- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2005

ILLINOIS

Hale’s attorney askedto pass coded message

CHICAGO — An attorney for jailed white supremacist Matthew Hale, who has been the focus of an investigation into the killings of a federal judge’s husband and mother, said yesterday that Hale’s mother asked him late last year to relay a coded message from Hale to one of his supporters.

Hale is awaiting sentencing for earlier soliciting the murder of the same jurist, U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow.

Hale attorney Glenn Greenwald told the Associated Press that Hale’s mother, Evelyn Hutcheson, asked him to pass the message but that he declined the request.

He said he didn’t recall the name of the person who was supposed to receive the message and that he talked to the FBI last week.

NEW YORK

Officials clamp downon mob after infiltration

NEW YORK — The reputed acting boss of the Gambino family and at least 30 other mob figures were arrested after an undercover FBI agent posing as a wiseguy infiltrated the mafia with an act so convincing that he was considered for membership, authorities said yesterday.

Among those arrested was Arnold “Zeke” Squitieri, who reportedly took over as acting Gambino boss after Peter Gotti was convicted last year. Also facing racketeering charges is reputed underboss Anthony “The Genius” Megale.

ALASKA

Centennial license plate discontinued

ANCHORAGE — The Division of Motor Vehicles has stopped making Alaska’s Gold Rush Centennial license plate. The blue, white and yellow plates depict prospector hordes who came to Alaska in the 1890s. The plates began appearing on vehicles in 1998.

Motorists needing new plates will have to settle for the standard blue-on-yellow version with the Alaska state flag.

ARKANSAS

Dog subpoenaed in murder case

BENTONVILLE — Prosecutors hoping for a witness in a murder case to roll over were barking up the wrong tree.

They sent out a batch of subpoenas for anyone who had contact with Albert K. Smith while he was jailed awaiting his murder trial. One of those subpoenas went out to 5-year-old Murphy Smith — Mr. Smith’s dog, it turned out.

The defendant had written his dog a letter from his cell, and that was how the Shih Tzu’s name got on the witness list.

Prosecutors realized the mistake Tuesday after the defendant’s brother brought in Murphy to answer the subpoena and a deputy would not let them into the courthouse because no dogs were allowed.

FLORIDA

Two studies back anti-clotting drugs

ORLANDO — Adding Plavix to other anti-clotting drugs typically given to heart attack patients saves lives and prevents second heart attacks, two international studies have found.

The strategy is the first big advance in heart attack care in more than a decade, since modern anti-clotting drugs were shown to work, specialists said.

The results of the two studies were presented yesterday at an American College of Cardiology conference in Orlando. One of the studies also was published online by the New England Journal of Medicine and will be in its March 24 print edition.

One study involved about 46,000 heart attack patients in China. The other study was led by Dr. Marc Sabatine of Harvard and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and involved 3,491 heart attack patients in Europe.

MAINE

Custodian walks miles to work

UNITY — For nearly a quarter-century of winter snowstorms, spring rains and summer heat, Jimmy Hubbard has hoofed it to and from his job as a custodian, a daily round trip of five miles across central Maine’s farming country.

The rail-thin sixtysomething isn’t interested in being a model of environmentalism at the ecology-minded Unity College where he works. He shows scant interest in the campaigns to get people to walk more and live healthier lives.

“I don’t do it to be a model,” Mr. Hubbard said with a wide, toothless grin. “I do it ‘cause I have to get places.”

Health officials acknowledge that not everyone in a rural state like Maine can walk to work as Mr. Hubbard does. But state radio and television spots, which urge people to park their cars farther from work, do errands on foot and use home chores as exercise routines, stress that any physical activity improves health.

NEVADA

Thieves steal blank driver’s licenses

NORTH LAS VEGAS — Thieves rammed a vehicle through the back wall of a Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles office and stole 1,700 blank driver’s licenses.

“This could be anything from a bunch of juveniles who want to be able to make IDs to buy beer, to major criminal activity or even terrorism,” police spokesman Tim Bedwell said Tuesday. “We don’t know what they took them for.”

The theft occurred early Monday in a remote industrial area, authorities said. The thieves took blank licenses and laminated covers, a digital license camera, a camera computer and a license printer, DMV spokesman Kevin Malone said.

The equipment would not work without a connection to the DMV’s mainframe computer, Mr. Malone said.

NEW MEXICO

State records wettest winter

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico experienced its wettest winter in recorded history, the National Climatic Data Center in North Carolina said.

The statewide average of 4.33 inches of precipitation from December through February is the most for the state since records began to be kept in 1896. It also was the eighth-warmest winter on record, the data center said.

OHIO

Burglars make off with empty safe

FOSTORIA — Thieves broke into an agency that serves the poor and made off with a safe. The only catch: The safe was empty.

“It is really quite comical,” said Susan Simpkins, director of the Fostoria Bureau of Concern. “It was very heavy, and they did us a favor by taking it.”

She said the agency had wanted to throw out the safe but it was too big to move.

The thieves entered the agency through a back door after it closed for the day on Feb. 28 and took the safe, which was in the office.

PENNSYLVANIA

Cosby accuser files civil suit

PHILADELPHIA — The woman whose molestation accusations against Bill Cosby were deemed insufficient evidence by prosecutors has filed a civil suit against the comedian.

The woman, a former Temple University employee who now lives in Canada, came forward in January with accusations about the incident she said happened a year earlier. Prosecutors last month said they had not found sufficient evidence to support charges against Mr. Cosby.

The civil lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Mr. Cosby has denied the sexual-assault accusations.

TENNESSEE

Hikers rescued after snowstorm

GATLINBURG — Park rangers rescued four hikers yesterday who had become stranded in snow in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One had to be airlifted to a hospital.

The sick hiker, Matthew Shultz, was in good condition after he was taken by helicopter to University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville as a precaution, Great Smoky Mountains National Park spokesman Bob Miller said. He had been showing signs of hypothermia, including vomiting and slurred speech.

The others — Ivan Saldarriaga, Brian Hendrick and Ryan McCall — were well enough to walk out of the mountains with rangers after spending the night huddled in a three-sided shelter. The hikers, ages 18 to 20, are current or former students at North Carolina State University.

The men started out at Fontana Lake, N.C., during good weather on Sunday but they were ill-equipped to cope when it began to rain and then snow on Monday, park spokeswoman Nancy Gray said.

TEXAS

911 calls cut off in deadly smuggling

HOUSTON — With people dying around him, a Honduran immigrant who survived the nation’s deadliest human smuggling attempt described yesterday how he grabbed a cell phone and made two futile calls to 911 for help.

“We are in a trailer … ahead of Harlingen and Sarita. We’re in a trailer,” the panicked voice of Matias Rafael Medina Flores was heard in Spanish on a recording of the second call. Both 911 calls — filled with static — cut off before he could tell authorities the exact location of the trailer.

The testimony came in the smuggling trial of Tyrone Williams, who is accused of abandoning the truck in southern Texas and causing 19 immigrants to die in May 2003. Mr. Williams, 34, could receive the death penalty if convicted.

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