- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2004


Schools reopen after buses targeted

GROVE CITY — Some parents drove students who normally ride the bus, and extra security guards were on hand as schools in this Columbus suburb reopened yesterday after bullet marks on two buses were linked to a series of 18 sniper shootings.

“I think all these schools should have some people here to protect them. I feel they’re safer with me,” said Amy Stainer, who dropped off her son Christopher, 9, and daughter Britani, 6.

South-Western School District canceled classes for its 20,000 students Dec. 18 and 19, the last days before the break, after the marks were found on two buses.


Missing skier found alive

SEATTLE — A skier missing for four freezing nights in the central Cascade Mountains was found alive after rescuers spotted fresh tracks by helicopter.

“It’s unbelievable — four tough nights in the teens with no food, no water, just normal ski gear and a helmet,” said King County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim Fuda.

Dan Witkowski, 25, was “lucid and talking,” Lt. Fuda said Sunday night. Mr. Witkowski told Lt. Fuda that he got turned around while skiing Wednesday and decided to head downhill in hopes of finding his way out.


Soda, chip ban to be tested at schools

PHOENIX — State education officials plan to select eight schools this month to test a ban on soft drink and junk food.

Some parents, nutritionists and school officials say easy access to high-sugar snacks contributes to bad eating habits and childhood obesity. Arizona’s cash-strapped schools have funded student activities by raising thousands of dollars through contracts with soft-drink companies.


Beef bones linked to mad cow recalled

SAN JOSE — Health officials have announced a voluntary recall of beef bones from a batch of meat connected to the mad cow disease case in Washington state.

The recall involves bones sold at Maxim Market, a San Jose grocery store that allowed its name to be released, the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health said.

Officials said customers could return any beef-bone products they bought at Maxim from Dec. 12 to Dec. 14. The products include bones for soup.


Pulitzer-winning author dies at 91

DANBURY — John Toland, who won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction for the historical narrative “The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945,” has died. He was 91.

Mr. Toland died Sunday of pneumonia at Danbury Hospital, said his daughter.

Although “Rising Sun” won the Pulitzer, Mr. Toland may best be known for “Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography,” published in 1976, and his 1982 book, “Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath,” in which he wrote about evidence that President Roosevelt had known beforehand of the plans to attack the naval base but had remained silent.


German sub exhibit closing until 2005

CHICAGO — A German submarine exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry to which visitors have flocked for decades is closing temporarily.

The captured U-505 is leaving its spot outside the south side of the museum for a new climate-controlled underground exhibit hall. The work is expected to keep the exhibit closed until spring next year. The submarine has attracted 24 million visitors since its arrival in 1954.


Snow spurs cancelled classes, flights

DES MOINES — Many Iowa schools canceled or delayed the start of classes yesterday after a storm dumped up to 10 inches of snow on parts of the state.

The storm also spread snow Sunday across northern sections of Illinois and Indiana and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. Heavy rain caused flooding in Ohio.

The storm was linked to six traffic deaths.

The snow had tapered off by yesterday morning, with only light and intermittent snow in Illinois, but it was followed by bitter cold. Wind chills were expected to reach 20 to 30 degrees below zero yesterday, said Marc Russell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The temperature hit 26 degrees below zero at Fargo, N.D.


Surveillance camera nets glass-eyes thief

OWENSBORO — An eye that never blinks apparently caught a thief who swiped 50 antique glass eyes from a hospital.

A surveillance camera recorded the Christmas Eve theft from an exhibit of medical artifacts at Owensboro Medical Health System. A picture of the suspect was released to the public several days later.

Melissa Jane Wink, 36, of Owensboro, was charged with theft.

The eyes were valued at $2,500. The hospital mistakenly had reported that the eyes were worth $100,000, which was the value of the exhibit collection. The artifacts were recovered at a house where Miss Wink was staying.

Police Detective Ed Krahwinkel said he wasn’t sure why someone would steal the eyes; demand for them on the black market isn’t high.


Balloons from game travel 900 miles

MARTELL — What Dean Wittstruck found in his field looked to be the leftovers of one happy New Year’s Eve party. What it turned out to be were balloons from a college football game — about 900 miles away.

Mr. Wittstruck came across the mysterious deflated balloons Thursday midmorning. Two yellow balloons still were floating, their strings caught on soybean stubble.

“Go Team” was emblazoned on one balloon. Another said “Go Ducks” in green writing and was stamped by the University of Oregon’s alumni association.

Yellow and green are the colors of the Oregon Ducks, which played Minnesota in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Smith said the helium-filled balloons could have been carried by the jet stream, 6 miles high, at speeds of 90 to 120 mph.

Oregon, by the way, lost to Minnesota in a squeaker — 31-30.


Fire survivor says dad died saving him

LAS VEGAS — A 7-year-old boy who was the only person to escape a house fire that killed his family and his friend says his father died while saving his life.

Madison Martin said his father, Charles, kicked down a bedroom door to rescue him from the fire early Thursday morning, but collapsed after bursting into his room, said the boy’s grandmother Victoria Carter.

Madison’s 6-year-old brother, Harrison, and their friend Andy Liu, 10, of Irvine, Calif., also were in the bedroom, but they may have been overcome by smoke before Mr. Martin tried to wake them, she said.

Mr. Martin and his wife, Melissa, also died in the fire in northwest Las Vegas, which police say might have been started by an unattended candle.


Jury meets to choose memorial design

NEW YORK — After narrowing the field of finalists from eight to three, the jury selecting a design for a World Trade Center memorial convened yesterday to close in on a choice.

The 13-member jury gathered at the mayor’s official residence to try to reach a consensus, said sources familiar with the selection process. The meeting could continue into today.


Girl’s last wish to be granted

CHARLOTTE — Bone cancer killed 12-year-old Hope Stout, but those whose lives she touched — from an NFL lineman to charitable workers — are determined to make her last wish come true.

Given a chance by the Make-A-Wish Foundation several months ago to make a dying request, Hope said her wish was that the more than 150 children on the foundation’s list get their last wishes fulfilled.

Hope died Sunday, but not before her desire to multiply her one wish into many struck a nerve. Make-A-Wish has collected more than $450,000 toward her goal and ABC Sports reported on her story during a Carolina Panthers playoff game during the weekend.


Principal resigns after drug raid

MONCKS CORNER — A high school principal announced his resignation yesterday after coming under fire over a November drug sweep in which police with guns drawn ordered students to the floor.

“I realized it is in the best interest of Stratford High School and of my students for me to make a change,” George McCrackin said in a statement.

School officials asked Goose Creek police to come into the school Nov. 5 after receiving reports of marijuana sales on campus. Police said dogs sniffed drug residue on 12 book bags but found no drugs. No one was arrested.

The raid led to accusations of excessive force and racism, because many of the students were black.


Reservists return as honor guards

SAN ANTONIO — Dozens of Navy reservists were recalled for voluntary active duty to work as honor guards at military funerals.

Demand is high as thousands of World War II veterans die each day, with each guaranteed two honor guards at their military funerals. Other military branches also have boosted honor guards but haven’t asked reservists to return in this role.


Poor work cited in laboratory closure

MADISON — The University of Wisconsin Medical School has closed a neurology laboratory after investigators said critically ill patients were put at risk because of sloppy handling of patient records, inadequate employee training and poor supervision.

Dr. Benjamin Brooks, the lab’s medical director, said he would take the dispute to court. He said patient safety never was at risk. The lab saw about 500 patients and administered about 2,000 tests a year, Dr. Brooks said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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