- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 23, 2004

CALIFORNIA

Judge won’t move Peterson’s sentencing

REDWOOD CITY — The judge in the Scott Peterson murder trial denied defense motions yesterday for a new jury and a new venue for the penalty phase of the case and rescheduled the process to begin Nov. 30.

The penalty phase had been set to begin yesterday, 10 days after Peterson was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing his wife, Laci, and second-degree murder for killing their unborn child.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos had argued that a new jury was needed because the outcome would be tainted by the ousting of two jurors duringdeliberations and the outpouring of community support for the guilty verdict.

TEXAS

Jet picking up Bush’s father crashes

HOUSTON — A private jet that was en route to Houston to pick up former President George Bush clipped a light pole and crashed yesterday morning as it approached Hobby Airport in thick fog, killing all three persons aboard.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the plane crash this morning,” Mr. Bush said through spokesman Tom Frechette. “I’d flown with this group before and know them well. I join in sending heartfelt condolences to each and every member of their families.”

The names of the Gulfstream G-1159A’s three crew members were not released.

FLORIDA

Authorities capture dog-killing gator

SUNRISE — An 8-foot-long female alligator suspected of killing a Sunrise, Fla., family’s dog has been captured and taken to an animal-products firm.

The gator had eluded pursuers for several days.

The hunt began after neighbors said the gator killed a Labrador retriever near a man-made lake behind a rental complex.

Vincent Dinolfo, owner of the dog, found the carcass of his pet on a lake bank last week. That began the gator hunt that ended Saturday.

Authorities said the gator saw Mr. Dinolfo with his dog, which could create an association between humans and food and create a danger.

The alligator was captured after it bit a pig lung with a hook inside set out as bait. The gator hooked itself and was subdued by five fish officers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and three professional trappers.

GEORGIA

Island causeway will be closed

SEA ISLAND — The Sea Island Causeway soon will be closed to all but the wealthy residents who live there.

The Glynn County Commission voted to give up county ownership to all roads on Sea Island and the formerly public causeway after residents said they aren’t safe because of their wealth. The Sea Island Co. plans to install a gate blocking access to the island.

HAWAII

Trees to be grown for canoe construction

HILO — The state is setting aside 1,200 acres on the Big Island to grow rare koa trees suitable for building traditional Polynesian voyaging canoes.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society estimated the first trees may be ready to harvest for canoe construction in 20 years. Koa logs large enough to fashion into canoes are 35 to 45 feet long.

IOWA

Office space tight for divided Senate

DES MOINES — Officials are trying to find additional work space for a Senate that is split 25-25 between Democrats and Republicans.

The tie means the two parties get equal staff, equal office space and equal status. That is not always easy to arrange and, in some cases, long-planned Statehouse renovations may be put on hold.

KENTUCKY

Retailers would force out horse graves

LEXINGTON — The graves of 18 horses, including Kentucky Derby winner Plaudit, may be exhumed to allow two retailers to build stores.

Developer Patrick Madden asked the city to rezone 58 acres of the property to build a Home Depot and a Super Wal-Mart. Mr. Madden said he plans to move the horse cemetery to a more prominent spot within the shopping center.

MICHIGAN

University gets millionsfor diabetes study

ANN ARBOR — The founder of an information-technology company and his diabetic wife are giving $44 million to the University of Michigan for creation of a diabetes research center.

The donation, announced yesterday, comes from Bill Brehm of McLean, Va., a university graduate, and his wife, Dee.

Mr. Brehm, 75, founded SRA International, an information science company in Fairfax, Va. His wife, 74, has Type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes.

“We want to do something for the new diabetics, for these babies and infants just diagnosed,” Mrs. Brehm said.

The money will be used to build a research center and hire eight faculty members.

NEVADA

Prison craft store opens for business

CARSON CITY — Christmas shoppers have a new place to load up on gifts in the state capital: the Nevada State Prison.

Purses, belts, moccasins, stuffed animals, paintings and leather key chains are among inmate-made items for sale in the prison’s Hobby Craft Store, which opened Friday.

James Baca, associate warden for programs, said the public response to the prison’s annual summer craft fairs was overwhelming and he thinks the store also will be a success.

Inmates purchase the materials to create the products, and donate the proceeds to nearby Empire Elementary School and Nevada Hispanic Services, he said.

Empire Elementary Principal Pat Carpenter said proceeds from the inmate craft fairs have allowed her school to purchase $5,000 worth of new equipment.

Buyers can spend as little as $2.30 for a leather key chain or as much as $200 for a hand-carved sign to adorn a driveway or lawn.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

State to celebrate Pierce’s birthday

CONCORD — Today is the 200th birthday of the only U.S. president from New Hampshire, and the state’s Historical Society is throwing a party, complete with cake.

Franklin Pierce served as the 14th president from 1853 to 1857, as the nation headed toward the Civil War. An exhibit will explore Mr. Pierce’s life through more than 100 objects, paintings, photographs and documents.

NEW JERSEY

Camden named most dangerous city

The New Jersey city of Camden, where murders, rapes and robberies far exceed the national average, was named the most dangerous U.S. city yesterday, while Newton, Mass., was the safest.

Camden, near Philadelphia, had a murder rate of almost 10 times the national average in 2003 and an incidence of rape that was more than twice that of the whole United States, according to the Morgan Quitno Awards.

The annual survey of crimes reported to the FBI for cities of more than 75,000 persons tracks murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and motor-vehicle theft.

Camden’s murder rate was 51.2 per 100,000 of its population, compared with a national average of 5.7 (and zero in Newton), the survey found.

Among cities of more than a half-million people, Detroit was the most dangerous, followed by Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Memphis, Tenn.

NEW MEXICO

Ski resorts to open for holiday weekend

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexicans will have the option of hitting the slopes over the holiday weekend. A combination of early snow and cold temperatures are allowing some areas to plan for Thanksgiving Day starts.

Sipapu opened for weekend skiing while Red River plans to open tomorrow. Taos Ski Valley and Ski Apache scheduled Thanksgiving Day openings.

NEW YORK

Ex-presidents to help plan memorial

NEW YORK — The four living former presidents will be honorary leaders of the World Trade Center memorial project, Gov. George E. Pataki announced yesterday.

Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George Bush and Bill Clinton have agreed to become honorary members of the board of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, Mr. Pataki said in remarks prepared for a luncheon of the Association for a Better New York.

Members of the board officially will be named next week. The memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” is slated to open in 2009. Mr. Pataki, a Republican, said the rebuilding is proceeding on schedule.

VERMONT

Police hunt down cheese saboteur

MONKTON — Someone sneaked into the production house at Orb Weaver Farm and punctured 237 wheels of cheese at the Orb Weaver Farm.

The cheese, a blend of havarti and colby that made up nearly a year’s production at the farm, no longer can be sold or eaten because of the contamination last week.

Orb Weaver Farm’s Vermont Farmhouse Cheese is sold to local restaurants and stores. It was used in a recipe for macaroni and cheese in the recent cookbook “The Way We Cook: Recipes from the New American Kitchen.”

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