 fine and perform 200 hours of community service.

The judge agreed with a request by federal prosecutors for leniency, citing Capano’s cooperation in the investigation that also netted guilty pleas from former county Councilman J. Christopher Roberts and development consultant Robert Burns.


Airport workers indicted in drug case

MIAMI — Fourteen workers at Miami International Airport were indicted yesterday on charges of smuggling cocaine and heroin from Latin America to the United States, federal officials said.

Thirteen current or former airport workers, all U.S. citizens, were charged with drug conspiracy after a four-year investigation spanning at least three foreign countries and three U.S. cities.

Authorities arrested a 14th man, but he might have been a victim of mistaken identity, officials said.

They were trying to determine how the mistake occurred.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Mulvihill said undercover agents were able to enlist the defendants to smuggle drug shipments of up to 200 pounds that authorities planted on planes in Costa Rica, Panama and Venezuela.


West Nile found in blood donors

ATLANTA — More than 1,000 blood donors have tested positive for West Nile virus in the United States, making the disease one of the most common illnesses that can spread in transfusions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday.

“It is rather shocking,” Dr. Lyle Petersen, a West Nile virus expert with the CDC, said in a telephone interview on the opening day of the American Mosquito Control Association’s annual meeting in Savannah.

Dr. Petersen said the infected blood had been weeded out of the blood supply by screening tests introduced in the United States in the summer.

Two persons who received transfusions in the summer are known to have contracted West Nile encephalitis, one of the more serious symptoms of the potentially fatal disease. Almost two dozen Americans caught the virus from transfusions in 2002.


Hormone supplements likely linked to asthma

CHICAGO — Hormone supplements might be linked to yet another health problem in women: asthma.

A study found that women who use hormones during menopause run double the risk of developing the respiratory ailment.

The study was not as rigorous as landmark research halted in 2002 after more hormone users developed heart problems and breast cancer than women given dummy pills. And the overall risk of developing asthma late in life is slim.

Still, women might want to consider the findings when debating whether to take hormones for hot flashes and other menopause symptoms, said lead researcher Dr. R. Graham Barr of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center.

The findings appeared yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.


Wild pigs causing farmers problems

BELLE PLAINE — Hunters tired of taking aim at pheasant or deer are tracking down something a bit more mundane: pigs.

These porkers, though, don’t appear to be ordinary oinkers. They are, the local farmers surmise, hogs gone wild.

They’re are rooting up yards, destroying crops and driving dogs crazy. And this crowd of about 20 to 30 hams is drawing sportsmen to Sumner County, in the south-central part of the state.

“I drive down to Texas to hunt the darn things, and here they are in my backyard,” said county Sheriff Gerald Gilkey, who shot a 600-pound boar in December.


Rain cancels Mardi Gras parade

NEW ORLEANS — Driving rains forced the cancellation of one traditional Mardi Gras parade yesterday, but hard-core revelers still drank beer and strolled along partially flooded Bourbon Street, celebrating the climax of New Orleans’ Carnival season.

Parade organizers and businesses dependent on the usual influx of more than a million locals and tourists held out hope that the flooding and rains would not keep revellers from enjoying themselves and spending money.

The 112-year-old “Proteus” parade was canceled. The “Orpheus” parade, led by singer Harry Connick Jr., was expected to roll as a spectacle of celebrities and masked riders aboard high-tech floats lit with fiber optics.

Carnival season begins Jan. 6 each year and ends on Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, traditionally a day of revelry before the solemnity of Lent.


Flight-hoax suspect freed on bail

BANGOR — An investment banker accused of making up a story about being carjacked in Chicago and being forced to board a Moroccan-bound flight in New York was released yesterday on $50,000 bail.

Authorities say Zubair Ali Ghias, 27, admitted to the hoax after his flight was diverted and said it stemmed from a Valentine’s Day squabble with his pregnant wife.

Mr. Ghias’ flight was diverted to Bangor on Thursday after he called his family and said he had been kidnapped by Arabs and forced to board the flight.

The suspect and his wife, Jehan Ara Amin, walked hand in hand from the federal courthouse without responding to questions from reporters.


Man sentenced to clean toilets

SAGINAW — A judge make sure that the punishment fit the crime when he sentenced a man to clean 100 toilets at the Saginaw County Jail.

Jonathan F. Naessens, 23, pleaded guilty to stealing a firearm from a Richland Township home, but investigators also found human feces in the basement near the window where the burglar entered the house. Authorities say Naessens soiled the floor.

In addition to the toilet scrubbing, Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard last week sentenced Naessens to two years of probation and to pay $389 in restitution to clean the property.


Man charged in revelers’ robberies

ST. LOUIS — An 18-year-old was charged with eight robberies during weekend Mardi Gras events in St. Louis.

Walter Sadler was charged Sunday with eight counts of first-degree robbery in the incidents, which occurred Saturday night. In each case, police said, a man approached a couple walking to their car, displayed what appeared to be a pistol and demanded money.

Overall, police cited more than 250 persons during the weekend for mostly minor crimes, most commonly for urinating in public and underage drinking.


Woman rewards town for act of kindness

MALONE — Ruth Buck never forgot the act of kindness that improved her eyesight 70 years ago.

So she recently sent a $100 check to her former upstate New York hometown as repayment for the glasses she received as a 13-year-old student struggling to read what the teacher wrote on the blackboard.

During the Great Depression, towns provided extra assistance to struggling families. To this day, Miss Buck doesn’t know who made the request to the town on her behalf, but she was thrilled when the glasses arrived.

“I knew we couldn’t afford glasses, and I’ve always wanted to do something,” said Miss Buck, 84 and living in Colorado. “I was talking with some of my friends and decided to finally do something about it.”

Malone Town Clerk Susan Hafter said the town could not keep the money and decided to give it away to the Lions Club for its eyeglasses program, a move welcomed by Miss Buck.


Police fear serial killer is on the loose

PHILADELPHIA — The discovery of a woman’s body stuffed in a trash bag has police in Philadelphia wondering whether a serial killer is on the loose.

Evelyn Rolon, 43, was the fourth woman found slain — three of them strangled — along a stretch of Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia in the past six weeks, police said. No arrests have been made.

“We’re not saying we have a serial killer on our hands here. But at the same time, we want everyone walking that corridor to be careful,” Cpl. Jim Pauley said after Miss Rolon’s body was found Sunday. “Detectives are keeping an open mind about the possibility of a connection, but at this point in the investigation, it’s too early to tell.”

Although the three other women were known to police and frequented areas known for prostitution, Miss Rolon, a mother of four, had no arrest record but was known to drink and get into fights.

She also was older than the other victims, and was the only one whose body was found clothed, police said.


‘Glory’ battlefield facing development

CHARLESTON — Most of the seaside ramparts stormed by black troops of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in the 1863 attack recounted in the movie “Glory” have been lost to time and tide.

Now, some worry that the rest of Morris Island, where hundreds of Civil War soldiers fought and died, could be overrun by a project to build 20 upscale homes.

“This island represents history to so many people,” said Blake Hallman, who became engaged on the island’s beach and helped organize a group seeking to block the project. “It has played a role in Charleston history and my life. I want to see it preserved in as appropriate a manner as possible.”

Morris Island will be included today when the Civil War Preservation Trust releases its list of the 10 most-endangered Civil War sites in America.


Famed architect dies at 91

CHARLOTTE — Daniel Kiley, who garnered praise around the world for his work in landscape architecture, died during the weekend, his family said. He was 91.

Mr. Kiley worked with some of the world’s best architects, including I.M. Pei, Louis Kahn and Philip Johnson. President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Arts in 1997.

Mr. Kiley had landmark commissions for the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston and the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington and worked to convert the Nuremberg Palace of Justice into courtrooms for the Nazi war trials.

Mr. Kiley founded his architecture firm — the Office of Dan Kiley — in Washington in 1940. He moved to Charlotte in 1950.

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