- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 18, 2004

CALIFORNIA

Firefighters quit over porn talk

KEYES — Seventeen firefighters in a small volunteer department resigned last week to protest the pornography career of a colleague who reportedly discussed her work at the firehouse.

Firefighters in Keyes, a town of 4,500 south of Modesto, walked off the job to protest Alexa Jones’ pornography career, which they said she discussed while on the job with her husband, Assistant Fire Chief Roger Jones.

Mrs. Jones has a Web site that promotes her pornographic material but does not mention her job as a firefighter.

HAWAII

Lawmakers fight Interior over funds

HONOLULU — Hawaii’s congressional delegation and the Interior Department are at odds over the divvying up of nearly $30 million in federal funds intended to help provide social services for immigrants from the tiny Pacific nations of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands.

Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton planned to announce the state’s $10.5 million share at a ceremony today in Honolulu, but the event was canceled after the delegation learned of the figure on Thursday, the Honolulu Advertiser reported Saturday.

The U.S. territory of Guam was awarded $14.2 million and the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth, received $5.1 million.

ILLINOIS

Northwestern to test damage assertions

HARVEY — A Northwestern University professor will place sensors near the Deep Tunnel flood-control project site this week to see whether underground demolition explosions are responsible for damage to nearby homes.

More than 100 residents of this Chicago suburb attributed broken pipes and cracks in the walls of their homes to explosions set off to build the tunnel.

INDIANA

Four persons found fatally shot in home

GARY — A woman returning from a shopping trip found her young son seriously wounded and his father and a married couple dead in what police think were drug-related shootings.

The boy, 23-month-old Anthony McClendon Jr., died a few hours later at a Chicago hospital.

Ronyale Hearne, 23, had taken her son to visit his father Friday evening, and then went shopping with a cousin, returning just after midnight Saturday.

Deputy Chief Jeff Kumorek said it appeared that someone in the house was processing crack cocaine.

IOWA

Man leaves marijuana at security checkpoint

DES MOINES — A man going through a courthouse metal detector emptied his pockets, tossing a small bag of marijuana into the security tray, authorities said.

When Clyde Lamar Pace II realized what he had done, he tried to flee. But he ran the wrong way from Polk County deputies into a locked revolving door.

Mr. Pace, 18, first tried to retrace his steps, then ran through the building before he was stopped by deputies at the locked door.

Mr. Pace was arrested for drug possession and resisting arrest. The arrest caused him to miss a scheduled hearing on charges of drug possession and driving violations filed after a traffic stop last month.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Students will help preserve Maya mural

DURHAM — Six University of New Hampshire students will participate in the excavation and preservation of the “Sistine Chapel” of the Maya civilization in Guatemala this spring.

It’s a mural discovered by university archaeologist William Saturno in 2001. The mural dates from around 100 A.D. and is the oldest known intact wall painting of Maya mythology.

NEW YORK

Strike averted at nuclear plant

NEW ROCHELLE — Negotiators averted a strike early yesterday at a nuclear-power plant just north of New York City, reaching tentative agreement on a four-year contract for control-room operators and other key workers.

The deal came after the two sides agreed to negotiate beyond the midnight strike deadline set by Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America.

“This was a very, very difficult negotiation, but we ended up with across-the-board improvements in wages and benefits, and it’s fair to say we’re very happy,” said Manny Hellen, president of Local 1-2.

Mr. Hellen confirmed the agreement yesterday, hours after plant owner Entergy Nuclear Northeast announced the deal in a press release.

Entergy said the contract covers not just the 276 union members at Indian Point 3, but also 282 workers at the Indian Point 2 power plant. The reactors are in Buchanan, N.Y., on the Hudson River, 35 miles north of midtown Manhattan.

OHIO

Accident covers highway in sauce

ZANESVILLE — A stretch of Interstate 70 was turned into a shallow sea of red sauce, dented cans and broken bottles when a tractor-trailer rig carrying Del Monte tomato products overturned.

The truck spilled 40,000 pounds of ketchup, tomato juice and spaghetti sauce over the eastbound lanes of the freeway west of Zanesville on Tuesday.

State troopers said the accident occurred when a car drifted into the left lane and struck the tractor-trailer. Neither driver was hurt.

A food pantry in Zanesville benefited from the mishap. About 1,500 pounds of mixed vegetables, ketchup and spaghetti sauce salvaged from the wreckage were delivered to Christ’s Table.

OKLAHOMA

Murder suspect dies after extradition

TULSA — A retired FBI agent accused of helping his former mob informants arrange the murder of a Tulsa businessman died a week after he was extradited to Oklahoma to face charges, a hospital spokeswoman said Saturday.

H. Paul Rico, 78, died late Friday, a few hours after a Tulsa County judge put the murder case on hold pending a psychological evaluation to determine whether Mr. Rico was competent to stand trial.

The cause of Mr. Rico’s death was not released. He had been hospitalized since Wednesday. His family said he had congestive heart failure and had lost 53 pounds since his arrest on Oct. 9 in Florida, where he had been living.

Mr. Rico was accused of helping arrange the 1981 murder of Roger Wheeler, chairman of Telex Corp. and owner of World Jai Alai in Florida, where Mr. Rico worked as security chief after leaving the FBI.

ARIZONA

Inmates take guards hostage

BUCKEYE — Two state prison guards were taken hostage by inmates early yesterday, and negotiators were called in to try to defuse the situation.

One inmate attacked a guard during breakfast preparations, then met up with another inmate in the prison yard and the two gained access to the officers’ tower, said a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Corrections.

A male correctional officer taken hostage was injured, an official said. Officials said the other hostage, a female correctional officer, was not thought to have been hurt. Two other officers and a staff member were injured in a scuffle.

NEVADA

Groups sue to halt construction

RENO — Environmentalists filed a lawsuit last week to block construction of more than 6,000 homes near Lake Tahoe, arguing that the development will destroy wildlife habitat and increase air and water pollution.

The lawsuit accuses the Placer County Board of Supervisors of ignoring the potential effects of the project in the Martis Valley, between Lake Tahoe and Truckee, Calif., in violation of state environmental and zoning laws.

“It is a threat to everything we love about Lake Tahoe,” said Tom Mooers, executive director of Sierra Watch, one of the plaintiffs.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Harleyville sells town limit signs

HARLEYVILLE — Harleyville is cashing in on the commodity of its town limit signs.

The town is peddling the signs that were once stolen at least twice a year, presumably by fans of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Harleyville started selling the green-and-white signs six months ago, and more than 700 have been bought for $20 each, netting the town $5,600 after suppliers’ costs were paid. The signs cost an additional $5 each for shipping.

Since the town put a price tag on the signs, at least one thief has paid for his stolen sign.

“I have a Harleyville sign in my garage that I ‘happened upon’ about 15 years ago,” the handwritten note from Alliance, Neb., said. “I’m enclosing my check [actually a money order] for $20. … Now I’ll consider it mine.”

WISCONSIN

Crash rate declines for young drivers

WAUSAU — The number of crashes involving 16-year-old drivers and related fatalities dropped significantly in Wisconsin after the state placed new restrictions on beginning drivers, an Associated Press review found.

The trends, based on the first two full years that the new graduated license law has been in effect, provide evidence that it is reducing the carnage caused by the most inexperienced drivers.

The law, which took effect in September 2000, is designed to ensure that new drivers get more skills, not just a set of keys when they turn 16. They must have more supervised time behind the wheel, may not have multiple friends as passengers and may not drive from midnight to 5 a.m. except for work or school.


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