- The Washington Times - Monday, March 1, 2004

MISSISSIPPI

Relative of missing family charged

TAYLORSVILLE — A relative of a family of three who disappeared on Valentine’s Day was charged yesterday with a drug and firearms violation, and authorities said other charges were expected.

Authorities have not said whether they think Michael and Rebecca Hargon and their 4-year-old son, James Patrick, are alive. Blood and spent bullet casings were discovered at the family’s home in Yazoo County.

Earnest Lee Hargon, an adopted cousin of Michael Hargon’s, was named in a single charge of possession of methamphetamines while also in possession of a firearm. Earnest Lee Hargon is set to appear in court today.

ALABAMA

Episcopalians denounce gay bishop

BIRMINGHAM — Alabama Episcopalians have rejected their denomination’s approval of its first practicing homosexual bishop, and some congregations have cut contributions to church headquarters.

Officials at a special state diocese meeting voted 208-140 during the weekend to adopt a resolution declaring that “blessings of same-sex unions and ordinations of non-celibate unmarried persons are not part of the common life of this diocese.”

The vote “expresses disagreement, but not division,” over the appointment of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Alabama Bishop Henry N. Parsley said there were no plans to split from the church.

ALASKA

Artist accused of violating law

JUNEAU — An artist who tried to sell works with eagle feathers is under investigation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating whether Mark Horn violated the Migratory Bird Treaty and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection acts.

The laws prohibit the possession or sale of parts of such species. Both laws allow possession, but not sales, by American Indians. Mr. Horn describes himself as one-quarter Blackfeet Indian.

ARIZONA

Tourist bus slides off icy road

WILLIAMS — A bus carrying Chinese tourists slid off an icy interstate in northern Arizona, injuring 24 of the 25 persons on board, authorities said.

All 24 injured were taken to Flagstaff Medical Center after Friday’s crash on Interstate 40. Three remained in the hospital Saturday in fair condition, said hospital spokeswoman Janet Dean.

The others were treated for minor injuries, such as bruises and cuts, and released, Miss Dean said.

The bus, operated by Lindong Enterprises, had taken the tourists to the Grand Canyon, but it was not clear where the bus was headed, state public safety officials said.

FLORIDA

Man refuses help, dies in his yard

ORLANDO — A man who lay injured in his yard for three days, ordering his wife not to call doctors, died after being exposed to rain and temperatures that dropped to 55 degrees, authorities said.

Glen Schibley, 83, was found dead Thursday with his wife by his side. He had been working in his yard Monday when he fell and could not get up, said Orange County Sheriff’s spokesman Jim Solomons.

Mr. Schibley told his wife, Harriet, 79, not to call authorities because of bad experiences with doctors, Mr. Solomons said.

Mrs. Schibley also was injured as she brought her husband food, water and medicine and covered him with a tarp during rainstorms, Mr. Solomons said. She slept beside him at least once.

The couple were found by their son-in-law when he came by to check on them. Neighbors never saw them because of a fence around the junk-strewn yard.

HAWAII

Higher salaries recommended

HONOLULU — A salary commission is recommending that Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustees be given a 28 percent pay raise. It is subject to approval by the Legislature.

If approved, trustees’ pay would go from $32,000 a year to $41,000 and the chairman’s pay would increase from $37,000 to $47,000. The increase would result in OHA trustees being paid more than state legislators.

INDIANA

Fund will aid researcher’s family

WEST LAFAYETTE — The Purdue University community has set up a fund to help the family of deceased researcher Jiang Yao to return home to China. Mr. Jiang, 40, was killed in a car crash.

Mr. Jiang’s wife and daughter could be stuck in West Lafayette for a few months while they complete legal documents and procedures. His wife is unable to get a job because she doesn’t speak English.

MICHIGAN

Mayor renews financial pledge

FLINT — Mayor Don Williamson publicly renewed his campaign pledge to plug the city’s deficit — at $14 million — with money from his own pocket and accused the state of failing to take him up on it.

But state Treasurer Jay Rising said the state did not refuse the offer, which he called “extremely generous.”

Since 2002, Flint’s finances have been overseen by a financial manager appointed by the governor. With about 125,000 residents, it is the largest city in Michigan to face a state takeover.

Mr. Williamson, who was elected in November and is thought to have amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in the auto-parts industry, told Flint television station WSMH that he had been trying to work behind the scenes to pay the city’s debt.

NEW MEXICO

South American fish found at Morgan Lake

MORGAN LAKE — If you were at Morgan Lake and caught a toothy fish from the faraway Amazon River, who would eat whom?

Not to worry, fish folks say, the South American fish found last month is no piranha.

The fish, called a red pacu, has a mouth full of teeth, but they are molarlike and not particularly sharp. Unlike the flesh-eating piranha, the fish is a vegetarian, and Amazonian anglers have been known to use fruit for bait.

The solitary pacu, about 20 inches long, was found in the channel near the Four Corners Power Plant, which adjoins Lake Morgan, during the Valentine’s Day weekend. It was found dead in a basket that screens debris, officials said.

Theories vary on how it got into the lake: maybe from a dumped aquarium, or perhaps from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hatchery in Texas that breeds bass to stock the lake — but where red pacu also are known to live.

NEW YORK

Teacher recognized for helping injured

TICONDEROGA — A high school French teacher was commended by her community for helping injured French-speaking Canadians communicate with hospital personnel.

Kirsten Perry was called by the Ticonderoga hospital after a tour bus carrying senior vacationers was involved in a crash. Miss Perry took down the 14 victims’ medical histories in the emergency room.

RHODE ISLAND

Club owners not liable for penalty

PROVIDENCE — A state hearing officer ruled Friday that the owners of a nightclub where a fire killed 100 persons can’t be held personally liable for failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

Jeffrey and Michael Derderian, owners of the Station, were fined more than $1 million for not having the required insurance for four workers at the West Warwick club who were among those killed as a result of the Feb. 20, 2003, blaze. The same fine also was assessed against the Derderians’ company, Derco LLC.

Workers’ compensation insurance would have made an employee’s family eligible for $15,000 for burial and other expenses, plus a portion of lost wages.

The Derderians face involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from the fire, and are named in several lawsuits.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Thurmond’s daughter speaks on education

COLUMBIA — Essie Mae Washington-Williams, who revealed late last year that she is the biracial daughter of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, was showered with praise from her family and others Saturday at a banquet to raise money for education.

Mrs. Washington-Williams also finally met Mr. Thurmond’s other children on her trip home to South Carolina, enjoying dinner and family talk Friday at the home of Strom Jr.

“It was a good visit, very fruitful,” she said Saturday, but she brushed off more personal questions during her appearance Saturday night at historically black Allen University.

Mrs. Washington-Williams, who lives in Los Angeles, spoke Saturday as part of the Tom Joyner Foundation Campaign, which raises money for historically black colleges and universities.

“My father, the late Senator Thurmond, was a great proponent of education, and now so am I,” Mrs. Washington-Williams said.

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