- The Washington Times - Monday, May 16, 2005


Students suspended over stun-gun firings

PEA RIDGE — Five high school students who reportedly used a homemade stun gun on other students were suspended for three days.

Pea Ridge School Superintendent Mike Van Dyke said one student found out online how to make the gun and brought it to school. The student and four others used it to shock fellow students during an assembly, Mr. Van Dyke said. No injuries were reported.


Funds sought to fight infant mortality

DOVER — Gov. Ruth Ann Minner wants to add $1 million to the 2006 budget to help lower the state’s infant-mortality rate. The money would go toward implementing 20 recommendations by a task force appointed last year by the governor, a Democrat.

Delaware’s rate of 9.2 deaths per 1,000 births is significantly higher than the U.S. average of 6.8 deaths per 1,000 births.


Vaccine helps smokers quit, study finds

ORLANDO — An experimental vaccine against nicotine helped smokers kick the habit, Swiss researchers reported Saturday.

Although larger studies are needed, the test of heavy smokers suggested that 40 percent were able to quit smoking for nearly six months after receiving the vaccine, the researchers said.

Zurich-based Cytos Biotechnology AG plans phase III trials aimed at showing that the vaccine is not only safe, but also works, and is aiming to get it on the market by 2010, said Wolfgang Renner, chief executive officer of Cytos.

Speaking to a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr. Jacques Cornuz of University Hospital Lausanne said the vaccine was based on a bacteriophage, a virus that attacks bacteria.

Cytos designed a vaccine that uses part of a protein from the virus, genetically engineered to attract an immune system response to nicotine. Patients who get the vaccine generate antibodies that neutralize nicotine.


Woman evicted from lava home

WAILUKU — Karen Mayfield has made quite a home for herself, complete with a table and a canopy bed.

But there’s just one problem — her domain is inside a lava tube, an underground tunnel formed by molten rock. A judge has evicted her while she awaits trial on misdemeanor counts of illegal camping, disturbing a geological feature and littering.

“I really miss it out there,” Miss Mayfield said. “I really prefer living an alternate lifestyle where I can hear the wind blow and see the stars at night.”


Profane note at eatery likely meant for judge

CHICAGO — Someone taped a profane, derogatory note to the window of a restaurant where a federal judge, whose mother and husband were killed earlier this year, was dining under the protection of U.S. Marshals, authorities said.

The note, placed on the window Friday night, did not name U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, but authorities think it likely was intended for her, said John O’Malley, assistant chief deputy for the Marshals Service in Chicago.

Witnesses said they saw a man tape the note to the window of Amarit Thai Restaurant before disappearing into the crowd on the street, according to police. U.S. Marshals were on duty inside and outside the building, police said.

In March, Bart Ross, a 57-year-old unemployed electrician from Chicago, committed suicide in suburban Milwaukee after leaving a note confessing to the killings. DNA evidence later connected Ross to the crime scene.


Daylight-saving bill moves forward

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana residents will switch their clocks ahead with most other Americans in April after the governor signed legislation moving all the state’s counties to daylight-saving time for the first time since the early 1970s.

Efforts to make the statewide switch had failed more than two dozen times before lawmakers narrowly approved it last month.

With the daylight-saving question settled, though, the boundary between Eastern and Central time zones could spark a new battle in Indiana, some lawmakers and residents say.

All but 10 of Indiana’s 92 counties are in the Eastern time zone, but many residents, would rather be in the Central time zone.

Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, has 10 days to ask the U.S. Department of Transportation, which regulates time zones, to hold hearings to determine whether boundaries should be changed.


Guard says it’s ready for natural disaster

NEW ORLEANS — With the start of hurricane season just three weeks away, the Louisiana National Guard says it’s ready to respond to a natural disaster, even though 3,000 of its members are in Iraq.

Maj. Gen. Bennett Landreneau said there are 8,000 Guard members in Louisiana, and the state also could get help from neighboring states if necessary.


Bid to renam Columbus Day fails

PORTLAND — An attempt to change the name of Columbus Day on the local school calendar failed narrowly.

The Portland School Committee split down the middle on the bid to rename the holiday Columbus/Indigenous People’s Day to honor the heritage of American Indians. .


Dogs blamed in owner’s death

ST. LOUIS — A deputy medical examiner is blaming the death of a 42-year-old St. Louis-area man on an attack by his two pit-bull mix dogs, Ginger and Joker.

Neighbors found the body of Lorinze Reddings on the living room floor of his St. Charles County home last week. An autopsy showed Mr. Reddings died of a broken neck caused by “sharp force and crushing injury.”

The deputy medical examiner said the 60- to 65-pound dogs, about twice the size of a purebred pit-bull, attacked and mauled Mr. Reddings.

Ginger and Joker were destroyed by animal control.


University to use new ID system

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State University has developed a new student identification method after a thief took a laptop computer listing Social Security numbers for more than 37,000 current and former students.

The university will track students by 8-digit identification numbers instead of Social Security numbers.


Candidate advertises on beer glasses

PHILADELPHIA — A candidate in a low-profile political race has put some fizz into her campaign.

Linda Carpenter, who wants to be a judge in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, is advertising on beer glasses in taverns citywide. The pint glasses give the address of her campaign Web site, where she has information about her background and endorsements.

It’s not the first time the candidate’s family has turned to a beer-mug promotion. Her husband is an owner of Yards Brewing Co., a Philadelphia microbrewery. He has been using custom beer glasses to promote his brand for years.

Brian E. Krapf, a Savannah, Ga., lawyer and president of the American Political Items Collectors, said beer mugs promoting candidates were not uncommon in the late 19th century. But he never has heard of such a promotion in the post-Prohibition era.

“I wonder what she’s going to do when a DUI comes in front of her,” Mr. Krapf said.

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