- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 21, 2006


MADD cuts ties with Miss Teen USA

LOS ANGELES — Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said yesterdaythat it was severing ties with Miss Teen USA Katie Blair because it was “disappointed” by reports that she had partied with Miss USA Tara Conner.

The day before, Miss Conner tearfully admitted drinking as a minor at New York nightclubs. She turned 21 on Monday.

“In the past, MADD has teamed with Miss Teen USA to raise awareness about the serious and often deadly consequences of underage drinking,” said Heidi Castle, a spokeswoman for MADD. “However, we do not feel, at this time, that Ms. Blair can be an effective spokesperson on underage drinking and will not ask her to represent MADD in future initiatives.”

A message left for a representative of Miss Blair, an 18-year-old from Billings, Mont., wasn’t returned.


Reputed mob boss pleads guilty

NEW HAVEN — The aging reputed boss of the Genovese organized-crime family pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges filed in an investigation of organized-crime influence over the trash industry in Connecticut and New York.

Matthew “Matty the Horse” Ianniello, 86, acknowledged that he participated in a so-called “property rights” scheme, in which trash haulers carved out routes for each other and agreed not to poach customers. He was one of 29 persons charged over the summer in the scheme, which prosecutors said forced customers to pay more for trash pickup.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, he faces 24 to 30 months in prison for the charges of racketeering conspiracy and tax evasion. Sentencing was set for March 9. He remains free on $1 million bail.


Armored truck crash kills 3, scatters coins

PLAINFIELD — Three vehicles, including an armored truck, crashed near the Indianapolis International Airport yesterday morning, killing three persons and leaving coins strewn about the highway, state police said.

One of the vehicles crossed the center median on Interstate 70 and struck other vehicles in the eastbound lanes, said Indiana State Police 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten. Police were investigating which vehicle caused the wreck.

A pickup truck involved burst into flames, and coins from the United Armored Services truck scattered around the highway.

The two persons in the armored truck and the pickup truck driver were killed. A man, woman and two children in a sport utility vehicle that was also hit were not seriously hurt, Sgt. Bursten said.


Security scare cancels flight

MORRISVILLE — A Cincinnati-bound flight, Delta Air Lines Flight 717, was canceled Tuesday after a cleaning crew discovered a man sitting on a Boeing 737 after he scaled a security fence and climbed on board, authorities said.

Gregory Wester, 32, was arrested at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and charged with trespassing and illegal possession of a prescription drug in addition to a federal charge of accessing an aircraft without permission, airport spokeswoman Mindy Hamlin said. He was being held by U.S. marshals at the Wake County jail.


Amusement park donates to charity

SANDUSKY — Cedar Point Amusement Park roller coasters and rides shake a lot of loose change from its visitors’ pockets during the summer.

Now, the park is giving all of it to charity — to the tune of $7,500.

The amusement park on the shores of Lake Erie will donate the money to Victory Temple Soup Kitchen here from its loose-change fund, officials said.

Cedar Point employees collect and turn in any loose change found underneath rides, on the midway or in the park’s fountains.

The park has donated more than $170,000 to local organizations since 1988.


Sheriff calls off search for climbers

PORTLAND — Rescue teams gave up any hope of finding two missing climbers alive on stormy Mount Hood and abandoned the frustrating, nine-day-old search yesterday.

“We’ve done everything we can at this point,” said Sheriff Joe Wampler.

Sheriff Wampler said the men’s families made the decision to end the search. He said the operation is now a “recovery effort.”

Three climbers in all were reported missing in the snow on Mount Hood on Dec. 11. One of them, 48-year-old Dallas landscape architect Kelly James, was found dead in a snow cave on Monday. Volunteers continued scouring the mountains for signs of Mr. James’ climbing partners, Brian Hall, 37, and Jerry “Nikko” Cooke, 36. But climbing gear found on the peak suggested that the two may have been swept to their deaths.

Sheriff Wampler announced the end of the search after personally piloting a Piper Cub over the 11,239-foot mountain for new clues and finding none.


School named for slain DEA agent

MISSION — A new elementary school here has been named in honor of a slain U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent who was kidnapped, tortured and then killed by drug traffickers in Mexico in 1985.

Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Elementary School is the first newly constructed school in the United States that was named for Mr. Camarena, who was seen as a positive role model who made a difference as he fought the battle against illegal drugs. The La Joya, Texas, Independent School District Board of Trustees chose the name.

The guest speaker at the dedication ceremony was Geneva “Mika” Camarena, the agent’s widow and vice president of the Enrique S. Camarena Educational Foundation. Mrs. Camarena spoke of her late husband’s dedication to his community and nation, and how his memory has inspired others.

Also present at the dedication were Agent Camarena’s sisters, Myrna Covarrubias, Sandra Camarena and Bertha Tamayo, and his niece, Jenine Ramos. Students from Camarena Elementary sang inspirational musical selections and gave a series of short speeches, which centered on the topic “What is a Hero?”


No death penalty in shooting spree

SEATTLE — Prosecutors said yesterday they would not seek the death penalty against the man accused of shooting six persons — one fatally — at a Jewish charity because of the suspect’s long history of mental illness.

King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng said he based his decision on Naveed Haq’s mental-health records from the past decade, though he called the shooting “one of the most serious crimes that has ever occurred in this city.”

Mr. Haq is charged with murder in the death of Pamela Waechter, 58, director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle’s annual fundraising campaign, and with five counts of attempted murder in the attack at the federation’s downtown offices on July 28.

If convicted, Mr. Haq would face life in prison without parole. He also faces charges of kidnapping and malicious harassment, the state’s hate-crime law.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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