- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 3, 2004

City: Democrat signs must go

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The campaigns of Democratic presidential hopefuls Wesley Clark and Howard Dean have been warned by the city to take down some of their signs.

A Las Cruces ordinance prohibits political signs from being erected any earlier than 90 days before an election — and since the city attorney’s office contends the Feb. 3 Democratic caucus is not legally an election, it told both campaigns that all signs on commercial property must come down.

New Mexico Democrats switched to a caucus early in the presidential campaign calendar at the urging of Gov. Bill Richardson, who said the change will give New Mexicans more influence in determining the party’s presidential nominee.

Utah bill would ban firing-squad executions

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah could ban firing squads and execute condemned prisoners only by lethal injection — but not on Sundays, Mondays or holidays — under bills submitted for the upcoming legislative session.

Utah is the only state that uses firing squads. Three current death row inmates have chosen to die by firing squad rather than injection. The Utah Sentencing Commission said in August it would support eliminating the firing squads.

The state’s last firing-squad execution, in 1996, drew more than 150 television crews from around the world.

Hawaii drenched with heavy rains

HONOLULU — Heavy rains on the Hawaiian Islands yesterday downed power lines, backed up sewer pipes and closed roads, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported.

State Civil Defense officials issued a flash-flood watch for the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Oahu that was expected to remain in effect until at least early next week. On Oahu, rock slides were reported in Kalihi and Diamond Head Road and numerous flooded roads were closed.

Overflow from the sewer system also was a problem as raw sewage backed up and overflowed Friday through manhole covers.

3 girls killed on way to brother’s wedding

WILLMAR, Minn. — Three young sisters, on their way to be bridesmaids at their brother’s wedding, were killed when their car collided head-on with a minivan near the town where the ceremony was to take place.

The sisters were trying to pass another vehicle on a highway near Willmar in west-central Minnesota when the crash occurred Thursday night, the State Patrol said. The sisters had driven from New Brighton, a Minneapolis suburb about 90 miles to the east of where they lived.

The wedding proceeded as scheduled yesterday in Willmar’s Assembly of God Church, the family said. “They would totally want this wedding to go on,” Debbie Mayer said Friday of her daughters — Krista Joy Mayer, 19; Nikki Ann Mayer, 17; and Jessica Lynn Mayer, 12.

The sisters were to be three of seven bridesmaids for Bree O’Connor, who married their brother, Joey, 22.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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