- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 20, 2004


Yucca workers get lung screenings

LAS VEGAS — Energy Department employees who helped dig tunnels at Yucca Mountain can get free screenings for the lung disease silicosis through a $500,000 department program, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

The department dug the tunnels, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas, as part of its plan to store 77,000 tons of nuclear waste there.

Silicosis, a chronic and progressive lung disease with symptoms including coughing and shortness of breath, can be caused by long-term exposure to silica, a natural mineral in the rock and desert land at Yucca.

“Not only is the DOE willing to jeopardize the public health and environmental safety of Nevadans, but now, because they ignored regulatory limits, their own employees have also been put at risk,” said Rep. Jim Gibbons, Nevada Republican, in a statement.


Salvation Army revives doughnuts

SEATTLE — Do a good deed: eat a doughnut. Better yet, eat a whole box.

The Salvation Army has revived its Famous Doughnut, first served by its female volunteers to World War I soldiers on the front lines.

They’re now for sale in 124 Fred Meyer stores in Washington state, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho.

Staying true to its doughy roots, the round item is modest, with just a glaze to seal in moisture. There are no jelly fillings, sprinkles or other distractions from the slight flavor of nutmeg that reminds some tasters of eggnog.

It’s also got more heft per bite than, for instance, a Krispy Kreme raised-glazed doughnut, because it’s the cake variety, made with baking powder instead of yeast.


Hostages in standoff not badly hurt

BUCKEYE — Negotiators tried to talk two inmates into freeing a pair of prison guards held hostage in an observation tower yesterday for a second day.

The guards sent word that they were not seriously hurt. But authorities would not say whether the inmates had made any demands or threats, and would not disclose whether they were armed or why they were in prison.

The emergency began Sunday morning in the prison kitchen, when one inmate attacked a guard during breakfast preparations. The inmate then met up with another inmate in the prison yard and the two gained access to the tower.


Lawmaker to file anti-alien amendment

DENVER — U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, has filed papers for a state constitutional amendment that would bar illegal immigrants from access to many state services.

He says it’s necessary because of President Bush’s proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Supporters would have to gather tens of thousands of signatures to place such a measure on the ballot.


Murder suspect seized on return from Spain

MIAMI — A murder suspect who fled the country after a stabbing more than 17 years ago was arrested when he returned to Miami after getting a new U.S. passport under his real name.

Gilbert Fernandez, 34, applied for the new passport in December in Barcelona, police said. U.S. officials granted him the document and then put him under surveillance.

Miami-Dade police spokesman Randy Rossman said Mr. Fernandez was arrested without incident Friday after his plane landed at Miami International Airport.

Mr. Fernandez was charged with second-degree murder in the 1986 stabbing death of 19-year-old Osmani Cruz. Police said the two men fought after Mr. Fernandez made a comment about Mr. Cruz’s girlfriend.


State may require community service

SPRINGFIELD — If Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich gets his way, all Illinois students will have to complete 40 hours of community service during high school to receive their diploma.

Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, would leave it up to school districts to decide what counts as service. He proposes allocating $6 million a year starting in July 2005, giving each high school $10,000 for two implementation coordinators.


Pilot’s daughter gets $247,000 for surgery

SIOUX CITY — An appeal to the airline community raised $247,000 for the daughter of Al Haynes, the heroic pilot of United Flight 232.

Laurie Haynes Arguello needs a bone-marrow transplant as she undergoes treatment for aplastic anemia, officials said.

Mr. Haynes was credited with saving 184 lives when he crash-landed a crippled DC-10 in 1989 in Sioux City.


Group claims channel is destroying ecology

NEW ORLEANS — A new advocacy group is demanding the closure of a shipping channel described as an ecological disaster.

Members of the Coalition to Close the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet say shipping on the 76-mile, 40-year-old channel destroyed the wetlands of St. Bernard Parish.

The outlet connects an industrial zone in eastern New Orleans with the Gulf of Mexico.


Bill seeks to end federal income taxes

CONCORD — Lawmakers today will take up a proposal that would forbid residents from paying federal income taxes.

A bill to nullify the power of Congress to levy taxes is unlikely to pass legal scrutiny. Under New Hampshire’s loose legislative rules, even bills that are illegal or unfeasible receive a hearing and vote by the entire body.


State puts a tail on Adirondack loon

ALBANY — Government and environmental groups are putting a tail on Adirondack loons to answer the long-standing question of where the aquatic birds go in winter.

The reason for the effort goes beyond curiosity. The answer could help secure the future of the common loon and the Adirondacks’ thousands of lakes and ponds.

The state study with the private Adirondack Cooperative Loon Program, which studies migratory species, will use satellite telemetry to track loons tagged with markers.

The path is critical. For example, loons could be migrating toward the Great Lakes, where they could be exposed to Type E botulism, which has killed thousands of loons on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario over the past four years. But many loons are also believed to winter along the East Coast.


Mascots eliminated from some schools

GREENSBORO — Boosters and students at Andrews and Southern Guilford high schools are upset with the local school board’s decision to eliminate their American Indian mascots.

The board voted 9-1 last week to end the use of the mascots because of complaints they are demeaning to American Indians. The school system estimates changing mascots would cost $125,000 per school.


Theft ‘bait car’ plays ‘bad boys’ song

COLUMBUS — Police have added a musical twist to the booby-trapped car they leave out to entice would-be thieves.

The city’s so-called “bait car” is now rigged to play the theme from the television show “Cops” when officers remotely disable the engine and nab the crooks.

A videotape recently shot on the car’s hidden cameras shows a man hopping in the driver’s seat and muttering to himself, “I got me a good one.”

He drives a short distance before an officer monitoring the situation from a remote location flips a switch that disables the engine and locks the door. Then, the car’s tape player can be heard blaring the reggae-inflected tune from the television show’s opening credits.

The Columbus bait car caught 10 thieves in two days of use last week, Lt. Marie Ballou said.


Teenager charged in death of father

EDINBORO — A 17-year-old boy who said voices told him to kill was charged with stabbing his father to death and slashing his younger brother with a butcher knife Sunday, authorities said.

Jordan Michael Carter of Edinboro was arrested and charged with homicide, attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

The teenager’s 15-year-old brother, Joshua, was stabbed numerous times and taken to a hospital in Erie, police said. Troy Carter, 42, the boys’ father, was pronounced dead at the scene by the Erie County Coroner’s Office.

Jordan Carter also suffered cuts in the attack. He was treated at the same hospital where his brother was taken.

Jordan Carter called the Erie County Crisis Services hot line after the attack and said voices were commanding him to kill humans, according to the criminal complaint.• From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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