- The Washington Times - Friday, April 15, 2005

University picks interim president

DENVER — The University of Colorado’s regents yesterday selected former Sen. Hank Brown to serve as interim president while the university grapples with scandals involving football recruiting and one of its professors.

Mr. Brown, 65, accepted the position after a unanimous vote by the university Board of Regents. He is scheduled to take over Aug. 1 from outgoing President Elizabeth Hoffman, who resigned last month.

“The essential elements we need to focus on are openness and accountability,” he said after the vote.

A Republican, Mr. Brown was elected to two terms in the Senate before retiring from political life. He is currently president and chief executive of the Daniels Fund, a charity founded by cable magnate Bill Daniels.

The university has come under national scrutiny for remarks made by professor Ward Churchill, who likened the victims of September 11 to Nazis. A university committee is investigating whether Mr. Churchill is guilty of academic fraud.

The university also has come under fire for its handling of sexual-assault charges stemming from its football recruiting program.

Falcons generate excitement on Web

SAN FRANCISCO — The art of Internet bird-watching has reached new heights this week with the hatching of four peregrine falcon chicks atop a skyscraper in San Francisco.

Every flap and flutter is being monitored by multitudes of people who don’t have to leave their desks to watch nature unfold in the most unnatural of places — a ledge on the 33rd floor of the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. building.

The webcam, financed by PG&E and run by the Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group, has attracted a mass audience since its debut March 7.

PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson said there had been 539,000 hits on www.scpbrg.org as of Sunday — two days before the first falcon babies appeared — and another 100,000 views through Thursday on the link provided by the utility’s Web site.

Woman has mishap during test drive

FORT MYERS, Fla. — An 81-year-old woman preparing to take a test drive at a car dealership hit her husband, a salesman, a car and a tree before running into a wall.

The new Honda Accord shot backward after Dorothy Byrum got behind the wheel Wednesday and apparently stepped on the wrong pedal.

The open car door hit her 88-year-old husband, Robert, and the salesman. The car then struck a parked car, a tree and a wall. The air bag deployed, and Mrs. Byrum was not injured.

Her husband was knocked down but was in good condition Thursday. The salesman was released after treatment, said Joe Sica, sales manager at Honda of Fort Myers.

Teacher resigns after appearing in blackface

MACON, Ga. — A high school teacher who wore blackface at a student-faculty basketball game has resigned, saying “it was poor judgment and will never happen again.”

Greg Dougherty said the school had offered to renew his contract for the fall, but he turned it down.

Photographs from the Central High School game on March 25 show Mr. Dougherty wearing an exaggerated, Afro-style wig with brownish makeup covering his face and arms. A student also is pictured wearing brown makeup on his face and arms.

“My intent was never to offend,” Mr. Dougherty said Thursday. “I was trying to generate laughter.”

Man pleads guilty to killing wife

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of killing his wife after she learned that he lied about getting into medical school pleaded guilty to murder yesterday.

Prosecutors say Mark Hacking shot his wife in the head as she slept, then threw 27-year-old Lori Hacking’s body into a trash bin. Volunteers scouring a landfill found her decomposing remains about three months later.

Prosecutors said the sentencing range will be from six years to life. Sentencing was scheduled for June 6.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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