- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2005

CALIFORNIA

93-year-old joins Humboldt students

ARCATA — Marion Koffords is joining throngs of other students starting classes at Humboldt State University, but at age 93, she stands out on campus.

The oldest student at Humboldt has enrolled in two weekend seminars as part of the university’s “Over 60” program.

“Marion is just remarkable,” said Rhonda Geldin, coordinator of the program. “She’s all joy all the time, a very optimistic individual. And she lives her life from that place and shares that with others.”

COLORADO

Greeks punished for drinking parties

FORT COLLINS — Colorado State University punished eight Greek organizations for early-morning booze parties that occurred near the first anniversary of a student’s drinking death.

Since sophomore Samantha Spady died Sept. 5 last year, the school has cracked down on alcohol abuse and the fraternities and sororities have banned alcohol at their 17 houses.

The incident was a widespread violation of policy, said Mark Koepsell, the university’s director of Greek life. In an e-mail to fraternity and sorority presidents, he warned that “the Greeks at CSU will not survive another negative incident.”

School officials said members drank alcohol at several fraternity houses and private homes at about 5 a.m. on Sept. 1 to celebrate the end of sorority recruiting.

CONNECTICUT

Dentists allowed to use mercury

HARTFORD — The state’s dentists can continue to use mercury in fillings, the top environmental official said.

But to allay public concern, the Department of Environmental Protection has been instructed to ensure dental offices properly maintain equipment for capturing excess mercury.

GEORGIA

Newspaper sues for police files

ATHENS — The Athens Banner-Herald has sued the county police department, claiming that officers have violated the state’s open-records laws by refusing to release documents related to the unsolved slayings of two University of Georgia students.

The newspaper says the Athens-Clarke County Police Department has thwarted reporters’ attempts to access documents by classifying the 1992 rape and slaying of Jennifer Lynn Stone and the 2001 killing of Tara Louise Baker as “pending investigations.” No arrests have been made.

County Attorney Bill Berryman would not comment on the lawsuit, which was filed Friday in Athens-Clarke County Superior Court.

The newspaper filed an open-records request for documents and materials related to the slayings on Aug. 6, the complaint says. Nine days later, the department refused to provide any records on the slayings, aside from incident reports that had been released publicly long ago.

KANSAS

Town must replace 28 miles of gas lines

LYONS — A small central Kansas town that has been plagued by potentially explosive gas leaks has been ordered to replace all 28 miles of its distribution lines within a year.

The order, from a state agency that regulates utilities, came as a partial survey of the town discovered dozens of leaks in the metal pipes, some of them near a hospital and a school.

The project carries an estimated cost of $2.5 million, but the city’s replacement fund contains only $21,000, because the original plan was to spread the project over 10 years, city officials said.

MAINE

No shortage seen in flu shot supply

PORTLAND — Public health officials say flu vaccine is expected to begin arriving within a couple of weeks in Maine, and they do not envision any shortages.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are asking health-care providers to administer the vaccine only to high-risk patients until Oct. 24.

MONTANA

Hunt approved for straying bison

BILLINGS — The state has approved a plan allowing hunters to kill as many as 50 bison that leave Yellowstone National Park in search of winter forage.

The hunt approved Thursday by the state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission would be the first of its kind in Montana in nearly 15 years. Previous hunts were halted after some of the animals were shot at close range, sparking protests.

The hunt will take place in two sessions this winter, beginning Nov. 15. Some licenses will be allocated to members of the state’s American Indian tribes.

NEW YORK

Kidnap suspect lost child custody

NEW YORK — A New York woman who reportedly grabbed a boy had her own two children taken away by officials and she wanted a child to replace them, relatives said.

“Whose kid is that?” Altagracia Rodriguez’s mother asked when she carried Josue Polanco into her family’s Manhattan home as if he were her own son, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

She reportedly kidnapped Josue from his mother, Gabriella Polanco, at a restaurant Thursday night.

She suffers from schizophrenia and had stopped taking her medication, said relatives, who called police to report the boy.

RHODE ISLAND

Lawyer sentenced in FBI tape release

PROVIDENCE — A lawyer who gave a TV reporter a secret FBI videotape from an investigation into City Hall corruption was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison.

Joseph Bevilacqua Jr. also must serve three years of supervised release and pay $152,000, the cost of the government’s investigation into who leaked the tape.

Reporter Jim Taricani served four months of home confinement for refusing to reveal Bevilacqua as his source. He was freed in April.

The video, which showed a mayoral aide taking a bribe, was part of a City Hall corruption investigation that eventually sent Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci Jr. and the aide to prison.

TEXAS

Mom sentenced in infant’s starvation

BEAUMONT — A mother who allowed her 2-month-old daughter to starve to death has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Tamecca Henderson, 22, was convicted last month of first-degree injury to a child in the 2003 death of Monique Pippillion. The girl weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces when she was born, and 4 pounds, 10 ounces when she died, officials said.

WYOMING

Rehnquist portrait painted by Casper man

CASPER — A portrait of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist that was displayed at his funeral was painted by Tom Loepp of Casper in the early 1990s.

In the portrait, Mr. Rehnquist sits next to a globe his clerks gave him and wears the black robe he famously adorned with gold bars.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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