- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 5, 2005

Professor defends intelligent design

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A biology professor who supports classroom discussion of “intelligent design” testified yesterday that major peer-reviewed scientific journals shun articles on the concept because it is a minority view.

“To endorse intelligent design comes with risk because it’s a position against the consensus. Science is not a democratic process,” University of Idaho microbiology professor Scott Minnich said under cross-examination.

Mr. Minnich testified on behalf of the Dover Area School Board, which is defending an October 2004 decision to require students to hear a statement about intelligent design before ninth-grade biology lessons on evolution. Teachers opposed the statement, which says Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is “not a fact” and has inexplicable “gaps,” and refers students to the textbook “Of Pandas and People” for more information.

Hawaii airports to monitor for flu

HONOLULU — Hawaii became the first state in the nation this week to monitor airports for signs of bird flu or other flu viruses, health officials said.

Passengers and visitors at Honolulu International Airport will not be required to submit to examinations but will be tested voluntarily using nose or throat specimens taken at the airport clinic. Passengers also could be referred to the clinic by an airline or medical personnel.

Making flu testing available is expected to improve the state’s ability to respond to any threat of a flu pandemic, according to Catherine Chow, a medical prevention officer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The airport program began Monday under an agreement between the state Health Department and the medical center that operates the airport clinic.

Ney subpoenaed in lobbyist probe

Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio has been subpoenaed to provide documents and testimony related to the government’s investigation of indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

A federal grand jury in Miami indicted Mr. Abramoff in August on charges of fraud in a 2000 effort to buy casino boats.

Mr. Ney, a Republican, took an Abramoff-sponsored golf trip to Scotland in 2002. Senate Indian Affairs Committee investigators, meanwhile, found an e-mail from Mr. Abramoff claiming Mr. Ney had promised to help a Texas Indian tribe reopen a closed casino and subsequent e-mails directing the tribe to pay Mr. Ney $32,000.

State archives law protects Dean papers

MONTPELIER, Vt. — The state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Howard Dean acted legally when he placed some of his gubernatorial papers under seal, a decision that drew fire when he ran for president.

The court, which overturned a ruling by a state trial judge last year, cited an archives law that access to certain documents can be restricted under “special terms or conditions of law.”

Mr. Dean and the secretary of state agreed when Mr. Dean left office in 2003 to seal until 2013 roughly 93 boxes of papers that he considered sensitive.

Past Vermont governors also have sealed portions of their papers, though not for so many years.

Marriage measure ruled constitutional

SALEM, Ore. — A judge yesterday ruled that the state’s new voter-passed marriage amendment is constitutional.

Marion County Circuit Judge Joseph Guimond rejected a homosexual rights group’s arguments that Measure 36, passed in November 2004, was overly broad and violated local governments’ home rule rights by forbidding them from recognizing same-sex “marriages.”

Basic Rights Oregon, which supports same-sex “marriage” rights, said it would appeal the ruling.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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