- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2004


House of Mafia boss up for sale

TUCSON — The house of the late boss of the Mafia’s New York-based Bonanno crime family is for sale on EBay. The estate of Joseph Bonanno is asking $495,000 for his Tucson home, where he lived from 1972 until his death in 2002.

Mr. Bonanno is widely acknowledged as the inspiration for the “Godfather” movies.


Agreement reached in casino strike

ATLANTIC CITY — Thousands of striking casino-hotel workers reached a tentative contract agreement that signals an end to a bitter, month-old walkout — the longest in Atlantic City casino history.

The union representing about 10,000 striking bartenders, cocktail servers, housekeepers and other service employees approved the five-year deal late Monday. It calls for significant gains in wages and benefits and guards against the casinos’ practice of leasing space to nonunion restaurants and bars.

A vote by rank-and-file members was planned for today. Workers could be back on the job as early as tomorrow, union officials said.

Union officials wanted a three-year deal with an expiration date that would coincide with contracts of sister unions in Las Vegas.


Army completes rocket incineration

ANNISTON — The Army said it has incinerated the last of more than 42,000 sarin-filled rockets stored in dirt-covered bunkers at Anniston Army Depot.

A chemical weapons incinerator now will be used to destroy thousands more aging Cold War-era biological agents and gases stockpiled there.


Hunter survives wild with caribou hide

ANCHORAGE — A 58-year-old Alaska man defied the odds and survived two nights in frozen wilderness with little more than the hide of a newly killed caribou to protect him.

Alaska State Troopers in aircraft spotted Dewey Staloch, 58, Monday waving his arms in the extreme wilderness. Temperatures had dipped below 10 degrees and Mr. Staloch did not have a warm jacket or other gear needed to spend the night outside, troopers told the Anchorage Daily News.

His ordeal began Saturday morning when he went hunting with his friend Linda Kakaruk, 44. They shot and wounded a caribou and followed it for a distance before killing it on the ice of the Little Nelchina River.

Ms. Kakaruk returned to her vehicle while Mr. Staloch prepared the carcass to move it. She tried to return to the kill site later but couldn’t find it. She and her son, who is 23, searched for the rest of the day, through nightfall and into Sunday before reporting Mr. Staloch missing.

Troopers said the caribou hide was frozen in a cone shape under some trees near where Mr. Staloch was found. The hunter was treated for frostbite and hypothermia, the newspaper said.


Volunteers to ax water-sucking trees

LA QUINTA — A conservancy group is going to war with water-sucking, nonnative tamarisk trees in the Santa Rosa Mountains.

Volunteers will hike into Bear Canyon this weekend to chop down the trees that are sapping water that could be used by bighorn sheep and other wildlife. A tamarisk, also known as a salt cedar, can use 200 gallons of water a day.


Teens try to steal boy’s Halloween candy

SIMSBURY — A 12-year-old boy hung on to his pillowcase filled with Halloween candy despite being beaten and dragged nearly 100 feet by two teenagers who tried to steal the loot, police said.

The boy, who was wearing a costume, was trick-or-treating Sunday night on Phelpscoft Road when two teenagers carrying skateboards beat, kicked and dragged him, police said.

Police arrested two teens about a half-hour after the incident.

One 16-year-old suspect was charged with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault and attempted larceny. The other teen, a 15-year-old, was referred to juvenile court.

The 12-year-old victim did not require hospitalization but was sore from his injuries, police said.


Editor retires after plagiarism found

JACKSONVILLE — The editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union retired after a committee found instances of plagiarism and improperly attributed material in editorials, the publisher announced in yesterday’s editions.

Publisher Carl Cannon said he accepted Lloyd Brown’s resignation after a committee Mr. Cannon appointed found three instances of plagiarism and other cases in which borrowed material was not properly attributed in Times-Union editorials dating back to 1996.

“While I value his dedication to presenting an editorial product that reflects the newspaper’s philosophy, I cannot condone any instances where the use of materials was not properly attributed,” Mr. Cannon wrote.

Mr. Cannon said he appointed the committee after a former Times-Union writer accused the paper in an alternative newspaper, the Folio Weekly, of using material from other sources without attributing it.


FAA recommends fewer O’Hare flights

CHICAGO — A federal study released Monday reduced the number of flights that O’Hare International Airport can handle without creating gridlock. At the same time, 37 daily flights were cut as a deal with the airlines went into effect.

The Federal Aviation Administration said O’Hare can handle 190 to 200 arrivals and departures each hour in excellent or marginal weather without creating delays. A 2001 FAA study had recommended a maximum of 200 to 202 flights an hour under those conditions.

When visibility is poor, the airport can handle fewer flights, a maximum of 136 to 144 per hour, the new study said. The 2001 study had recommended 157 to 160.

“It just shows that O’Hare is extremely overscheduled,” said Craig Burzych, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association at O’Hare. “We see every hour 200-plus airplanes and it’s almost impossible to stay out of a delay situation.”

To help ease congestion, the Transportation Department held an emergency conference in August on flight schedules at O’Hare. Officials agreed to cap flights during the busiest hours, cutting 37 flights as of Monday.


Counties to turn quarries into parks

BLOOMINGTON — The state will give $41,898 to county officials to turn abandoned limestone quarries in southern Indiana into parks as early as 2006. The parks also would include hiking and climbing features.


Marmosets make debut at zoo

DES MOINES — Two baby marmosets, who made their debut at the Blank Park Zoo, have a good reason to remember this election season — they have been named George and John for President Bush and his Democratic challenger, Sen. John Kerry.

“We wanted to find a unique way to commemorate the times the presidential candidates monkeyed around in Iowa,” quipped Terry Rich, chief executive officer at the zoo. “This has been a wild campaign.”

The tiny monkeys, born eight weeks ago, are twins — not that uncommon in marmosets, Mr. Rich said. They were kept under close watch until deemed healthy enough to put on exhibit — which just happened to fall on the eve of Election Day.

Native to Brazil, marmosets eat fruit, leaves, seeds and insects. Their life expectancy is 15 to 20 years, and they have scent pads to mark their territory.


Man arrested in church bulldozing

VICKSBURG — A man was arrested on vandalism charges after police said he drove a bulldozer into a church, an attack parishioners claim was racially motivated.

Zane Bearrick, 21, was arrested and charged with felony malicious mischief, Detective Todd Dykes said. The bulldozer early Saturday struck the trailer that housed the First Assembly of Yaweh Vicksburg.

The church has a black congregation and the suspect is white. Church members said they suspect the act was racially motivated and have asked the FBI to investigate.

The bulldozer was parked 100 yards behind the trailer.

A suspect can receive up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of malicious mischief. A hate-crime conviction on the same charge could result in a 10-year prison term and a $20,000 fine.


Parents, students bristle over IDs

POPLAR BLUFF — A new policy at a high school requiring students to wear identification badges has prompted some parents to complain and students to protest the move as an infringement on their rights.

The badges, which are identical to the IDs students always have been required to carry and use to check out library books at Poplar Bluff High School, now are required to be worn on campus during school hours.

“We need to be able to identify people without having to walk up to them and ask if they are a student or a teacher,” said Sheldon Tyler, an assistant principal at the high school.

Some students have put stickers on their badges in protest — a policy the superintendent has permitted as an exercise in free speech. One father, John Durbin, withdrew his two daughters until he can talk to the school board about the policy.

Mr. Durbin said the policy change should have been decided by the school board instead of school administrators. He and other parents plan to give the school board a petition at the next meeting on Nov. 18 asking them to eliminate the policy.


Woman takes 5 hostage at factory

CLAYTON — A woman apparently upset about the firing of a friend took five persons hostage yesterday at a Caterpillar factory before releasing them and surrendering.

No one was injured during the two-hour incident at the construction-equipment plant southeast of Raleigh.

The woman appeared to be holding a shotgun and claimed to have explosives on her body when she walked into the plant’s lobby in midafternoon, said Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell.

The suspect, who was not a Caterpillar employee, was taken to the Johnston County Jail, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Pat LaCarter.

The woman’s name was not immediately released.


FBI asked to probe cross burning

DOUGLASS TOWNSHIP — A rural Pennsylvania police force has asked the FBI to help find a man who planted a cross in a black family’s front yard and tried to set it ablaze.

Neighbor Mike Ditty told Douglass Township police he saw a man with a shaved head trying to light a cross wrapped in cloth and soaked with a flammable liquid in the yard of Eudes DeFoe.

“I started approaching him, asking him what he thought was doing. He then said to me, ‘Come down here and I’ll show you what I’m doing. I have a gun and I’ll shoot you,’” WCAU-TV in Philadelphia reported yesterday.

Mr. Ditty said the man then sped away in a sport utility vehicle.

Township police immediately requested the help of the Pennsylvania State Police and the FBI. The report said township police took the cross as evidence and were analyzing a thumbprint.

Mr. DeFoe said his family has experienced racial slurs and is considering moving back to Massachusetts.


Record yield of corn expected

ABERDEEN — Although much of the corn crop remains in the field, officials estimate crops will yield an average of 120 bushels of corn an acre. The record average yield is 121 bushels an acre, set in 1998.

The corn harvest has been slower this year because the crop is damp and needs to dry out.


TVA investigating crane accident

KNOXVILLE — Tennessee Valley Authority and Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials are investigating an accident at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant involving a 32-ton crane trolley that fell and broke.

No one was injured in the Oct. 24 incident at TVA’s plant in Athens, Ala.

The Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists made the incident public because neither the TVA nor the NRC has publicly documented it, the group said.

The trolley fell less than 3 feet after one of the three rigging straps broke as it was being lowered to the refueling floor in an area between the plant’s three reactor buildings, officials said.

The TVA is investigating whether the drop “adversely affected the structural integrity of the building,” according to a two-page report on the event issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

NRC officials told the union they were investigating the cause of the accident to determine whether it was related to “performance issues.”


Ill ship passenger flown to hospital

CORPUS CHRISTI — A Coast Guard helicopter yesterday removed an ill passenger from a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico and flew him to a Texas hospital for treatment.

The unidentified passenger from Harlingen, Texas, was reported in stable condition at Spohn Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi, the Coast Guard reported.

A call was received Monday from the cruise ship Elation that the passenger needed a blood transfusion, but the vessel was too far out in the Gulf for an evacuation. The Bahamas-bound Elation turned around and headed for the Texas coast.

An HH-65 Dolphin helicopter and an HU-25 Falcon jet were dispatched early yesterday when the ship was within range. The helicopter crew hoisted the man aboard and transported him to an ambulance in Corpus Christi.

While en route, the passenger received a blood transfusion from a flight nurse aboard the helicopter, the Coast Guard said.


Towns still count votes by hand

ST. JOHNSBURY — Nearly three-quarters of the state’s towns still count their votes by hand because using machines is too expensive. The secretary of state’s office said 176 of 241 communities use hand counts.

Few towns can afford the recurring expense of reprogramming voting machines.

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