- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2006

ARIZONA

Shooting suspect points to roommate

PHOENIX — One of two men arrested in a string of shootings has denied any involvement but says his roommate may have used his car and weapons to carry out the attacks without his knowledge.

“I am not a monster,” Dale S. Hausner said in an interview from jail Sunday. “I feel very sorry for the families of the people who were hurt, but I didn’t do it.”

Mr. Hausner, 33, said the other man arrested for the crimes, Samuel John Dieteman, might have taken his car and guns to commit the crimes.

Mr. Hausner said his brother introduced him to Mr. Dieteman, 30, six months ago. About a month ago, he said, he let Mr. Dieteman move into his apartment. He said he felt sorry for Mr. Dieteman because he had no job or home.

Mr. Dieteman and Mr. Hausner face two counts each of first-degree murder and 14 counts each of attempted first-degree murder. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

They are being investigated in 36 shootings in which six persons were killed and 17 were wounded. Other shootings involved animals.

CALIFORNIA

Equipment failure snarls air travel

LOS ANGELES — A computerized system that guides arriving planes onto a runway at Los Angeles International Airport failed yesterday, delaying numerous flights across the country.

A few incoming flights were diverted, others were forced to circle the airport and some planes were ordered to remain on the ground at other airports, officials said. Arriving flights were held up about 45 minutes on average, and departing flights also were delayed.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the cause of the problem was unknown.

The malfunctioning piece of equipment, called a localizer, acts as a beacon to guide arriving planes onto runways. It is most crucial when it is foggy or hazy, and it was foggy at the airport yesterday.

Because of a runway construction project, LAX, the world’s fifth-busiest airport, has three working runways. One handles arrivals, one handles takeoffs and one handles both. It was the shared runway that had the problem.

CONNECTICUT

Family group denied voice in lawsuit

HARTFORD — The state Supreme Court has denied a conservative group’s request to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to legalize homosexual “marriage” in Connecticut.

The court decision, released yesterday, upholds a lower court’s ruling denying the Family Institute of Connecticut’s motion to intervene.

Eight homosexual couples are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s marriage laws, saying they treat homosexual and heterosexual couples differently.

The Family Institute wanted legal standing to present evidence that it says shows children are hurt by living in homosexual homes.

Connecticut recently became the first state to offer civil unions without a court order, but the couples involved in the lawsuit argue that civil unions are not equal to full marriage.

NEW YORK

Jewish heirs to sell Klimt paintings

NEW YORK — Four of five oil paintings by Gustav Klimt that were the focus of a restitution battle between the Austrian government and the artworks’ Jewish heirs will be heading to Christie’s for sale this fall, the auction house announced yesterday.

Christie’s has not determined whether the works — three landscapes and a portrait worth an estimated $100 million — will be auctioned or sold privately, said Steven Thomas, the Los Angeles lawyer who represents the heirs.

“The family only recently decided to go ahead and sell the four paintings,” Mr. Thomas said. “It’s quite possible some or all of them will go to auction in November.”

TEXAS

Honduran rescued from stifling rail car

SAN ANTONIO — A Honduran man spent two days trapped in a train car in stifling heat before he was rescued when someone heard his cries for help.

The man, who was not identified, was rescued Saturday when the train came to a stop in the San Antonio area.

He told authorities he had left Honduras several weeks ago and worked his way up to Laredo, where he paid a smuggler $2,000 to get to New York City, Bexar County Sheriff’s Sgt. Russell McWhorter said.

“Off he went to San Antonio, with no food or water or any way to get out of the train,” said Sgt. McWhorter, who estimated the temperature in the metal car was near 100 degrees.

UTAH

Operation begins on conjoined twins

SALT LAKE CITY — Doctors began separation surgery yesterday on 4-year-old conjoined twins in what was described as the first separation attempt on twins with a shared kidney.

Kendra and Maliyah Herrin are fused at the torso. In addition to their kidney, they share a liver, a pelvis, a pair of legs and part of the large intestine.

The girls headed to the operating room at 7:15 a.m. after a tearful goodbye with their parents.

The surgery at Primary Children’s Hospital was expected to take between 12 and 24 hours, said Dr. Rebecka Meyers, head pediatrician surgeon. Doctors at the hospital say it is the first known separation surgery attempted on twins with a shared kidney.

If all goes according to plan, each girl will get one leg and Kendra the kidney. Maliyah will be put on dialysis for three to six months until she is strong enough for transplant surgery, Dr. Meyers said. Their mother, Erin Herrin, is the planned kidney donor.

WISCONSIN

Cheese makers claim jackpot win

ST. CLOUD — A group of about 100 cheese-factory workers say they hold the winning ticket for the $208.6 million Powerball jackpot.

No one has come forward officially to claim the jackpot, but the group of workers employed by Sargento Cheese in Plymouth said Sunday that they were the ones who bought the ticket with the winning numbers that were picked Saturday. They said the ticket was locked in a safe somewhere.

Some of the workers gathered Sunday at a tavern in St. Cloud to celebrate with friends and relatives.

The factory workers have pooled their money for several years at $1 apiece whenever the jackpot rose to $100 million or more. They planned to contact a lawyer before deciding when to turn in the ticket.

The winning ticket was sold at Ma and Pa’s Grocery Express in Fond du Lac along the so-called “Miracle Mile,” a stretch of South Main Street where several stores sold multimillion-dollar tickets during the 1990s.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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