- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 16, 2004

FLORIDA

Teen denies violating probation

FORT LAUDERDALE — Lionel Tate, the teen sentenced to life in prison in a 6-year-old girl’s death but later freed, did not violate probation because officers illegally searched him after his mother ordered him to leave their home, his attorney said yesterday.

Circuit Judge Joel Lazarus set a trial for Oct. 29 on charges that Tate — who was 12 in 1999 when he beat to death Tiffany Eunick — violated probation by leaving his apartment while under house arrest and carrying a pocketknife.

Tate, 17, and a friend were stopped in the early-morning hours of Sept. 3.

MASSACHUSETTS

Judge won’t halt church closing

BOSTON — A judge yesterday refused to save a Roman Catholic church whose parishioners have staged a sit-in for the past two weeks to protest its closing by the archdiocese.

The church, St. Albert the Great, is one of 82 parishes that are being closed by the Boston Archdiocese in large part because of the financial fallout from the clergy sex scandal.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Connolly rejected the parishioners’ claim that the church belongs to them and not to the archdiocese.

CALIFORNIA

Worker charged with molesting moms

LOS ANGELES — A California hospital worker has pleaded not guilty to charges of molesting mothers in the maternity ward at the Garden Grove Hospital and Medical Center.

Dante Arnaud, 37, of Santa Ana, was arrested Friday on charges that he fondled seven women after they gave birth, television station KABC reported yesterday.

Mr. Arnaud, who was being held on $1 million bail, was charged with sexual battery and a separate charge of sexual penetration by a foreign object.

Mr. Arnaud, who entered his plea in Orange County Superior Court, is a lab technician who is accused of coming into women’s rooms on the pretense of taking blood samples and conducting breast and vaginal examinations, police said.

The incidents reportedly took place over two days last week, and one patient complained to hospital employees, who called police, officials said.

KENTUCKY

Inmates start blaze at prison

BEATTYVILLE — Inmates at a medium-security prison set three buildings on fire but caused no injuries, and the blazes were extinguished and the facility secured yesterday morning, corrections officials said.

Lisa Lamb, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Corrections, said the fires started Tuesday night outside two dormitories and an administration building at the Lee Adjustment Center, which is privately run.

The two dorm fires were extinguished, but the fire at the administration building continued to smolder late Tuesday night, Miss Lamb said.

Officials were not sure why the inmates started the fire and how many were involved, Miss Lamb said.

MICHIGAN

Kerry hires worker fired as backer

DETROIT — An Alabama factory worker, fired for her John Kerry bumper sticker, was hired by the Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign, aides said yesterday.

Lynne Rene Gobbell, 41, from Moulton, Ala., was fired by a supporter of President Bush for refusing to remove a bumper sticker favoring Mr. Kerry and his running mate, John Edwards.

Her story was published in a local newspaper. Mr. Kerry called her on Tuesday with an offer to work for his campaign.

He “told me that he was really sorry that I had lost my job and that he was real proud of me for standing up for what I believed in and for him,” Miss Gobbell told the Decatur Daily.

“He said that ‘you can let him know that as of today you’re working for John Kerry. You’re hired.” I told him it was hard to believe but that it was wonderful,” she told the Alabama newspaper.

MINNESOTA

Heavy rain leaves some stranded

AUSTIN — Emergency workers in boats rescued people from cars and homes left stranded by rising water yesterday as heavy rain doused southern Minnesota and caused flash flooding.

Schools and roads were closed, a nursing home was evacuated and fields were flooded. A car was swept away by rushing water moments after its driver got out of the vehicle, Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi said.

The Austin area, 90 miles south of Minneapolis, received up to 8 inches of rain in six hours overnight.

MONTANA

Court upholds teen’s conviction

HELENA — A 16-year-old boy was properly convicted of using a cigarette lighter to burn a toddler, the Montana Supreme Court said. The lighter was a weapon because it can cause serious injury, the court said.

The boy, identified only as “J,” was charged with burning his half-sister and threatening two other siblings. He was charged with two counts of assault with a weapon.

NEBRASKA

Couple wed at racetrack

GREENWOOD — Matt Simmons was one of the stars Sunday at Nebraska Raceway Park, but not for his driving. Mr. Simmons, 29, got the attention of the crowd during intermission of the Outlaw Vintage Lites Racing Series, when he and fiancee Shannon Fulmer, 24, wed at the racetrack.

The Davey couple had set two earlier wedding dates, but the traditional nuptials never happened, Mr. Simmons said. So about two months ago, they decided they should just get married at the track. That solution made sense, Mr. Simmons said, since most of his Sundays are spent racing his five-eighths scale replica of a 1932 Chevrolet coupe.

The ceremony — flanked by three dwarf race cars, one with motor-oil cans tied to its back bumper — even overshadowed Mr. Simmons’ driving Sunday, which was hampered by engine troubles.

“I’m married. I’m happy,” Mr. Simmons said.

NORTH CAROLINA

Mayor to open dialogue on race

GREENSBORO — Mayor Keith Holliday announced an effort to pair 180 top civic leaders across racial lines and encourage them to share experiences in order to improve understanding.

It is patterned on a similar project launched in Rochester, N.Y. It will be one of many projects to improve Greensboro in advance of its 200th birthday in 2008, Mr. Holliday said.

OKLAHOMA

University employees to get pay raises

NORMAN — Faculty and staff members at the University of Oklahoma will get average salary increases of more than 6 percent effective Oct. 1 under a plan approved by university regents.

Faculty and staff haven’t received pay raises in almost three years. The average yearly faculty salary at the university is $66,600, ranking it No. 8 in the Big 12.

PENNSYLVANIA

Man on probation for baldfaced stunt

HARRISBURG — A man has been fined and sentenced to probation for a hair-raising stunt that left a man bald.

Paul J. Goudy, 25, of Lemoyne, pleaded guilty Monday to snatching the hairpiece off the head of another man at a restaurant as part of a dare.

He was sentenced to 23 months’ probation, fined $500 and ordered to write a letter of apology.

The victim, Edward Floyd, was sitting in the Fisaga restaurant in Harrisburg on Jan. 1 when Mr. Goudy ripped the hairpiece off his head, taking with it a gold chain that hung from Mr. Floyd’s neck, according to court documents.

Mr. Goudy said another man, Matthew G. Flinchbaugh, 26, of Wormleysburg, had offered him $100 to do it as a dare. Mr. Flinchbaugh is scheduled to be arraigned next month on charges of soliciting Mr. Goudy to steal the hairpiece.

WEST VIRGINIA

Video poker banned near churches, school

WEIRTON — The City Council barred new video-poker businesses from locating within 1,000 feet of a church or school. The ordinance is aimed at limiting the proliferation of gambling parlors.

Weirton, population 20,000, has 81 video-poker businesses. The ordinance does not apply to existing businesses.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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