- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 20, 2004

Woman sentenced for illegal adoptions

SEATTLE — A Seattle-area woman accused of placing for adoption impoverished Cambodian children who were not orphans has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Lauryn Galindo pleaded guilty to money laundering and visa fraud for lying about the background of children who she placed for adoption through Seattle International Adoptions Inc., reported the Seattle Post-Intelligencer yesterday.

She and her sister, Lynn Devin, operated the adoption agency out of Mercer Island, Wash., where Miss Devin’s home is located and where the two women arranged about 800 adoptions.

Galindo also must forfeit $1.4 million in equity in her home on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the cash value of her Jaguar and other assets, as well as pay nearly $68,000 in restitution to seven families for whom she arranged adoptions, the Post-Intelligencer said.

Prosecutors accused Galindo of falsifying the children’s names, dates of birth, places of birth and family history, therefore many of the adopted children might never learn their true identity.

Man camps out on adult bookstore

SALINA, Kan. — A man spent a week on the roof of one of two adult bookstores in town to protest a movement to have the stores investigated for obscenity.

Ray Morris, 38, came down from his perch on top of Behind Closed Doors yesterday morning after staying in a tent there since the previous Saturday.

“I can’t stress enough that I am not promoting porn,” Mr. Morris said. “I’m promoting the idea of choice. Everyone has a right to choose whether they want to enter these stores.”

Local residents are gathering signatures in a petition drive to force a grand jury to investigate whether Behind Closed Doors and another store, Priscilla’s, are promoting obscenity by selling sex products.

During his stint on the roof, Mr. Morris displayed a sign urging passing motorists to honk if they support his cause, but a few people also made obscene gestures toward him, he said.

Songwriter, producer Terry Melcher dies

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Terry Melcher, a record producer and songwriter who aided the careers of Ry Cooder, the Byrds and the Beach Boys, has died, his publicist announced yesterday. He was 62.

Mr. Melcher, the son of actress Doris Day, died Friday night at his Beverly Hills home after a long battle with melanoma. He co-wrote the hit song “Kokomo” for the Beach Boys and performed on the band’s album “Pet Sounds.”

And in 1969, his name became linked with the grisly Charles Manson murders.

Mr. Melcher once rented the home where actress Sharon Tate and a group of her friends were murdered by Manson followers. Rumors circulated that the songwriter, who knew Manson, was the real target because he had turned down Manson for a record contract.

World’s oldest man dies at 113

NEW YORK — Fred Hale, recognized as the world’s oldest man, died in Syracuse just days shy of his 114th birthday. Mr. Hale died in his sleep Friday after a bout of pneumonia, his 51-year-old grandson, also named Fred, told the Syracuse Post-Standard.

A fan of the Boston Red Sox, Mr. Hale had special cause for celebration last month, when the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918. He was one of the few people who celebrated both victories.

Mr. Hale, who worked as a railway postal clerk until his retirement in 1957, could claim two entries in the Guinness Book of Records, having become the oldest holder of a driver’s license at 108.

A keen beekeeper, Mr. Hale attributed his longevity to eating a teaspoon of honey every morning, occasionally accompanied by a breakfast nip of whiskey.

Air Force rejects biblical e-mail tags

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Air Force Academy officials are cracking down on some staffers who put Bible verses at the bottom of their academy e-mails.

“None of this [Bible or personal signature notes] is appropriate, and it says this in Air Force instructions,” Lt. Col. Laurent Fox said Thursday.

Academy officials sent a memo to everyone at the school on Sept. 15, explaining the policy for using government e-mail. Earlier this week, academy superintendent Lt. Gen. John W. Rosa said the school would bolster its religious-tolerance training after a survey showed evidence of harassment or pressure toward cadets based on their beliefs.

He said that about half the cadets who responded to the annual survey reported hearing religious slurs, comments or jokes and that some cadets felt ostracized because they weren’t religious.

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