- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 1, 2005


Donations eclipse stolen money

ANCHORAGE — People brought their money jars and coin-filled shoe boxes. They wrote fat checks. They gave $100 bills. A bank and a carpenters union each gave $500.

Money has poured into William Tyson Elementary School on news that an estimated $200, donated mainly by Tyson students for the orphans at a sister school in Africa, was ripped from the belly of a papier-mache pig.

The remains of the pig were discovered amid broken classroom window glass.

But two days later, more than $1,600 in fresh contributions was in hand, school nurse Ruth Nighswander told the Anchorage Daily News. Meanwhile, the pink piggy, about the size of a basketball with legs and a snout, was standing round and proud in her office, duct-taped into one piece.


Poll shows split on marriage law

PHOENIX — Residents are split over a proposed state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex “marriage,” a poll of 357 registered voters shows.

Forty-nine percent favor amending the state constitution to ban same-sex “marriage” and deny government-sponsored benefits to unmarried couples. Forty-one percent opposed such an amendment, and 10 percent were undecided or had no opinion.


Street preacher sues police

NEW HAVEN — Street preacher Jesse Morrell has filed a federal lawsuit against city police, claiming they tried to halt him from spreading the word of God outside bars and popular nightspots.

Mr. Morrell, 20, says he has a constitutional right to recite Bible verses, sing hymns and pray on the sidewalks outside of bars. Bonnie Winchester, a spokeswoman for New Haven police, said she couldn’t comment because of department policy not to discuss ongoing lawsuits.


Housing crunch hits police force

REHOBOTH — This resort city has been forced to leave vacant a dozen police positions normally filled by aspiring officers during the summer.

The department offered the jobs, but 12 persons declined because they couldn’t find affordable housing. That means fewer officers will have to cover the same number of patrols through Labor Day.


Boy Scouts inflate numbers of blacks

ATLANTA — An independent investigation found that the Atlanta-area Boy Scouts inflated its number of black members by more than 5,000 in a program for inner-city youths, including 200 Scout units that did not exist.

The Atlanta Area Council reported that 10,238 Scouts were enrolled in Operation First Class in 2004, but the audit released yesterday found that 5,361 were registered.

The audit found that former Scouts too old to participate remained on the membership lists and that boys who had attended only informational meetings were signed up for the program.

Operation First Class is designed to increase participation in the country’s poorest areas. The program provides books, uniforms and scholarships for camp.

David Larkin, executive director of the Atlanta-area council, resigned after the report was released, saying he was “deeply disappointed both personally and professionally” and took full responsibility for the false records.


House fire started to run off guests

GENEVA — Some people will do just about anything to get unwanted houseguests to leave, but police say Dean Craig went too far.

Mr. Craig, 46, was charged with felony arson, accused of splashing rubbing alcohol onto the floor of his home and igniting it with a lighter early Sunday, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office said.

Nobody was injured. Police say Mr. Craig had asked two unwanted visitors to leave, but they refused. He then reportedly carried out a threat to light the house on fire.

Mr. Craig was being held on $25,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 9.


Judge offers worship as sentencing option

LONDON — A Kentucky judge has been offering some drug and alcohol offenders the option of attending worship services instead of going to jail or rehabilitation — a practice some say violates the separation of church and state.

District Judge Michael Caperton, 50, a devout Christian, said his goal is to “help people and their families.” “I don’t think there’s a church-state issue, because it’s not mandatory and I say worship services instead of church,” he said.

Alternative sentencing is popular across the country, but legal analysts said they didn’t know of any other judges who give the option of attending church.

Judge Caperton has offered the option about 50 times to repeat drug and alcohol offenders.


Wrestler dies after fall in stunt

TAUNTON — A 22-year-old wrestler died over the weekend from head injuries sustained in a pro-wrestling-style stunt.

Authorities said Daniel Quirk, of Shelton, Conn., was out of the ring in an Ultimate Championship Wrestling contest Saturday when he attempted to catch another wrestler diving over the top rope. Mr. Quirk was knocked off his feet and struck his head on the floor.

He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The death was ruled accidental.


$3,000 found inside $2 chair

OMAHA — Linda Stafford has been going to garage sales for 30 years, and taking good-natured ribbing from her family all the while. Now, the tables have turned.

Mrs. Stafford has found more than $3,000 in bills dating from 1928 to 1953 in the bottom of a high-backed chair she bought at a garage sale — for $2.

She made the discovery while trying to make room in her garage for more furniture. When one of her daughters, Mandy Rath, heard something rattle in the chair, they removed the bottom. Placed inside a compartment were two paper packets, one with $10 in coins, the other with $3,060 in bills.


Girl, 9, charged in friend’s death

NEW YORK — A 9-year-old girl fatally stabbed an 11-year-old girl in the chest with a steak knife during a fight over a ball, authorities said.

The 9-year-old, a fourth-grader whose name wasn’t released, was charged with manslaughter. Police spokesman Paul J. Browne told the New York Times that he was “unaware of anyone younger implicated in such an act in New York City.”

The victim, Queen Washington, 11, was pronounced dead at a hospital. Family members said the fifth-grader was a straight-A student who loved books, dancing and playing double-Dutch jump-rope.


Arson blamed in deaths of 9

CLEVELAND — Authorities have determined a house fire that killed nine persons on May 21 was set deliberately, fire officials said last night.

City fire investigators and the state fire marshal both concluded that the blaze was the result of arson, said Lt. Clayton Cunningham, a spokesman for the Cleveland Fire Department.

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