- The Washington Times - Friday, September 16, 2005

CALIFORNIA

Schwarzenegger signs ban on soda in schools

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation yesterday to ban carbonated soda in state high schools as part of an effort to stem teen obesity.

“California is facing an obesity epidemic,” said Mr. Schwarzenegger, a former Mr. Olympia and longtime health advocate. “Today we are taking some first steps in creating a healthy future for California.”

He signed the legislation at the start of a daylong summit on health and obesity in the state capital. He said that one out of three children in California, the nation’s most populous state, is obese.

The new law allows milk, drinks with at least 50 percent fruit or vegetable juice and water without sweetener. It will be phased in from 2007 and take full effect in 2009.

NEVADA

Fugitive surrenders in armored-truck heist

LAS VEGAS — A woman accused in a multimillion-dollar armored-truck heist surrendered yesterday after more than 10 years on the run.

Heather Catherine Tallchief is accused of driving an armored truck loaded with cash away from the Circus Circus casino in October 1993. Speaking to reporters before she gave herself up, Miss Tallchief acknowledged her role.

“I truly feel this is the right thing to do,” Miss Tallchief said. Her attorney said her boyfriend, also accused in the heist, had “brainwashed” her into participating. The boyfriend, Roberto Solis, is now 60 and remains a fugitive.

Robert Axelrod, her attorney, was with Miss Tallchief when she surrendered at U.S. District Court in Las Vegas. He said she was tired of hiding and wanted her 10-year-old son to have a chance at living a normal life.

CALIFORNIA

‘West Side Story’ director dies at 91

LOS ANGELES — Hollywood filmmaker Robert Wise, a four-time Academy Award winner who brought the beloved musicals “West Side Story” and “The Sound of Music” to the big screen during a career that spanned six decades, died Wednesday, four days after turning 91.

Mr. Wise died of heart failure at UCLA Medical Center, said Hollywood Reporter, a trade paper, citing family friend and talent agency owner Lawrence Mirisch.

COLORADO

Ski industry cheers first snow of season

GRAND JUNCTION — The first widespread snowfall of the season brought accumulations of an inch or more at several Rocky Mountain ski resorts, cheering industry officials.

Colorado Ski Country USA said 13 Colorado resorts had reported at least a trace from late Tuesday to Wednesday afternoon.

“It appears this snowstorm is hitting all regions of Colorado,” said Rob Perlman, the industry group’s president and chief executive officer.

Resorts such as Monarch, Arapahoe Basin and Silverton reported at least an inch of snow, while Breckenridge had a dusting, according to the group and the National Weather Service.

FLORIDA

Superintendent plans single-sex classes

MIAMI — The superintendent of schools in the Miami-Dade County system wants to separate the sexes in grades seven through 12.

Rudy Crew, the school chief, is ready for the experiment after hearing good things about Woodward Avenue Elementary in DeLand, the only public elementary school in Florida to offer single-sex classes.

A few public secondary schools in Florida, including two middle schools in Palm Beach County and South Plantation High in Broward, offer some single-sex classes.

Mr. Crew wants to create the first completely single-sex public schools in Florida, magnet schools that would house grades seven through 12 and could open as soon as 2007, the Miami Herald said yesterday.

GEORGIA

Police trainee dies in academy shooting

AUSTELL — An investigation has been ordered into the death of a Georgia police recruit who was shot on the first day of weapons training.

Tara Drummond, 23, was shot at a police academy in Austell on Tuesday afternoon, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported yesterday.

She was a recruit for the Kennesaw police department, one of about 30 trainees in their seventh week of a 10-week course.

The trainees were in a classroom in the basement of the academy when the unidentified instructor’s gun discharged, said Carol Morgan, the academy director. Miss Drummond was rushed to a hospital, where she died, according to the report.

The instructor has been placed on administrative leave until the internal investigation is completed.

INDIANA

Catholic order opens boys school

ROLLING PRAIRIE — A conservative Roman Catholic religious order has enrolled 18 seventh- and eighth-graders in a new U.S. boarding school for boys interested in the priesthood.

The Legionaries of Christ said the minor seminary, Sacred Heart Apostolic School, plans to add a grade level each year and eventually enroll 100 to 120 students, spokesman Jay Dunlap said.

The order also operates schools in Center Harbor, N.H., Colfax, Calif., and Cornwall, Ontario, the South Bend Tribune reported.

The order’s Mexican founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, stepped down earlier this year as general director of the order. Father Degollado has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians — accusations he and the order denied.

MASSACHUSETTS

Lawmakers override veto on contraceptives

BOSTON — The state legislature yesterday voted to override the governor’s veto of a measure that will expand access to emergency contraception by requiring emergency room doctors to offer the medication to rape victims.

The measure, which Gov. Mitt Romney vetoed in July, also will make the medication available without a prescription from pharmacies. A provision that exempted Roman Catholic hospitals eventually was dropped from the legislation.

The Senate voted 37-0 to override the veto. In the House, the vote was 139-16, far more than the two-thirds needed.

The bill takes effect in 90 days, although it likely will take longer for the Department of Public Health to draft new regulations for pharmacies to implement it.

MICHIGAN

Judge rejects ban on late-term abortion

DETROIT — A federal judge in Detroit has ruled as unconstitutional Michigan’s latest attempt to ban so-called partial-birth abortions.

U.S. District Judge Denise Hood said the Legal Birth Definition Act violates women’s rights.

She ruled in favor of the law’s opponents, primarily Northland Family Planning Clinic and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. Both argued that the law doesn’t adequately protect the health of pregnant women and could have a chilling effect on legal abortions.

The law, enacted last year through a petition drive after Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm vetoed an identical measure in 2003, defines a partially delivered, living child as a person with independent legal rights.

OHIO

Parents say cages protected children

CLEVELAND — The parents under investigation for having some of their 11 adopted children sleep in cages defended their actions, saying the homemade “enclosures” were meant to protect youngsters who set fires and injured one another.

Michael and Sharen Gravelle, of Wakeman, have denied abusing or neglecting the children, who are ages 1 to 14 and have conditions that include autism and fetal alcohol syndrome. No charges have been filed, and the children, whose situation was discovered last week, now are in foster care.

A prosecutor yesterday said he filed complaints earlier this week against the couple to remove the children from the home.

TEXAS

Contest dropout commits suicide

LONGVIEW — A young man yesterday shot himself with a stolen gun after dropping out of the “Hands on a Hardbody” contest at a Nissan dealer in Texas.

In the competition, contestants stand with their hands on a truck. The one who outlasts the others wins.

The contest was in its third day shortly before 6 a.m. yesterday when Ricky Vega walked away from the truck and smashed a window at a K-Mart across the street. Police officers who arrived found Vega walking from the back of the store with a shotgun in his hands. He then pointed the gun at his head and pulled the trigger.

Patterson Nissan canceled the competition after Vega’s death.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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