- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2004

MINNESOTA

Carter critical of foreign aid

NORTHFIELD — The United States is a “great country, with great potential,” but isn’t doing what it could to bring about peace, freedom and health in the developing world, says former President Jimmy Carter.

“The problem lies among the people of the U.S.,” Mr. Carter, winner of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, told an audience over the weekend at the annual Nobel Peace Prize Forum at St. Olaf College.

“It’s a different world from ours,” Mr. Carter said. “And we don’t really care what happens to them.”

RHODE ISLAND

Memorial held on anniversary of fire

WEST WARWICK — Families, friends and scarred survivors gathered Friday at the site of a nightclub that burned to the ground one year ago during a rock concert, listening as the names of the 100 persons killed in the fire were read aloud.

The service at the site of the Station nightclub also included 100 seconds of silence after 11 p.m., about the time a band’s pyrotechnics sent a shower of sparks into the air on Feb. 20, 2003, setting fire to flammable foam placed around the stage.

More than 1,000 people attended the service, which ended with the lighting of a 4-foot-tall plywood heart with lights for each victim.

ALASKA

Confession solves 1976 murder

KOTZEBUE — Alaska state troopers say the 1976 murder of Herman Hess has been solved.

In August, investigators began revisiting the death of Mr. Hess, who was clubbed with a hatchet. During the investigation, relatives of Carl Henry said he had admitted to the crime on his deathbed in 1983, police said. At the time of the murder, investigators didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest.

CALIFORNIA

Tibet supporters call for exhibit boycott

SANTA ANA — A nationwide boycott of a Tibetan art exhibit is being urged because the display doesn’t mention the Chinese occupation of Tibet or the exiled Dalai Lama.

The call came Saturday from about 75 members of three local Tibetan groups who were outside the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, which organized the exhibit and plans to take it on the road. “Tibet: Treasures from the Roof of the World” includes 200 sculptures, paintings and other artworks never shown before in a Western country.

China occupied Tibet in 1951 and has refused to consider giving it autonomy. The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader and a Nobel Peace Prize winner, leads a government-in-exile in India.

FLORIDA

Archaeologist says remains are Indian

ST. AUGUSTINE — An expert says human remains found beneath a building site downtown are likely those of American Indians and could be one of the most significant finds in the city’s history.

City Archaeologist Carl Halbirt says they probably belong to Yamassee Indians, who were in St. Augustine in the 18th century.

INDIANA

State tightens license scrutiny

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Joseph E. Kernan, Democrat, said he would increase security at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles by including another check on documents from foreign nationals.

Four BMV workers are among 27 persons charged since late last year in what prosecutors said was a scam using bogus documents to acquire Indiana driving licenses.

LOUISIANA

Sunken boat closes river

NEW ORLEANS — The entrance to the Mississippi River was closed to oceangoing vessels — including cruise ships carrying thousands of passengers — for a second day yesterday while teams searched for the five-member crew of a supply boat that sank after colliding with a container ship.

There was no way to tell when the river will reopen, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Jonathan McCool.

“Probably later than sooner,” he said. “It’s going to be a complicated evolution. And it’s going to hold things up for a while.”

The 178-foot offshore supply boat Lee III sank early Saturday and blocked the channel at Southwest Pass.

MAINE

State child-asthma rate highest in New England

AUGUSTA — Maine has New England’s highest childhood-asthma rate, according to a report. The New England Asthma Regional Council found that 13.2 percent of Maine’s children have been diagnosed with asthma.

Officials cite Maine’s relatively high poverty rate; older, mold-prone housing; and the ozone that filters into the state each summer.

MISSISSIPPI

Bill would require voters to show IDs

JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate passed a bill requiring voters to present identification at the polls. The measure passed 38-18 and goes to the state House for consideration.

Debate over voter identification has centered on how the law would be a reminder of the poll taxes and other tactics once used to keep blacks from casting ballots in Mississippi.

NEW MEXICO

Biologists capture falcon in arena

PORTALES — A small falcon became trapped at Eastern New Mexico University’s Greyhound Arena recently, flew over a basketball game and finally was caught after going days without food.

Biologists said the American kestrel was doing fine and would be released into the wild.

“It’s amazing; I didn’t think they could go that long without food,” said Tony Gennaro, professor emeritus with the university’s biology department, who caught the bird. “But he’s doing great. He seems to be eating, he’s resting, and hopefully, he’ll be OK.”

NEW YORK

Fire closes new restaurant

NEW YORK — A fire apparently sparked by electrical wiring damaged the kitchen of a swanky restaurant that opened just days ago under the direction of top chef Thomas Keller.

Fire officials said flames broke out shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday inside Per Se, on the fourth floor of a building in the new $1.7 billion Time Warner Center overlooking Central Park. Firefighters had the blaze under control in less than an hour. One firefighter suffered minor injuries.

OHIO

Cancer Society rejects racey fund-raiser

ASHTABULA — When the naked truth about Danny Zezzo’s fund-raiser came out, the American Cancer Society refused the donation.

Mr. Zezzo had planned to give the proceeds from an International Calendar Men show last week in this northeastern Ohio town to the local cancer society. The Cleveland-based calendar men dance and strip down to G-strings.

“This is not the type of event the American Cancer Society wants to have its name tied to,” said Monica Miller, the society’s northwestern regions spokeswoman.

An official said Mr. Zezzo had not described the event as a male revue.

WEST VIRGINIA

California town wins tap-water contest

BERKELEY SPRINGS — Tap water from Desert Hot Springs, Calif., was ruled the best in the world Saturday by judges here who sipped samples from around the globe.

Five countries, 25 states and the District of Columbia were represented at the 14th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Taste.

Ice Mist bottled water from Sweden also took a top prize. Bosec of Romania took first place for carbonated bottle water. Pure StoneClear Springs of Tennessee won for purified drinking water.

WISCONSIN

Bullets explode in couple’s oven

HOWARD — A man and his wife took cover behind a refrigerator when bullets began exploding in their oven, authorities say.

Capt. Craig Kohlbeck of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department said the husband had put the ammunition and three handguns in the oven before the couple left on a vacation.

He told officers that he thought the items would be safe there in case someone broke into the home while they were away.

They apparently had forgotten about the bullets by the time they returned from their trip last week — the wife turned on the oven to prepare dinner, and the bullets ignited, Capt. Kohlbeck said. No one was hurt.

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