- The Washington Times - Monday, November 7, 2005

ALASKA

Thieves hit Hope’s store

HOPE — Thieves made away with an estimated $100,000 in retail goods from one of the only businesses in Hope, Sourdough Dru’s Golden Gifts.

State Trooper Sgt. William Welch said the thieves took gold-nugget jewelry, ivory and prints, while demolishing the interior of the shop, a 20-by-20-foot cabin. Owner Dru Sorenson said the shop had no alarm system because it was in clear view of neighbors.

CALIFORNIA

Activist jailed in bomb plot killed

LOS ANGELES — A Jewish Defense League activist imprisoned for his role in a plot to bomb a California mosque and the office of a Lebanese-American congressman was killed at a federal prison in Phoenix, an FBI spokesman said Saturday.

Earl Krugel, 62, was killed in an assault Friday evening at the Federal Correctional Institution, said FBI agent Richard Murray.

Mr. Murray wouldn’t release further details, but said federal authorities had opened a homicide investigation.

Krugel’s wife, Lola, said FBI investigators told her that an inmate had struck her husband on the head from behind with a cement block.

DELAWARE

Two workers die at oil refinery

DELAWARE CITY — Two workers died while working on a unit at the Valero Energy Corp. oil refinery, a company spokeswoman said yesterday.

The workers were fatally injured late Saturday, Valero spokeswoman Mary Rose Brown told the Associated Press.

She said the incident was still under investigation, but WILM radio in Wilmington quoted refinery officials as saying the two contract workers died of asphyxiation caused by nitrogen gas.

The plant employs about 570 people and produces gasoline, diesel fuel and home heating oil.

FLORIDA

Bodies of Haitians found on beach

POMPANO BEACH — The bodies of three women thought to be Haitian migrants washed ashore on a South Florida beach, authorities said.

The women, whose bodies were found early Saturday, were among a group that included up to 12 other people apparently trying to illegally migrate to the United States, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Liz Calzadilla-Fiallo.

A deputy saw 10 to 12 people running from the water nearby, Miss Calzadilla-Fiallo said.

Five persons in the group were detained. Four were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol, and the fifth, who was injured, was taken to Broward General Medical Center for treatment, Miss Calzadilla-Fiallo said.

Authorities are investigating whether the group was part of a smuggling operation, said Steve McDonald, Border Patrol spokesman. All the people in custody were Haitian nationals, he said.

IDAHO

Sheriff’s deputy stops patrols

CASTLEFORD — The lone law-enforcement officer in Castleford has stopped patrols, after local officials couldn’t pay $20,000 for stationing the sheriff’s deputy in town.

A contract between the county sheriff and Castleford stipulated that the town and its local school would each pay $10,000, but the school couldn’t come up with the money.

NEBRASKA

Shoppers stampede at mall reopening

LINCOLN — When shoppers couldn’t wait to get into a mall for a reopening celebration and prizes, things got chaotic.

Between 2,500 and 3,000 people who had gathered outside swarmed the mall, trapping 100 members of a high school marching band. One person reported being assaulted.

“I saw people shoved around, kids separated from their parents, adults crying, people knocked down on the ground. I saw one woman with an ice bag on her head,” band director Terry Rush said.

He said he was told that the crowd would follow his musicians into the mall, but about 100 band members were overrun in the commotion.

NEVADA

Cut off thumbs of vandals, mayor says

RENO — The mayor of Las Vegas has suggested that people who deface freeways with graffiti should have their thumbs cut off on television.

“In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes,” Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday on the TV show “Nevada Newsmakers.”

Mr. Goodman also suggested whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble.

Another panelist on the show, state university system regent Howard Rosenberg, said cutting off the thumbs of vandals won’t solve the problem and Mr. Goodman should “use his head for something other than a hat rack.”

NORTH DAKOTA

Unlicensed cat lands man in jail

BISMARCK — A North Dakota man has served an unusually steep sentence for having an unlicensed cat — two days in jail.

William T. Dennis, 38, was charged with failing to license his feline, which normally brings a fine. But a warrant was issued for his arrest when he didn’t show up for a court appearance on the charge.

OHIO

Charges dropped over $1.16 tax bill

LOVELAND — A woman accused of failing to pay a $1.16 tax bill is off the hook after city officials dropped criminal charges.

Deborah Combs, 51, had pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of failure to file city tax returns and not paying late fees. She faced up to $4,000 in fines and 18 months in jail if convicted.

But Mayor Brad Greenberg said Friday that it wasn’t worth spending thousands of dollars in legal costs.

Mr. Greenberg also waived $200 in late fees assessed against Miss Combs. The City Council is expected to direct the city manager to dismiss the case at a meeting tomorrow.

PENNSYLVANIA

Movie billboards pulled amid protests

PHILADELPHIA — Twenty-one billboards plugging rapper 50 Cent’s movie “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ “are coming down amid opposition from community groups.

The billboards show the rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, holding a gun in one hand and a microphone in the other.

“The message could be ‘rob to get rich.’ … It’s a very offensive message that is part of a mind-set that says you can solve problems with violence,” said Bilal Qayyum, a leader of the anti-violence group Men United for a Better Philadelphia.

He praised the billboard company, Clear Channel Outdoor, for agreeing to remove the signs.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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