- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Hundreds practice for nuclear accident

DOTHAN — Southeastern Alabama is the epicenter of an exercise this week testing officials’ ability to respond to a major nuclear accident — one almost on a scale of the nation’s worst nuclear disaster in 1979 at the Three-Mile Island Nuclear Power plant in Pennsylvania.

The National Nuclear Security Administration kicked off the exercise early Monday with a scenario involving hundreds of federal, state and local officials.

The scenario was that a truck carrying radioactive cesium, a common chemical with many medical and industrial uses, collided with a car at a rural southeastern Alabama intersection, triggering an explosion that unleashed a drifting plume of the potentially cancer-causing substance over towns, forests and agricultural fields.

In response, officials ordered mock evacuations, arranged emergency medical care for people who may have been severely contaminated and monitored the spread of the radioactive cloud.


2 jailed for selling IDs to illegals

BENTONVILLE — A state worker and her mother were sentenced to seven years in prison for selling fake IDs to illegal aliens.

Connie Beeks, 45, admitted she drove several illegal aliens to the state Revenue Office where her daughter, Lorainne Nicklas Janway, 28, worked. Janway provided them with fraudulent identification cards and driver’s licenses for between $300 and $1,500.

Janway’s official duties included issuing state IDs. She and her mother were sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to forgery. The maximum sentence they could have received was 20 years.

Authorities said they don’t know the scope of the scheme.

“We know it happened more than once, we just don’t know how many times,” Deputy Prosecutor Drew Ledbetter said.


Wild animal sanctuary closing

KEENESBURG — One of the nation’s biggest sanctuaries for tigers, lions and bears said yesterday it is shutting down because of a lack of donations and added that it may have to destroy the animals if it cannot find new homes for them.

The 27-year-old Wild Animal Sanctuary will stay open two more weeks at most, Executive Director Pat Craig said.

He said the sanctuary, which costs $15,000 a week to run, was in “major debt” because past donors diverted their money to victims of recent hurricanes, earthquakes and the 2004 tsunami.

The organization said the move will affect more than 150 wild animals, including 75 tigers, 30 bears, 20 mountain lions and dozens of leopards, African lions and other big cats.


Small plane crashes 20 feet from prison

KINCHELOE — A small plane crashed on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, narrowly missing a state prison and killing all four persons on board, authorities said.

No one at the Chippewa Correctional Facility was injured when the twin-engine plane crashed, hitting a buffer fence about 20 feet outside the prison’s secure perimeter Monday morning, said Russ Marlan, a Department of Corrections spokesman.

He said inmates were sent to their cells and windows were closed as the plane burned outside the facility.

The plane’s pilot and three passengers were from Wisconsin, state police said. The passengers were employees of Waukesha, Wis.-based concrete company Spancrete Group Inc., said company President John Nagy. The pilot worked for Spring City Aviation of Waukesha, said owner Brian Behrens.


Judge jailed on meth charges

COLUMBUS — An Alabama judge was jailed on methamphetamine-possession charges yesterday in the same Mississippi town where his wife was arrested earlier this year on similar charges.

Ira D. Colvin, a district judge from Pickens County, Ala., was arrested Monday afternoon by police investigating suspects who were thought to be traveling store-to-store purchasing ingredients for the drug, said sheriff’s Officer Ivan Bryan.

Officers found precursors for methamphetamine in Judge Colvin’s vehicle along with about a gram of powdered meth and a small amount of the drug in liquefied form like it was ready to be injected, Officer Bryan said.


Official violated ethics, not law

TRENTON — New Jersey’s attorney general violated the state code of ethics, but did not commit a crime when she showed up at the scene of her boyfriend’s traffic stop in May, a special prosecutor said in a report issued yesterday.

“Her conduct does raise significant ethical questions that must be addressed,” Richard J. Williams wrote.

Attorney General Zulima Farber has denied doing anything to influence Fairview police who stopped her boyfriend, lawyer Hamlet Goore, for a traffic violation.

Mr. Goore’s van was found to be improperly registered and his license appeared to be suspended, but he was allowed to drive to the home the couple share. The special prosecutor found that Miss Farber violated state ethics laws by “approving actions which allowed Mr. Goore to drive his vehicle home.”

The report led to renewed calls for the resignation of New Jersey’s first Hispanic attorney general.


Judge won’t delay inmate’s execution

RALEIGH — A judge refused yesterday to postpone the execution of an inmate who wants 45 of his relatives to witness his death, far more than would fit in the witness room.

Attorneys for Samuel Flippen had asked Wake County Superior Court Judge J.B. Allen to delay his execution while the courts considered the request. Judge Allen refused.

“There is no way the warden could perform his duties with an unlimited number of people at the execution,” the judge said. “There was never a legislative intent to allow an unlimited number of people.”

Flippen was convicted in the 1994 beating death of his 2-year-old stepdaughter and is scheduled to be executed early Friday.

Flippen’s relatives argue that refusing their request to attend violates the state constitution, which they think allows any relative of a death-row inmate to witness an execution.


Wind fuels wildfire; hundreds evacuated

CHEYENNE — Hot, windy conditions threatened to cause more problems yesterday for firefighters struggling to contain a wildfire bearing down on hundreds of evacuated homes.

State Forester Bill Crapser said the blaze had covered 4,500 acres, or 7 square miles, in an area about 5 miles south of Casper, Wyoming’s second-largest city.

Wind up to 30 mph was forecast in the area, Mr. Crapser said. “We’re starting to see some pretty extreme fire behavior,” he said.

Authorities had ordered the evacuation of several Casper Mountain subdivisions, which together comprise hundreds of homes, said Rick Young, spokesman for the Natrona County Fire Protection District.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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