- The Washington Times - Monday, August 7, 2006

CALIFORNIA

2 firefighters die in helicopter crash

HAPPY CAMP — A helicopter pilot and co-pilot were killed when their aircraft crashed into the Klamath River while battling a series of lightning-caused fires, authorities said Saturday.

The helicopter went down Friday night about 10 miles southwest of Happy Camp in Siskiyou County, sheriff’s and U.S. Forest Service officials said.

The helicopter was owned by a private company working under contract with the Forest Service, agency spokeswoman Jean Gilbertson said. Names of the victims were not released.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

ILLINOIS

Sex in music influences teens

CHICAGO — Teens whose IPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

Whether it’s hip-hop, rap, pop or rock, much of popular music aimed at teens contains sexual overtones. Its influence on their behavior appears to depend on how the sex is portrayed, researchers found.

Songs depicting men as “sex-driven studs” and women as sex objects and containing explicit references to sex acts are more likely to trigger early sexual behavior than those in which sexual references are more veiled and relationships appear to be more committed, said the study by the Rand Corp.

The study, based on telephone interviews with 1,461 participants ages 12 to 17, appears in the August issue of Pediatrics, being released today.

INDIANA

City responds to spike in crime

INDIANAPOLIS — Police officials mobilized more officers Saturday and began to clear more jail space in response to a spike in violent crime that included overnight shootings that killed five persons.

“This is an extreme emergency, and we’ve got to pull together and do whatever it takes,” Mayor Bart Peterson said after stopping at the scene of a shootout hours earlier that killed two persons and injured two others.

The Indianapolis Police Department immediately boosted the number of patrols on the streets. Officials plan to lengthen court hours and work to free up space in Marion County’s overcrowded jail to make room for those arrested during the crackdown.

LOUISIANA

Fare collection for transit resumes

NEW ORLEANS — The free ride, at least on the New Orleans transit system, has come to an end.

The Regional Transit Authority planned to resume collecting the $1.25 basic fare on buses and streetcars yesterday for the first time since Hurricane Katrina hit on Aug. 29. The fare was suspended when a scaled-down system started in October.

A federal aid package for the agency, originally set to expire June 30, was extended until Nov. 30, but the new agreement calls for the collection of fares.

NEW JERSEY

Probe ordered of day care site

FRANKLINVILLE — New Jersey’s attorney general has ordered an investigation into why a day care center where dozens of children were exposed to toxic mercury fumes was allowed to operate in a former thermometer factory.

Attorney General Zulima Farber called the situation at Kiddie Kollege “outrageous.”

The center closed July 28 after owners were told of the mercury fumes.

More than 30 children were exposed to toxic mercury vapors at the center, and dozens more may have been affected. The children were being tested to determine whether they suffered any health problems from the exposure.

NEW YORK

Accused killer declares innocence

NEW YORK — An ex-convict accused of beating and strangling a suburban teenager last month after she left a Manhattan nightclub declared his innocence in a jailhouse interview.

“I apologize for your loss. Sincerely, I apologize,” Draymond Coleman told the New York Post for a story in yesterday’s editions, directing his words to Jennifer Moore’s family. “But I had nothing to do with this. You’re looking at the wrong guy.”

Mr. Coleman has been charged with murder in the death of Miss Moore, 18, whose body was discovered last month in a trash bin in West New York, N.J.

“I didn’t kill that girl,” he said in an interview at Rikers Island, where he is being held without bail until an Aug. 25 hearing.

PENNSYLVANIA

Kidnapped baby found in pickup

PHILADELPHIA — A 14-month-old boy reported kidnapped in a home invasion robbery yesterday was found unharmed hours later in the back of a pickup truck several miles away.

A jogger returning to his vehicle at Fairmount Park found the baby crying in the open-air bed of his truck.

The baby, Dowyane Reid, was “a little dehydrated, a little lethargic, but OK,” police Lt. George McClay said.

The child’s family reported that as many as 10 masked, armed men removed a window air conditioner and broke into their northwestern Philadelphia row house about 5:50 a.m.

TEXAS

Murder suspect’s body found

HOUSTON — Police think a suspect in a 2003 quadruple murder was found dead in South Carolina.

Christopher Lee Snider, 21, was charged with capital murder in the shooting and beating deaths of four young friends in a south Houston home, police said. Houston police said the motive was “the hunt for drugs and money.”

Snider fled to Greenville, S.C., after learning that authorities were looking for him, Houston police determined.

Acting on a tip that Snider might have committed suicide, Greenville authorities used police dogs to find a decomposed body that matched Snider’s physical description in a densely wooded area.

The cause of death will be determined through an autopsy, police said.

WASHINGTON

Gates foundation adds to scholarships

SEATTLE — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says it will add $58 million to expand its $1 billion Millennium Scholars program to target low-income and minority students seeking graduate degrees in public health.

It is the first time the foundation has added money to the scholarship program since it was established in 1999.

The program has given scholarships to more than 10,000 students for undergraduate education in their choice of major and for graduate work in public health, education, science, math, engineering and library science.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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