- The Washington Times - Friday, May 13, 2005

ALASKA

Twins die in fall on Mount McKinley

ANCHORAGE — Twin brothers died while descending from the summit of North America’s tallest peak, the National Park Service said Wednesday.

Jerry and Terry Humphrey, 55, of Negley, Ohio, fell about 1,000 feet while descending unroped from the top of Mount McKinley in Denali National Park and Preserve. The accident occurred sometime between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, said Park Service spokesman John Quinley.

Rescuers were unable to say what caused the accident.

Rescuers from an Air National Guard squadron, who were camped out on the mountain, found the bodies Wednesday afternoon and helped remove them from the 20,000-foot peak, the Park Service said.

DELAWARE

Lawmakers want notices posted online

DOVER — A bill in the General Assembly could end a requirement that state and local governments place public notices in newspapers. Instead, the notices would be posted on the Web.

Supporters say the change would save millions of dollars paid to newspapers to run the notices. But the watchdog group Common Cause warns that the public may not check the Web regularly.

IDAHO

Pilot found alive 2 days after crash

BOISE — A pilot missing for two days was found alive, dangling upside-down in the wreckage of his single-engine plane in a heavily forested area.

Paul C. Herr, of Pasco, Wash., was in fair condition at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston after his rescue Wednesday, a nursing supervisor said.

Members of the sheriff’s rescue unit had to rappel into the site in the Clearwater National Forest from a helicopter, then use chain saws to cut a landing pad.

Mr. Herr was making a final leg of the trip from Jackson, Wyo., to Pasco on Monday when he reported engine failure over Idaho, state Transportation Department spokesman Mel Coulter said.

ILLINOIS

Package blown up outside courthouse

CHICAGO — Authorities blew up a suspicious package outside the downtown federal courthouse Wednesday that turned out to contain a small refrigerator.

The 3-foot-high cardboard box was discovered next to a granite bench outside the John C. Kluczynski federal building and near a U.S. post office, police Sgt. David Villalobos said. Officers considered the package suspicious in part because it had no address.

Authorities temporarily blocked off streets leading to the federal building while a small charge was set off next to the box.

LOUISIANA

Vitter backs prayers at school meetings

HAMMOND — Sen. David Vitter, a Republican, has supported officials in his state who are fighting a ban on prayers at Tangipahoa Parish School Board meetings.

Mr. Vitter called the ban at Southeastern Louisiana University “flat-out ridiculous,” the Daily Star of Hammond reported. The senator, who won support from Christian conservatives in last year’s campaign, argued that legislative bodies frequently open meetings with prayers.

But a February ruling by U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan noted that courts have barred school board prayers by distinguishing between educational bodies and other government groups. She decided that meeting prayers violate constitutional separation of church and state, siding with a challenge filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Mr. Vitter offered help in the school board’s court fight and said he would introduce a U.S. Senate resolution to support prayer before school board meetings.

MISSISSIPPI

Girl shot, escapes gunmen

JACKSON — An 11-year-old Jackson girl was shot twice and abducted, then escaped and hid out in an unlocked car before turning up again, police said.

Amber Denasha Scott was sleeping on a cot in her living room when two men came in and demanded to see a relative of her mother’s, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported yesterday.

One of the men shot Amber in the arm and her right side and she rushed to her mother. Jackson police spokesman Robert Graham said the man then asked for money and hit her mother on the head with a gun.

Amber was dragged outside, where she managed to escape and hide in an unlocked car. Amber woke up about 6 a.m., and a neighbor let her in so she could call her mother, Mr. Graham said. She was kept overnight in a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds before she was released.

NORTH DAKOTA

Snowstorm aids drought-hit areas

BISMARCK — Up to a foot of snow fell in parts of the Dakotas, and authorities advised drivers yesterday to be wary. But at least the snow was wet — a boon for landowners struggling with drought, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service said Marmarth reported a foot of snow, and Bowman had 9 inches earlier.

Morning travel advisories in Slope and Bowman counties were lifted at noon, but winter storm warnings remained, stretching at midday into eastern Montana.

Emergency travel only was advised on some highways because of low visibility after more than a foot of snow. Several schools were closed in the area, which had reported flooding last weekend.

NEW YORK

Washington’s spoon put on the block

NEW YORK — What price for a silver spoon, the proverbial passport to a life of luxury and power?

Auction house Sotheby’s is hoping up to $60,000 for the spoon that belonged to the first president of the United States.

The tablespoon with the George Washington crest is among the highlights of a New York auction on Thursday of silver and other items being sold by a descendant of the Washington family, Sotheby’s said yesterday.

There also is a silver wine cooler with an estimate of $400,000 to $600,000, and the sellers are hoping to raise another $40,000 to $60,000 for three of Washington’s coat buttons mounted in gold as a pendant.

OKLAHOMA

Baby born weighing 11 ounces

OKLAHOMA CITY — Her legs are no longer than an adult’s pinkie and her feet are about the size of an adult’s fingernails.

Weighing 11 ounces, Kalea Lyn Allen was delivered three months prematurely Tuesday by Caesarean section after an ultrasound raised concerns, Dr. John Stanley said.

“She’s a survivor,” said her mother, 27-year-old Deidra Allen of Sayre. “She’s fighting.”

The infant has about a 40 percent chance of survival and the first six weeks will be the toughest, doctors said. Many of her internal organs — including her lungs, intestines and kidneys — are underdeveloped.

Kalea will remain hospitalized at Mercy Health Center at least until her original due date of Aug. 12, Dr. Sylvia Lopez said. Her mother is expected to be released in about four days.

UTAH

Twins in trouble for job switch

SALT LAKE CITY — Identical twin brothers are in trouble with the FBI after one went to the other’s job in a secure area of the Salt Lake International Airport.

The agency said Olimpiu Nedelcu looks exactly like his brother Silviu, who works as an aircraft refueler at the airport.

FBI Agent Bob Wright said Silviu couldn’t make it to work, so his brother went in his place.

Airport police fingerprinted the man who showed up for work and found out that he was not Silviu.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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