- The Washington Times - Monday, February 14, 2005


Flood fears cause evacuations

PHOENIX — A threat of flooding forced residents to evacuate part of one southeastern Arizona community yesterday after the latest in a series of winter storms that have pushed streams out of their banks in the midst of a drought.

The Gila River was headed toward a crest yesterday near the New Mexico state line, and authorities were concerned about homes in the town of Duncan. About 50 people were evacuated from the area as a precaution, said Steve Rutherford, emergency management coordinator for Greenlee County.

Heavy rain fell across wide areas of Arizona on Friday and Saturday as the storm arrived from California, where three deaths were blamed on the high wind and drenching rain.


Attacker faked pregnancy, authorities say

FORT MITCHELL — A woman stabbed to death while possibly trying to steal a woman’s unborn child had been carrying an ultrasound picture of someone else’s twins and was wearing maternity clothing filled with padding.

Police said Sarah Brady, 26, who was nine months pregnant, acted in self-defense Thursday when she killed Katherine Smith.

“She was mentally disturbed,” Fort Mitchell police Sgt. Tom Loos said of Mrs. Smith, 22. “There is no question about it.”


Grants to be offered to mudslide victims

LA CONCHITA — Residents of the coastal town devastated by a mudslide that killed 10 persons will be offered a package of federal loans and grants intended to help them relocate.

Officials say the town is threatened by another major bluff collapse.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering the assistance to any owners or renters whose property was destroyed or damaged, agency coordinating officer David Fukutomi said.

The coastal bluff overlooking the town collapsed on Jan. 10 after heavy rain, killing 10 and destroying 12 homes. Four other homes were ruled uninhabitable because of damage, said Tom Melugin, a Ventura County building and safety division manager.


Cigarettes may be banned from beach

HONOLULU — Visitors flock to Hawaii’s shores to snorkel, surf and sink their feet into the unblemished white sands of the state’s beaches. But camouflaged among the coast’s glassy granules lies a hidden peril — seemingly indestructible cigarette butts cast away by smokers.

In a state where every beach is public, it is possible to light up in the sand outside the toniest oceanfront homes.

State lawmakers want that to stop. Under a bill before the Legislature, smoking would be banned on public beaches and parks, and cigarette butts would have to be tossed into designated trash bins. Violators could be fined $250.


University reinstates program in Israel

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana University is reinstating a summer archaeology study program in Israel that was suspended in 2002, when the State Department issued a warning against travel in Israel.

Kathleen Sideli, director of overseas study for the university, said officials decided to resume the program at the ancient biblical site of Tel Beth-Shemesh in response to declining violence in Israel and assurances that the students would be safe.


Flavored cigarettes to be banned

ST. PAUL — Cigarettes infused with lime, vanilla, berry and other candy flavors would be pulled from store shelves under a proposal by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He accused the tobacco industry of marketing the specialty products to teens.

Public-health officials in Massachusetts and Michigan have asked cigarette makers to halt sales of the flavored cigarettes.


Airport screener fails to spot butcher knife

NEWARK — A security screener at Newark Liberty International Airport failed to spot a butcher knife in a passenger’s pocketbook and was removed from the post for retraining, officials said.

Katrina Bell, 27, had cleared security and was waiting with her sister to board a flight Saturday morning when she discovered that she was carrying a knife.

The North Carolina women immediately told airport personnel, who summoned police and officials of the Transportation Security Administration, which employs the screeners.

Miss Bell had put the knife in her bag “just in case” before going on a blind date earlier that week, her sister and travel companion, Tikisha Bell Gowens, 30, said in the Sunday Star-Ledger of Newark.

The women were not charged.


Drug suspect nabbed when he drops stash

ALBUQUERQUE — Police got the drop on a drug suspect when the man fumbled his stash wrapped in cash.

Hugo Suso-Dominguez, 23, was in line at a convenience store in front of two plainclothes officers when he dropped a dollar bill folded to form a pouch on Tuesday night, police said. The officers, who had stopped at the store to get food while on a surveillance operation, recognized the pouch as a method of holding drugs.

One officer picked up the dollar, unfolded it and found white powder, which later tested positive for cocaine, according to a criminal complaint.

Mr. Suso-Dominguez was charged with possession with intent to distribute because there was about a half ounce of cocaine in the pouch, police said. He was being held on a $2,500 bail.


Police: Man solicited suicides for five years

PORTLAND — A man who used an Internet chat room to try to set up a mass suicide on Valentine’s Day had been trying to persuade women for at least five years to have sex with him and then kill themselves, a sheriff said yesterday.

Gerald Krein faces charges of solicitation to commit murder, but prosecutors are expected to increase the charge to attempted manslaughter today, said Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger.

Combing through old chat room records, investigators discovered that as far back as 2000, Mr. Krein had been trying to entice women across North America to commit suicide, Mr. Evinger said. Mr. Krein told investigators that he elicited more than two dozen suicide pledges for the Valentine’s Day plot, authorities said.

Mr. Krein, 26, was arrested Wednesday at his mother’s home in the southern Oregon town of Klamath Falls.


Man’s funeral makes him Deere-ly departed

VOLANT — Archie Glenn’s family made sure he was Deere-ly departed.

The 99-year-old dairy farmer had a passion for John Deere tractors. So at his Feb. 4 funeral, his family had his casket pulled to the North Plain Grove Cemetery using a 1950s vintage John Deere tractor.

“He loved those machines,” said Mr. Glenn’s daughter, Ruth Wigton. “They never let him down.”

Mr. Glenn’s green casket had a liner embroidered with a yellow-and-green tractor image. Flower arrangements were yellow and green. The family downloaded music featuring the sounds of a running, idling and stalled tractor engine from the John Deere Web site to play at the funeral home.


Birds get drunk from eating berries

COLUMBIA — Dozens of birds got drunk from eating holly berries, then crashed into the glass of an office building and died.

“It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie,” worker Denise Wilkinson said. “It was spooky. You could hear them where they flew into the glass.”

Warm weather and an ample supply of berries attracted hundreds of cedar waxwings into the enclosed courtyard of the three-story building last week.

The drunken birds got so loopy that some were falling off branches and others were slamming into the glass walls that enclose the courtyard, said Burgess Mills, the building’s owner.


Historical society buys opera complex

LEAD — A historical society has reached a deal to buy an opera house complex that was built by a mining company more than 90 years ago and nearly destroyed in a 1984 fire.

The Historic Homestake Opera House Society will buy the theater and a retail area from Jerikodie Inc., which had been working with the society on the theater renovations, society President Jacque Fuller said.

The society, created in 1997 to develop the restoration plan and organize programming at the theater, decided it needed to own the building itself to make fund raising easier. Details of the deal were not disclosed pending closing, expected in May.

Homestake Mining Co. built the opera house in 1914 and operated it for decades. It also included a free recreation building with a bowling alley, swimming pool and library.


Robbery suspect leaves behind wallet

EULESS — A robbery suspect was caught after leaving his wallet on the store counter — and then going to the police station to pick it up.

Joseph Fahnbulleh, 22, was jailed on a robbery charge, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Thursday.

A few days after the Jan. 29 robbery, he walked into the police station in Euless, near Dallas, to pick up his wallet after a detective called to tell him that someone had found it.

“Once we had the wallet, we called him to say it had been turned in to our lost and found,” Detective Marco Valladares said. “We don’t really have one.”

The store clerk said the man took about $200 from the cash drawer after attacking him with pepper spray.


Court strikes down Tacoma smoking ban

OLYMPIA — The Washington Supreme Court struck down the Tacoma-Pierce County smoking ban. The ruling upheld a lower court decision that found that the ban conflicted with state law.

The county ban covered bars, restaurants, bowling alleys, mini-casinos, hotels, private clubs and most other nontribal businesses. The state’s ban prohibits smoking in most public places, but exempts restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and casinos.

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