- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 9, 2005

COLORADO

Table-size rock crashes through home

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Angelique Fiorillo says the boulder that crashed through one wall of her second-story apartment and out another might have struck her if she had been in her usual spot watching “Oprah.”

Instead, Mrs. Fiorillo said she was in a neighbor’s apartment when the table-size rock thundered down Red Mountain last week. Her husband was at work. Her two cats, Odin and Loki, took cover under a bedroom dresser and were not hurt.

Rain apparently had unleashed a slide that sent the boulder bouncing down the mountainside, glancing off tree branches and then crashing through Mrs. Fiorillo’s apartment. It landed on the lawn outside, leaving a trail of debris.

FLORIDA

Hurricane Vince forms in Atlantic

MIAMI — Hurricane Vince formed yesterday in the far eastern Atlantic, making this hurricane season the second busiest on record, but the storm poses no threat to land, forecasters said.

At 5 p.m., Vince’s center was about 535 miles east-southeast of the Azores and about 125 miles northwest of the Madeira Islands. It was moving northeast at about 6 mph with top sustained winds near 75 mph. Forecasters said Vince was mainly a hazard for marine interests in the far eastern Atlantic.

“It’s headed for Spain. It’s not going to reach there. It will likely merge with a cold front,” said Richard Pasch, a specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

ILLINOIS

Suspect denies family massacre

CHICAGO — A man jailed in Wisconsin denied involvement in the killings of his parents, sister and brother-in-law, saying he was stunned anyone would think he was involved.

Eric C. Hanson, 28, spoke to the Chicago Tribune in his first public comments since he was arrested Sept. 30 on a charge of felony intimidation involving his sister. The woman, her husband and the siblings’ parents were found beaten to death in an Aurora home Sept. 29.

“Who’s saying I’m a suspect?” asked Mr. Hanson, speaking to a Tribune reporter by videoconference Saturday at a Portage, Wis., jail. “I’m just shocked that anyone would think that. … I loved my family.”

DuPage County State’s Attorney Joseph Birkett said Saturday that Mr. Hanson was a suspect, but he has not been charged in the deaths of Terrance Hanson, 57; Mary Lynn Hanson, 55; Katherine Hanson-Tsao, 31; and her husband, Jimmy Tsao, 34.

Mr. Hanson is fighting extradition to Illinois on the intimidation charge, which accuses him of threatening to kill his sister to prevent her from telling their father that he stole from him.

MASSACHUSETTS

Grandpa tackles attacking coyote

NORTHBOROUGH — A grandfather out for a walk in the woods with his son and 4-year-old grandson got the better of an attacking coyote.

Arthur Cole, 76, was near the Assabet River when the coyote attacked him from behind.

Mr. Cole held down the coyote for 15 minutes while family members called firefighters and police, who arrived and killed the animal by asphyxiation. The dead coyote was being tested for rabies.

OHIO

Copper stolen from cathedral dome

CLEVELAND — One of the domes atop Ohio’s oldest Russian Orthodox church was peeled of its copper covering last week by thieves who apparently wanted to sell the metal for scrap.

“Who could steal from God?” said Ted Lentz, the church caretaker.

St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which appeared in scenes of the Oscar-winning film “The Deer Hunter,” is topped with 13 onion-shaped copper domes: one for Jesus and each of his 12 apostles. At each of the four corners of the church, there are smaller half-domes. Police say the thieves chose one of those to pillage.

Although the going rate for copper is at its highest in years — about $1.25 a pound — the stolen copper probably wouldn’t fetch more than $100.

PENNSYLVANIA

Erie Zoo forced to hibernate for winter

ERIE — The Erie Zoo will close for the first time this winter as it tries to cut $80,000 from its budget.

A spokesman said that the zoo will be closed in December, January and February and that admission will be increased when it reopens.

City officials told the zoo that funding for its operational budget would be halved. The zoo’s total operational budget this year is $2.5 million. High gas prices are partly to blame.

Last year, the city paid $180,000 for gas at the zoo — $80,000 more than it had budgeted. Through August, the city has paid nearly $117,000.

TEXAS

Visitation granted to sick girl’s father

CORPUS CHRISTI — The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that a man can have supervised contact with his 13-year-old daughter, who was placed in state custody because her parents refused to continue her cancer treatments.

Katie Wernecke was removed from her parents’ care in June. Since then, only her mother, Michelle Wernecke, was allowed supervised visits.

The court’s order Friday prohibits both parents from having access to Katie if they try to persuade her to avoid treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes. All contact must be scheduled and in cooperation with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

The girl was diagnosed in January after she was taken to an emergency room with what her parents thought was pneumonia. She received chemotherapy, and doctors recommended it be followed with radiation.

UTAH

Teacher hopes to build plane

SALT LAKE CITY — A high school teacher hopes to get his students to soar to new heights. Scott Lewis is working on a plan to teach students about engineering, science and construction by building a kit airplane.

The aircraft would be able to fly at 200 mph, while carrying four passengers.

Mr. Lewis, who still needs the school district’s approval, thinks the project would lure students to take applied technology courses.

WEST VIRGINIA

Prize pumpkin sets weight record

MILTON — It took five men and a forklift to get Ron and Sue Boor’s prize pumpkin onto the scale at the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival.

The verdict: 1,085 pounds, a record for the event. The Boors have toiled in their pumpkin patch since May. The couple installed an irrigation system and shade tent, attended gardening seminars and watered pumpkins endlessly.

The Boors have raised large pumpkins since 1990. Their previous record was 710 pounds.

WISCONSIN

Judge summoned for jury duty

WEST BEND — Pat Faragher has a sure-fire way to get out of jury duty: He will just excuse himself.

Mr. Faragher, a Washington County Circuit judge, was summoned for jury duty in his own court. He has his excuse already prepared: “I think I’ll just say it may not be a good idea to be summoned to my own court.”

Jury clerk Deb Donath said a computer randomly compiles juror lists from information provided by the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

“I can’t pull any names out, not even his in his own branch,” she said of the judge.

Judge Faragher also has been summoned for jury duty in the court of a colleague, Judge Andy Gonring.

“Andy thought it was hilarious,” Judge Faragher said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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