- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 22, 2004

TEXAS

Fiery crash kills 10; driver held

SHERMAN — The driver of a tractor-trailer that veered across a U.S. Highway 75 median into oncoming traffic just south of Sherman, killing 10 persons in two vehicles during Monday rush hour, was being held pending charges of criminally negligent homicide.

Three children and their mother and grandmother were killed in a sport utility vehicle that was burned beyond recognition, Sherman fire Capt. Doug Blackburn said. Five others were killed in a truck, and two adults were injured.

The driver, Miroslav Janusz Jozwiak, was being held on 10 counts of criminally negligent homicide, but no charges had been filed because authorities were waiting for an interpreter.

ILLINOIS

Police nab Capitol shooting suspect

SPRINGFIELD — A man suspected of fatally shooting an unarmed guard at the state Capitol was arrested yesterday morning after he knocked on doors in a residential neighborhood and asked for a ride to the police station, authorities said.

Police had been searching for Derek W. Potts since Monday afternoon, when they say he shot 51-year-old William Wozniak in the chest, then stowed his gun in his car trunk and drove away.

Mr. Potts was charged with first-degree murder, burglary and gun violations. Prosecutors had not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich said that he would order the installation of metal detectors and would consider arming the guards at the Capitol.

ALASKA

Residents to get $919.84 payouts

ANCHORAGE — Nearly everyone living in Alaska will receive a payment of $919.84 next month, thanks to dividends from a $27.4 billion trust fund set up with some of the state’s oil wealth.

State Revenue Commissioner Bill Corbus announced the size of the 2004 dividend late Monday at a banquet held as part of the annual meeting of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

The dividend is to go out Oct. 13 to about 600,760 men, women and children.

ARIZONA

Homicide police quiz Egyptian author

CASA GRANDE — An author who has linked the Saudi royal family to terrorism has come under the scrutiny of Arizona homicide detectives.

The Arizona Republic said yesterday that Emad ElSirgany gave fingerprints and DNA samples to Pinal County sheriff’s deputies who are investigating the shooting death of Dr. Alfonso Puyana, whose body was found in the spring in the Casa Grande Mountains.

Mr. ElSirgany told the paper that he had never heard of the late physician and might have been targeted because of his political leanings.

Mr. ElSirgany’s book “The Defilers: Sowing the Seeds of Terrorism” contends that the Saudi royals fund terrorism because they think the CIA had a role in the 1975 assassination of King Faisal.

CALIFORNIA

Bill to ban ‘Redskins’ gets terminated

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday vetoed a bill that would have prohibited five high schools from using the nickname Redskins, considered by some American Indians to be a racial slur.

In a message accompanying his veto, Mr. Schwarzenegger said local school districts should make their own choices and that the bill “takes more focus away from getting kids to learn at the highest levels.”

Donna White, superintendent of Chowchilla Union High School District in Madera County, said school officials were “extremely excited. It will allow the community and the school to keep something they hold in the highest esteem.”

“We’ve got 80 years of support and tradition, and it paid off,” said Bill Ingram, band director at Tulare Union High School in Tulare County. “We have definitely sent the e-mails and faxes over the last few months.”

INDIANA

Bluffton police win best-dressed honors

BLUFFTON — There may be a silver lining the next time you are pulled over by Bluffton’s police: At least it’ll be by the best-dressed officers of any city of its size in the United States.

According to a uniform trade group, this small city about 20 miles south of Fort Wayne shared best-dressed honors with New York, which won in the large-city category.

“Our officers take pride in their appearance,” Bluffton Police Chief Tammy Schaffer said. The department has 20 officers.

The award is given annually by the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors, a trade group. Entrants are judged on overall appearance, neatness, projection of authority and other standards. The competition is open to every police department in the nation.

LOUISIANA

Slaying suspect is retarded, lawyer says

BATON ROUGE — A defense expert has found Louisiana serial killings suspect Derrick Todd Lee to be mentally retarded, a lawyer said yesterday in a new twist that could be used to try to spare Mr. Lee a possible death penalty.

Public defender Mike Mitchell made the announcement as jury selection continued for Mr. Lee’s first-degree murder trial in the beating and stabbing death of 22-year-old Charlotte Murray Pace.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling bars the execution of mentally retarded criminals.

MONTANA

Forest Service crew missing in wilderness

KALISPELL — Rescuers launched an air-and-ground search of the Montana wilderness yesterday for a single-engine airplane that vanished with five persons aboard, four of them U.S. Forest Service employees.

Five planes and a helicopter took off at first light to search for the Cessna, which had been missing since Monday afternoon. Rain, fog and wind had interrupted an aerial search on Monday.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

School says students broke hazing law

CONCORD — Fifteen senior girls at a Concord boarding school broke a state law against hazing and have been disciplined while police investigate, school officials said.

St. Paul’s School hasn’t given details about the hazing, which is said to have occurred earlier this month.

The Concord Monitor reported in editions yesterday that the seniors woke up younger girls in the middle of the night and forced them to simulate oral sex with bananas and answer sexually explicit questions, according to a source it did not name.

NORTH DAKOTA

‘Tobacco quitline’ to be offered

BISMARCK — The state’s Health Department is offering a toll-free telephone line to put state tobacco users in touch with counselors who will help them quit.

The “tobacco quitline” will use counselors from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the community medicine department at the University of North Dakota’s medical school, health officials said.

OHIO

Boyfriend makes corny proposal

NAPOLEON — Corey Cook hoped his girlfriend would accept a marriage proposal — no matter how corny it might be.

So, he paid a northwest Ohio farmer to carve the words, “Michelle, will you marry me?” into his family’s cornfield.

A heart surrounded the message, which covered about seven acres — large enough for Michelle See to spot from a small plane, as the couple flew from Columbus to a cabin in northeast Indiana.

“She just started giggling like a little girl on Christmas morning,” said Mr. Cook, who gave her a ring as they passed over the massive message.

Each letter was about 5 feet wide.

The reply to the proposal, by the way, was a “yes.”

OKLAHOMA

Man facing charges in ballerina’s death

OKLAHOMA CITY — Prosecutors charged a man yesterday with raping and murdering a 21-year-old college ballet dancer nearly eight years ago.

District Attorney Tim Kuykendall said DNA evidence linked Anthony C. Sanchez, 25, to the death of Jewell “Juli” Busken.

Sanchez, who is jailed on unrelated burglary and escape charges, also was charged with sodomy and kidnapping. Mr. Kuykendall said he would seek the death penalty.

Investigators had entered DNA evidence from the crime scene into a national database of DNA profiles and matched it with a sample taken from Sanchez last year under a state law requiring inmates convicted of sex crimes, burglary and assault to give samples.

TEXAS

Two border agents found drowned

HARLINGEN — The bodies of two U.S. Border Patrol agents reported missing on Sunday after their boat capsized on the Rio Grande were found yesterday.

Senior agents Travis W. Attaway, 31, of D’Hannis, Texas, and Jeremy Wilson, 29, of Ferndale, Wash., were found by searchers before dawn. Investigators said the men apparently drowned when their Border Patrol boat, a 19-foot Predator, capsized near the Los Indios International Bridge about 10 miles south of Harlingen.

The first body was located in underwater brush before 2 a.m., investigators said. The second body was discovered four hours later. Another agent who was in the boat, Capt. Javier Sandoval of Brownsville, Texas, was rescued. He was treated and released from a Harlingen hospital.

WISCONSIN

Flight canceled after Farsi writing found

MILWAUKEE — Midwest Airlines canceled a flight ready to take off for San Francisco after a passenger found Arabic-style handwriting in the company’s in-flight magazine and alerted the crew.

The plane, carrying 118 passengers and five crew members, already had pulled away from the gate at General Mitchell International Airport on Sunday evening. It returned to the gate, the passengers got off, security authorities were notified, all luggage was checked and the aircraft was inspected. Nothing was found.

The passengers were put up in nearby hotels and booked on a Monday morning flight.

The writing was in Farsi, the main language of Iran, said airline spokeswoman Carol Skornicka.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide