- The Washington Times - Friday, March 26, 2004

ARKANSAS

Search for survivalists continues

ALREAD — As the hunt for two fugitives entered the fourth day yesterday, residents were struggling to get accustomed to all the attention.

Convicted felon Mark Holsombach, 49, and William J. Frazier, 28, became the targets of the manhunt after a gunshot fired from their cabin on Monday hit a trooper in the arm. The victim was one of several officers sent to serve warrants on the pair.

Authorities said the two lived as survivalists. Their cabin was filled with weapons and military-type gear.

CALIFORNIA

Beach smoking faces ban

SANTA MONICA — Santa Monica would become the third — and largest — California community to ban smoking on its beaches under an ordinance tentatively approved by the City Council.

Councilors voted 4-2 for the ordinance late Tuesday, but must approve it in a second vote in about two weeks before it can become a rule. The ban would prohibit smoking along a 13-mile stretch of beach, on the city’s pier except in designated areas and at bus stops.

Mayor Richard Bloom said the ban would improve public health and reduce pollution.

FLORIDA

Mom accused of pimping teens

PIERSON — A 33-year-old Florida woman faced five felony charges yesterday after being accused of selling her two teenage daughters to men for sex.

Relatives said the girls were 14 and 17, according to the Orlando Sentinel, which withheld names.

The woman took her daughters to Crescent City and DeLand, where she charged men $50 to $65 to have sex with the girls, according to arrest reports.

The mother, arrested Tuesday at her rural home, was charged with two counts of child abuse, two counts of procuring a minor for prostitution and one count of deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution.

GEORGIA

Silicon injections bring murder charge

ATLANTA — A man accused of injecting industrial-grade silicone into men who were living as women and wanted to look more feminine was charged with murder after one of them died.

In an indictment unsealed Wednesday, Stephen Oneal Thomas, 31, also was charged with practicing medicine without a license. Mr. Thomas, who also is living as a woman, had been working in Dougherty County for at least a year, holding “pumping parties” where he would inject silicone into cheeks, lips, breasts and buttocks of transvestites, said prosecutor Ken Hodges.

Andre D. Jeter, 23, of Montgomery, Ala., suffered convulsions and fell into a coma on Dec. 10 after attending a pumping party. He died a month later.

Two other men were indicted as accomplices to Mr. Thomas.

KENTUCKY

Clergy-abuse victims to get retreat center

CRESTWOOD — Susan Archibald, a former Air Force major, often talks in battlefield metaphors to recount her struggle to help fellow victims of clergy sex abuse through a unique alliance with Roman Catholic bishops.

After months of planning and lobbying church officials, Miss Archibald and other volunteers plan to open a national retreat center for molestation victims in April that is the first to carry the endorsement of key U.S. Roman Catholic bishops and religious orders.

The prelates have provided some funds for the project, called the Farm, even though they will have no control over it, Miss Archibald said.

Among the top churchmen on board is Archbishop Harry Flynn of St. Paul and Minneapolis, head of the bishops’ national Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse.

MASSACHUSETTS

Court dissolves Vermont civil union

BOSTON — A Vermont civil union between two men has been dissolved by a judge in Massachusetts, who cited a state Supreme Court decision as giving him the power to do so.

On Wednesday, Essex Probate and Family Court Judge John Cronin ended the civil union of David Salucco and Patrick Alldredge, who had entered into the relationship in Vermont in 2002.

The decision will not be appealed because both men agreed to the dissolution, the Boston Globe reported.

The ruling was the first of its kind in Massachusetts. About 6,780 civil unions have been performed in Vermont, and 30 couples since have dissolved their unions in that state.

MINNESOTA

House OKs ban on gay ‘marriage’

ST. PAUL — A bill to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman passed overwhelmingly in the Minnesota House after a short debate.

The 88-42 vote on Wednesday came after 80 minutes of consideration of a measure to let voters decide whether same-sex “marriage” should be banned by the Minnesota Constitution.

Three Republicans voted against the bill, and 12 members of the Democrat-Farm-Labor Party voted for it, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said. A state Senate committee today opens debate on the proposed constitutional amendment.

NEW JERSEY

Player wins suit against coach

TRENTON — A former high-school basketball player who said she developed an eating disorder after her coach asked her to lose 10 pounds won $1.5 million from a jury.

The jury reached the verdict for Jennifer Besler, 25, on Wednesday. Still ahead for jurors is the question of whether to award punitive damages.

Miss Besler and her father, Philip Besler, said Daniel Hussong verbally abused her during the 1995-96 season at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School. According to testimony, she has resisted treatment for her disorder and continues to take diet pills and exercise excessively.

NEW MEXICO

Seat-belt law considered for pets

SANTA FE — Buckle up, Bowser. Fasten your belt, Fluffy. Santa Fe is considering whether to make dogs and cats wear seat belts in the car.

An ordinance endorsed Tuesday by a City Council committee would require any animal in a vehicle to be restrained, so it doesn’t fall out. An animal in a truck bed would have to be crated or restrained.

Local pet stores stock devices to restrain animals in vehicles, although managers said they don’t sell many.

OKLAHOMA

Burglary suspect falls asleep in home

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma couple were surprised when they woke up and found a drunken burglary suspect asleep in bed with them, police said yesterday.

The couple from the southern Oklahoma city of Ardmore called police, ran out of their house and watched officers arrest the man who was still sleeping in their bed despite the sirens and commotion, police said.

Dan Johnson, 24, was arrested on the scene in the Sunday incident and charged with burglary.

PENNSYLVANIA

Trucker survives driving off bridge

CLARKS FERRY — A Canadian trucker reaching to answer his cell phone drove his rig off a bridge and plunged 60 feet into the Susquehanna River, state police said. The driver crawled out of his submerged cab to safety.

Driver Darren Marceau, 25, of Cambridge, Ontario, was making his way up the river bank as witnesses climbed down to reach him. Mr. Marceau was in good condition at a hospital on Wednesday night.

The driver was bleeding, wet and somewhat dazed after the crash on U.S. Route 22, in south-central Pennsylvania. According to state police, Mr. Marceau drifted off the road as he tried to answer a cell-phone call.

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