- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2006

CALIFORNIA

Buyer puts town back on the block

SAN FRANCISCO — The tiny town of Bridgeville is up for sale again on EBay, complete with its dozen houses, cafe and post office.

Two years after Bill Krall bought the entire northern California town for $700,000 on the Internet auction site, he’s flipping it. The minimum bid this time is $1.75 million.

Mr. Krall, a Southern California financial adviser, said family commitments prevented him from moving to the town, according to his EBay listing. He said he “spent a lot of money and a lot of effort” cleaning up the 82 acres among the redwoods northwest of San Francisco.

The town was once a hub for a local stagecoach route and a stop on the Pony Express. The auction, which started Tuesday, ends May 4. As of midday yesterday, there had been no bids.

COLORADO

Possible deal reached in transit strike

DENVER — The region’s mass-transit agency and a union representing 1,700 striking workers have a tentative contract, and union leaders planned to discuss it with members as the strike entered a fourth day yesterday.

Details of the proposed contract won’t be announced until after a vote planned for today, mediator Christel Jorgensen said. She said the walkout would continue at least until then.

Nearly 1,750 bus drivers, light-rail operators and mechanics walked off the job early Monday in the city’s first transit strike in 24 years. Many workers were upset at the Regional Transportation District’s wage-and-benefits offer after managers were given raises of 38 percent to 48 percent. Union pay has been frozen since 2003.

ALABAMA

Two die in shooting at McDonald’s

MOBILE — A gunman opened fire on a vehicle in a busy McDonald’s drive-through, killing two men, wounding a third and sparking a gunbattle that left bullet marks on a nearby church’s day care center, authorities said.

More than a dozen persons, including several children, were inside the restaurant when the shooting began about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday. No one in the restaurant or at the day care center was injured, Mobile police spokesman Officer Eric Gallichant said.

Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. said the shots were fired into the back of the vehicle when it rolled up to the restaurant window to pay. The attacker fled in a waiting vehicle.

ARIZONA

Golfers fend off bobcat with clubs

TUCSON — A bobcat attacked two golfers on the Skyline Country Club course but the men beat the animal to death with their clubs.

The cat later tested positive for rabies. Authorities said Jerry Crown, 67, will need treatment against the potentially fatal disease. He also suffered severe cuts and puncture wounds.

CONNECTICUT

Nuns raise money via ‘adoption’ plan

GREENWICH — Nuns from a New Jersey-based religious order have opened a fundraising office in Greenwich to offer Connecticut residents a chance to “adopt” them.

The Adopt-a-Sister program has raised $5 million for the Roman Catholic Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco. The money has been used to help build a retirement home for aging nuns, some of whom are in their 90s.

The sisters are a teaching order without the support of a bishop or a diocese, so they must raise money to care for the 45 nuns who live at the retirement home.

Donors to the program get an adoption certificate, the sister’s picture, and a promise of daily prayer. Some people correspond by e-mail with the nuns they’ve adopted.

Linda Christiansen of Greenwich has adopted the nun who was her second-grade teacher.

HAWAII

Kayakers kept at sea by winds rescued

OLOWALU — A group of kayakers became stranded off Maui amid choppy waters and strong winds.

Some of the 32 tourists swam to shore, while the Coast Guard and passing boaters rescued the others as they clung to their kayaks up to two miles from the beach Tuesday.

None of the tourists — all passengers aboard the Pride of America and the Norwegian Wind cruise ships who were taking part in a kayak outing — was hospitalized.

Conditions started out calm for the Action Adventure Tours outing, but winds gusted to 35 mph. The wind made it difficult to maneuver the lightweight kayaks, participants said.

ILLINOIS

College of pharmacy gains approval

CHICAGO — The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved a college of pharmacy at Chicago State University on the city’s South Side.

Officials say they need about $4.6 million for the school, which could open as early as 2007-2008 and would eventually enroll about 400 students. The board estimates a shortfall of 126 pharmacists each year in Illinois.

LOUISIANA

Chief promises probe of brutality charges

NEW ORLEANS — Police Superintendent Warren Riley promised yesterday to investigate the latest accusations of brutality against members of his beleaguered department — accusations made by a fellow officer’s wife.

“This is not something that’s going to fade away,” Superintendent Riley told a press conference.

Investigators already have interviewed more than a dozen people and are getting conflicting accounts of what happened Tuesday to Jonie Pratt, who suffered a swollen forehead, a black eye and a fractured wrist.

Her mother-in-law, Dulcie Scott, says she saw Mrs. Pratt being beaten after a traffic stop.

She said all three officers were white; Mrs. Pratt is black. Yesterday, Superintendent Riley said one of the accused officers is black.

NEW JERSEY

Teens in shooting plot face terror charges

CAMDEN — Four teenagers accused of plotting to kill about 25 people in a lunch-period massacre at a high school were charged yesterday under a terrorism law created after the September 11 attacks.

The boys, ages 14 to 16, were arrested Wednesday after police heard about the suspected plot from administrators at the school, where three of the teens are students. Their names were not released because of their ages.

The four boys appeared in family court, and a judge ordered them held for psychiatric evaluations.

Authorities said the boys did not have any weapons to carry out the reported plot. But one law-enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said they tried to buy a handgun.

OREGON

Co-worker charged in postal killing

BAKER CITY — A postal worker killed a colleague by running over her and shooting her in the office parking lot, authorities said Wednesday.

Grant Gallaher, 41, struck the woman with a postal vehicle as he drove into the lot Tuesday afternoon, said District Attorney Matthew B. Shirtcliff. The woman was on foot and her car was nearby.

Mr. Gallaher then entered the building intending to shoot postmaster Michael McGuire, but was unable to find him, Mr. Shirtcliff said in a statement. He returned to the parking lot and shot the woman, Lori Leigh Hayes-Kotter, the prosecutor said.

Witness Cheryl Thayer said police arrived after she heard six gunshots, and that a man walking from behind the post office surrendered.

Mr. Shirtcliff refused to discuss a motive for the slaying or the attempt on the postmaster.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Mother charged in son’s death

AIKEN — A woman was charged with homicide by child abuse Wednesday in the death of her 15-month-old son, who authorities said was left in a car for nine hours.

Karla N. Edwards, 35, left the child while she went to work at a Lowe’s home-improvement store Tuesday morning, sheriff’s Lt. Michael Frank said.

When she returned to her car at 4 p.m., she discovered the baby was unresponsive. The child died from dehydration, authorities said.

TENNESSEE

Alumni give university $32.5 million

KNOXVILLE — The founder of Pilot Corp. and his wife have given $32.5 million to the University of Tennessee, the largest individual gift the university has ever received, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Jim and Natalie Haslam, who graduated from the university in 1952, devoted the majority of the money to their specific colleges, respectively: The College of Business Administration will receive $7.5 million, while the College of Arts & Sciences, specifically the School of Music, will get $10 million, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Mr. Haslam played tackle on the Volunteers’ 1951 national championship football team.

TEXAS

Boxing drill dropped after recruit dies

AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Public Safety said it will no longer train police officers with a boxing drill that resulted in a recruit’s death last year.

The department suspended full-contact fighting after Jimmy Ray Carty Jr. died of head injuries last May. He was knocked to the ground at least twice by blows to the head.

The agency used the drill for at least 30 years and had argued it was useful training for officers who must be prepared to fight on the streets. But consultants hired by the department after Mr. Carty’s death recommended the drill be eliminated because it caused too many head injuries and did not involve realistic situations.

“They made the right choice,” said Mr. Carty’s widow, Christy Carty, who on Wednesday sued over her husband’s death, seeking unspecified damages and an end to the fighting drill.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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