- The Washington Times - Friday, November 19, 2004


1963 church bomber dies in prison

MONTGOMERY — Bobby Frank Cherry, convicted in 2002 of killing four black girls in a racially motivated bombing of a Birmingham church in 1963, died yesterday of cancer in a prison hospital unit. He was 74.

Cherry was among three Ku Klux Klan members convicted in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, a gathering place for civil rights demonstrators. The explosion killed Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, all 14, and Denise McNair, 11.

Addie Mae’s sister, Sarah Collins Rudolph, lost an eye in the blast, but her husband expressed sorrow that Cherry had died. “I hope he was saved. I hope he repented,” George C. Rudolph said.

The Cherry family plans to take his body to Texas for burial.


Fiance accused of staging burglary

MILFORD — Is the wedding still on?

That was one of the unanswered questions in the case of a man who police said staged a break-in at his own home so he could sell his fiancee’s engagement ring.

George Rich, 43, was charged Tuesday with falsely reporting an incident and providing a false statement. He was released on a written promise to appear in Superior Court on Dec. 7.

Police said Mr. Rich made the couple’s home look as if a burglar had broken in and stolen jewelry.


Passengers keep bus from falling off bridge

ST. PETERSBURG — Passengers stopped a charter bus from plunging nearly 200 feet off a bridge after the driver collapsed, apparently from a heart attack.

The bus was near the top of the Sunshine Skyway bridge Wednesday afternoon when Thomas Grove, 61, fell out of his seat, passengers and authorities said.

It slammed into the 3-foot-high concrete wall, which blocks vehicles from tumbling into Tampa Bay. Three of the five passengers jumped up and ran toward the front.

Two women held the steering wheel until Kenneth McAllister, 70, could slide into the driver’s seat. He struggled to keep the bus in its lane and hit the brake. It stopped just before the highest part of the bridge.


Motorist mauls flock of seagulls

VINELAND — A motorist in a New Jersey mall parking lot attacked a flock of seagulls feeding on debris, killing 10 birds and injuring another six.

A witness to the bird massacre at the Cumberland Mall in Vineland said a full-size car, possibly a red Pontiac, drove into the flock, the Bridgetown News reported.

Vineland Animal Control Officer Diane Starn said: “We have received calls in the past complaining about the gulls and have responded to reports of injured birds, but nothing like this. We haven’t, to my knowledge, been contacted to ask for help in eliminating them.”


Frozen turkey crashes through windshield

RONKONKOMA — A 20-pound frozen turkey was thrown through the windshield of a woman’s moving car, critically injuring her, police said.

The bird was tossed out the window of an oncoming vehicle, police said. A passenger in the victim’s car took hold of the steering wheel and guided it to the side of the road.

Police said a group of teenagers had purchased the turkey with a stolen credit card at a supermarket on the same road where the incident happened early Saturday. The teens were being sought for questioning.


Endangered condors reproduce in zoo

PORTLAND — The 12 endangered California condors at the Oregon Zoo have learned to multiply since arriving here a year ago this week. One pair has produced two healthy chicks.

Already, adult males are beginning to court the females, signaling the start of another breeding season. Their numbers had dipped to just 22 known birds by 1982. A captive breeding program was begun in 1987 as a last-ditch method to help condors survive.


Boy, 11, charged with sexual assault

PHILADELPHIA — An 11-year-old boy sexually assaulted another boy in a middle-school stairway after chasing the victim from a bathroom, authorities said.

School officials said they would try to determine where employees were at the time of the attack Tuesday morning.

“There should be no circumstances in which children can go anywhere in that school for any length of time unobserved,” school district chief executive Paul Vallas said.


Class suspended for food fight

MEMPHIS — A cafeteria food fight on “meatloaf day” led to the suspension of the entire eighth-grade class at a Memphis school.

The students were suspended after refusing to clean up the mess they caused.

“Given an opportunity first to apologize for their behavior and help with the cleanup, most of the class refused to cooperate,” school spokesman Vince McGaskill said.


Taniguchi to design Asia museum

HOUSTON — Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, who recently designed an expansion of the New York Museum of Modern Art, has been commissioned to build a museum for the Asia Society in Houston.

Before working on the MoMA expansion, which opens its doors tomorrow, Mr. Taniguchi, 67, had never worked outside of Japan.

Mr. Taniguchi will design a building in Houston’s museum district. The $30 million building, to be called the Asia House, is to have two exhibition galleries, a stage, an educational center and a library.


Teenager breaks typing record

PROVO — Ben Cook’s fingers can communicate at warp speed.

Ben, 17, used his cellular phone key pad to type a string of words with 160 characters in 57.75 seconds Tuesday, bidding to become the world’s text-messaging king.

The message was: “The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.”

Ben competed against a friend, Dave Stoddard, and others in a televised text-off. Ben improved on his early performances, which took him about four minutes to type out the standard Guinness Book of World Records sentences.

He edged out his friend by less than two seconds.


10 persons arrested in anti-terror raid

SEATTLE — Authorities yesterday arrested 10 persons in an anti-terrorism swoop here, law enforcement officials said.

A joint police and FBI counterterrorism task force took the suspects, who included both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, into custody in a series of raids, sources said.

“These arrests are in connection with an FBI joint anti-terrorism task force investigation that we have been involved with for quite a long time,” FBI spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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