Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Peterson defense rests

REDWOOD CITY — Scott Peterson’s attorneys rested their case yesterday without calling the former fertilizer salesman to testify on charges he killed his pregnant wife and dumped her body into the San Francisco Bay.

The defense called 14 witnesses over six days — a fraction of how long it took prosecutors to complete their case. Some legal analysts were surprised by the length of the defense case, and called it a potentially “dangerous” strategy.

Judge Alfred A. Delucchi said the prosecution would call eight rebuttal witnesses beginning today. Closing arguments are set to begin Monday, and jurors should get the case next week.


Hundreds mourn Red Sox fan

EAST BRIDGEWATER — Hundreds of mourners paid final respects yesterday to an Emerson College student killed when police fired pepper-spray pellets into a raucous crowd after the Boston Red Sox won the American League pennant.

In a eulogy marked by soft sobbing from the crowd, the Rev. Walter Keymont criticized the rowdy fans whose behavior led to the death of Victoria Snelgrove, who was hit in the eye by a pellet early Thursday as police tried to control 80,000 revelers outside Fenway Park.

“Some people feel it’s their God-given right to riot, to destroy property and cause mayhem. … It is destructive and it is deadly,” he said at St. John’s Catholic Church.


Conservationists sue over Pacific whales

ANCHORAGE — Conservationists sued a federal agency Monday for reportedly failing to protect North Pacific right whales, which were hunted nearly to extinction more than a century ago and remain among the world’s most endangered animals.

The lawsuit asks the court to order the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to protect a “critical” habitat for the North Pacific right whale, saying it is required to do so under the federal Endangered Species Act.

That habitat most likely would be in Alaska’s Bering Sea, where an increasing number of whales have summered since 1996, said Brent Plater, an attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity.

NMFS spokeswoman Sheela McLean said the agency could not comment on the lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, until it had time to review it.


Faulty machine leads to airport evacuation

HONOLULU — A defective security machine led to the evacuation Monday of the Honolulu International Airport, delaying flights and passengers for about two hours.

When Transportation Security Administration workers noticed a baggage-screening machine was not working properly, the airport was evacuated and searched. Passengers were required to go through security checkpoints again, officials said.

About 85 passengers had gone through the faulty screening machine in the airport’s overseas terminal. Some already had boarded their planes and had to return to the terminal.

The malfunction initially delayed 19 flights and about 1,000 passengers and also pushed back several later flights, state Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.

The cause of the glitch hasn’t been determined.


Need for mayor’s bodyguards questioned

LAWRENCE — Some City Council members are questioning whether the city should pay for two officers to protect Mayor Deborah Cantwell. Some council members said they would rather see the mayor’s bodyguards patrolling the streets.

The mayor said she needs the security because she has received threats. Mayors in Indianapolis and Gary also have bodyguards.


Slugger museumto auction off artifacts

LOUISVILLE — The Louisville Slugger Museum is having a rummage sale.

A Hall of Fame-caliber collection of bats, balls, photos and other items will be up for bidding at a public auction at the museum Nov. 6. Many of the items were dredged from a warehouse and file cabinets in the basement of the Hillerich & Bradsby Co.’s downtown museum and factory, where the trademark bats are still manufactured.

Marquee items include Louisville Sluggers handled by “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Jim Thorpe and Babe Ruth. The collection also includes a ball signed by both Ruth and Lou Gehrig, a Cleveland Indians jersey worn by Satchel Paige and a letter written by Ruth with six of his signatures at the bottom.

The proceeds from the auction will create a fund the museum will use to obtain other baseball artifacts, said Anne Jewell, the museum’s executive director. The museum’s wish list includes a complete set of bats from every slugger in the 500 home run club.


Lottery to offer season tickets

CONCORD — State residents soon won’t have to go to the store to buy their lottery tickets. Starting Monday, New Hampshire Powerball players will be able to buy subscriptions to the game.

Lottery Director Rick Wisler says New Hampshire is the first state to offer the season tickets for Powerball. The subscriptions are available for 26, 52 or 104 drawings.


Voter volunteers get chance to win car

ALBUQUERQUE — The Southwest Voter Registration Project has cooked up an idea to drive young Hispanic and American Indian voters to the polls this Election Day.

Get five persons to vote, win a shot at a car.

“We’re not rewarding voters, we’re rewarding volunteers who get voters to the polls with a chance to win. So far, it seems to be getting attention,” Southwest Voter President Antonio Gonzalez said of the “Take 5 and Drive” giveaway.

The contest — sponsored by Southwest Voter in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada — gives volunteers who take five friends or family members to the polls a chance to win a 2005 Ford Mustang.

Mr. Gonzalez said the names of voters submitted in the contest will be confirmed after the election by checking voter logs and making phone calls.


Pasta ‘healthy’ in smaller portions

NEW YORK — Eat your heart out, low-carbohydrate diet: Pasta is healthy for the heart — if eaten right.

So say professionals who spoke Monday, World Pasta Day, from chefs Barbara Kafka, Julia della Croce, Tony May and Michael Romano to scientists analyzing pasta as nutrition.

“Remember, fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates. So is pasta, which is ground-up grain — the basis of a healthy diet,” said John Foreyt, professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “The issue is portion size. What’s happened in America is our portions have gotten out of control.”


Zoo discovers koala baby

COLUMBIA — It is about the size of a jelly bean, but it is the biggest thing to happen at Riverbanks Zoo in quite some time. It is a baby koala.

Dr. Keith Benson, zoo veterinarian, spied the healthy, hairless baby in the pouch of Lottie, one of two female koalas at Riverbanks, on Sept. 17.

Riverbanks’ two females, Lottie and Killarney, are gifts from Queensland in Australia.

Newborn koalas are less than an inch long and weigh a fraction of an ounce. They spend their first months entirely in their mother’s pouch.


Judge throws prison sendoff party

DALLAS — A judge threw a party complete with balloons, streamers and a cake to welcome a former fugitive back to her court — and sentence the man to life in prison.

“You just made my day when I heard you had finally come home,” Criminal Courts Judge Faith Johnson told Billy Wayne Williams, who had been convicted in absentia of aggravated assault after he disappeared a year ago. “We’re so excited to see you, we’re throwing a party for you.”

Williams, 53, was accused of choking his girlfriend until she was unconscious. He failed to appear for his trial in November and was not captured until Thursday.

Before he was brought into the courtroom Monday, Judge Johnson directed staff members as they placed balloons and streamers around the courtroom. A colorful cake was decorated with his name.

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