- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 12, 2005

Hutchinson say she’ll run for governor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Asa Hutchinson, the former Republican congressman who just left his post as Homeland Security undersecretary, announced yesterday that he will run for Arkansas governor in 2006.

Mr. Hutchinson resigned from the federal post March 1. He had said he was interested in the governor’s office and promised to announce his decision after leaving the Homeland Security Department.

“I’m running for governor, and I’m committed to winning this race,” Mr. Hutchinson said.

His decision sets up a Republican primary race with Lt. Gov. Win Rockefeller, who announced recently he would seek the post. Gov. Mike Huckabee, also a Republican, cannot seek re-election because of term limits. Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe is considered a likely candidate among the Democrats.

Daughter’s truancy nets 60 days for mom

TAVARES, Fla. — A Florida woman has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for her daughter’s truancy, the Orlando Sentinel reported yesterday.

Jaquisa Luke was found to be in contempt of court for violating an order to ensure that her daughter, Unique, attended Triangle Elementary School in Mount Dora.

School officials said it was the first time a parent in the county has been jailed for violating a criminal contempt-of-court charge regarding a child’s truancy.

Witnesses said the 7-year-old has 78 unexcused absences for the current school year and was late 21 times. In the 2003-04 school year, she had 111 unexcused absences, nearly two-thirds of the 180-day school term.

In October 2004, a judge ordered Ms. Luke to make sure her daughter attended school.

Child recovering after being run over

STONY BROOK, N.Y. — A New York toddler appears to have no permanent brain damage after his father accidentally backed over the boy’s head with a sport utility vehicle.

“At first we didn’t even know if he was going to live. Now he’s walking up and down the halls. He’s talking. He’s reading,” said his mother, Kim Polly-Palange.

Recent CT scans show no permanent brain damage, and Bobby Palange, 2, is set to leave Stony Brook University Hospital tomorrow .

Four sections of the boy’s skull were removed and the three-inch pieces were implanted in the child’s abdomen to preserve them. They will be returned to his skull within a few weeks.

The child tripped Feb. 21 and fell under the wheel of the SUV as his father was backing it up.

Accused hostage-taker to defend himself

PHOENIX — An inmate charged with taking a prison guard hostage for 15 days plans to defend himself in his trial beginning tomorrow.

Jury selection begins this week for Ricky Wassenaar’s trial in the longest U.S. prison hostage taking in decades. Acting as his own attorney will allow Wassenaar, 41, to directly question the woman he purportedly took hostage and raped.

“Nobody can represent me like me,” Wassenaar told the Associated Press.

Wassenaar and another inmate, Steven Coy, are accused of taking two guards hostage at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Lewis in Buckeye on Jan. 18, 2004.

Wassenaar, who is serving time for armed robbery and assault, faces charges of sexual assault, kidnapping, assault and attempted murder. He will have a court-appointed attorney to assist him.

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