- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 25, 2004


Ice palace tradition returns

ST. PAUL — A fleeting new marvel decorates St. Paul’s downtown riverfront: a towering ice palace stretching an entire city block.

About 27,000 blocks of ice — each weighing 500 pounds and roughly the size of a bathtub — were cut from a nearby lake to build the palace, which stands nearly eight stories high at its tallest turret. Six tons of steel reinforce it.

It is the city’s first ice palace in 12 years, reviving a local tradition cut short by a $600,000 deficit run up by the 1992 version. The palace this year was built largely by volunteers for the St. Paul Winter Carnival.


Judge delays Billy the Kid hearing

SILVER CITY — A judge has postponed until August a hearing on whether to allow authorities to exhume the body of Billy the Kid’s mother from a New Mexico cemetery.

Two county sheriffs have asked courts for permission to collect DNA from Catherine Antrim’s remains for comparison with genetic material they hope to take from the body buried under the Kid’s gravestone in Fort Sumner. The sheriffs’ attorney, Sherry Tippett, said her forensic expert witness needs several months to prepare a report.

Billy the Kid was thought to have been killed in 1881 by Sheriff Pat Garrett, but a Texas man who died in 1950, Ollie “Brushy Bill” Roberts, said he was Billy the Kid and that the 1881 death had been faked with another body.


Surfer bitten by shark gets prosthetic arm

LOS ANGELES — Three months after losing her left arm in a shark attack, teen surfer Bethany Hamilton received a prosthetic limb.

The 13-year-old from Hawaii, who already has returned to competitive surfing, is on a whirlwind national tour.

She learned to snowboard in Steamboat Springs, Colo., taped an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in Chicago, and gave interviews to Glamour magazine and “Entertainment Tonight” in Los Angeles, where she also received the prosthetic arm Saturday.


Exhibit shows 1960s segregation

STATESBORO — A new exhibit at the Georgia Southern Museum shows how commonplace segregation was in southeast Georgia during the early 1960s.

The exhibit titled “Equal and Exact Justice” begins with a re-creation of a bus station with two water fountains and two waiting areas — one for blacks and one for whites. The exhibit also includes oral histories and photographs.


Lottery winner killed in accident

ELWOOD — A man who won $57,000 in an Indiana lottery game taped for television died hours later when he was hit by a pickup truck.

The “Hoosier Millionaire” featuring Carl D. Atwood, 73, was broadcast Saturday night after his family said they wanted the show to go on, Hoosier Lottery director Jack Ross said.

The broadcast concluded with a photo of Mr. Atwood accompanied by text reading: “In memory of Carl Atwood.”

Mr. Atwood won the money Thursday during a two-hour taping in Indianapolis.


State employees back carpooling system

LAWRENCE — State employees who ride in 20 state-owned vans to get to work in Topeka from other cities are upset with a plan by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat, to end the carpooling program.

The 270 state employees that use the carpool service say it’s self-sufficient because they pay between $55 and $70 per month to sustain it.


Panel approves judges’ pay raise

BATON ROUGE — The Judicial Compensation Commission approved a plan that would give state court judges up to a 9.8 percent pay raise during the next two years, if the Legislature agrees to it.

Supporters said the raises are needed to bring state judges’ salaries in line with the pay of judges in other parts of the South.


Man gets diploma after 64 years

PORTLAND — Merle Beane was just months from graduating when he walked out of Portland High School for the last time 64 years ago. Now, he has his diploma.

Afflicted by a condition that made his hands shake involuntarily, Mr. Beane struggled as he filled out an absentee form after missing school because of the flu in 1939.

A woman in the office told him, “‘People like you shouldn’t be in school,’” Mr. Beane recalled.

Decades later, Mr. Beane sent an audiotape recounting the event to Portland High’s principal and said he wished to have his diploma. Principal Michael Johnson, who said he was moved to tears by the story, pulled Mr. Beane’s transcript. The records confirmed he had received an equivalency diploma.

Mr. Johnson visited Mr. Beane, and brought along a diploma. Mr. Johnson said Mr. Beane was speechless at first, but the words finally came.

“He must have said thank you a hundred times,” Mr. Johnson said.


DUI charge is man’s 20th

PEABODY — Prosecutors will ask the court to keep a Medford man in state custody after he was charged for the 20th time with drunken driving. Charles V. Stefanilo Jr.’s most recent arrest came Saturday, when he reportedly failed to negotiate an on-ramp.

Mr. Stefanilo, 47, was unable to identify himself and couldn’t stand up for his mug shot, police said. His driver’s license was revoked permanently in 1995.


Police return treasured $1,000 bill

PINE LAWN — A man’s treasured $1,000 bill was returned by police who swapped it for more common currency at the mayor’s request after the trucker was arrested.

Curtis Smith Sr., 71, had made several requests to have the rare bill returned without success. On Friday, the city gave him back the money in exchange for 10 $100 bills.

Pine Lawn officials gave no explanation for returning the note, which Mr. Smith received from a banker friend 20 years ago. But the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office said earlier the city’s keeping of the note created the appearance of impropriety.


Car plunges off casino parking deck

LAS VEGAS — A driver who mistakenly might have hit the gas instead of the brake steered a car off the fourth floor of a casino parking garage, killing himself and his passenger, police said.

Witnesses told police the car accelerated as the driver pulled into a parking space, then jumped a curb and crashed through a concrete wall before falling onto its roof in an alley below.

The victims, a man and woman ages 83 and 79, died in the crash last week at the Golden Nugget hotel-casino.


Couple sues store after child views porn

WOODBURY — A couple who says their 4-year-old daughter saw hard-core pornography on a PG-rated movie tape from Blockbuster has sued the video company.

The plaintiffs, who were not identified, said the footage appeared on a “Home Alone 3” tape rented April 7 from a Glassboro store.

The pornographic material appeared for 10 minutes after the movie credits.


Activist justice will step down

PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders Jr., an activist known for his strong dissents, plans to resign in May after eight years on the bench, the state’s chief justice said last week.

Judge Flanders, 54, who began his career defending the poor and later became one of the state’s highest-paid lawyers, said he intends to pursue opportunities in law, business, academia and public service.

Chief Justice Frank Williams said there was no conflict that prompted the resignation.


Man, 92, jailed for bank robbery

LUBBOCK — A 92-year-old man who pleaded guilty to robbing a bank was sentenced last week to 12 years in prison.

J.L. Hunter “Red” Rountree pleaded guilty in federal court in October to taking $1,999 from an Abilene bank in August, his third such robbery in less than five years. He could have received up to 20 years in prison.

He will be held at the Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth.

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