- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 15, 2005


Driver sentenced in child’s death

BENTON — A woman who passed a stopped school bus and struck a boy with her car has been ordered to head to jail on every anniversary of the child’s death for the next 10 years.

Tiffany Nix, 25, was ordered to spend every Sept. 28 through 2015 in jail for the 2004 death of 9-year-old William “Isaac” Brian.

Nix pleaded guilty Tuesday to manslaughter and passing a stopped school bus.

The judge ordered Nix to pay Isaac’s family $5,694.62 for his funeral expenses. She also will be on probation for 10 years and must perform 400 hours of community service.


Collision of bus, truck injures 17

LOS ANGELES — A public-transit bus and catering truck collided yesterday morning at an intersection near downtown, injuring at least 17 persons, authorities said.

Two of the injured were in serious to critical condition, fire department spokesman Ron Myers said. Eleven persons were transported to hospitals while six were treated at the scene and released.

The cause of the crash was under investigation, Mr. Myers said.

Rick Jager, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said witnesses told authorities that the truck might have run a red light, but Mr. Myers and a police spokesman said they had no indications of that.


Driver cites accident in jogger’s death

DANIELSON — A man told authorities that his car accidentally hit a jogger, who was found dead on property owned by the actor who plays Big Bird, prosecutors said. Authorities said yesterday that they plan to pursue homicide charges.

Scott Deojay, 36, of Plainfield, is charged with kidnapping social worker Judith Nilan, 44, who never returned from her regular afternoon jog Monday.

Mr. Deojay is scheduled to return to court tomorrow, which will give authorities in Connecticut and Massachusetts time to decide who has jurisdiction. Miss Nilan’s body was found Tuesday morning in a shed on the Massachusetts-Connecticut line.

State police said Caroll Spinney, who plays Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street,” had nothing to do with the woman’s death. They said Mr. Deojay had done work on Mr. Spinney’s sprawling property.


Growth to be removed from teen’s face

MIAMI — A 14-year-old Haitian girl underwent a rare operation yesterday to remove much of a 16-pound tumorlike growth on her face that all but obliterated her features.

Nearly a dozen specialists were taking part in the up-to-14-hour operation on Marlie Casseus at Holtz Children’s Hospital. It was the first of many operations she will have to undergo.

A nonprofit group brought Marlie to the United States in September after the painful growth became so big that it began to crush her breathing passage. The doctors are donating their time.

Marlie suffers from a rare form of polyostotic fibrous dysplasia, a nonhereditary, genetic disease that causes bone to become “like a big a bowl of jelly with some bone inside,” said Dr. Jesus Gomez of University of Miami School of Medicine, one of the doctors involved in the operation.

Doctors said it was necessary to operate immediately or she would go blind.


Boy killed near runway laid to rest

STEGER — Airport accident victim Joshua Woods went to his grave yesterday with a quarter in his coffin — money his brother gave him so the 6-year-old could buy a gumball in heaven.

Joshua, who was killed in a runway accident at Chicago’s Midway International Airport, was buried with the coin at a cemetery in northwestern Indiana, said the family’s attorney, Ronald Stearney Jr.

Mr. Stearney said 4-year-old Jacob Woods put the quarter on his brother’s hand before a funeral at a chapel in this Chicago suburb.

Joshua was killed when a Southwest Airlines jet trying to land in a snowstorm skidded off the runway last Thursday, striking the vehicle in which he was riding with his family, who live in the northwestern Indiana town of Leroy.


Five schools reopen under charter status

NEW ORLEANS — Five public schools that had been shut down since Hurricane Katrina reopened yesterday as charter schools, run independently of a city school system that has long been criticized as bloated, inefficient and corrupt.

It was the latest development in what parents and education officials in Louisiana hope will be a disaster-inspired renaissance for public education in New Orleans, which was home to most of the state’s worst schools before the Aug. 29 hurricane shut down the entire system.

The five schools are all on the west bank of the Mississippi River, a part of the city that was relatively unscathed by Katrina. The city school board voted in October to re-establish the schools as charter schools, in part because it would make them eligible for millions of dollars in federal aid earmarked for such schools.


Ford restores ads in gay publications

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said yesterday that it would reinstate and expand its advertising in homosexual publications after criticism from homosexual rights groups.

Ford said in a letter that it would restore advertising for its luxury Jaguar and Land Rover brands in homosexual publications and run corporate ads marketing all eight of its vehicle brands in the publications.

“It is my hope that this will remove any ambiguity about Ford’s desire to advertise to all important audiences and put this particular issue to rest,” wrote Joe Laymon, Ford’s group vice president for corporate human resources.

Last week, Ford said it no longer would advertise its luxury vehicles in several homosexual publications, citing a need to reduce its marketing costs across the board.

Homosexual groups asked Ford to restore the advertising and suggested a connection between the cutback and pressure from conservative groups. Ford denied any connection.


State adds funds for heating aid

OKLAHOMA CITY — State leaders agreed to boost funding for a program that helps low-income people pay their heating bills, which are expected to increase this winter because of the rising cost of natural gas.

The state will add at least $5 million in state funds to the $10 million in federal money available to Oklahomans under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.


Trooper saves man attempting suicide

GREENEVILLE — A man who tried to hang himself off an interstate highway bridge was saved Monday by a police officer who cut the rope, dropping the man 20 feet to the street.

Emergency dispatchers told Sgt. Paul Mooneyham early Monday that callers had reported seeing a man hanging off the side of the bridge along Interstate 81.

Sgt. Mooneyham, of the Tennessee Highway Patrol, said that when he found the man, he had a rope tied around his neck. The man jumped when the officer arrived. Using his pocket knife, the officer cut the rope to let the man fall, then rushed down an embankment to reach him.

“When I got to him, he wasn’t breathing, but I got the noose off his neck and shook him,” Sgt. Mooneyham said. “He coughed and started breathing again.”

After he was revived, the 19-year-old man told Sgt. Mooneyham that he had been despondent about a death in his family.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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