- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Storms, shortages delay bypass project

NORTHPORT — Several storms as well as shortages of diesel fuel and asphalt have held up completion of Tuscaloosa County’s Western Bypass.

The bypass originally was scheduled for completion in late summer or early fall, but officials now are hoping to complete it by Dec. 31.

Construction crews continue to work on the $27 million project’s final piece, building the intersection of the bypass with U.S. Highway 82. Construction of the bypass began in 1999.


Lawyer appears drunk in court

BENTON — A lawyer appealing his second-drunken driving conviction was jailed Monday after he came to court intoxicated, officials said.

A Saline County Circuit Court judge ordered Jerry Stewart, 59, jailed for contempt of court.

He was ordered held without bail until tomorrow, when he is scheduled in court for an unrelated case. It was not known whether the court appearance tomorrow involved two pending drunken-driving charges.


Mother sentenced in rape of children

DENVER — A Denver judge has sentenced a woman to 110 years in prison for allowing her husband to rape two of their children for years, reports said yesterday.

Karen Rodriguez sobbed Monday, begged for mercy and said she feared for her and her children’s lives if she tried to leave her husband, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

Judge Herbert Stern said he thought Rodriguez was a victim of “horrific domestic violence,” but she contributed to the children’s victimization and should have left her husband, the Denver Post said.

The children testified against their mother. Before the assaults, Rodriguez would dress the son, now 18, as a schoolgirl with makeup.


ACLU files lawsuit over youth prison

HONOLULU — A civil liberties group sued the state of Hawaii on Monday, saying it failed to protect inmates at a youth prison where teens were abused and kept in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, asks for a federal court-ordered authority to “design, implement and oversee policies and procedures” at the Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility, said Lois Perrin, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

After an ACLU report in 2003 said young inmates were abused and harassed, the prison’s two top administrators were removed and the attorney general’s office began an investigation.

In August, the U.S. Justice Department released its own critical report, saying the young inmates’ constitutional and federal statutory rights were being violated and describing the Kailua facility as “existing in a state of chaos.”

Attorney General Mark Bennett’s office said the lawsuit “essentially restates issues” raised by the Department of Justice, and the state has worked to address the problems.


Psychologists sued in BTK killer case

OVERLAND PARK — The Kansas attorney general filed a lawsuit yesterday against two psychologists who helped defend Dennis Rader, also known as “BTK,” claiming they illegally profited from videotaped interviews with the serial killer.

In a petition filed in Sedgwick County District Court in Wichita, Attorney General Phill Kline accused Robert Mendoza and Tali Walters, co-owners of Cambridge Forensic Consultants LLC, of giving videotaped conversations with Rader to NBC’s “Dateline” television show. The tapes were made when they were part of Rader’s state-paid defense team.

Rader, who called himself “BTK” for “bind, torture and kill,” pleaded guilty in June to torturing and then murdering 10 persons, including two children, as part of a series of sexual fantasies.


City pays paper to print good news

NEWARK — Call it pay for praise, greenbacks for good news, bucks for beneficial publicity.

The Newark City Council has awarded the Newark Weekly News a $100,000 no-bid contract to publish positive news about the city.

Howard Scott, who owns Newark Weekly News, pitched the idea to the City Council, which unanimously approved the idea earlier this month.

Under the contract, the paper will work with the city’s public information office to spread positive news about the city. The paper can generate only stories based on leads from the council and the mayor’s office.


Driver crashes into hospital lobby

BISMARCK — A woman on her way to a doctor appointment smashed her car into the hospital’s lobby, sending five women to the emergency room, police said.

Ruth Otto, 87, of Mandan also was injured when she sideswiped the building and a car before cruising through a glass wall, Bismarck Police Officer Dave Horner said.

He said it was fortunate that so many doctors and nurses were nearby.

Medcenter One spokesman Chuck Bartholomay said two women were in serious condition and one was stable. He said three women, including a coffee stand worker, were treated and released.

Officer Horner said it was unlikely any charges would be filed against the driver.


Drug-dealing killer of rivals executed

COLUMBUS — A drug dealer who murdered his rivals and later broke into a juvenile jail to try to kill his accomplices in that crime was put to death yesterday, Ohio prison officials said.

Willie “Flip” Williams Jr., 48, did not ask for clemency and died at 10:20 a.m. after a lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

“I’m not going to waste no time talking about my lifestyle, my case or punishment. Mom, you’ve been there for me from the beginning. I love you. To my nieces, nephew and uncle, I love you very much. This ain’t nothin’; I’ll be OK,” he said just before he was put to death.


Man dies driving to brother’s funeral

FLORENCE — Crystal Chockley thought something was wrong when her brother-in-law didn’t show up for her husband’s funeral.

Hours after burying Perry Chockley, she found out why. Larry Chockley died in a car wreck on his way to the funeral Saturday. Perry Chockley was killed in a four-wheeler accident a week ago.

The family passed by a wreck heading home, but Sherry Harrell, the men’s sister, said she thought nothing of it until she got the call from the hospital.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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