- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 17, 2005

ALASKA

Driver charged in sled dog’s death

FAIRBANKS — A man who purportedly struck a sled dog in a hit-and-run accident in October was charged with reckless driving, state troopers said.

Andre Tanner of the North Pole reportedly injured Goose, one of musher Jeff Holt’s lead sled dogs, so severely that the animal had to be euthanized. Mr. Holt planned to run the dog in the 2005 Iditarod.



ILLINOIS

Policeman charged in murder plot

CHICAGO — An officer on the police force for 14 years has been charged with arranging a murder in a scheme to collect on a $500,000 life insurance policy.

Officer Edward Leak Jr. was ordered held without bail after being charged Thursday with first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder for hire in the shooting death of Fred Hamilton, said Cook County state’s attorney spokesman Tom Stanton.

Mr. Hamilton, 35, a driver for a South Side funeral home owned by Officer Leak’s family, was shot nine times when he stopped to change a flat tire in February 2004.

Prosecutors say Officer Leak hired two men to ambush Mr. Hamilton as part of a scheme to collect on a $500,000 life insurance policy he had taken out on Mr. Hamilton.

IOWA

Group seeking pandas for zoo

DES MOINES — A group is working with a Chinese research organization to bring a pair of endangered giant pandas to Iowa. The Des Moines Register reports that the idea is still in the early stages, but the group went to China last year and signed a letter of intent with a research breeding program for a long-term project to lend two pandas to Des Moines.

Where the pandas would live if they get to Des Moines hasn’t been determined, but talks have started with officials at Blank Park Zoo.

MICHIGAN

Poll shows mayor trails challenger

DETROIT — A poll of likely voters shows challenger Freman Hendrix leading incumbent Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick by 15 percentage points with the nonpartisan mayoral primary nearly two weeks away.

Mr. Kilpatrick has been plagued by the city’s $300 million budget deficit, hundreds of layoffs, scrutiny over his use of a city credit card and the city’s lease of a luxury sport utility vehicle for his family.

Asked for whom they would vote in a four-way race among Mr. Hendrix, Mr. Kilpatrick, City Council member Sharon McPhail and state Sen. Hansen Clarke, 38 percent of those surveyed said Mr. Hendrix, 23 percent said Mr. Kilpatrick, 14 percent said Miss McPhail and 8 percent said Mr. Clarke. Seventeen percent said they didn’t know or refused to answer.

Twelve candidates are running in the Aug. 2 primary. The top two vote-getters face off in the Nov. 8 general election.

NEW JERSEY

Two sets of twins born to couple

TRENTON — LeAnn and Stephen Beloyan struggled for more than a decade to start a family. Then just weeks into Mrs. Beloyan’s pregnancy, they discovered they were having not one, but two sets of identical twins.

“We were elated and overwhelmed, and concerned about how we were going to handle all this,” Mr. Beloyan, 39, said Saturday, when two of the babies were expected to go home.

Lauren, Sarah, Benjamin and Samuel each were born a minute apart on June 7 by Caesarean section at Capital Health System’s Mercer Campus.

Eight weeks early but otherwise healthy, the newborns weighed from slightly more than 2 pounds to 3 pounds.

Mrs. Beloyan, 37, was put on bed rest 21 weeks into her pregnancy and was admitted to the hospital a few weeks before she gave birth.

NORTH DAKOTA

Court rules in favor of underage drinker

BISMARCK — Student hockey fans who were patted down by police before a University of North Dakota-Minnesota game two years ago were searched illegally, the North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled.

The ruling came from an appeal of the March 2004 prosecution of Scott Seglen, who was carrying two cans of beer in his jacket when he presented his ticket to watch the UND-Minnesota hockey game on Nov. 8, 2003.

At the time, Mr. Seglen was a 20-year-old UND student. A university police officer found the beer during a pat-down search, and cited Mr. Seglen for underage possession of alcohol.

PENNSYLVANIA

Son charged in gruesome death

PHILADELPHIA — A man has been charged with strangling and dismembering his father and then storing the remains in freezers in his family’s home, police said.

Christopher Kitcherman, 28, was held without bail after he was charged Friday with murder and abuse of a corpse in the death of Clarence Kitcherman, 66, police said.

Investigators said an autopsy indicated that the victim had been strangled with an electrical cord before his body was dismembered, Sgt. Charles Coan said.

Sgt. Coan said the victim’s wife indicated that her son and husband had gotten into an argument because the younger man had been evicted and wanted to move back into the home.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Ravenel calls bridge ‘a thing of beauty’

CHARLESTON — Hundreds of people filled an eight-lane highway in place of cars and trucks Saturday to dedicate the $632 million Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River, the longest cable-stayed span in North America.

“We have created not only a bridge, but a thing of beauty,” said Arthur Ravenel Jr., the former state senator and U.S. congressman for whom the span is named.

The bridge’s 1,546-foot main span is supported by cables stretching down from the tops of a pair of diamond-shaped, 570-foot-tall towers. Unlike suspension spans such as San Francisco’s Golden Gate, where the deck is suspended beneath two hefty main cables that connect the towers in a lengthy curve, the Ravenel cables extend directly from the towers to the deck.

“It’s a wonderful, beautiful structure,” Mr. Ravenel told the crowd of at least 1,500 people.

TEXAS

Baptist group deletes mention of Jesus

GRAPEVINE — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, an alliance of 1,800 congregations that oppose conservative leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention, removed mention of Jesus Christ from its constitution at an annual meeting, Baptist press reported.

The fellowship’s previously stated purpose was to bring Baptists together “in order that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be spread throughout the world in glad obedience to the Great Commission,” referring to Jesus’ call to win disciples.

The new language says the purpose is “to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.”

The 2,300 voters defeated two bids from the floor to refer the change to a committee.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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