- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 12, 2005

Woman regains speech after 20 years

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — A woman unable to talk since she was hit by a drunken driver 20 years ago has begun to regain her memory and form words, sending her father “from despair to joy.”

Sarah Scantlin’s family and friends plan to celebrate the development today at the health care center where she lives.

“She’s 100 percent Sarah again. The family is back together, and it’s just simply a joyous situation,” her father, Jim Scantlin, told CNN.

Miss Scantlin was 18 when she was struck while walking to her car in 1984. She had been aware of her surroundings but unable to make any sounds other than loud crying until a month ago, when she told staff members, “OK, OK.”

She is now forming other words, counting and remembering people and places, staff members at Golden Plains Health Care Center said.

CNN executive quits amid controversy

NEW YORK — CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan quit yesterday amid a furor over remarks he made in Switzerland last month about journalists killed by the U.S. military in Iraq.

Mr. Jordan said he was quitting to avoid CNN being “unfairly tarnished” by the controversy.

During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum last month, Mr. Jordan said he believed that several journalists who were killed by coalition forces in Iraq had been targeted.

He quickly backed off the remarks, explaining that he meant to distinguish between journalists killed because they were in the wrong place when a bomb fell, for example, and those killed because they were shot at by American forces who mistook them for the enemy.

“I never meant to imply U.S. forces acted with ill intent when U.S. forces accidentally killed journalists, and I apologize to anyone who thought I said or believed otherwise,” Mr. Jordan said in a memo to fellow staff members at CNN.

Driver’s ed teacher pinned under car

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — A driver’s education instructor was run over by one of her students and pinned beneath the car for 15 minutes, officials said.

Two cars driven by students collided on the DeKalb County Schools driver’s education lot, then one of the students backed into Patricia Erwin, running her over.

She was hospitalized yesterday in stable condition and underwent surgery for multiple broken bones.

Tale of thrown baby untrue, sheriff says

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A woman who claimed to have witnessed a newborn being thrown from a moving car was the baby’s mother and concocted the story as a way to abandon the child and conceal her pregnancy from her family, officials said yesterday.

“It’s not as horrible as we first thought,” Sheriff Ken Jenne said. “The baby was never thrown out of a moving car. This is the case of a disturbed woman who gave birth and did not want to keep her child.”

No charges were brought against the woman, 38-year-old Patricia Pokriots, who was committed for psychiatric evaluation.

The 8-pound, 2-ounce boy, whose umbilical cord was still attached when he was brought in, had no injuries. Nurses at the hospital nicknamed him Johnny.

Pregnant woman fights off attacker

FORT MITCHELL, Ky. — A nine-months’ pregnant woman fought off and killed a knife-wielding woman who might have been trying to steal the baby, police said yesterday .

Police said 26-year-old Sarah Brady acted in self-defense in killing Katherine Smith on Thursday. No charges were filed.

Miss Smith, 22, had been falsely telling neighbors for weeks that she was pregnant, and a search of her apartment after her death revealed a full baby nursery, investigators said.

Miss Brady, 26, suffered only minor cuts and is still due to give birth soon. The coroner’s office confirmed yesterday that Miss Smith was not pregnant, and that she died of stab wounds.

Pedophile priest dies at 70

BOSTON — Former priest James Porter, whose widespread molestation of dozens of children foreshadowed the clergy sex abuse scandal that swept the Roman Catholic Church, died yesterday.

Porter, 70, died at New England Medical Center in Boston, where he had been treated since being transferred from a Department of Correction medical facility last month, department spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said. A cause of death was not available, but Porter’s attorney had said the former priest had incurable cancer.

Porter’s case was the first high-profile one involving accusations that a priest had molested children in his parish — and that the church had moved him from parish to parish to try to avoid scandal.

Porter pleaded guilty in 1993 to molesting 28 children, but once told a television reporter that he molested as many as 100 children.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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