- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Gunman kills Wal-Mart workers

GLENDALE — Two Wal-Mart employees were fatally shot yesterday as they gathered shopping carts in the parking lot of one of the retail stores in suburban Phoenix, and police later arrested the suspected gunman.

The shootings occurred in the middle of the parking lot, about 75 yards from the store entrance.

Hours later, a suspect described as being in his 50s or 60s was arrested in a nearby retirement community. The names of the suspect and the victims were not released, and police did not say what might have motivated the attacks.


Jackson accuser’s mother charged

LOS ANGELES — The woman whose son accused Michael Jackson of child molestation was charged with welfare fraud yesterday for purportedly collecting nearly $19,000 in payments while making false claims.

The complaint filed by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office purported that the woman hid from authorities the fact that she had received a $150,000 settlement in a 2001 lawsuit against a department store at a time when she was claiming to be poor and also failed to report receiving $637 from her boyfriend to pay her rent in January 2003.


Mayor signs panhandling ban

ATLANTA — Panhandling is now illegal in parts of downtown Atlanta.

Mayor Shirley Franklin has signed an ordinance passed by city lawmakers Aug. 15. It was delivered to the city clerk Monday.

Under the ordinance, panhandlers get a warning on the first offense and are referred to social services on the second offense. They can spend a short time in jail if they receive three citations in one year.


Death penalty sought in slayings

COEUR D’ALENE — Prosecutors will seek the death penalty when Joseph Edward Duncan III goes to trial on charges that he bound and killed three persons in northern Idaho.

Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Bill Douglas made the announcement yesterday after Duncan’s arraignment. Not-guilty pleas were entered on Duncan’s behalf to charges of murder and kidnapping.

Duncan is accused of killing Brenda Groene, her boyfriend, Mark McKenzie, and her 13-year-old son, Slade, in May, then abducting Mrs. Groene’s two other children, 9-year-old Dylan and 8-year-old Shasta.

Duncan, 42, has spent most of his adult life in prison for sex crimes against children. He was arrested in early July as he ate with Shasta at a local restaurant. Dylan’s body was found a few days later in Montana.


School district chief charged with theft

MARKHAM — The head of a suburban Chicago school system stole thousands of dollars from one of the poorest districts in the state, prosecutors said yesterday.

Police raided Thomas Ryan’s house last week and seized $730,000 in cash, prosecutor Richard Devine said.

Mr. Ryan purportedly siphoned money from the district’s milk fund, stole library fees and demanded kickbacks from employees. He is accused of stealing from Sauk Village’s impoverished Community Consolidated School District 168, which lacks funding for music programs.

Mr. Ryan, who had been superintendent since 1990, resigned yesterday. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison.


Businessman fined in do-not-call case

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s first prosecution under its state do-not-call law for telemarketers has ended with a businessman facing $100,000 in fines.

Madison Superior Court Judge Dennis Carroll ordered Gabriel Gouvas to pay $100,000 for calling Indiana residents who had signed on to the do-not-call list. His firm was pitching satellite television services.

Mr. Gouvas could have been fined up to $1.76 million Monday for allowing two of his companies to make 71 calls to people whose numbers were on the do-not-call list, the Indianapolis Star reported.


Police discouraged from alien arrests

CONCORD — The attorney general’s office will not appeal a ruling that dismissed trespassing charges against a group of illegal aliens arrested by two police chiefs who said they were frustrated by lax federal enforcement.

Attorney General Kelly Ayotte has written to the state’s police chiefs, saying her office will not appeal and instructing them not to use the trespassing law to take illegal aliens off the street.

“This office has determined that there is an insufficient basis for appeal,” Miss Ayotte wrote in a memo dated Aug. 15.

Police in Hudson and New Ipswich this spring arrested illegal aliens, mostly from Mexico, under the state’s trespassing laws.

Judge L. Phillips Runyon ruled earlier this month that the trespass charges cannot be used as an immigration tool.


Nazi guard dies before deportation

LAKE CARMEL — A New Jersey man who was a Nazi guard during World War II has died before he was to be deported to Germany.

Jakob “Jack” Reimer, 86, of Elizabeth, N.J., died early this month, causing the government to withdraw its motion for a hearing before a federal immigration judge, the White Plains Journal-News reported yesterday.

Reimer was accused of aiding the persecution of Polish Jews during the war. His U.S. citizenship was revoked after the trial.


Restaurateur charged in hit-and-run

PHILADELPHIA — A restaurant owner surrendered in the hit-and-run death of a teenage girl, two months after acknowledging her car was involved in the accident but refusing to cooperate further.

Kayla Peter, 15, was struck and killed June 19 when she stepped off a bus near her home.

Three days after the accident, Susanna Goihman’s attorney told police Miss Goihman’s Lexus coupe had struck the girl. But Miss Goihman, who recently had been given probation in a drunken-driving case, refused to talk to investigators or say who was driving the car.

On Monday, Miss Goihman was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and surrendered to police. She was released yesterday on $250,000 bail.


Hacker hits military database

SAN ANTONIO — A hacker tapped into a military database containing Social Security numbers and other personal information for 33,000 Air Force officers and some enlisted personnel, an Air Force spokesman said yesterday.

That figure represents about half of the officers in the Air Force, said Tech. Sgt. James Brabenec, a spokesman at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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