- The Washington Times - Monday, May 31, 2004


Tornadoes hit Midwest, kill 3

SANTA ROSA — Tornadoes ripped through northwest Missouri and parts of Nebraska, including a twister that killed three persons and injured at least eight others in one town, authorities said.

The fatal twister in Santa Rosa struck around 11 p.m. Saturday, said Brad Hyman, a dispatcher for the De Kalb County Sheriff’s Department.

The victims’ names were not released, but four children were among the injured. Three children were in critical condition and one was in serious condition yesterday. The others’ conditions were not available.


Crybaby Award recipient gets apology

PLEASANTVILLE — A middle school honor student who was humiliated when his coach gave him a “Crybaby Award” last month was feted at an assembly Friday with applause from his peers and an apology from the coach.

Ousted Pleasantville Middle School coach James Guillen presented Terrence Philo Jr. with a certificate, a trophy and the first Terrence Philo Jr. Award.

Mr. Guillen had told him to be sure to attend the team’s April 24 banquet to accept an award. But when Terrence showed up, Mr. Guillen gave him a Crybaby Award trophy for always pleading to get into games.

The boy’s family was irate, and Mr. Guillen was removed as coach, was suspended from his teaching job for five days and lost a scheduled pay raise.


Thieves chisel into bank vault

REDDING — Thieves might have spent more than a month chiseling through the concrete vault at a bank, police said.

The Bank of America’s vault alarm first sounded April 4, five weeks before the burglary was discovered. The alarm was tripped several more times before May 12, when bank employees realized that thieves had broken into the vault.

“Each time the alarm activated, the police responded and found the bank secure,” Redding police Capt. Dave Mundy said at a news conference last week.

But police never checked the roof, Capt. Mundy said. Police think the crooks used an access door on the roof to enter the bank. An undisclosed amount of money was taken.


Lightning strike kills man at golf course

DENVER — A lightning strike at a golf course driving range during the weekend killed a man and injured his 16-year-old son, a fire department spokeswoman said.

Three others struck at Meadows Golf Club southwest of Denver were treated at the scene, said Cindy Matthews of West Metro Fire Rescue.

The 47-year-old victim died at a Littleton hospital, and his son was taken to the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver, Miss Matthews said. She said she did not know the teenager’s condition, and a hospital spokeswoman declined to release any information.


Court upholds burglar’s sentence

TALLAHASSEE — The state Supreme Court rejected the appeal of a burglar who received a life sentence because he had a pocketknife when he broke into an empty restaurant in Sarasota.

Clyde Bunkley, 47, was convicted for armed burglary in 1987, a crime punishable by life in prison. Florida law excluded pocketknives from the definition of weapons in 1997, but the state court decided in 2002 that Bunkley should not benefit retroactively from the decision.


Flight returns after tire problem

HONOLULU — A Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for American Samoa had to return to Honolulu International Airport after a problem was spotted on one of its tires, officials said.

Flight 465 landed safely 5:22 p.m. Friday, about an hour after leaving the gate, Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.

No injuries were reported, and the 155 passengers were placed on another flight that left at 6:52 p.m., said Patrick Dugan, a spokesman for the carrier.

At takeoff, airline officials in the control tower noticed information indicating that there might be a tire problem, Mr. Dugan said. Tower officials contacted the pilot, and a decision to return was made. Airline officials later determined that some tread had come loose from a tire on the right-side landing gear during takeoff.


Long commutes lead to larger waistlines

ATLANTA — Spending more time behind the wheel — and less time on the feet — is adding inches to waistlines and contributing to the nation’s obesity epidemic, a study concludes.

The survey of 10,500 metro Atlanta residents found that for every extra 30 minutes commuters drove each day, they had a 3 percent greater chance of being obese than their peers who drove less.

The survey also found that people who lived within walking distance of shops — less than a half-mile — were 7 percent less likely to be obese than their counterparts who had to drive.

“The more driving you do means you’re going to weigh more — the more walking means you’re going to weigh less,” said Lawrence Frank, associate professor at the University of British Columbia who oversaw the study when he worked at Georgia Tech.


Airman’s bride accused of faking emergency

POST FALLS — A woman has been accused of filing a fake rape report so that her airman boyfriend could get emergency leave to return to the United States from South Korea so that they could be married.

Rita Enderson, 26, described her assailant in detail in the May 13 report, then contacted the Red Cross and asked that Jason Bisaro be sent home. She identified herself as the airman’s wife because a Red Cross program to get servicemen home in emergencies is only for relatives, authorities said.

When confronted, Lt. Greg McLean said, Miss Enderson confessed that the assertion was false and was ticketed for filing the fake report.

Airman Bisaro, 24, made it to Seattle before the story fell apart. He initially was picked up by Air Force authorities there and released. He managed to elude their surveillance so that he could still meet Miss Enderson, and the two married in Coeur d’Alene on May 17.


Cicada song will grow louder

LOUISVILLE — Most of the singers in the chorus are poised and ready to burst forth with song. Some already are practicing to get their pitch perfect.

If the mating song of the male cicada seems loud now, though, just wait. The shrill, unified call will hit full pitch in early June, when the cicadas live up to their reputation as one of the world’s loudest insects, entomologist Lee Townsend said.

The insects’ range stretches from Georgia, west through Tennessee and to isolated pockets of Missouri, north along the Ohio Valley and into Michigan, and east into New Jersey and New York.


Most students keep state scholarships

BATON ROUGE — About two-thirds of students who get college scholarships through the state manage to keep the aid for all four years of undergraduate studies.

Students lose the aid far more often for taking too few credit hours than for poor grades, a state Board of Regents report shows. About 40,000 students are in the $110 million-a-year aid program.


Diocese ends aid to pedophile priest

SPRINGFIELD — Defrocked pedophile priest Richard Lavigne will be removed from the payroll of the Springfield Diocese this week, a church spokesman said.

As a result, a parish priest who has withheld money from the church to protest its financial support of Lavigne said he now will hand over about $60,000 to the diocese.


‘02 quake affected geysers, study says

BILLINGS — A major earthquake that hit Alaska in 2002 set off a flurry of smaller quakes in far-off Yellowstone National Park and changed eruption intervals in several geysers, a study shows.

Scientists say the Denali fault earthquake, which hit in November 2002 and registered a magnitude of 7.9, is thought to be the first in modern times in North America to trigger large-scale changes in geysers and hot springs so far away.

“What’s really kind of interesting … is the recognition that large earthquakes at very large distances can have really profound effects on Yellowstone geysers, given the orientation of the waves and the amplitude of the particular earthquake,” said Robert Smith, a geophysics professor at the University of Utah who worked on the study.


Westward Airways to have inaugural run

SCOTTSBLUFF — Westward Airways Inc. will fly the first intrastate scheduled air service since 1995. Flights are scheduled for weekdays from Scottsbluff to North Platte to Lincoln and then to Omaha each morning and evening.

The airline, based in Scottsbluff, begins commercial flights next week. Lt. Gov. Dave Heineman and Kristi A. Feusner, the airline’s president and chairman, flew the ceremonial first route on Thursday.


Seniors group denied funding

CARSON CITY — Members of a seniors advocacy group won’t be paid or given travel and lobbying expenses, a panel of lawmakers decided.

The Legislative Commission declined even to vote last week on a request for $47,000 from the Silver Haired Legislative Forum. Earlier, the commission was told that money for the advisory group must come out of its budget.


Firefighters battle rural blaze

CAPITAN — High winds unexpectedly subsided Saturday, allowing firefighters battling a 29,000-acre blaze in rural south-central New Mexico to get a foothold and bring containment to 30 percent.

Earlier Saturday, gusts of up to 45 mph grounded a water-dropping helicopter, but as winds died down, firefighters made miles of progress along a fire line in the Lincoln National Forest. Milder winds were forecast for yesterday.

Southerly winds continued to push the lightning-sparked fire northeast toward the small community of Arabela, fire information officer Gary Roberts said. Crews have been working to burn out fuels between the blaze and the community of about 30 homes.


Mother accused of killing baby

BUFFALO — Horrified motorists sprang from their cars last week to stop a woman who was slamming her 7-month-old daughter repeatedly onto a concrete sidewalk, police said. The baby later died of massive head trauma.

Kirsten Vanderlinde, 36, who receives mental health care as an outpatient, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Melissa Vanderlinde-Berst.

Police had checked on the woman shortly before the attack. A neighbor said she had called a crisis intervention center two days earlier, after the woman, fearing that she was a bad mother, asked the neighbor to take custody of the child.


Farmers have glut of spuds

GRAND FORKS — Thirty percent of North Dakota’s potato crop last year remains in storage, Agriculture Department figures show. Farmers are likely either to spread the extra potatoes on their fields or bury them, said Duane Maatz, spokesman for the potato growers.

He says the glut is the result of a large crop and declining consumption because of low-carb diets.


Senate aide cited for disorderly conduct

HARRISBURG — A top Senate aide was cited for disorderly conduct after a Capitol Police officer overheard him swearing during a hallway conversation.

The aide, J. Andrew Crompton, who works for Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer, reportedly told Officer Byron Frehn to “leave me alone and do your job” after the officer asked him to watch his language.

That was when Officer Frehn issued the May 14 ticket, citing two curse words and his subsequent exchange with Mr. Crompton, Capitol Police Superintendent Richard Shaffer said last week.

The superintendent quashed the citation after he reviewed a videotape of the incident. “I have nobody that was offended by the cursing, and you have to have an offended party,” he said.


Soldiers in Iraq see graduations

BELTON — Victor Rogers’ father was thousands of miles away in Iraq, but he still was able to see the 18-year-old graduate from high school on Saturday.

Several schools near Fort Hood worked with the Army post to broadcast the graduation ceremonies last week to soldiers in Iraq through the Internet and a live satellite hookup. Deployed parents also spoke with graduates in private video conferences.

More than 250 students from area schools signed up to participate in the video conferences.

“You can’t say enough about the morale boost that the soldiers in theater are getting from this,” said Col. Robert Forrester, the 1st Cavalry Division’s rear detachment commander. “High school graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You want to make parents a part of it even if they are deployed.”

Two large screens were on each side of the stage at the Killeen High School graduation ceremony Saturday, so that students could see their soldier parents standing and clapping as their children received diplomas.


Church band draws neighbors’ complaints

WINFIELD — Neighbors of a church want the congregation’s band to play on — only at a lower volume. The pastor said he is trying to meet the neighbors halfway, but that the complaints keep coming.

The band at Christ Harvest Church in Hurricane rehearses several times a week. The music can be heard several houses away.

Resident Steve French told Putnam County commissioners last week that the bass from the band’s practices has been driving him crazy since last spring.

Darla Pence, who lives across the street, said the church hasn’t kept promises to keep the music down after 8:30 p.m. Pastor Rick Carey countered last week that the church has stopped holding band practice past that time, but that people still complain.

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