- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 15, 2005

CONNECTICUT

Twins double trouble trying to fool judge

NEW BRITAIN — A pair of twins who tried to dupe a judge in a larceny case have doubled their trouble.

Yaricza Ortiz stood in for her sister and pleaded guilty to using a stolen credit card last week. New Britain Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford sentenced her to probation.

Soon after, the public defender was back in front of the judge with the 18-year-old twins, Yamahile and Yaricza. Yamahile had a simple explanation for why her sister came to court for her. “I had a final today,” she said.

“Do you think this is funny? I don’t know why you think it’s funny,” the judge said, calling the action a “fraud on the court.”

He withdrew Yamahile’s original guilty plea and set her bail at $50,000.

Then, Yaricza complained to her sister about having to help raise the bail money and used an obscenity — so Judge Clifford increased Yamahile’s bail to $250,000 and ordered her taken into custody.

FLORIDA

Inmates bottle jailhouse hot sauce

BRANDON — It can be difficult to add a little spice to your life when you’re in jail. But inmates at the Hillsborough County jail are trying.

The inmates had been growing hot peppers as part of a horticulture program at the jail for about a year when one of them suggested making them into a commercial sauce.

Allen Boatman, the horticulture program’s director, agreed and residents of the Falkenburg Road Jail in Brandon are the makers of Jailhouse Fire hot sauce.

Mr. Boatman and his students spent two years perfecting the recipe, a hybrid of a Caribbean-style hot sauce and a mustard sauce that includes habaneros, scotch bonnets and jalapenos. A 5-ounce bottle sells for $3.25. The revenue goes back to the inmate canteen fund and to culinary and horticulture programs for inmates.

ILLINOIS

Cabbie delivers passenger’s baby

LISLE — Nedal Haddad understood being a cab driver entailed delivering passengers to their destinations. He didn’t anticipate delivering a passenger’s baby.

On Friday, about a week into his new job, he picked up a pregnant woman in suburban Plainfield and began driving her to nearby Edward Hospital. Before they could arrive, the woman — whose mother and sister were also in the cab — began giving birth.

“She said, ‘I think I’m going to have the baby,’” he later recalled. “I said, ‘You better not.’”

Mr. Haddad, who immediately pulled onto the shoulder, said the woman’s relatives were too panicked to help. So he ordered them out of the car, rushed to the back seat and delivered the baby himself. All he knew about childbirth came from watching a show on the Discovery Channel.

The baby weighed 6 pounds, 14 ounces and “is doing fine,” Dr. Peter Weeks said. The mother, who asked not to be identified, said the girl has been named Gabrielle.

Mr. Haddad waived his $60 cab fare.

MAINE

Late lobster surge saves fishermen

PORTLAND — Maine lobstermen enjoyed a late-season surge in their catch, easing fears of a pending collapse of the lobster population.

The total catch for the 2005 season is expected to be down from last year’s 71 million pounds. Many fishermen feared this year’s harvest was in for a severe drop, which could have put them in financial jeopardy.

MASSACHUSETTS

Winters warming in New England

BOSTON — The number of days that northern New England’s rivers have a substantial amount of ice dropped sharply over the last century, suggesting the region’s winters are growing warmer, researchers said yesterday.

A U.S. Geological Survey study found that 12 of 16 rivers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont showed a significant fall in the number of days each year when they had enough ice to affect their flow.

The scientists said other evidence — some compiled by the U.S. Geological Survey and some by other scientists — shows winters in rural and mountainous northern New England growing warmer, but they stopped short of tying this to global warming.

From 1936 to 2000, the total number of days when ice on the nine longest rivers in northern New England was strong enough to affect the flow of rivers fell by an average of 20 days, the study said.

MONTANA

Carbon monoxide sickens dozens

RED LODGE — A carbon monoxide leak at a resort sickened dozens of people attending a banquet celebrating the 230th anniversary of the Marine Corps, sending 42 of them to hospitals, authorities said Sunday.

No one suffered major illness, said Red Lodge Rural Fire Department Chief Tom Kuntz.

About 200 people were attending the banquet, he said.

Authorities found a “fairly major” carbon monoxide leak in the basement boilers at the Rock Creek Resort, in south-central Montana, Chief Kuntz said.

Forty-two persons were taken to a local hospital, and 14 of them were flown to a hospital in Billings, about 60 miles to the east, for further evaluation, Chief Kuntz said.

None of them remained hospitalized Sunday, said officials at the Red Lodge Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings.

OHIO

Pickup crashes into house, killing girl

MELMORE — A pickup truck crashed through a house where six persons were sleeping early Sunday, killing an 8-year-old girl and critically injuring her parents, authorities said.

The driver lost control on a curve on state Route 67 around 3:45 a.m. and crashed into the home about 50 miles southeast of Toledo, according to the State Highway Patrol.

“It’s definitely alcohol-related,” Trooper Matthew Davis said.

Richelle Dible died of head injuries at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Trooper Davis said. Three other children in the house were treated for minor injuries at the scene, he said.

The driver of the pickup, Max Didion, 21, of Bellevue, was being held in Seneca County Jail. He was scheduled to appear yesterday in Tiffin Municipal Court, Trooper Davis said. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault.

TEXAS

Mother convicted in death of infant

DALLAS — A woman accused of suffocating her 5-month-old daughter by using chili powder as a thumb-sucking remedy was convicted of manslaughter Sunday.

Angela DiSabella, 21, of Irving, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the 2004 death of her daughter, Kira.

DiSabella had been charged with capital murder. Jurors convicted her on the lesser charge after nearly 11 hours of deliberations.

UTAH

Prison food may lead to weight gain

SALT LAKE CITY — Men at the Utah State Prison gain an extra 34 pounds, on average, after a year behind bars. Inmates get a 3,000-calorie diet and exercise little, while the Food and Drug Administration recommends 2,000-calorie diets for active people.

Warden Clint Friel doesn’t want to change the prison menu, saying cutting back on food, sweets and snacks could incite a costly riot.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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