- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 11, 2005


Glitch forces Mars launch delay

CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA postponed the launch of a spacecraft to Mars yesterday after a glitch popped up in the computer software used for monitoring the fueling of the rocket used for liftoff.

The problem with sensors and software that measure the amount of fuel being loaded into the rocket appeared with just minutes left until liftoff. The launch was rescheduled for this morning, three days after Space Shuttle Discovery returned to Earth.

Before the glitch, the only problem NASA faced was with an early-morning thunderstorm that had delayed fueling.


Wildfire overruns firefighters

ALBERTON — Three firefighters hunkered beneath emergency shelters as a wildfire burned over them, but all three emerged safely and uninjured, fire officials said yesterday.

The firefighters are among those battling a 8,000-acre fire. It made a run late Wednesday, forcing crews to retreat and shutting down a major power line in western Montana.

Fire information officer Alan Barbian said high winds advanced the fire more than four miles and doubled its size. The fire started last week along Interstate 90.

Associated Press

This wildfire near Alberton, Mont., yesterday sent three firefighters scurrying for shelter. The fire began last week along Interstate 90 and has spread over 8,000 acres.


Justice will run for re-election

BIRMINGHAM — Associate Justice Lyn Stuart said she will seek re-election to the state Supreme Court next year. Elected to the court in 2000, she is one of five justices, all Republicans, up for election on the nine-member court in 2006.

She was a prosecutor with the state and Baldwin County before winning election as a district judge in 1988.


Diocese bans pro-choice politicians

PHOENIX — Politicians who support abortion and homosexual rights have been banned from speaking at Roman Catholic churches in the Phoenix Diocese by Bishop Thomas Olmsted.

Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano is the only person affected so far. She was forbidden to speak at a Scottsdale church, so an event was moved to another site.

Bishop Olmsted wrote pastors in December, saying churches cannot invite to speak any public figure who disagrees with basic church teachings on abortion, homosexual “marriage” or other issues, the Arizona Republic reported.

Miss Napolitano, a Methodist, said the ban was broad, not aimed at just her.

“I think the church is for praying, and that politics are not for inside the church,” she said.


Man shoots car to silence alarm

SIMI VALLEY — A man annoyed by the noise of a car alarm fired at least three bullets into a Toyota Camry, silencing the alarm but getting arrested in the process.

David Owen Rye, 48, was booked for investigation of reckless discharge of a firearm and felony vandalism, Sgt. John Adamczyk said. Mr. Rye reportedly told officers that he grabbed his handgun and went out to stop the alarm.

The car’s owner was visiting a friend when he heard the gunfire at about 10 p.m. Tuesday.


One in six students has asthma

ATLANTA — One out of every six U.S. high-school students has asthma and more than one-third of those report having had an attack in the previous year, according to a federal study released yesterday that suggests that schools do more to manage the potentially fatal lung disease.

Asthma — which is marked by breathing difficulties, coughing and inflammation of the airways — disproportionately affects children and adolescents. In some states, it is the leading cause of absenteeism in schools.

In 2003, an estimated 16.1 percent of those enrolled in grades nine through 12 said they had the disease, according to a survey of more than 13,000 students by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 38 percent reported an asthma attack or episode in the 12 months before the survey, the CDC said.


Church ousts director-designate

GRAND RAPIDS — The Christian Reformed Church in North America named the Rev. Peter Borgdorff as executive director after officials suddenly requested the resignation of the Rev. Calvin Bremer, who had been scheduled to take the top spot.

Mr. Borgdorff, 65, replaced Mr. Bremer, 57, only three weeks before he was supposed to become director, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

Church leaders decided that Mr. Bremer showed bad judgment in seeking to promote a female colleague to a prominent post because his relationship with her “crossed professional boundaries,” Mr. Borgdorff said.


Passenger arrested after explosive found

OKLAHOMA CITY — A small explosive device was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag as the man passed through a checkpoint, and federal agents arrested him, the FBI said yesterday.

Officials have found no apparent connection between Charles Alfred Dreyling Jr. and any terrorist group or activity, said agent Gary Johnson, an FBI spokesman.

Mr. Dreyling was going through the security checkpoint at Will Rogers World Airport on Wednesday when a Transportation Security Administration employee noticed something suspicious in the 24-year-old’s bag on the X-ray machine, Mr. Johnson said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Troester described the device as a carbon-dioxide cartridge with a black-powder detonator.

But Mr. Dreyling’s landlord, former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys, said Mr. Dreyling had created a “glorified firecracker” and forgot it was in his luggage.


Quick-acting man catches falling girl

NEW YORK — A New York man’s quick thinking and quick hands saved the life of a 6-year-old girl who fell from a three-story building.

Karizma Cox was about to leave the Initial Steps Child Development Center in Flatbush with her grandmother when she became locked out on a rooftop play area.

Her calls for help unheeded, she crawled onto the roof of an adjoining building and then tried to climb down the side, just as Mohammed Azaze Balde, 25, happened by.

As horrified onlookers begged the girl to hold on, Mr. Balde raced up the fire escape and made it to the second floor as Karizma lost her grip. The little girl slammed her stomach into the fire escape, but Mr. Balde managed to catch her in his arms.


Politicians confer on ‘intelligent design’

GREENVILLE — Some South Carolina politicians are pondering school treatment of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the concepts of creationism and “intelligent design.”

Republican state Sen. Mike Fair filed a bill in June to require that schools expose students to the “full range of scientific views that exist” on topics such as evolution.

Mr. Fair was among 200 people attending a recent conference titled “Uncommon Dissent: Scientists Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing.” Speakers at the event included Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Bob Inglis, both South Carolina Republicans.

Mr. Fair said his bill wouldn’t prevent teachers from discussing evolution, but would require them to present other theories such as intelligent design, which examines evidence that strictly random natural processes cannot explain the complexity of nature. That implies an intelligent force or creator was involved.


Truck with explosives blows up on highway

SALT LAKE CITY — A tractor-trailer carrying 35,500 pounds of explosives overturned and exploded on a Utah highway, injuring at least 19 persons.

The explosion left a giant crater — estimated to be 70 feet wide and 30 feet deep — on U.S. 6 about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City and forced the two-lane highway’s closure in both directions.

Witnesses said the truck’s driver appeared to lose control of the vehicle after taking a curve at high speed, Highway Patrol Lt. Doug McCleve said.

The driver, Travis Stewart, 30, was flown to University Hospital in Salt Lake City, where he was in fair condition, spokesman Chris Nelson said. At least 19 other persons were treated for injuries at various hospitals.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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