- The Washington Times - Friday, February 18, 2005


Cocaine worth $15 million confiscated

TUCSON ” U.S. Border Patrol agents yesterday seized more than 400 pounds of cocaine ” estimated to be worth about $15 million ” after stopping a pickup truck trying to enter the United States illegally through the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation in southeastern Arizona.

Border Patrol spokesman Rob Daniels said agents assigned to the Casa Grande, Ariz., station stopped the vehicle shortly before 1 p.m. at the reservation’s San Miguel Gate and noticed signs of tampering on the walls in the bed of the truck. The agents notified Tohono O’odham Police Department, which sent a K-9 officer to assist.

Mr. Daniels said the dog detected the drugs and agents found a false compartment, which contained 190 small bundles of cocaine, weighing 472 pounds. The suspected smuggler, identified only as a 42-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested at the site.


Kennedy auction grosses $4 million

NEW YORK ” A painting of Jacqueline Kennedy with her two children sold for $216,000 on Wednesday, the second day of a three-day auction of property from the Kennedy family homes.

An animation cel from “101 Dalmatians” inscribed to John F. Kennedy Jr. and signed by Walt Disney sold for $61,200, and a Louis Vuitton hat box sold for $54,000.

About 300 bidders at Sotheby’s showroom competed against telephone and absentee bidders. Many chose to remain anonymous, including the buyer of the portrait painted by Aaron Shikler.

The auction of furniture, artwork and knickknacks was more modest in scope than a 1996 Kennedy sale at Sotheby’s that brought in $34.5 million, including $2.5 million for Jacqueline Kennedy’s engagement ring from Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis.

Wednesday’s total was $2.2 million, bringing the two-day total to about $4 million.

U.S. Border Patrol

More than 400 pounds of cocaine was found stashed inside a pickup truck yesterday in the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation in southeastern Arizona.


Amber Alert reaches last state

HONOLULU ” Hawaii became the last state to complete its statewide Amber Alert plan to aid in the recovery of abducted children, the Justice Department said yesterday.

America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Alerts, now part of a truly national network, are emergency messages broadcast when a law-enforcement agency determines that a child has been abducted and is in imminent danger.

The broadcasts include information about the child and the abductor, including physical descriptions and information about the abductor’s vehicle, which could lead to the child’s recovery.


Legislature reviews daylight-saving bill

INDIANAPOLIS ” State lawmakers are considering a bill to require all 92 counties to move clocks ahead one hour each spring and back one hour in the fall.

The Indiana House Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business Committee split along party lines Wednesday in a 6-5 vote that sent the bill to the full House.

Republicans support daylight-saving time in a state where 77 of the 82 counties in the Eastern time zone remain on standard time year-round. The daylight-saving time bill has backing from Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, but needs Democratic support to pass, the Indianapolis Star said.


Woman charged for posing as boy

COLUMBUS ” Cherokee County prosecutor Michael Goodrich says he wants to dismiss felony charges against Birdie Jo Hoaks, 34, accused of posing as a 13-year-old boy to enroll in middle school.

The 5-foot-tall, 140-pound woman met with a special-education teacher for four days before inconsistencies in her story revealed the hoax. Charges against her twin sister also would be dropped.


Intimate apparel touts abstinence

LAS VEGAS ” Yvette Thomas is betting that abstinence sells in sin city. Her wholesome wares stood out at Magic Marketplace, an intimate apparel trade show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Miss Thomas quietly hawked her company’s T-shirts and panties adorned with slogans such as “Virginity Lane: Exit When Married” and “No vows, no sex,” amid booths sponsored by the likes of Playboy and Pamela Anderson.

“We have so much of the opposite out there, sometimes we have to remind ourselves what our values are,” she said. “A number of people have walked by and said, ‘I like your message.’”

Miss Thomas started Wait Wear five years ago. Without prior fashion experience, she slowly built her Los Angeles-based company through online sales and displays at youth events.

This week marks Wait Wear’s first appearance at Magic Marketplace, which draws 93,000 visitors and $129.7 million in non-gambling revenue to Las Vegas.


Christian band says school discriminated

TOLEDO ” A Christian rock band banned from playing at a public school assembly filed a federal lawsuit against the suburban Toledo district yesterday, claiming discrimination and violation of their right to free speech.

Rossford High School officials in December canceled the band Pawn’s performance at an anti-drug assembly. Board members said they feared a lawsuit if they allowed a religious performance in a public school.

School officials declined to comment on the lawsuit by the band, which is represented by the Rutherford Institute, a Charlottesville, Va., center that deals with church-state issues.

Band members said in the lawsuit that they did not intend to play any songs at the assembly that referred to religion and had agreed to stick to the anti-drug message.


Muslim charity accused of fraud

PORTLAND ” A U.S. arm of a large Saudi charity accused by the U.S. government of supporting terrorism was indicted on fraud and tax charges, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

The three-count indictment charges Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation and its two officers, Pirouz Sedaghaty ” also known as Pete Seda ” and Soliman Al-Buthe with illegally sending $150,000 to Muslim guerrillas in Chechnya.

The Bush administration in September designated the charity as a group suspected of supporting terrorism through its main location in Ashland, Ore., and a mosque in Springfield, Mo. Assets at both sites have been frozen since last February.

Mr. Sedaghaty had been living in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and the whereabouts of Mr. Al-Buthe were unknown. There was no word on any arrests.


Drunk birds released after medical care

COLUMBIA ” Animal-rescue workers have released about 100 birds that were treated for shock and concussions after crashing into a building’s windows last week.

The cedar waxwings were released Tuesday at the Honeywell wildlife refuge. About 30 birds remain with Carolina Wildlife Care. Last week, the birds, intoxicated on holly berries, became confused and crashed into windows. Hundreds were injured or died.

Joanna Weitzel, executive director of the nonprofit group of volunteers, said it was important to release the birds quickly because they are in the middle of migrating.


City wants to be ‘Second Home’

NEW YORK ” Forget the “Big Apple.” New York now wants to be known as the “World’s Second Home.” The city has filed an application to trademark the slogan giving the city exclusive rights to use it to promote business and tourism.

The phrase is likely to come up often as New York makes its push to become host city for the 2012 Olympics.

If application No. 78484751 is accepted, the city would have exclusive rights to attach the phrase to a list of more than 200 products and services, said yesterday’s editions of the New York Times.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire, has been much more aggressive about filing for city trademarks and patents than his predecessors. One such application includes licensing the phrase “Made in NY.”

In the 1970s, the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau officially gave New York City the moniker the “Big Apple.” Around the same time, the state took on the “I (Heart) NY” slogan.


Dog retrieves pot, gets owner charged

GRAPEVINE ” J.D. the Labrador’s owner may be wishing his dog wasn’t such a good retriever.

Matthew Porter and two friends were in a park Monday when a police officer who thought he smelled marijuana began questioning them.

As the officer was checking for outstanding warrants, J.D. waded into a nearby creek and emerged with a plastic bag filled with pot.

Mr. Porter, 25, was charged with possessing drug paraphernalia.

Micah Hays, 24, was charged with marijuana possession. J.D. was turned over to a person not charged.


Argument rejected for plural marriage

SALT LAKE CITY ” A county clerk can legally refuse to issue a marriage license for a polygamous union, a federal judge ruled, turning aside the argument that a landmark Supreme Court decision overturning anti-sodomy laws also should be applied to plural marriage.

U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart on Wednesday rejected the argument that the state’s ban on polygamy violates constitutional rights of religion and privacy, saying the state has an interest in protecting monogamous marriage.

The judge emphasized that his ruling was about marriage, not personal sexual conduct. He cited cases as far back as an 1878 Supreme Court ruling upholding the polygamy conviction of George Reynolds, personal secretary to Mormon pioneer leader Brigham Young.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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