- The Washington Times - Friday, June 17, 2005

Another helicopter crashes in East River

NEW YORK — For the second time in four days, a helicopter has crashed into New York’s East River, with preliminary reports saying all on board were rescued, police said yesterday.

The helicopter hit the water near 42nd Street and the FDR Drive highway just south of U.N. headquarters shortly after 4:30 p.m., police said. There were eight persons on board and they were all taken to hospitals for examination.

On Tuesday, a tourist helicopter carrying seven persons crashed into the river near the Wall Street financial district. All aboard were rescued by police divers.

RNC banks $52.9 million in five months

The Republican National Committee took in $52.9 million from January through May, maintaining its strong fundraising despite a ban on six-figure donations.

The RNC raised $10.3 million last month alone, it said yesterday.

The Democratic National Committee’s latest fundraising figures were not available. Both parties’ national committees must file monthly reports to the Federal Election Commission next week.

Jury recommends life in family’s slaying

LUVERNE, Ala. — A jury on Thursday recommended life without parole for a man convicted of shooting to death six members of his girlfriend’s family.

The jury’s recommendation is not binding on the judge, who will formally sentence Westley Devon Harris on July 13. Prosecutors said they would ask the judge to impose the death penalty.

Harris, 25, was found guilty Tuesday of the 2002 slayings of the family of his then 16-year-old girlfriend, Janice Ball. She was the prosecution’s chief witness.

Prosecutors said Harris was angry because Miss Ball’s family wanted him to stay away from her and their 17-month-old daughter.

Search fails to yield missing nuclear bomb

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The first government search in decades for a nuclear bomb lost off the Georgia coast in 1958 found no trace of the sunken weapon, the Air Force said in a report yesterday.

The report, released nine months after scientists tested radiation levels off Tybee Island, concluded the 7,600-pound bomb cannot explode and should be left at sea.

A damaged B-47 bomber jettisoned the Mark-15 bomb into a sound about 15 miles from Savannah after colliding with a fighter jet during a training flight.

First woman Thunderbird named

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — U.S. Air Force Capt. Nicole Malachowski has been selected to be the first woman flier for the Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team.

Capt. Malachowski, a 1996 graduate of the Air Force Academy, is one of six demonstration pilots with the Thunderbirds and will take the No. 3 right wing position in the group’s flying diamond formation, CNN reported.

Capt. Malachowski is currently assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England. She will join the Thunderbirds for the 2006 flying season.

PETA staffers accused of animal cruelty

AHOSKIE, N.C. — Two employees of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals were charged with animal cruelty for purportedly picking up dogs and cats from shelters and dumping their dead bodies in the garbage.

Police said they found 18 dead animals in the bin and 13 more in a van registered to the activist group, all from shelters in the state’s northeastern corner.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said the workers were picking up animals to be brought to PETA headquarters for euthanization.

Police charged Andrew Benjamin Cook, 24, of Virginia Beach and Adria Joy Hinkle, 27, of Norfolk each with 31 felony counts of animal cruelty and eight misdemeanor counts of illegal disposal of dead animals. They were released on bond.

Texas juries get sentencing option

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry signed into law yesterday a new life-without-parole sentencing option for Texas juries in capital murder cases.

Texas juries have been able to sentence capital murder convicts to either death or life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. The new law will take away the option of parole.

Texas leads the nation in executions, with nine this year and 345 since the state resumed the practice in 1982. Of the 38 states with executions, Texas and New Mexico are the only ones that lacked the life-without-parole option.

The law takes effect Sept. 1.

Science project halted on Indian land

TUCSON, Ariz. — The National Science Foundation agreed to halt construction of a $13 million mountainside telescope complex after an American Indian tribe filed a federal lawsuit claiming the site is sacred.

The foundation said it will work with the Tohono O’odham Nation to assess the environmental and cultural value of the Kitt Peak area before resuming work.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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