Former senator Helms hospitalized
RALEIGH, N.C. — Former Sen. Jesse Helms was in a hospital yesterday after having a gallstone removed but was doing fine, aides said.
Helms spokesman Jimmy Broughton said the former senator is expected to have his gall bladder removed sometime next week.
His personal assistant, Judy Edwards, said she had not spoken with Mr. Helms, 82, but said his family reported he was doing well.
Mr. Helms retired from the U.S. Senate in 2002, having won re-election five times.
No DNA match in JonBenet case
BOULDER, Colo. — DNA found in JonBenet Ramsey’s underwear did not match any of 1.5 million samples in an FBI database of convicted violent offenders, her parents’ attorney said Friday.
Boulder District Attorney Mary Keenan asked to have the sample checked, lawyer Lin Wood said from his Atlanta office. The story was first reported in the Denver Post.
Six-year-old JonBenet was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her parents’ home on Dec. 26, 1996. No charges have been filed. Authorities already had confirmed the DNA did not match any member of the Ramsey family.
Man kills himself after rampage
GRANBY, Colo. — A muffler-shop owner who plowed a makeshift armored bulldozer into several buildings after a dispute with city officials was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after a SWAT team cut their way into the machine early yesterday, authorities said.
The driver, identified by the town manager as Marvin Heemeyer, appeared to have shot himself, said Grand County Sheriff Rod Johnson.
Officers looking through the square-foot hole cut into the metal casing could see Mr. Heemeyer’s body with a gun lying nearby, Sheriff Johnson said. Authorities planned to use a crane to lift the armor shell off the bulldozer, the sheriff said.
Mr. Heemeyer plowed the armor-plated bulldozer into the town hall, a former mayor’s home and at least five other buildings Friday before the machine ground to a halt in the wreckage of a warehouse.
City officials said he was angry over a zoning dispute and fines for city code violations at his business in the town about 50 miles west of Denver.
Submarine named for Jimmy Carter
GROTON, Conn. — At the christening of the Navy’s latest nuclear vessel yesterday, two Jimmy Carters got doused with champagne — the former president and the $3.3 billion submarine that bears his name.
The submarine, the last and most advanced in the Seawolf-class, is “one of the greatest warships in history,” Mr. Carter told a crowd of more than 4,500 at the General Dynamics facility, where it was built.
Moments later, former first lady Rosalynn Carter smashed a bottle of Korbel across the submarine’s massive black hull. The spray left husband and wife wet but smiling as they toweled off their faces and clothes.
Mr. Carter, the only submariner ever to become president and the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize winner, reconciled naming a ship of war after a man of peace.
Cancellation upsets Hempfest organizers
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Organizers of Ohio Hempfest are a little out of joint over the cancellation of an annual pro-marijuana festival. Ohio State University canceled the event, scheduled for yesterday, because officials said organizers didn’t follow school rules.
Organizers said they were being unfairly targeted and promised to fight the decision. Lawyers hired by the group asked for an injunction against the university on Thursday in U.S. District Court.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the festival’s sponsor, asked to reserve space on the south Oval in October, said organizer Sean Luse, and the request was approved in April. But Pat Hall, director of the university’s Student Judicial Affairs, told him in an e-mail message on Tuesday that Hempfest was canceled.
The group did not give the university 10 days’ notice and did not have written permission from its faculty sponsor, Mr. Hall said. Hempfest has been held on Ohio State’s campus since 1996. The event includes speakers, bands, literature tables and vendors.