Zoo polar bear is put to sleep
NEW YORK — Lily, an 18-year-old polar bear that was one of Central Park Zoo’s premier attractions, was euthanized Friday because of an inoperable and possibly cancerous growth in the abdomen.
Medication was able to improve Lily’s condition for a while after the initial diagnosis, but “ultimately the severity of Lily’s disease resulted in a deterioration of her condition and quality of life, and she was humanely euthanized,” the zoo said.
The average life span of a polar bear, in the wild as well as in captivity, is 20 years.
Mom arrested in girls’ deaths
CARSON — Detectives found the bodies of two young girls at a southwestern Washington rock pit after their mother called police to say she had killed them, authorities said.
Charlene A. Dorcy, 39, told officers Saturday evening that she fatally shot her two children — 2-year-old Brittney and 4-year-old Jessica Dorcy, Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox said Sunday. The undersheriff said she led detectives to the girls’ bodies at the abandoned rock pit.
Mrs. Dorcy, of Hazel Dell, was being held in Skamania County Jail in Stevenson for investigation of murder charges. Sheriff’s officers said they planned to speak with Mrs. Dorcy’s husband before commenting on her mental state.
Suspect arrested in double slaying
LOS ANGELES — Police arrested a suspect yesterday in the deaths of two neighbors who were found slain in their homes after an airline ticket agent reported hearing a commotion while one of the victims booked a flight.
Keven Lee Graff, 27, was arrested near the gates of Paramount Studios, about two miles from the victims’ homes. He was thought to have stolen a Mercedes-Benz belonging to one of the men.
Officers, who arrived Sunday in the Hollywood neighborhood, found Morley Hal Engleson, 67, a retired physician, dead in his house. In the rear of the residence, they also found the head of Robert Lees, a 91-year-old screenwriter who lived in a home behind Mr. Engleson’s, where the rest of his body was discovered.
Mr. Lees also wrote under the name J.E. Selby, said the Writers Guild of America, and his film and TV credits include episodes of “Rawhide” and “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”
Man attempts poker-playing record
HARTFORD — You can reasonably bet that Larry Olmsted is tired of seven-card stud.
The Vermont native sat at a poker table at Foxwoods Resort Casino at Mashantucket at 1:22 p.m. Thursday and remained there for the next 72 hours, taking occasional bathroom breaks but never leaving the poker area.
Mr. Olmsted’s feat was intended to set the record for the longest casino poker session, one that has yet to be certified by the Guinness Book of Records to become official.
He sat down with $100 in poker chips and ended with about $1,000 in winnings, although he gave most of it away in tips to the Foxwoods staff. He played seven-card stud, with a 50 cent ante and a $1 forced bet with a $5 max.
Mr. Olmsted’s concentration waned in the last 12 hours, as did his ability to stay awake.
“I got to a point where I couldn’t read the numbers on the cards,” he said.
Church apologizes for rejecting blacks
ST. AUGUSTINE — A church that shunned blacks in 1964 apologized for the racist acts and honored two women who were turned away as children.
“We regret our actions,” the Rev. Pat Turner-Sharpton of First United Methodist Church said at a “service of reconciliation” on Sunday. “We regret the hurt we caused you. We ask your forgiveness.”
An older white woman had walked Audrey Willis and Janice Boles to the church in 1964. A church leader told the woman the black girls were not welcome, Miss Boles said.
The church voted to accept all worshippers shortly after the girls’ arrests, but the memory of that incident has resurfaced yearly, Mr. Turner-Sharpton said.
Study finds fruit stems vision loss
CHICAGO — Eating fruit regularly earlier in life may help ward off macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older adults, a study said yesterday.
But the report said there appeared to be no strong protective effect from vegetables, vitamins or carotenoids — the compounds that make some fruits and vegetables red, orange or yellow — as some earlier research had suggested.
The study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston looked at data from 77,562 women and 40,866 men who were followed for 12 to 18 years as part of long-term studies tracking them for a variety of health issues.
It found that both men and women who consumed three or more servings of unspecified fruit a day had a 36 percent decreased risk of developing macular degeneration.
Republican strategist dead at 65
DETROIT — Robert Teeter, a longtime Republican pollster and strategist in both presidential campaigns of George Bush, died after a battle with cancer, his company said yesterday. He was 65.
Mr. Teeter died Sunday night at his Ann Arbor home.
He was president of Coldwater Corp., a business consulting and research firm, and conducted a national polling program for NBC News and the Wall Street Journal with Democratic pollster Peter Hart.
A top strategist in Mr. Bush’s first campaign, Mr. Teeter rejected an offer for a White House job after the 1988 election.
Bird causes jet to veer off runway
PITTSBURGH — A US Airways jet struck a bird after landing early yesterday and veered off a runway at Pittsburgh International Airport after the mishap disabled a steering mechanism, authorities said.
The Boeing 737 carrying 92 passengers from Charlotte, N.C., became mired in mud at about 3:30 a.m. The region had experienced some heavy storms early yesterday.
The passengers had to be bused to the terminal, where they waited several more hours for their luggage. No one was hurt, but several passengers complained that no one told them what had happened. The flight already had been delayed in North Carolina by storms.
Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for US Airways, said the bird was a turkey, but airport spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said crews found a dead owl beside the runway.
Whale euthanized after being trapped
NEWPORT — A young finback whale that apparently was separated from its mother and became stuck in a cove was euthanized after an attempt to save it failed, scientists said yesterday.
Efforts to guide the 2-ton, 28-foot juvenile whale from Newport’s Brenton Cove into open water were unsuccessful. Finback whales, an endangered species, are the second largest type of whale after the blue whale, the largest animal in the world.
The whale first was spotted by boaters in the cove, which is lined with marinas, Sunday morning. Heather Medic, a coordinator with Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., said the whale had been in good condition Sunday, but deteriorated because it moved into shallower water and its organs were being crushed by its own weight.
Bonnaroo festival sees drug deaths
MANCHESTER — Given a crowd estimated at more than 150,000, plenty of illegal drug use and stifling heat, Coffee County Sheriff Steve Graves said yesterday that it was lucky that only two fans died at this year’s Bonnaroo music festival.
Preliminary toxicology tests indicated both victims had been using drugs.
The deaths were the first in Bonnaroo’s three-year history. The festival ran Friday through Sunday at a farm halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga and offered a lineup that included Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews and the Dead.
Amber Lynn Stevens of Flatwoods, Ky., died Saturday. Her 24th birthday would have been yesterday. Brandon Taylor, 20, of Lowell, Mich., died Friday.
Sheriff Graves said hundreds of drug arrests were made and some assault charges were filed against festival-goers.
From wire dispatches and staff reports