- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Children find stolen gnomes

GREELEY — The mystery of the missing garden gnomes may prove hard to solve after all.

Police found about 80 of the pint-sized figurines stashed in black plastic bags and surrounded by youngsters on Saturday, but investigators don’t think the children stole them.

In fact, Sgt. Dave Adams said the children most likely found them, so it’s back to square one.

Sgt. Adams said police will call people who reported their gnomes stolen to come identify the decorative yard items.

Elsie Schnorr, who had 30 gnomes stolen from her front lawn more than a month ago, will be among the first to retrieve her property.

“I could identify every one of them. My name isn’t on them, but I know which ones are mine. Most of mine are one of a kind,” she said.


Girl, 12, assaulted in hotel elevator

ORLANDO — A 12-year-old girl was sexually assaulted at a hotel by a man who followed her into an elevator, authorities said yesterday.

No arrests were made.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Rich Mankewich said the man followed the girl, who was alone and looking for her mother, from the parking lot into the Enclave Suites on Monday night. A room key is required to enter the hotel, but Sgt. Mankewich said the man slipped in behind the girl.

Once on the elevator, the attacker groped the girl, investigators said.

The girl told investigators she bit the man after he put his hand over her mouth to stop her from screaming. She pushed the emergency button and ran out when the elevator stopped, Sgt. Mankewich said.


Camp counselors charged with murder

CLEVELAND — Six counselors at a state-run wilderness camp for troubled boys were charged with murder in the death of a 13-year-old boy with asthma who was restrained for more than an hour.

A White County grand jury handed up the charges of felony murder, child cruelty and involuntary manslaughter Monday.

“This is all based on the criminal negligence or reckless conduct of these individuals,” White County District Attorney Stan Gunter said.

Travis Parker died April 21, a day after he was held facedown by counselors at the Appalachian Wilderness Camp in Cleveland, in the North Georgia mountains. The boy had confronted one of the counselors for withholding food from him as punishment.

Travis had asthma and was denied his inhaler during the restraint. A medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.


Shifting winds aid fire containment

CASTLEFORD — The largest Idaho wildfire so far this season has scorched about 281 square miles in remote Owyhee County, but fire officials said shifting winds may allow them to contain the blaze by midweek.

The fire was started by lightning that ignited dry grass on an Air Force bombing range.


Ground broken for cancer center

GRAND RAPIDS — The Spectrum Health hospital system broke ground on a cancer center designed to provide diagnostic, testing and treatment services for residents in the western part of the state.

Officials want the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion to become a regional hub for cancer services. The pavilion will cost $78 million, more than double its 2003 estimate, and is set to open in 2007.


Boys alive for hours in latched car trunk

CAMDEN — Three boys who suffocated in a car trunk last month were trapped alive for at least 13 hours, slowly succumbing while police searched their neighborhood, prosecutors said yesterday.

The boys, ages 5, 6 and 11, died between 13 and 33 hours after they climbed into the trunk on June 22, the Camden County prosecutor’s office said, citing part of an autopsy report. The deaths were ruled accidental.

Relatives searched for the boys for three hours and then called authorities. A two-day search that included dogs, helicopters and boats on the nearby Delaware River ended the night of June 24 when the father of one of the boys found them dead in the car trunk, just a few feet from where they had been playing.

Several specialists said that it was likely the boys would have passed out within an hour or two of becoming trapped in the trunk. The questions of when Anibal Cruz, Jesstin Pagan and Daniel Agosto died is crucial in the case, in part because of the prospect of lawsuits against officials.


Museum replaces atomic bomb replica

LOS ALAMOS — A model of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima that had been on display at a museum for more than a decade has been removed and replaced for security reasons.

Los Alamos National Laboratory officials in charge of safeguarding national security now view the technology that ended the war against Japan 60 years ago as a potential target for theft.

John Rhoades, director of the Bradbury Science Museum, said he was not able to comment on what aspects of the “Little Boy” bomb model may be classified. “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. “Fat Man” was dropped on Nagasaki three days later.

A new 1,100-pound replica of the Hiroshima bomb was put in place Monday. Mr. Rhoades said the new model is more historically accurate but also satisfies security concerns.

The museum also will replace its replica of “Fat Man.”


Potential juror fined for vulgarity

NEW YORK — A man being questioned for jury duty found himself in trouble with the law when he referred to a kidnapping suspect with a vulgarity.

Stephen Caruso, a 27-year-old financial planner, was fined $1,000 on Monday. The judge said the court could not allow such “insulting, demeaning invective spewed at a defendant.”

Mr. Caruso, who faced up to 30 days in jail, was found guilty of contempt for comments he made before jury selection last month in the trial of a carjacking-kidnapping case.

The defendant, Robert Sanford, 59, has been convicted and awaits sentencing in August.


Guard members fill in for teachers

COLUMBIA — Members of the South Carolina Air National Guard will help combat a shortage of substitute teachers in Richland District 1 classrooms. About 50 Guard members will join the list of 500 substitute teachers.

The program will focus on placing Guard members in middle and high schools, where shortages are most pressing.


Bureau helps establish paternity

CHARLESTON — More than a third of the babies born in West Virginia have unwed mothers, and the state Bureau of Child Support Enforcement is helping biological fathers establish paternity.

Paternity benefits the fathers as well as the children, said Elizabeth Jordan, an attorney for the bureau. “If he’s not the legal dad, he has no standing in court,” she said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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