- The Washington Times - Monday, November 15, 2004

MASSACHUSETTS

Harvard warm to Nazis, historian says

BOSTON — Harvard University enhanced the reputation of the Nazi regime when it sanctioned events in the 1930s attended by Nazis, a historian said yesterday.

“Harvard remained largely indifferent to the persecution of Germany’s Jews,” said Stephen H. Norwood, a University of Oklahoma history professor who is writing a book about the response of American universities to the Nazi Party.

Mr. Norwood presented some of his findings at a conference on the Holocaust at Boston University. He said administrators welcomed one of Adolf Hitler’s closest deputies to a reunion, hosted a reception for German naval officials and sent delegates to a celebration at a German university that had expelled Jews.

OHIO

Testimonies added to Holocaust exhibit

CINCINNATI — Henry Meyer was a Jewish teenager imprisoned by the Nazis in World War II. Elmer Reis was an Army soldier who helped liberate the German concentration camp where Meyer had been a prisoner.

Interviews were added last week to a Holocaust exhibit at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, a training center for rabbis.

Mr. Reis, 87, was a military police officer when he entered the Ohrdruf camp. U.S. soldiers found bodies of Jewish refugees stacked in piles, along with other prisoners who had been shot in the head while wearing blindfolds.

Mr. Meyer, 81, said he was saved only when he told a camp doctor that he had been a violinist. The doctor remembered seeing him perform and saved Mr. Meyer’s life by changing his identity.

CALIFORNIA

Surfer pushes away attacking shark

EUREKA — A surfer who was bumped off his board by a shark was able to push the animal away and paddle back to shore.

Brian Kang, 38, was 200 yards offshore Thursday, waiting for a wave in a popular surfing area near Eureka, when the shark knocked him into the water. The shark came back toward him as he tried to climb back onto the surfboard.

“It just came out of the blue,” Mr. Kang said from his hospital bed, where he was being treated for gashes on his hip, knees and thumb. “I pushed it away with my hands.”

Mr. Kang said he never got a good look at the shark, but another surfer spotted a 3-foot dorsal fin, which would indicate a great white shark.

GEORGIA

Mild season seen for West Nile

ATLANTA — After two record-breaking years of West Nile virus illnesses and deaths, the nation is experiencing a relatively mild season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

CDC data show 2,282 persons have been sickened by the mosquito-borne virus and 77 have died. This time last year, there were 8,219 illnesses and 182 deaths.

The virus went on to sicken 9,858 and kill 262 in 2003. There were 4,156 cases and 284 deaths in 2002.

The numbers of cases in 2002 and 2003 in the United States reflected the largest West Nile epidemics ever recorded, said Dr. Ned Hayes, a CDC West Nile researcher.

The CDC does not know why the numbers declined. Temperature, rainfall and prevention could be factors, Dr. Hayes said.

MINNESOTA

Church conned for second time

WILLMAR — After its last pastor reportedly bilked them out of $10,000, leaders of Rejoice Ministries church thought they were being extra careful when they hired James Poole.

Still reeling from the theft, they asked Mr. Poole to come to the church and preach in an act of caution to ensure Mr. Poole was legitimate before hiring him.

Mr. Poole was hired in August, but less than a month later, he reportedly skipped town without repaying $3,344 he “borrowed” from the church for rent, trips, even a new bathtub, church secretary Mary Steffens said.

Last winter, Rejoice Ministries hired Dennis Bennett as pastor, not knowing that he was a veteran con artist.

Rejoice’s congregation of 12 now is trying to decide whether to look for a new pastor or just to shut down.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Father tells police he broke baby’s bones

NASHUA — A man told police he squeezed, shook and twisted his baby daughter until bones snapped because she wouldn’t stop crying.

According to a police affidavit, Jose Meza, 25, confessed to abusing his 3-month-old daughter as early as a month after her birth, shaking her because she wouldn’t stop crying. X-rays showed 17 fractures to the legs, arms, ribs and collarbone in various stages of healing.

“When the baby would not stop crying, he held the baby very tight against his chest and squeezed her … until he heard bones breaking,” the affidavit says.

The baby, now in state custody, was in fair condition at Children’s Hospital Boston and is expected to recover.

NORTH DAKOTA

Couple buys state’s highest peak

BISMARCK — A couple who bought North Dakota’s highest peak will allow the public unlimited access, ending a battle among the former gatekeeper’s children over what to do with the property.

Daryle and Mary Dennis purchased White Butte in Amidon, and about 1,000 acres of farm and ranch land from the heirs of Angeline Van Daele, who owned White Butte for 45 years. After she died in October 2003, the sale of the land ended up in probate court, which handles wills and estates.

Mrs. Dennis said she and her husband leased ranch land from Miss Van Daele for years, and they bought the property to give their cattle room to graze. The couple would not disclose terms of the deal or say when it was completed.

White Butte measures 3,506 feet above sea level but rises only 400 feet from its base.

OKLAHOMA

Rat blamed for traffic violation

ARDMORE — It’s a nutty explanation, but a mechanic says a rat is to blame for a traffic violation.

Carol Windham was forced to run a red light Wednesday when her gas pedal stuck down after she hit the brakes. Pressing both feet on the pedal, she managed to get her 1984 Chevrolet van through the intersection unscathed and was able to stop it near a fast-food restaurant.

The van was towed to an auto repair shop, where mechanic Jeff Rutledge popped the hood and found a pile of pecans.

“There were probably 50 pecans,” he said. “It looked like a wood rat had nested.”

Apparently, when Miss Windham depressed the brake pedal, one of the pecans fell and lodged next to the accelerator cable, causing the throttle to stick open.

PENNSYLVANIA

Christmas celebration on despite vandalism

NORTHERN CAMBRIA — Residents and local businesses in one Cambria County borough wouldn’t let vandalizing grinches steal the beginning of their Christmas season. Residents and local businesses pledged more than $400 to replace the lights throughout Fridman Park that were vandalized recently. The Northern Cambria Area Business Alliance chipped in another $250.

The borough council initially canceled the celebration, but it will now go on as scheduled the day after Thanksgiving.

RHODE ISLAND

Dogs keep ailing hunter warm

EXETER — The devotion of a hunter’s two dogs probably saved his life after he suffered a stroke early last week, fell and lay in the woods through the coldest night this autumn, conservation officers said.

Steven Goslee’s two yellow Labrador retrievers huddled against him all night as the air temperature fell to 15 degrees. Wednesday morning, one pooch ran off to catch the attention of another hunter, who summoned help from game wardens from the Department of Environmental Management.

“We get calls all the time about dogs running loose in management areas,” John Gingerella, the environmental police officer who answered the call, told the Providence Journal. “When we got that call, I didn’t think much about it until I realized who the dog was and knew it shouldn’t be doing that. Those dogs never ever leave their master’s side. I called in the search team right away.”

WEST VIRGINIA

Woman charged in parakeet killing

MARTINSBURG — A woman has been charged with animal cruelty for what police call a retaliatory killing of a parakeet.

Witnesses told police that Andrea Grantham brandished a knife during a weekend property dispute with a neighbor. Miss Grantham then reportedly killed a pet parakeet that the neighbor had given her, police said.

Police found a dead parakeet in Miss Grantham’s back yard, “and she still had feathers in her hair when she spoke to police,” Patrolman Scott Funkhouser said.

Miss Grantham, 39, was arrested Wednesday and released on $500 bail.

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