- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2005

Dean pledges funds to build state parties

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean said yesterday that the national party will invest almost half a million dollars in state parties in Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota and West Virginia.

All four states were won by President Bush in the 2004 presidential election.

“This is just the beginning,” Mr. Dean told state Democratic leaders at a meeting in Little Rock. “We will announce additional investments in the weeks ahead.”

Mr. Dean has been to 14 states in his two months as chairman and has pledged to build state parties across the nation, including in states dominated by Republicans.

No gun found after search of school

RED LAKE, Minn. — Authorities who had received a tip that a gun had been stashed at the site of a deadly school shooting said yesterday they found no such weapon in their latest search.

“There was nothing found out of the ordinary” when about 30 FBI and tribal officers searched Red Lake High School on Thursday, said Pat Mills, public safety director for the Red Lake Band of Ojibwe.

The school has been closed since March 21, when Jeff Weise, 16, killed five students, a teacher and a security guard before shooting himself. Weise headed to the school after killing his grandfather and the man’s girlfriend on the reservation.

Builders find mammoth skeleton

LOS ANGELES — Construction crews in a town near Los Angeles have uncovered the fossilized skeleton of a mammoth, with tusks, thought to be between 400,000 and 1.4 million years old, a paleontologist said yesterday.

The mammoth is thought be a member of the first species of the elephantlike animals that reached North America.

Paleo Environmental Associates of Altadena, Calif., was called in last week to dig out the skeleton in Moorpark, 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, said Bruce Lander, a partner in the firm.

Sergeant disagrees with choice of juror

FORT BRAGG, N.C. — An Army sergeant on trial in the grenade killings of two officers in Kuwait told the judge yesterday he disagrees with his lawyers about one juror selected to hear his case.

The judge, Col. Stephen Henley, recessed for two hours to give both sides time to research the issue. Sgt. Hasan Akbar’s lawyers have a free challenge remaining, and the judge said there was still a chance the juror could be removed.

Sgt. Akbar, 33, could face death if convicted of the March 2003 grenade attack at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait, which injured 14 soldiers.

Holdout state to ban drinking while driving

HELENA, Mont. — Some Montana motorists, the joke goes, measure distances driven by how many beers they can down along the way. But the long-cherished right to have a cold one behind the wheel is about to end.

State lawmakers passed an open-container ban yesterday that makes Montana one of the last states to outlaw drinking alcohol while driving.

The Montana House approved the bill 76-21 and sent it to Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who has said he will sign it. It takes effect Oct. 1.

Forces detain Iraqi with CBS credentials

U.S. forces have detained an Iraqi cameraman they wounded in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, who was carrying credentials for CBS, the military said yesterday.

“He was standing next to an armed insurgent who was killed at the time that he was injured. The individual in question was carrying press credentials from CBS News,” a statement said.

“Military officials detained this individual and are conducting an investigation into his previous activities as well as his alleged support of anti-Iraqi insurgency activities.

“There is probable cause to believe that [he] poses an imperative threat to coalition forces.”

CBS’ Baghdad office declined to comment. CBS previously said the man was an Iraqi freelance reporter and cameraman employed by the network.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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