- The Washington Times - Monday, September 26, 2005


No crime deemed in cadet’s fall

DENVER — Air Force investigators said Friday that they found no evidence that anyone pushed or threw an Air Force Academy cadet who broke his back in a fall from a dormitory window.

Nicholas Khan, 23, a freshman, fell at least 30 feet from the dorm in March.

Charles Khan of St. Louis has said his son was pushed by a senior cadet who was angry because Nicholas Khan had accused the senior of making unwanted advances toward a female cadet.

Academy spokesman Johnny Whitaker said the investigators had considered that Nicholas Khan was pushed and determined that “the only way he could have landed where he landed was if he jumped.”


13-inch knife found in puppy’s stomach

PLANTATION — The veterinarian thought the X-ray was a joke.

Jon-Paul Carew had seen strange items in the stomachs of dogs, including kebab skewers and small utensils, but a 13-inch serrated knife in a 6-month-old puppy? That was a new one.

The knife was removed last week from Elsie, a Saint Bernard puppy.

The dog’s owner, Jane Scarola, thinks one of her six other dogs — four Saint Bernards, a German shepherd and a Labrador — somehow got the knife off a counter, and it eventually made its way to Elsie.

“She wants to eat everything and anything,” she said.


3 killed in crash of tour copter

HAENA — A tour helicopter crashed into the ocean Friday near Kauai’s rugged Na Pali Coast, killing three persons and leaving three others in the waves to swim to shore.

The three survivors reached a reef near the mouth of a stream, where two waited for water-safety officers to rescue them and the third made it to the beach, said Mary Daubert, Kauai County spokeswoman.

Another man and a woman were pulled from the water by Navy helicopters shortly after the crash Friday afternoon, but were pronounced dead at a hospital. The other victim was found dead inside the helicopter. Their names were not released.

The pilot, who survived, told authorities that the helicopter had encountered wind shear just before crashing, said Scott Ishikawa, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.


Fire chief dies in truck collision

LANGDON — Two firetrucks responding to a brush fire in south-central Kansas collided head-on last week, killing district Fire Chief Ed King, 55.

The crash occurred southwest of Hutchinson as the two Reno County trucks responded to a controlled field burn that had spread out of control. Chief King was pronounced dead at the scene.


Schools switch to four-day week

LEXINGTON — Four-day school weeks are becoming more popular for districts in Kentucky.

Starting next month, students in Jackson County will get every Friday off. Teachers will work half a day.

Jackson is the fourth school district in the state to implement a four-day week and the first to do so primarily for financial reasons, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Webster County, Ky., made the change in 2003.

To make up for lost time, Jackson will start schools 15 minutes earlier and end the day 45 minutes later.


Minor earthquake shakes region

AYERS JUNCTION — A minor earthquake shook a small region in northern Maine, officials said. No injuries or damage was reported.

The preliminary epicenter of the quake Saturday night was about three miles from Ayers Junction, said John Ebel, director of the Weston Observatory and a professor of geophysics at Boston College.

The quake had a magnitude of 3.4. A quake of 4.0 magnitude can cause moderate damage.


Deadly driver crashes honeymoon

LAS VEGAS — Aidan Nolan and his wife were on the last leg of their honeymoon, holding hands as they walked down the Las Vegas Strip.

The burgundy Buick, hurtling toward them and dozens of other tourists, changed everything. Two persons were killed and 12 injured when the stolen car drove onto a crowded sidewalk Wednesday evening in front of Bally’s hotel-casino.

The driver, Stephen Michael Ressa, 27, of Rialto, Calif., was arrested and will face charges of murder and attempted murder because authorities think he deliberately drove into the crowd.

Mr. Nolan’s wife, 24-year-old Rachel Burke, suffered fractures to both legs. Mr. Nolan, 30, has a dislocated right shoulder, broken bones in his left arm and a fractured knee.

Mr. Nolan has surgery scheduled for today. He and his wife expect to be in the hospital for a few weeks before returning home.


Judge reschedules kidnapping trial

FARGO — A federal judge has rescheduled the trial of a man accused of kidnapping University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin.

The start of Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.’s trial had been set for March 6, in Fargo. The date is now July 6, to give defense attorneys more time to prepare. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Rodriguez, 52, who is charged with kidnapping the 22-year-old Sjodin from a Grand Forks shopping mall parking lot in November 2003. Her body was found five months later.


Limited park hours urged on Sundays

WHITE HOUSE — Alderman Darrel Leftwich is proposing that the city establish new Sunday hours for White House Municipal Park so sporting events could be held only in the afternoon.

Mr. Leftwich said that he drove by the park on a Sunday morning on his way to services at Temple Baptist Church and saw that it was full of people at a soccer tournament.

“God our Father intended the seventh day to be one of rest and worship,” Mr. Leftwich said during this week’s city board meeting. He asked the city manager to draft an ordinance that would restrict Sunday hours at parks in the town.

The matter is scheduled for discussion on Oct. 25.


Monorail amended after Seattle rejection

SEATTLE — The City Council yanked its support Friday for a proposed 14-mile monorail, but rather than give up on a civic dream, the monorail board rushed a shorter, less costly proposal onto the November ballot.

On Friday morning, the nine-member City Council unanimously approved a resolution saying the city would deny street-use permits for the 14-mile, $2 billion project.

“I think it’s the death knell for the monorail,” council member Nick Licata said after the vote.

Without the council’s support, there’s virtually no way for the elevated train to be built. But monorail spokeswoman Marjorie Skotheim said the board will work to win back the council’s support if voters back a shorter monorail system on Nov. 8.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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