- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 16, 2005

Definition of marriage eyed for schoolbooks

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Some legislators want Arkansas’ public school textbooks to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman — just like the recently approved amendment to the state constitution.

Republican state Rep. Roy Ragland sponsored the bill. It says if a school textbook attempts to define marriage, it must do so the same way the amendment overwhelmingly passed by voters Nov. 2 does.

“With the popularity and the mandate that I felt like the people of the state of Arkansas gave us, … I thought this was the right time to do this,” Mr. Ragland said Friday.

Twenty-two House members and 11 senators co-sponsored the bill.

Alan Saugey, president of Arkansans for Human Rights, which campaigned against the marriage amendment, said he had not read the bill and declined to comment.

Former track coach sentenced for photos

DAYTON, Ohio — The former coach of an Ohio girls track team has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for photographing some of the team members naked.

Damian Barker, former coach of the Jefferson High School girls track team and the Dayton Gems Elite Track Club, was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison under a plea bargain, the Dayton Daily News reported yesterday.

Barker had pleaded guilty last May to 55 sex-related counts, but he later asked to withdraw those pleas and pleaded guilty to 10 sex-related counts.

He was accused of secretly photographing the girls or seducing them to pose nude.

17 whales beached on Outer Banks die

MANTEO, N.C. — At least 22 pilot whales beached themselves on the coast early yesterday, and at least 17 of them died, officials said.

The whales were stranded along a five-mile stretch of land near Oregon Inlet in the northern Outer Banks, said Laura Engleby, spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service was coordinating a recovery effort that involved biologists, Coast Guard crews and the National Park Service.

If biologists determine any of the other whales are likely to survive, the Coast Guard will help move them back out to sea, said Petty Officer Donnie Brzuska.

Plant fire causes thousands to leave

ANDERSON, Ind. — A fire at a magnesium recycling plant forced the evacuation of about 8,000 people and may burn for several days, officials said yesterday.

No one was killed or injured in the fire at the Advanced Magnesium Alloys Corp. plant in Anderson that began Friday, said Connie Smith, a spokeswoman for the city 40 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

Most of those evacuated Friday were back home by midday yesterday, and the remaining 1,500 were expected to return by the end of the day, she said.

Church aims to turn frat house into center

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A local church wants to make the fraternity house where a college student died of alcohol poisoning into a community center for students.

After Samantha Spady, a 19-year-old Colorado State University student, died after drinking too much alcohol, the fraternity’s charter was revoked and the building was abandoned, KMGH-TV in Denver reported yesterday.

The Timberline Church said it wants to take over the house and convert it into a community center for students where they could live, get counseling or relax.

“We would love to take this place, where obviously something tragic happened, and we want to use it for a place of life, as a place of ministry, and really give it back to the students,” said Reza Zadeh, a pastor for young adult singles at Timberline Church.

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