- The Washington Times - Friday, August 19, 2005


University to use ‘Razorbug’ to promote school

LITTLE ROCK — The University of Arkansas has introduced a new recruiting tool and, like the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, this one appears to be made of pork.

The “Razorbug” is a street-legal Volkswagen Beetle modified to look like an Arkansas Razorback. The hood turns upward into a snout, and the tail curls above the license plate. A bristle arcs along the roof line. And, of course, it’s red.

“We had a van that our recruiters were traveling in and it had the logo on it, but it was still rather plain,” said Dawn Medley, the university’s director of admissions. “With the hogmania that exists in Arkansas, I thought it would be really neat if we could have a drivable mascot.”


Police recover bodies of four cave explorers

PROVO — Four friends who disappeared while exploring a cave near Provo were found dead yesterday in a narrow, underwater passageway between its chambers, officials said.

The bodies of the two women and two men, ages 18 to 28, were found inside the passageway, all facing the outer chamber where they entered the cave, said Lt. Dave Bennett of the Utah County sheriff’s office search and rescue team.

“We believe they’d already been into the [deeper] cavern and were on their way out when something went wrong,” Lt. Bennett said.

Autopsies were planned to determine the causes of death.


UFO festival comes to town

FYFFE — Once it seemed like everyone on Earth and beyond was watching this northeast Alabama town.

A string of purported UFO sightings spawned international press coverage and a mini-industry in Fyffe in early 1989, with hundreds of people showing up to gaze into the night sky in search of flying saucers. Or whatever.

Flying objects will be back in Fyffe this weekend, but none is unidentified. Playing off its fame, the city of 971 people is staging a UFO — “Unforgettable Family Outing” — featuring hot-air balloons.

Melissa Hildreth, co-chairwoman of the committee that planned the UFO Days Festival, said Fyffe thought it was time to capitalize on the notoriety it received when so many people thought they had spotted flying saucers.

Apart from balloon flights and rides, there will be craft and food vendors, music, clowns, an antique car show, Civil War re-enactors and a presentation by the United Cherokee Nation.


Outdoors enthusiasts urge park protection

ANCHORAGE — The city needs to do more to prevent private landowners from blocking trail entrances into Chugach State Park, a group of skiers and hikers told zoning officials.

Several popular hikes near Anchorage into the half-million-acre park have been closed in recent years by housing developments. City planners will forward the group’s recommendations to the Anchorage Assembly.


4 wounded, suspect killed in shootouts

LUMPKIN — The police chief, a county deputy and a paramedic were wounded during a shootout in this small town’s courthouse square yesterday, and the attacker was killed during an ensuing gunbattle, authorities said.

The police chief in a nearby town also was wounded during the pursuit of the shooting suspect.

The most seriously injured was the paramedic, who was shot in the leg after arriving at the scene to help the wounded officers, said John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI). The officers’ injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Two persons were taken into custody, but it was determined later that they were hostages of the gunman. The attacker fired at officers with a semiautomatic pistol before being killed by police, Mr. Bankhead said.

The episode stemmed from an argument the suspect had earlier with family members, and the suspect may have opened fire on police as part of a desire to commit suicide by being killed by police, said GBI Director Vernon Keenan, citing statements from witnesses.


Fireworks explosion kills 2, injures 3

CRESTLINE — An explosion killed two persons and injured three yesterday at a fireworks storage site, officials said.

Neighbors said a single loud explosion was followed by several smaller blasts that shook homes in Crestline, a small town in southeast Kansas.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Carl McNorton said the blast at a large facility owned by Jakes Fireworks occurred as workers were handling fireworks stored in large containers and trailers.

The cause is still under investigation.

Jakes Fireworks sells fireworks wholesale in all 50 states and several countries, marketing products under names including World Class Fireworks, Piedmont Fireworks and Fireworks Spectacular, which produces large, public displays nationwide.


City bans smoking in most businesses

LOUISVILLE — In the heart of tobacco country, smoking has been snuffed out in many Louisville businesses.

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson signed the city’s new smoking restrictions into law, making it illegal to light up in most restaurants and other businesses that don’t have separately ventilated smoking rooms. The measure goes into effect Nov. 15.

“Louisville will become, in my judgment, a healthier hometown for us all,” Mr. Abramson told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The City Council approved the ban 21-5 on Aug. 10. The ordinance exempts Churchill Downs, as well as bars and other establishments that derive at least 25 percent of their gross sales from alcohol.


Deal in works to save Shaker land

NEW GLOUCESTER — An agreement between Maine’s Shaker community and a coalition of preservation and conservation groups will help protect the unique village and 1,700 acres surrounding it from becoming carved into subdivisions.

The $3.7-million plan also will help simplify the finances of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, where life has been rooted in faith and farming and remains unchanged in many ways from when the community was founded more than 200 years ago.

It is the last active Shaker community in the world and has four members.

Under the agreement, the Shakers will sell their rights to develop the village and land for about $2.5 million to the coalition. The additional $1.2 million in funds is earmarked for endowments for building maintenance and other costs.

The agreement is expected to be finalized in March.


Church group accuses academics of breaches

BOSTON — A conservative Roman Catholic watchdog group wants 18 academics barred from Catholic school campuses for supporting abortion rights or siding against Florida patient Terri Schiavo’s parents, who fought unsuccessfully to have her feeding tube reinserted.

The Cardinal Newman Society accused the academics of perpetuating a “culture of death,” and said in a fundraising appeal that administrators at Boston College, Georgetown University and elsewhere should be warned that their school risks being “stripped of its Catholic identity by the bishop who has authority over that college.”

The eight-page letter was sent to 75,000 people in two mailings split between April and last month. Critics have called the letter a threat to academic freedom.

Boston College declared it is “firmly committed to its Jesuit, Catholic mission and heritage” and “openly engages issues of the day, especially those concerning faith and culture.”


Woman finds nest under SUV hood

YAKIMA — Maybe all the good trees were taken?

A quail looking for a place to nest apparently found a nice, warm spot under the hood of Ellie Barr’s sport utility vehicle. Miss Barr said she found a nest holding three speckled quail eggs when she opened the hood to add windshield wiper fluid to her car during the weekend. The nest was in a flat spot over the wheel well beside the engine on the driver’s side, she said.

“I think there was probably a quail following me to work, going, ‘Wait, wait! My babies are in there!’ ” she said.


Cosby renews appeal to end violence

MILWAUKEE — Bill Cosby has taken his end-the-violence campaign back to Milwaukee, which is having one of its deadliest summers.

Milwaukee’s homicide count is at 84, compared with 55 at this time last year. Ten months ago, in a series of talks, Mr. Cosby urged Milwaukeeans to put away their guns.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the day is now for you to realize how important love is,” he told his audience in a new series aimed at school children, their parents and grandparents. “If not, there is nothing to stop us from pulling out a pistol and shooting the person next to us, or, even someone we do not know.”

The 68-year-old comic called on his audience to quit letting society make excuses for them, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said yesterday.

Parents have to be committed to raising their children, he said, and children need to appreciate all that their parents do and respect them.

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