- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 11, 2006

GOP leaders endorse Swann for governor

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s Republican Party leaders endorsed former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann for governor yesterday, virtually guaranteeing that he will be the party’s standard-bearer against Democratic incumbent Edward G. Rendell this fall.

Mr. Swann, 53, was unopposed for the endorsement, a unanimous voice vote during a meeting of the 300-plus-member Republican State Committee at a downtown hotel.

Mr. Swann is seeking to become Pennsylvania’s first black governor. Though he has revealed little about his political philosophy, he has said the Democratic Party has “taken the African-American vote for granted.”

Ex-L.A. mayor home after heart surgery

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan has been released from a hospital after heart-bypass surgery, his law firm said.

Mr. Riordan, 75, was released from St. John’s Health Center on Friday after last weekend’s surgery, according to a statement from law firm Bingham McCutchen.

Mr. Riordan served two terms as mayor, from 1993 to 2001. He joined Bingham McCutchen last year after resigning his post as state secretary of education. He lost the Republican nomination for governor in 2002.

Soldier sentenced in infantryman’s death

COLUMBUS, Ga. — A former 3rd Infantry Division soldier will serve five years on probation after pleading guilty and testifying for the prosecution for his role in the 2003 murder of a fellow infantryman just days after they returned from Iraq.

Douglas Woodcoff, of San Antonio, pleaded guilty Friday in civilian court to a charge of concealing a death in the killing of Spc. Richard Davis.

Two other soldiers, Alberto Martinez and Mario Navarrete, were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Jacob Burgoyne, who was allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for his testimony, was sentenced to 20 years.

According to testimony, Burgoyne and Spc. Davis got into a fight after leaving a nightclub in Columbus, and the soldiers went to a wooded area where Spc. Davis was stabbed more than 33 times. The body was burned and not discovered for three months.

Woman wrongly posts sex-offender signs

BELLA VISTA, Ark. — A woman hung a sign on a neighbor’s door warning people that the man who lived there was a sex offender. But there was a problem: She had the wrong house.

Carolyn Hansen told sheriff’s investigators she had been told by her daughter that a sex offender who moved to the neighborhood lived in the home.

“Don’t play here. Child molester lives here,” said a sign on the house, according to a police report.

Miss Hansen acknowledged she posted that sign, as well as one in nearby park that read: “There is a child molester here. Keep children out of the park.”

After Miss Hansen learned she had the wrong address, she apologized to the man who lives in the house. He declined to press charges, Benton County sheriff’s investigator Barb Shrum said.

NYC employee fired over computer game

NEW YORK — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg isn’t playing games. After he saw a game of solitaire on a city employee’s computer screen, he fired him.

The Republican mayor stopped by the city’s legislative office in Albany while visiting the state Capitol to hear the governor’s State of the State address.

Mr. Bloomberg noticed a solitaire game on office assistant Edward Greenwood IX’s computer screen as he was making the rounds in the office. He said nothing about it to Mr. Greenwood, but later told an aide to fire him.

The story was reported by the New York Post on Thursday, and Mr. Bloomberg defended his no-tolerance decision.

“The workplace is not an appropriate place for games,” he said. “It’s a place where you’ve got to do the job that you’re getting paid for.”

Mr. Greenwood said he had limited his play time to his one-hour lunch or during quick breaks when he needed a moment of distraction.

Rock-climbing wall stolen, abandoned

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Worrying about thieves is nothing new for retail stores, but Outdoors Inc. thought its 6,000-pound, 30-foot-tall rock-climbing wall was safe. It wasn’t.

Someone made off with the $30,000 wall Wednesday morning, but it was recovered Friday at a vacant lot near the Memphis airport.

The wall was stolen from a storage lot used by Outdoor Inc., which rents the wall to organizers of outdoors events and festivals.

“I don’t know what to think,” co-owner Lawrence Migliara said. “Why would someone steal that? I just didn’t know that wall was that desirable, to take that much of a risk.”

Police were investigating, but said they had no leads.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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