- The Washington Times - Friday, September 17, 2004

MASSACHUSETTS

Bike lock proves easy mark

BOSTON — Cyclists have discovered that one of the best-known bike locks, the U-shaped Kryptonite-brand lock, can be opened with a ballpoint pen.

The Kryptonite lock, which can cost $50 or more, is a must-have among serious bicyclists.

But Internet chat rooms for bicycle enthusiasts have been flooded with irate comments from cyclists, some of whom have posted videos showing how easy it is to pick the expensive lock. A spokeswoman for the company that makes the Kryptonite said it is rushing out a new version of the lock because of the complaints.

TENNESSEE

Six teens charged in killing

MEMPHIS — Six teenagers were charged with homicide yesterday in the beating death of an eighth-grader whose head was rammed into a high school bathroom wall during a gang-related attack, authorities said.

Tarus DeShawn Williams, 15, died at a hospital Tuesday shortly after being found unconscious in the restroom at an inner-city Memphis school.

Three of the teenagers charged with reckless homicide in the attack are 13 years old. One is 14 and two are 15.

ARKANSAS

Clowning turned into class act

SEARCY — Being the class clown can get you into trouble — but not in Marisa Arnold’s class.

The Searcy High School teacher turned her theater class into a clown troupe to help students broaden their acting abilities, combat shyness and raise money for their school’s theater program.

Miss Arnold said she decided to teach her students clowning because it forces them to employ acting tactics that go beyond reciting lines. Broad gestures and other techniques learned through clowning come in handy during plays when people in the back of a theater can’t see performers’ faces.

Miss Arnold’s class clowns plan to paint their faces and go to county fairs and other events to earn extra cash with their slapstick performances. Miss Arnold said the money will be used to send the students to competitions.

CALIFORNIA

Jackson defense challenges evidence

SANTA MARIA — Michael Jackson’s attorneys yesterday showed a judge videotapes of the search of the singer’s Neverland Ranch to press their accusation that law-enforcement officials improperly took evidence while building their molestation case.

The defense, saying authorities overstepped their bounds, wants to keep some items seized from Mr. Jackson’s home and a private investigator’s office from being admitted as evidence in the case, which is scheduled for trial Jan. 31.

In one scene videotaped by authorities, investigators walked around the ranch as carnival music from the property’s amusement rides and exhibits played in the background.

Today, the mother of the purported molestation victim will take the stand to answer questions about whether she knew private investigator Bradley Miller was working for former Jackson attorney Mark Geragos when Mr. Miller’s office was searched.

GEORGIA

Navy plans to pull subs from base

SAVANNAH — The Navy is pulling two more of its nuclear submarines from Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in coastal Georgia. The subs will be relocated to the West Coast.

Officials said the USS Louisiana and USS Maine will ship out in October 2005. That’s bad news for coastal Camden County, where each submarine accounts for roughly $13 million a year in military payroll and 1,000 sailors and family members.

HAWAII

Falling boulder kills Park Service ranger

KIPAHULU — A National Park Service ranger was killed when a boulder fell 40 feet and struck her as she was trying to remove rocks from a road at Haleakala National Park, officials said Wednesday.

Suzanne E. Roberts, 36, who had worked at the Maui park since April, was struck Tuesday by a boulder more than 3 feet in diameter. She was trying to clear rocks fallen on a highway on the island’s east side, officials said.

She died at a hospital.

ILLINOIS

Chicago transit starts security sweeps

CHICAGO — Anti-terrorism patrols have started security sweeps of Chicago Transit Authority trains. They’re on the lookout for suspect passengers and packages.

City police and CTA security say they have received no specific threats but wanted to reassure passengers and protect against terrorism.

IOWA

Man tackles, sits on would-be burglar

CEDAR RAPIDS — Rick Fisk took crime sitting down. Or at least he sat on a would-be burglar until authorities arrived.

Mr. Fisk, 52, came home Tuesday morning to find a woman standing in his foyer, police said.

Julie Dye, 34, who was holding items from the house, ran when she saw the 6-foot-2-inch, 280-pound Mr. Fisk, police said.

Mr. Fisk ran after Miss Dye, tackled her in the front yard and sat on her, yelling for help because his phone was out of reach. After 20 minutes, a neighbor heard him and called 911.

Miss Dye was charged with second-degree burglary. She also was charged with third-degree theft for a Sept. 2 incident in which police say she stole money from someone.

She was being held Wednesday on $19,500 bail.

KENTUCKY

Two men convicted of election fraud

LONDON — An eastern Kentucky businessman and an associate were found guilty yesterday of election fraud for involvement in two political campaigns in 2002.

A jury of 10 women and two men deliberated for about four hours before returning the verdict against Ross Harris, a Pikeville coal operator, and one of his associates, Glen Turner.

The two men showed no reaction as the verdict was read in U.S. District Court in London. They remain free on bond.

Harris was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and to buy votes, three counts of mail fraud and one count of structuring withdrawals from a bank account to avoid federal reporting requirements.

Turner was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and two counts of mail fraud.

MISSOURI

State transfers inmates to new prison

JEFFERSON CITY — About 1,350 of the state’s most violent criminals were moved to the new Jefferson City Correctional Center, officials said. Staff from other state prisons and sheriff and police departments helped with the transfer.

The high-tech facility replaces the nearly 170-year-old Missouri State Penitentiary.

NEW MEXICO

5 nuclear-lab workers lose jobs amid scandal

SANTA FE — The Los Alamos National Laboratory has forced out five employees involved in safety and security scandals at the nuclear facility that gave birth to the atomic bomb, officials said yesterday.

Four employees were fired and one resigned out of 23 workers who had been put on leave owing to the scandals, lab spokesman Kevin Roark said.

Seven others received written reprimands, demotions, salary cuts, suspension of pay or a combination of those punishments, he said.

The lab suspended operations in July and ordered a top-to-bottom review after two computer disks with classified information went missing and a laser accident led to an intern suffering permanent eye damage.

OREGON

Check for $15,000 found in litter

SALEM — Jeff Datwyler found lots of loot in the litter.

A few weeks ago, Mr. Datwyler thought he was just being conscientious about picking up a stray envelope on the streets of Salem.

But then he opened the envelope — and found a check for $15,000.

Mr. Datwyler took the check to the bank, where staff figured out that it belonged to retiree William H. Goods.

At the exact time, Mr. Goods was at another bank preparing to deposit his $15,000 check there, unaware that it was missing.

“I got a call from the credit union saying they’d found it,” Mr. Goods said. “It happened simultaneously. Just as I was reaching for it from my pocket, the phone rang.

“I’m sure thankful there are honest people,” he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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