- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 9, 2005


Army issues new fatigues

FORT STEWART — U.S. soldiers are being issued new fatigues with easy-to-use Velcro openings and a redesigned camouflage pattern that can help conceal them as they move rapidly from desert to forest to city in places such as Iraq.

“It might give you the extra second you need, save your life maybe,” Sgt. Marcio Soares said yesterday after trying on the all-in-one camouflage uniform that is the first major redesign in Army fatigues since 1983.

Sgt. Soares’ unit, the Georgia National Guard’s 48th Infantry Brigade, is the first to be issued the new fatigues as part of a $3.4 billion makeover being phased in by the Army over the next three years.


Flawed quarters are collector’s items

MILWAUKEE — Some Wisconsin quarters issued last year are turning out to be worth considerably more than 25 cents.

Coin collectors say quarters with two variations in the design of a cornstalk on the back have been spotted in Tucson, Ariz., and San Antonio.

Rick Snow, who owns Eagle Eye Rare Coins Inc. in Tucson, said he started paying $50 each for the quarters when he learned of them.

On Monday, he was offering a set of three Wisconsin quarters — the normal one, one with a leaf marking pointed up, and a third with the marking pointed down — for as much as $1,099. Individual coins with the variations were selling for $500 to $600, depending on the condition, he said. The U.S. Mint, which produced 453 million Wisconsin quarters for its state coin series, is trying to determine how the differences came about.


Whistleblower rebuts Rudolph evidence

BIRMINGHAM — A former FBI whistleblower is helping serial bombing suspect Eric Rudolph fight death penalty charges by challenging the work of another federal agency, according to documents filed yesterday.

Once the FBI’s top authority on bomb residue, Frederic W. Whitehurst has supplied the Rudolph defense with a sworn statement questioning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ model of the nail-laden bomb that exploded outside a Birmingham abortion clinic in 1998.

Mr. Whitehurst said the model is based on flimsy conclusions and includes a plastic drinking straw and insulated wire that were not found in the blast debris.

Citing Mr. Whitehurst’s statement, the defense contends the government constructed its model to fit its assertion that the bomb was based on an explosive described in a book Mr. Rudolph purchased.

In the 1990s, Mr. Whitehurst’s complaints of shoddy work in the FBI crime lab prompted a lengthy investigation that found faulty scientific analyses and inaccurate testimony in cases, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.


Official will stay pending replacement

JUNEAU — Alaska’s attorney general, who resigned after months of criticism over reported ethics violations, agreed Monday to remain on the job until a replacement is named.

Attorney General Gregg Renkes submitted his formal letter of resignation to Gov. Frank H. Murkowski on Monday, after announcing Saturday that he would step down in the face of months of criticism over reported ethics breaches while shaping an international trade deal.

On Monday, Mr. Renkes and the governor’s office confirmed he would remain until Friday, when Mr. Murkowski hopes to have an interim attorney general in place.


Professor concedes making point poorly

BOULDER — A University of Colorado professor who once compared some of the World Trade Center victims to a Nazi war criminal said yesterday he mourns for everyone killed on September 11, 2001, but that his fault lay in not explaining his point better.

“I wouldn’t retract it. I would explain it better,” Ward Churchill told the Associated Press.

Mr. Churchill said that when he called some victims “little Eichmanns,” he was referring to “technocrats” who participate in what he calls repressive American policies, including Iraqi trade sanctions after the first Persian Gulf War that have been blamed for the deaths of 500,000 children.

“If someone were to ask me, ‘Do you feel sorrow for the victims of 9/11,’ of course I do,” he said. “Let’s begin with the children. Yes, they were innocent. And I mourn them. But they were not more innocent than those half-million Iraqi children.”

The university backed off a threat to postpone a speech last night, saying students who claimed there were death threats had changed their stories. More than a thousand people packed a ballroom yesterday to hear him speak, mostly supporters.


Mayor scrapping truck program

CHICAGO — Mayor Richard Daley announced yesterday that he would scrap the city’s scandal-plagued Hired Truck Program after attempts to fix it failed.

Mr. Daley said he has directed city workers to come up with a new way to deliver the service, under which the city had given hauling work to private trucking companies without competitive bidding. The goal was to save taxpayers money by outsourcing jobs that otherwise would require the city to pay for trucks and insurance.

The $38-million-a-year program is the subject of an ongoing federal corruption investigation. Sixteen former city officials and others have been charged.


Teen was tied up, scalped, police say

BOISE — A 16-year-old girl reportedly was tied up and scalped with a 4-inch knife in what police say may have been an act of revenge by another woman.

The girl, who had a punk-style mohawk haircut before the attack, is recovering at home. Doctors could not reattach her scalp, which was found near a hot spring.

Police searched for Marianne Dahle, 26, who disappeared after the Jan. 18 attack at Kirkham Hot Springs, about 70 miles from Boise.


Company builds world’s largest shoe

RED WING — Red Wing Shoes will take a big step with a giant boot next week, when the Minnesota company celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Using ladders, cranes and special rigging, company employees and retirees have built a supersize “638-D” replica of the company’s classic workboot No. 877.

The boot stands 16 feet high and is 20 feet long. It required 80 cowhides, 1,200 feet of rope and 300 pounds of adhesives. The shoelace is 104 feet long. It has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest shoe.


Archbishop moves to sanction board

ST. LOUIS — Declaring that his “extraordinary patience” had run out, St. Louis’ archbishop said yesterday that he is moving to deny Roman Catholic sacraments to leaders of a largely Polish parish who are at odds with him over governance.

Archbishop Raymond Burke’s announcement came four days after the passing of a deadline he set for St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church’s six-member board to turn over control of the parish.

The archdiocese has insisted that the archbishop — not the lay board of the parish dating to the 19th century — should control St. Stanislaus.


GOP consultant sentenced to jail

CONCORD — The former head of a Republican consulting group was sentenced yesterday to five months in jail for jamming Democratic telephone lines with 800 computer-generated calls in New Hampshire during the 2002 elections.

Allen Raymond, who was president of the Alexandria, Va.-based GOP Marketplace LLC at the time, did not comment as he left the U.S. District Court after sentencing. He also was fined $15,600. He had pleaded guilty in July.

Court papers say Raymond and co-conspirators plotted to jam Democratic lines that voters could call for rides to the polls in Manchester, Nashua, Rochester and Claremont. A line run by the Manchester firefighters union also was jammed.


Woman charged with killing daughter

ROSELLE PARK — Police charged a woman Monday with fatally bludgeoning her daughter with a hammer and shovel as the 14-year-old slept.

Lynn Giovanni, 45, was charged with murder and was being held at a psychiatric hospital on $250,000 bail. Authorities would not comment on a possible motive.

Several hours after the Sunday slaying, the mother tried to kill herself by crashing her car into a guardrail along a highway in a nearby town, authorities said. She sustained minor injuries.


Jury rejects charge for lawyer jokes

NEW YORK — A man arrested after telling lawyer jokes at a courthouse got the last laugh when a grand jury dismissed the disorderly conduct charge against him.

“It’s still legal in America to tell jokes — even about lawyers,” said 70-year-old Harvey Kash’s attorney, Ron Kuby, about the Monday decision.

Mr. Kash testified he was exercising his First Amendment right when he shared a few lawyer jokes with his friend, Carl Lanzisera, 65, as they waited to enter a Long Island courthouse last month.


Prosecutor quits, will plead guilty

DALLAS — A West Texas district attorney, accused of several drug- and gun-related charges and facing 51 years in prison, was allowed to resign and plead guilty to lesser charges in federal court in Amarillo yesterday.

Rick Roach, for four years the district attorney for five counties in the Texas Panhandle, entered his plea in a surprise move after publicly vowing to “vigorously” fight the charges.

Under the agreement, Roach pleaded guilty to one count of being an addict in possession of a firearm. He could get up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“I can’t say we’re satisfied, but it’s certainly acceptable,” said his attorney, Bill Kelly of Amarillo.

When Roach was arrested Jan. 11, FBI agents found two pistols in his briefcase. According to search warrants and preliminary reports, they found some three dozen more in his home, office and apartment. Stashes of narcotics also were confiscated there, authorities said.

No sentencing date was set yesterday. Roach is free until then.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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