- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2006

ARIZONA

Shots fired at crew who refused cat rescue

KINGMAN — A man angry at firefighters who refused to rescue a cat from a tree was arrested after he started shooting at the fire crew, officials said.

Jeffrey Cullen, 58, was charged with four felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Trish Carter said. A three-member fire crew went to Mr. Cullen’s home last week when he reported a tree fire, but found no blaze, Hualapai Valley Fire Department spokeswoman Sandy Edwards said.

Instead, Mr. Cullen told firefighters he wanted a cat rescued from his tree and knew they would respond only to a fire call, Miss Edwards said. A battalion chief told Mr. Cullen to call animal control or wait for the cat to get hungry and climb down. The firefighters and a 12-year-old boy who had come to see the firetruck ran for their lives, Miss Edwards said. No one was injured.

FLORIDA

Launchpad repair on shuttle complete

CAPE CANAVERAL — Workers at the Kennedy Space Center yesterday completed a delicate launchpad repair job on Space Shuttle Atlantis, which is being prepared for liftoff next week to restart International Space Station construction.

Working midair on platforms to reach the top of Atlantis’ 60-foot-long payload bay, technicians removed two short bolts that held the main communications antenna in place and installed longer fasteners. The wrong bolts have been in place since Atlantis was manufactured 25 years ago. Torque tests conducted before the old bolts were removed showed that the antenna was securely anchored, Kennedy Space Center spokeswoman Tracy Young said.

The shuttle’s cargo bay is filled with a 35,000-pound station power module that holds new solar arrays and a rotary joint so the panels can track the sun. Atlantis is scheduled for liftoff on Sunday on NASA’s first construction mission in nearly four years.

KANSAS

Teen scores perfect on ACT, SAT

WICHITA — A teenager has achieved a rare feat: perfect scores on both the ACT and the SAT.

Jakub Voboril, 17, a senior at Bishop Carroll High School, learned last month that he had scored a 36 on his ACT, which he took in June. He was one of only two students in Kansas to reach a perfect score on the June test, after scoring 32 and 34 on his first two tries.

He took the SAT the same week. Those results — a perfect 2400 — came in shortly after he received his ACT scores.

His two older sisters were high school valedictorians. He hasn’t settled on a college or major, but has considered math, philosophy and law, possibly at the University of Notre Dame or Princeton.

NEW JERSEY

Killer of patients donates kidney

TRENTON — The former nurse who admitted killing 29 patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania has donated a kidney to a dying New York man.

Surgery on Charles Cullen was performed early Saturday, his court-appointed attorney, Johnnie Mask, told the Star-Ledger of Newark. Mr. Mask said the surgery went well and the kidney is a perfect size because Cullen is so healthy.

The kidney is expected to be brought by helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island where it will be donated to a relative of Cullen’s friend.

PENNSYLVANIA

Barbaro’s surgeon to help polar bear

ERIE — The surgeon who has worked to save the life of Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro now will try to help a polar bear with a broken leg, Erie Zoo officials said.

Dr. Dean Richardson will operate on Alcor, the 750-pound polar bear with two badly broken bones just above his right paw, sometime this week at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, where Barbaro is being treated, officials said.

Zoo officials do not know exactly how Alcor broke his leg, but they suspect he did it Aug. 11 while playing with his brother, Mizar, another 7-year-old bear who has been at the zoo since 2001.

TEXAS

Gunman shoots 4 lawmen

MIDLOTHIAN — Three police officers and a state trooper were wounded by gunfire yesterday during a standoff at an apartment complex, officials said. The gunman was still holding out last night.

Officers were called to the apartment complex because of a report of a broken window, Midlothian police said.

The officers determined the window had been broken by a gunshot and went to the apartment where they thought the shots had been fired. There, police said, the gunman opened fire, wounding three officers. The trooper was shot when he arrived on the scene later.

UTAH

Youths defend polygamist families

SALT LAKE CITY — Calling their lives blessed, more than a dozen children and young adults from polygamist families in Utah spoke at a rally Saturday, calling for a change in state laws and the right to live the life and religion they choose.

“Because of our beliefs, many of our people have been incarcerated and had their basic human rights stripped of them, namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said a 19-year-old identified only as Tyler. “I didn’t come here today to ask for your permission to live my beliefs. I shouldn’t have to.”

Polygamy is banned in the Utah Constitution and is a felony offense. The rally was unusual because those who practice polygamy typically try to live under the radar. The rally drew about 250 supporters to City Hall, said Mary Batchelor, co-founder of Principle Voices of Polygamy, which helped organize the event.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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