- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Superintendent calls for junk-food ban

PHOENIX — Even though high schools are exempt from a new state law that prohibits junk-food sales during the day at public schools, one district has plans to adopt the ban.

Raj Chopra, the superintendent of the Phoenix Union High School District, has called on all 11 of his high schools to ban junk food by the end of the school year. Mr. Chopra said it’s irresponsible to teach students about health and nutrition in the classroom, then stock school vending machines with soda, candy and fatty snacks.


Air Force Academy gets new leader

COLORADO SPRINGS — President Bush nominated a new superintendent of the Air Force Academy yesterday as the prestigious school works to recover from scandals over sexual assaults and religious intolerance.

Lt. Gen. John F. Regni, who has been commander of the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., will replace Lt. Gen. John Rosa Jr. Gen. Regni’s appointment must be approved by the Senate.

Gen. Rosa is stepping down to become president of The Citadel, the military college in Charleston, S.C.


Student bracelets linked to right bus

NEW HAVEN — Public schools here are tagging their kindergarten and first-grade students with identification bracelets. The idea is to make sure they don’t get on the wrong bus.

All 3,200 kindergarten and first-grade students will have to wear yellow bracelets with the student’s name, bus number and where the student is to be dropped off. Parents or guardians then will have to meet the children.


6 persons charged with illegal bird sales

MIAMI — Six persons were charged Monday with trafficking in protected species of migratory birds, after one man was caught with two rare Cuban songbirds hidden in his underwear at the airport, officials said.

The suspects, named in a 21-count indictment unsealed Monday, were charged with illegally dealing in protected species of migratory birds, including indigo and painted buntings, blue grosbeaks and northern cardinals.

The six sold the birds from October 2004 to July 2005, violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the U.S. attorney’s office said.


Parole board pardons executed black maid

ATLANTA — Six decades after she was executed for killing a white man in the Jim Crow South, a black maid was granted a full and unconditional pardon yesterday.

Lena Baker, 44, the only woman put to death in Georgia’s electric chair, had maintained until she was put to death in 1945 that she shot E.B. Knight in self-defense.

Members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles read a proclamation saying the board’s refusal to grant clemency before the execution was “a grievous error, as this case called out for mercy.”


Expansion planned of children’s hospital

INDIANAPOLIS — A planned $500 million expansion of Riley Hospital for Children includes a 10-story building opening in 2008 and more clinics for specialty care across the state.

The 10-year project would make it one of the largest children’s hospitals in the nation, according to Clarian Health Partners, which also operates Methodist Hospital and the Indiana University Medical Center.


Woman, 91, dies; was trapped in van

LINCOLN — A 91-year-old woman died nearly seven weeks after she had been trapped for 10 hours in a stifling, locked van from a senior citizens center.

Marguerite McClure never returned home after being left in the parked van July 13, said her daughter, Sharon Schmidt of Hollister, Mo.

Police said the driver of the van had forgotten to take Mrs. McClure home after taking her and other seniors out for lunch.

When she was found that night, Mrs. McClure was unconscious, had a body temperature of 103, high blood pressure and was dehydrated. Since then, she had been at the Jefferson Community Health Center or a nursing home, where she died Sunday.

Jefferson County Attorney Linda Bauer said yesterday that she was seeking the advice of the state attorney general’s office about whether to file charges.


Teen killed by gunfire, tried to flee violence

LINDENWOLD — A teenager was killed after two bullets pierced the wall of his aunt’s apartment, where he recently had moved so he could attend a better school in a safer community.

Barry Robertson, 14, was shot while sleeping on a sofa bed in the ground-level apartment. Authorities said he was probably not the shooter’s intended target, but they were uncertain who was.


Lawmakers pass lottery in state

RALEIGH — North Carolina is set to become the final state on the East Coast to start a lottery after the lieutenant governor broke a Senate tie yesterday, when two opponents were absent.

Gov. Michael F. Easley is expected to sign the legislation creating the lottery, a cause he’s championed since 2001.

The legislation will funnel net proceeds to public school construction, college scholarships, class-size reduction and preschool programs.


Local official indicted in corruption probe

MEMPHIS — A federal grand jury charged the chairman of the Shelby County Commission with extortion and bribery yesterday as part of the expanding Tennessee Waltz corruption investigation.

Michael Hooks Sr. is the first local government official indicted in the investigation that has led to similar charges against five current or former state lawmakers.

The Hooks indictment came down on the same day that state Rep. Chris Newton, Cleveland Republican, pleaded guilty to trying to write laws in exchange for cash. Newton is the first lawmaker to admit guilt in the corruption investigation.

Mr. Hooks is charged with taking $24,200 in bribes to help a company called E-Cycle Management — a sham company set up by the FBI — win business contracts with the Shelby County government.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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