- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 6, 2005


Attorney general to resign

JUNEAU — Attorney General Gregg Renkes announced his resignation Saturday after months of battling criticism over reported ethics breaches while shaping an international trade deal.

Mr. Renkes, a Republican, said he wanted to shield his family “from the vicious politics of personal destruction.”

“I must leave this office and this privilege I have treasured and held dear. A family is priceless; a job can be done by others,” he said.

Mr. Renkes was to step down today after submitting a letter of resignation to Republican Gov. Frank H. Murkowski, who planned to appoint an acting attorney general this week.


Reagan celebrated on birthday

SIMI VALLEY — Friends and former colleagues celebrated the 94th birthday of the late President Ronald Reagan yesterday with a wreath-laying at his grave site.

President Bush sent a wreath, which Marines from Camp Pendleton placed at Mr. Reagan’s grave site at his presidential library. The Marines then honored the nation’s 40th president with a 21-gun salute.

“We’re celebrating the 94th anniversary of the birth of one of America’s truly great presidents, whose legacy will live on and on. God bless his memory,” former Gov. Pete Wilson said at the ceremony.

Aides said former first lady Nancy Reagan was too emotional to attend yesterday’s event, which included birthday cake served in the hilltop library’s lobby.


‘Gator Guard’ scares off ducks

HUNTSVILLE — Alligator heads are popping up in the pond at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, but don’t worry. Officials say it’s just ducky.

The life-size, urethane-foam alligator heads were being put into the pond last week to scare away ducks and geese, so the growing bird population will not become a health hazard.

The “Gator Guard” from Bird-X Inc. costs $69 and has reflective orange-yellow eyes that resemble one of the birds’ natural predators.

“Our fear is that we’ll put them out and the ducks will figure out they’re not a threat,” said Marcia Green, director of the university’s office of environmental health and safety.


Developer says sales hurt by sex offender

SPRINGDALE — A developer who says sales in a subdivision stopped after a sex offender and his wife bought a home has sued the couple and the real-estate company that arranged the purchase.

NGI Rental filed the $2 million lawsuit last week against Randall Dee Collins and his wife, as well as the real-estate company that arranged their new home purchase.


Judge fines teens for giving cookies

DURANGO — A Colorado judge last week ordered two teenage girls to pay about $900 for the distress a neighbor said they caused by giving her homemade cookies adorned with paper hearts.

The pair were ordered to pay $871.70 plus $39 in court costs after neighbor Wanita Renea Young, 49, filed a lawsuit complaining that the unsolicited cookies, left at her house after the girls knocked on her door, had triggered an anxiety attack that sent her to the hospital the next day.

Taylor Ostergaard, then 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitte, 18, baked cookies as a surprise for several of their rural Colorado neighbors on July 31 and dropped off small batches on their porches, accompanied by red or pink paper hearts and the message: “Have a great night.”

The Denver Post newspaper reported Friday that the girls had decided to stay home and bake the cookies rather than go to a dance where there might be cursing and drinking.

But Miss Young said she was frightened because the two had knocked on her door at about 10:30 p.m. and run off after leaving the cookies.


Convicted killer released from prison

BOISE — Idaho’s most infamous outlaw, Claude Dallas, was released from prison yesterday after serving 22 years for the execution-style slayings of two state officers in 1981.

Mr. Dallas, 54, gained notoriety as a modern-day mountain man at odds with the government. He was released yesterday from the Idaho Correctional Institution in Orofino after his 30-year term was cut by eight years for good behavior. He was picked up by a relative.

He was convicted of manslaughter in 1982 for the shooting deaths of Conley Elms and Bill Pogue, officers for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game who were investigating reports that Mr. Dallas was poaching bobcats in remote southwestern Idaho.


Children who survive cancer cope well

CHICAGO — Cancer doesn’t doom youngsters to a miserable childhood, research suggests, finding that after treatment, many are just as happy and well-adjusted as those who never had the illness — sometimes even more.

The findings, based on interviews with 8- to 12-year-olds, show how resilient youngsters can be even when facing something as frightening as cancer.

The results also indicate that children’s perceptions often differ from those of their parents, whose own negative feelings about the experience might shade how they think their children are coping, the researchers said.

Parents should be encouraged to know that young survivors “can indeed put their cancer behind them,” said Dr. Smita Bhatia, lead author and a pediatric cancer specialist at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, Calif.


Teen arrested after bombs explode

WICHITA — A 17-year-old student has been charged with making homemade bombs that exploded outside the homes of two teachers.

Authorities think Marcus Curran also set off explosives outside the home of a school secretary and on a high school football field. No one was hurt in the blasts.

Mr. Curran was arrested Friday at Nickerson High School in south-central Kansas and taken to a juvenile detention center on five counts of arson and two counts of attempted arson. A hearing scheduled for this week will determine whether he will be charged as a juvenile or adult.

Five of the bombs exploded, two were found unexploded in mailboxes, and three others were duds, Reno County Sheriff Randy Henderson said. The five devices that exploded were powerful enough to destroy mailboxes, and one shattered the windshield of a car owned by one of the teachers, the sheriff said.


Bill would rid schools of junk food

FRANKFORT — A House committee approved legislation to get rid of junk food and reduce soft-drink consumption in Kentucky schools.

Potato chips and candy bars would be removed from school vending machines if the measure becomes law, while soft drinks would be off-limits for elementary school students. Older students could have soft drinks but also would be offered water, fruit juices and milk as healthy alternatives.


Fugitive calls police after getting lost

MONROE — Jerry Wayne Till managed to get away from sheriff’s deputies and elude them briefly — until he called them for help after he got lost in the woods.

A sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over Mr. Till on Wednesday evening for speeding, but Mr. Till drove away, exceeding 100 mph at times, before eventually abandoning his vehicle and running into the woods, according to the arrest affidavit.

Deputies brought in search dogs, but couldn’t locate Mr. Till until he called the sheriff’s office from his cell phone asking for help because he was lost. Deputies still couldn’t find him, until a nearby resident heard Mr. Till crying for help and called the authorities.

Mr. Till, who was charged with aggravated flight and driving with an expired license, told deputies that he didn’t pull over because he wasn’t thinking straight.


Harvard seeks more female faculty

BOSTON — Harvard University has launched a drive to recruit more female faculty and promote the careers of women at the school after its president made negative remarks about women in the sciences.

Harvard President Lawrence Summers appointed two task forces late Thursday — one to examine women’s role in the faculty and the other to create more opportunities for women in science and engineering. The university gave the two groups three months to make recommendations on ways to enhance women’s roles at the Ivy League school.

Mr. Summers, a well-known economist and former U.S. Treasury secretary, drew harsh criticism last month when he suggested that women might not have the same natural ability in math and the sciences as men.


Activist ‘Granny D’ undergoes surgery

CONCORD — Doris “Granny D” Haddock, who ran for the U.S. Senate last year and gained national attention by walking across the country to promote campaign-finance reform, underwent surgery on her windpipe on Thursday.

“She is strong, and a full recovery is expected, but the long-term prospects of whether she would regain use of her well-known voice is uncertain,” said family spokesman Dennis Burke.


Officials, prisoners stricken by flu

BISMARCK — North Dakota State Penitentiary officials say the prison has come down with the flu.

Warden Tim Schuetzle, a deputy warden and the prison’s chief of security were among 17 staff members who became sick, as did more than 100 inmates. The population of the penitentiary and the state prison farm totals about 870.


Tax humor leads to suspension

MIDDLETOWN — The city’s tax superintendent has been suspended without pay for a week for trying to inject some humor into the city income-tax filing instructions.

The attempt at humor by Linda Stubbs was called “misguided” by city Finance Director John Lyons.

The forms — with such lines as, “If we can tax it, we will,” — were sent two weeks ago to all Middletown businesses and residents who pay city income tax.

Mr. Lyons said revised forms were sent out immediately at a cost to taxpayers of about $5,500.


Flood victim recovers lost photo

ST. GEORGE — When Charlotte Pace watched her house disappear into the raging floodwaters of the Santa Clara River last month, she saw a sentimental treasure trove of pictures and awards that had chronicled her life sink into oblivion.

Or so she thought.

Less than a week after the rampaging river wiped out the entire cul-de-sac where her 3,200-square-foot house once stood, a co-worker showed her a picture in the Spectrum newspaper of a photograph found among downstream wreckage left by receding waters.

“I almost fell off my chair when I saw it,” said Miss Pace, a retired U.S. Army captain. “The picture was of me with my mother taken in 1944 to send to my father who was stationed in England with the Army Air Corps.”

The photograph was found about a mile downstream from where Miss Pace’s house and three others toppled into the Santa Clara River during the massive Jan. 8-12 southwest Utah flood, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

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