- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 13, 2005

Stars remember Ossie Davis

NEW YORK — The stars of Hollywood joined the people of Harlem to bid farewell yesterday to actor and activist Ossie Davis, filling a Manhattan church with laughter and tears.

His wife of 56 years, actress Ruby Dee, sat in the front row at Riverside Church, near where Mr. Davis’ coffin rested covered in flowers. Former President Bill Clinton led a contingent of well-known mourners, including Spike Lee, Cornell West, Rachel Robinson and former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume.

“It is hard to fathom that we will no longer be able to call on his wisdom, his humor, his loyalty and his moral strength to guide us in the choices that are yet to be made and the battles that are yet to be fought,” said Mr. Davis’ friend of six decades, Harry Belafonte.

Mr. Davis died Feb. 4 in a hotel room in Miami Beach, Fla., where the 87-year-old actor was working on a film.

Submarine captain relieved of command

The U.S. Navy relieved from command the captain of a nuclear-powered submarine that rammed into an undersea mountain in the Pacific Ocean last month, killing one crew member and injuring 98 others.

Cmdr. Kevin Mooney was removed for failing to follow crucial navigational procedures before the USS San Francisco crashed into the mountain, and he also received a letter of reprimand after a hearing in Yokosuka, Japan, the Navy said.

In announcing the decision by Vice Adm. Jonathan Greenert, commander of the Seventh Fleet, the Navy said investigators had found that “several critical navigational and voyage planning procedures were not being implemented” aboard the submarine.

Group wants change in constitution

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A group seeking to reinforce Florida’s ban on homosexual “marriage” has started a signature collection drive to get a constitutional amendment on the 2006 ballot.

The proposal seeks to amend the Florida Constitution to strictly define marriage as a union between “only one man and one woman.”

It would have little immediate effect in Florida if approved by voters because state law already bans same-sex “marriage.” However, an amendment would remove the Legislature’s authority to change the law.

The measure was filed Wednesday with the state elections division by a political committee called Florida4Marriage.org. The group has until February 2006 to gather the 611,001 signatures needed to qualify for the 2006 general election ballot.

Child brain-dead after shooting

FOREST PARK, Ga. — A 2-year-old boy was brain-dead and on life support yesterday, two days after being shot during a confrontation between his family and an intruder demanding money, authorities said.

It was not clear who fired the shot that struck Xavier Miranda. The bullet remained lodged in the child’s neck and will not be removed until an autopsy is performed, said Clayton County police Sgt. Olen Smith.

The boy’s mother, Chimere Calloway, 22, asked that the child be placed on a breathing machine for organ donation, Sgt. Smith said. He said he did not know when the organ donation procedure would take place.

No one has been arrested, but Sgt. Smith said police were tracking down leads.

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