- The Washington Times - Friday, April 29, 2005


Search for bride-to-benow criminal investigation

DULUTH — More than 100 volunteers joined police yesterday in a search through the wooded neighborhood where a 32-year-old woman reportedly disappeared just days before she was to be married.

Yesterday morning, authorities said they were considering the Tuesday-night disappearance of Jennifer Wilbanks a criminal investigation. Miss Wilbanks was reported missing five hours after her fiance, John Mason, said she had gone on her nightly jog in the northeastern Atlanta suburb neighborhood, police said.

Tomorrow’s wedding was expected to be a bash, with 600 invitations sent out and 14 bridesmaids and 14 groomsmen, said Mr. Mason’s mother, Vicki.


City may require panhandler badges

MINNEAPOLIS — A license to beg? If Police Chief William McManus gets his way, the city’s panhandlers will face arrest unless they are wearing a photo ID issued by the city.

It’s an idea that has been used in Dayton, Ohio, where Chief McManus used to be chief, and a few other big cities as a way to curb public begging. In some of those places, the begging badges have encountered resistance from homeless advocates.

Here is how the registration process would work: Once a year, people who plan to panhandle would register with the city, have their picture taken and be issued an ID that they would be required to display while they beg.

Anyone caught begging without a license could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Associated Press

Robert Yellow Wolf, 37, lookingfor help at Cedar Street near Interstate 94 in Minneapolis Tuesday, would be wearing a license to panhandle if Police Chief William McManus gets his way.


Monument to be set up at church

MONTGOMERY — A 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument that forced the chief justice of the state Supreme Court out of office will be put on display at his church.

Roy Moore was removed from office in 2003 because he refused to follow a federal judge’s order to move the Ten Commandments monument out of the state judicial building’s lobby. A federal judge said the monument was an unconstitutional promotion of religion.

The granite monument is scheduled to be put on display at the CrossPoint Community Church in Gadsden today.


NASA to delay shuttle launch

MELBOURNE — NASA plans to delay the launch of Space Shuttle Discovery from May to July, an official familiar with NASA’s timetable said yesterday.

The official, speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, said the decision was made by NASA’s new administrator, Michael Griffin, and would be formally announced today.

The U.S. space agency temporarily halted preparations yesterday for Discovery’s planned May 22 launch while managers debated nagging concerns that debris could damage the spacecraft during liftoff.

Discovery is the first shuttle set to fly since the 2003 Columbia accident.


Mormons, gays agree on discrimination bill

HONOLULU — Local homosexual rights activists promoting legislation to protect housing rights for homosexual and transsexual people reached a compromise with Brigham Young University-Hawaii, a school of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The university had opposed the housing measure because it could be applied against its code of conduct, signed by every student, which prohibits sexual activity outside marriage. The final bill includes an exemption for housing operated by religious institutions and schools.


Tribune apologizes for ‘mobster’ photo

CHICAGO — The Chicago Tribune apologized yesterday for publishing a photo caption that misidentified a man as a high-ranking mobster, a day after another man sued the newspaper over a picture wrongly identifying him as a mobster.

In an article in yesterday’s editions, Editor Ann Marie Lipinski said the newspaper regretted publishing the photograph on Wednesday.

The caption said the photo showed 76-year-old Joseph ?The Clown? Lombardo, a reputed mob boss. A man identified as 69-year-old Stanley Swieton told reporters Wednesday that he was the person in the picture.

The article appeared a day after the newspaper ran an apology about a picture published Tuesday of retired businessman Frank Calabrese. The caption incorrectly identified him as Frank Calabrese Sr., also indicted in connection with organized crime.

The businessman sued the Tribune Co. for at least $2 million in damages, calling the photograph ?defamatory.?


Shreveport passes ban on smoking

SHREVEPORT — After eight amendments and 16 votes, the City Council passed a ban on smoking in public buildings and restaurants that don’t serve alcohol.

The ban takes effect in 10 days. Mayor Keith Hightower said he has no plans to veto it.


Greyhound bus, truck collide on interstate

MOSS POINT — A Greyhound bus crashed into a tractor-trailer near the Mississippi Gulf Coast early yesterday, injuring about two dozen people, police said.

The truck, which had been traveling about 50 mph on Interstate 10, jackknifed after the crash, and two other vehicles ran into it, said Sgt. Joe Gazzo, a spokesman for the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

The bus driver, Elmer Routt, 54, of Beaumont, Texas, suffered broken bones in both legs and was taken to a hospital by helicopter, Sgt. Gazzo said.

Hospitals were treating other people hurt in the crash, but their injuries were considered less serious.

The bus was carrying 42 passengers from Houston to Miami.


Probation overturned for 12th DUI

LINCOLN — The Nebraska Supreme Court yesterday overturned a sentence of probation given to a man with 11 drunken-driving convictions, saying the punishment was too lenient.

Melvin Rice, 67, of Sioux City, Iowa, was sentenced by a judge last year to three years of probation, fined $1,000 and stripped of his driving privileges after a plea bargain reduced his 12th DUI charge to driving while his license was revoked.

The court ordered Rice resentenced. He could get up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


Baby delivered in taxi amid traffic jam

WEEHAWKEN — A pregnant woman traveling home in a taxi went into labor and gave birth yesterday while her cab was stuck in traffic at a tunnel toll booth.

Fatmaelzahraa Ibrahim and her son, who weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces, were both doing fine.

Mrs. Ibrahim went into labor as the taxi approached the Lincoln Tunnel during the morning rush hour to take her and her husband back to New York City after a visit with friends in New Jersey.

Police and transportation authority agents assisted in the birth, and the mother and newborn were taken to a hospital in nearby Hoboken.


Soldier wins discharge, drops lawsuit

POTSDAM — The Army honorably discharged a reserve officer who had gone to court to challenge his assignment to Iraq, saying he had properly resigned more than a year earlier.

Carl A. Petitto, 32, dropped his lawsuit against the Army after securing his honorable discharge, which took effect yesterday.

?I feel like I have a new lease on life,? said Mr. Petitto, who resigned as a first lieutenant to run two health care centers in rural northern New York.

Mr. Petitto, who filed for resignation in February 2004 after serving 14 years of active and reservist duty for the Army and Navy, was to report for duty on March 24 and faced deployment to Iraq for at least a year and a half.


New library rules called anti-homeless

HOUSTON — Those who want to browse books at Houston’s public libraries should get enough sleep, eat and bathe before they begin to peruse the shelves.

On Wednesday, the City Council passed a series of library regulations that some say are an attempt to discourage homeless people from visiting the public buildings.

Library officials said people have been using the libraries as temporary shelters, restaurants and changing stations. The new ordinance prohibits sleeping on tables, eating, using restrooms for bathing and ?offensive bodily hygiene that constitutes a nuisance to others.?

Two council members voted against the ordinance, saying it was a direct attack on the homeless.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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