- The Washington Times - Monday, June 13, 2005


Sect leader indicted in teen’s marriage

PHOENIX — The leader of a polygamous sect has been charged with sex crimes for reportedly arranging a marriage between a teenage girl and a 28-year-old man who was already married, prosecutors said.

Warren Jeffs, president of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was charged with counts that include conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, prosecutors said Friday. If convicted, he could face up to two years in jail.

Mr. Jeffs, 49, didn’t have sex with the 16-year-old girl, but arranged her marriage to the man, prosecutors said.


Moderate quake rattles part of state

PALM SPRINGS — A moderate earthquake shook most of Southern California early yesterday, rattling nerves along with homes and businesses. There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage, authorities said.

The magnitude-5.6 quake struck about 8:40 a.m. and was centered 20 miles south of Palm Springs, according to a preliminary report by the U.S. Geological Survey. Dozens of smaller temblors were registered within minutes of the quake, authorities said.

The quake was felt as far west as Los Angeles and as far south as San Diego, 75 miles southwest of Palm Springs. It also was reported to be felt as far east as Arizona, according to messages sent to the Web site of seismologists at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Tropical storm Arlene causes little damage

PENSACOLA — The remnants of Tropical Storm Arlene spread rain into the Ohio Valley yesterday after breezing through the South with little damage other than power outages and street flooding.

“This is not much of a storm, compared to a hurricane,” said Jim Hudgens, whose home in Milton was damaged last year by deadly Hurricane Ivan. He and his wife and bedridden mother-in-law didn’t even bother to leave home and go to a shelter Saturday.

The Atlantic hurricane season’s first named storm came ashore Saturday in the western Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama. Arlene had threatened to strengthen to a minimal hurricane after plowing past the western tip of Cuba, but it had sustained wind of only about 60 mph when it arrived and quickly weakened to a tropical depression.


State to build wind farm

HONOLULU — Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc. is planning to build a $70 million wind farm on the ridges above its Kahe power plant in Leeward Oahu.

The company says expected rising demand over the next 20 years will require construction of a new oil-burning power plant in 2009.


Mom lets boy drive to school

CHICAGO — A woman allowed her 11-year-old son to drive the family’s minivan to his elementary school, where the boy crashed the vehicle near a group of children.

No one was hurt. The boy, however, was expelled from school, and both he and his mother were ordered to traffic court later this month.

The crash happened Monday outside St. John Fisher School on Chicago’s South Side, not far from where the children were lining up to go inside. The minivan jumped the curb and hit a school zone sign as the boy tried to turn a corner, authorities said.

Erin Sarandah was cited for damage to property and allowing an unauthorized person to drive, police spokesman Pat Camden said. Her son received a traffic ticket for negligent driving and driving without a license.


Kennedy family settles guardianship

BOSTON — Joan Kennedy has reached a settlement with her children in their fight for legal guardianship of their mother, who has struggled with alcoholism for decades, a spokeswoman for her son, Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island Democrat, said yesterday.

Joan Kennedy, the former wife of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and her three children were scheduled to appear in a Cape Cod courtroom today, but Patrick J. Kennedy’s spokeswoman, Robin Costello, told the Associated Press that the hearing had been canceled after a settlement.

It was not clear whether the children would take legal guardianship of Joan Kennedy, 68, who has been arrested several times for drunken driving and has been through rehab repeatedly. In March, she was hospitalized with a concussion and a broken shoulder after a passerby found her sprawled on a Boston sidewalk.

Word of a possible settlement was first reported Saturday by the Providence Journal. Yesterday, the Boston Herald reported that the settlement — reached Friday — calls for Joan Kennedy to enter alcohol rehab and take her $6.4 million oceanfront Cape Cod home off the market. The newspaper said two court-appointed trustees would control her house and other assets.


Men take to trees for climbing contest

TRENTON — On Saturday, 19 men competed for glory — and chain saws — in the 21st annual New Jersey State Tree Climbing Championship at Trenton’s Cadwalader Park.

The competition wasn’t child’s play. Using ropes and harnesses, competitors climbed 100-foot trees under the watchful eyes of judges who graded their every move.

Most of the competitors work in the tree industry. The games were designed to mimic normal workday tasks, such as throwing climbing lines into trees or using different climbing techniques to get up the rope quickly. The competitors were also tested on how well they move up in a tree, walk on limbs and saw branches.

The winner, Mark Chisholm, got an expenses-paid trip to the international championship, to be held in Tennessee Aug. 5-6. Prizes for runners-up included chain saws and hand saws.


Jet evacuated after mishap

OKLAHOMA CITY — A hydraulic line on a commuter jet ruptured Friday after the plane landed, spraying passengers inside the cabin with fluid and prompting an emergency evacuation, authorities said.

Nobody was seriously injured on the Mesaba Airlines flight from Memphis, Tenn., but two passengers were taken to a hospital as a precaution, said Karen Carney, a spokeswoman for Will Rogers World Airport.

The 56 passengers and four crew members aboard the four-engine Avro RJ85 were evacuated by slides. Sixteen persons were taken to the airport’s fire station to wash off the hydraulic fluid.

Passenger Anne Bezner said the fluid stung the skin and irritated the eyes. The cause of the leak was under investigation.


Man held in killing, rape at nursing home

CENTRAL FALLS — A man living at a nursing home stabbed to death his girlfriend, who was a fellow resident, and then raped a nurse, police said.

Ronald Leddy, 43, was arrested at the center after the attacks early Friday. Officers said they found him smoking a cigarette and holding a large knife.

Mr. Leddy was to be arraigned today on a murder charge for the death of his girlfriend, Johnna Orzechowski, 35, and five sexual-assault charges, police Chief Joseph Moran said.

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