- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ALASKA

Lost toddler wanders home

SEWARD — A barefoot 3-year-old who wandered away from his home spent a night on a mountainside before managing to find his way back, said state troopers who described the boy as cold and scratched but otherwise unharmed.

He was even able to lead officers to the spot where he spent the night, within 10 feet of one search party’s route.

CONNECTICUT

Attorney says state may try ex-governor

HARTFORD — Connecticut’s top state prosecutor is seeking an arrest warrant for John G. Rowland, an attorney for the former governor said yesterday.

Rowland has been in a federal prison in Pennsylvania since April after pleading guilty to a charge that he conspired to trade his office for favors and to commit tax fraud. He became a target of state prosecutors because of consulting work he accepted after he quit office last year.

R. Bartley Halloran, Rowland’s attorney, said he does not know the specific charges being sought, but thinks they are tied to his client’s employment after leaving office.

“We feel that on the facts of the law that he has committed no crime, and our great worry would be whether or not he could get a fair trial,” Mr. Halloran said.

FLORIDA

Lobbyist pleads not guilty in fraud

MIAMI — Prominent Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded not guilty yesterday to a six-count federal fraud and conspiracy indictment stemming from his role in the 2000 purchase of the SunCruz Casinos fleet of gambling boats.

The plea was entered by Mr. Abramoff’s attorney, Neal Sonnett, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick A. White. Mr. Abramoff, who lives in Maryland, was not present.

Mr. Abramoff and one of his SunCruz partners, Adam Kidan, are charged with faking a $23 million wire transfer to make it appear they were putting a large stake into the $147.5 million deal. Based on that transfer, two lenders then agreed to provide $60 million, according to court documents.

GEORGIA

Man arrested in animal cruelty

SAVANNAH — A burglary suspect was charged with felony animal cruelty after police found a resident’s missing dog burned to death in an oven that had been set to 400 degrees.

The dog’s owner, Angela DeLettre, noticed an open back door, items missing and a kitchen sink overflowing with water when she came home Thursday. She found one of her dogs safe, but the other, a 1-year-old terrier, was missing. Police later found the dead dog in the oven.

Police arrested Alexander Davis, 19, based on an anonymous tip. In addition to the cruelty charge, he was charged with burglarizing Ms. DeLettre’s home and another home in the area.

“This is just sick. This is just very, very strange,” said Melanie Higgins, a prosecutor who handles most of the county’s animal abuse cases.

No bond was set for Mr. Davis, and he remained in the Chatham County Jail.

INDIANA

Governor halts scheduled execution

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels yesterday spared the life of a man who was to be executed this week, saying the inmate was delusional when he rejected a plea agreement for a life sentence 20 years ago.

The governor commuted Arthur Baird’s death sentence to life without the possibility of parole. Baird had been facing death by injection at the state prison in Michigan City for killing his parents in 1985.

NEW YORK

Six plead guilty in wristband scam

ALBANY — Six persons have pleaded guilty to charges connected to the sale of thousands of phony LiveStrong wristbands and have turned over almost $112,000 to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office said yesterday.

In March, undercover investigators bought 1,000 of the counterfeit wristbands from a Manhattan storefront, authorities said.

Investigators said they found 81,000 more there and at a home in Queens. Authorities said importer Eastlink International Inc. distributed the wristbands to retailers around New York City.

The authentic wristbands sell for $1 each and help fund the foundation based in Austin, Texas, that provides services to cancer patients

NEVADA

Jail employee arrested in inmate’s escape

RENO — A Northern Nevada Correctional Center employee was arrested on suspicion of helping an inmate escape in a truck, authorities said.

Ana Kastner, a dental assistant at the medium-security prison, purportedly provided a cell phone to inmate Jody Thompson. Authorities said the inmate used it to coordinate his escape by hiding in a prison industries delivery truck.

Thompson remained at large yesterday.

NEW MEXICO

Court asked to order presidential recount

SANTA FE — The state’s highest court was asked yesterday to order a recount in the razor-close 2004 presidential election in New Mexico even though it’s too late for a new vote tabulation to change the outcome, either in the state or overall.

An attorney for Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik made the request to the New Mexico Supreme Court during a hearing on a challenge to the state’s handling of the candidates’ request for a recount.

Mr. Cobb and Mr. Badnarik say they were wrongly required to pay $1.4 million as a security deposit for a recount, which never happened because of the legal dispute over the cost.

NORTH CAROLINA

Ex-employee charged with tiny-tractor theft

MORRISVILLE — A man who used to work for farm equipment-maker John Deere is accused of stealing more than 100 miniature tractors and selling them online.

Timothy Paul Weekes, 25, was charged with embezzlement and the theft of 104 miniatures worth a total of more than $2,000. He was arrested Thursday and freed on bond, a day after police seized hats, gloves and other merchandise with the John Deere logo from his home.

A tipster called a company hotline in July to report that someone was selling the toy tractors on EBay.

RHODE ISLAND

Teen drivers alerted to limits on passengers

PROVIDENCE — The Division of Motor Vehicles sent out letters to 11,000 new teenage drivers in Rhode Island alerting them to a new law that limits the number of underage passengers who can ride with them.

This summer, the General Assembly limited to one the number of passengers younger than 21 who could accompany a 16- or 17-year-old driver with a provisional license.

VERMONT

Company wins Army helmet contract

NEWPORT — A Newport company won a $28 million contract to manufacture 120,000 advanced combat helmets for the Army. Officials from Mine Safety Appliances say the contract should extend production at the factory through 2010.

The company, which has 71 employees, makes a strong, lightweight helmet designed to offer more protection with greater comfort.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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