- The Washington Times - Friday, February 17, 2006


No charges filed against ex-mayor

SPOKANE — Federal officials yesterday said they found insufficient evidence to charge former Mayor James West with abusing his office to meet young homosexuals over the Internet.

Mark Bartlett, an assistant U.S. attorney from Seattle who served as special prosecutor, said the nine-month-old public corruption investigation has been closed with no charges filed.

Mr. West, who was recalled from office in December by 65 percent of the voters, said later yesterday that the probe upheld his contention that he had committed no crimes.


Suspect pleads not guilty in deaths of wife, daughter

FRAMINGHAM — Neil Entwistle pleaded not guilty yesterday to murder charges and was jailed without bail in the killings of his wife and baby daughter, who were found fatally shot in bed at the couple’s suburban Boston home.

Mr. Entwistle, wearing shackles and a bulletproof vest, kept his head bowed as officers led him into the building. The 27-year-old was ordered held without bail pending a hearing March 15.

He is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Jan. 20 deaths of his wife, Rachel, 27, and their 9-month-old daughter, Lillian. Mr. Entwistle flew to his native England a day after the shootings, was arrested there last week and was flown back to the United States on Wednesday.


Ambulance workers killed in crash

CARTHAGE — An ambulance responding to a call for help went off a road, rolled several times and hit a tree, killing two emergency medical technicians, state police said.

James K. Goodman, the 46-year-old driver, was pronounced dead shortly after the crash Wednesday evening. Timothy H. Clowers, 31, died at a hospital, state police said.

The report said the weather was clear, and the roads were dry as the crew headed to Carthage, about 45 miles south of Little Rock.


Justice probes boot camp death

PANAMA CITY — The U.S. Justice Department said yesterday that it has opened an investigation into the death of a 14-year-old boy at a Florida Panhandle boot camp for juvenile offenders.

The investigation will focus on whether Martin Lee Anderson’s rights were violated through use of excessive force or “indifference to serious medical need” by guards at the camp, said U.S. attorney Gregory R. Miller of Tallahassee.

The probe will include the FBI and the civil rights division of the Justice Department, he said.

Martin died Jan. 6 at the boot camp after he became uncooperative and was restrained, according to the Bay County sheriff’s office.


Church seeks audit of abuse claims

CHICAGO — The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has asked two independent consultants to review its procedures for handling child-sex-abuse claims, the latest response to critics who have blasted the church’s sluggish response to removing priests accused of abuse.

The diocese has asked a consulting firm to review its classified procedures for handling child-sex-abuse claims against two priests, Chancellor Jimmy Lago said Wednesday. It also has hired a separate inspector, a licensed clinical social worker, to examine the practice of allowing accused clergy to continue in ministry under monitoring.

The moves are a first for church leaders in Chicago, but other U.S. dioceses have ordered similar outside investigations. Mr. Lago announced this week that he has been appointed to oversee internal investigations of child-sex-abuse accusations.


Inmate escapes in dog trainer’s crate

LANSING — A dog trainer who did volunteer work at a prison ran off with a convicted killer after helping him escape in a dog crate loaded into the back of her van, authorities say.

Toby Young, a 48-year-old married mother of two grown sons, was the founder of a program that rescued dogs from animal shelters and worked with inmates to train the pets and make them suitable for adoption.

Authorities at the state prison at Lansing said seven inmates apparently helped pull off the escape Sunday by putting 27-year-old prisoner John Manard into the crate, then hoisting it into her vehicle.

Two guards who were supposed to check the van before it left the prison did not do so, perhaps because they recognized and trusted Mrs. Young, authorities said. The state offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to Manard’s arrest.


Coal miner killed after roof collapse

FRANKFORT — The number of coal miners killed on the job in the United States this year rose to 20 yesterday after a rock fall in an underground operation in eastern Kentucky.

A layer of rocks fell on a miner in a TECO Coal mine near Hazard, said Chuck Wolfe, spokesman for the state’s Environmental & Public Protection Cabinet.

The company identified the victim as Tim Caudill, a 33-year-old roof bolter who has worked for the company since 2001. There were no other injuries, the company said.


Archdiocese closes churches after Katrina

NEW ORLEANS — The Archdiocese of New Orleans is indefinitely shuttering more than 30 badly damaged churches, consolidating dozens of parishes and elementary schools and permanently closing seven churches wrecked by Hurricane Katrina.

The plan comes as the archdiocese faces uninsured hurricane losses of $84 million and a sharply decreased population in the region.

Casualties include historic St. Augustine Parish in Treme, founded in 1841 as the mother parish of black Catholics. The church will remain open for a weekly Mass, but its parishioners will become part of a neighboring parish.

Before the hurricane in August, the archdiocese had 142 parishes, but 35 parishes now have no worship life, officials said. The storm affected nearly a third of the church’s 1,200 buildings.


Appeals court upholds state marriage laws

ALBANY — A midlevel appeals court yesterday upheld state marriage laws, handing a defeat to dozens of same-sex couples seeking to “marry.”

“In our opinion, the Legislature is where changes to marriages of the nature urged by plaintiffs should be addressed,” Justice John Lahtinen said in the 5-0 decision of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department.

The ruling affected three lawsuits filed by same-sex couples from Ithaca and Albany, including some who were “married” in 2004 by the mayor of New Paltz.

All three lower court judges upheld state marriage laws.

In December, the state’s midlevel appeals court for the First Department overturned a Manhattan judge’s ruling that allowed same-sex “marriage.”


Vandals strike at Gettysburg

GETTYSBURG — Vandals damaged monuments and removed parts of sculpture at the Gettysburg National Military Park in the third such incident in a little more than a year.

Two bronze sculptures honoring New York and Pennsylvania soldiers were dragged from their places, and a sword is missing from a sculpture honoring Massachusetts infantry, park spokeswoman Katie Lawhon said yesterday.

The bronze head of an artilleryman figure was removed at the New York monument, she said. The vandalism occurred late Wednesday or early yesterday.

Two previous thefts at the Gettysburg park have not been solved: A bronze sword was stolen from a Pennsylvania cavalry marker in January 2005 and a sword from the Alexander Hays monument was taken in September 2004.


Mother, daughter give birth on same day

PROVO — A 42-year-old woman and her daughter each had babies 90 minutes apart, assisted by the same nurses in the same room at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

Both Sherri Callister, of Mona, and daughter Chelsee Bushman, 22, of Springville, were having pregnancy complications when the babies were delivered by Caesarean section Feb. 9.

Mrs. Bushman delivered first — 3-pound daughter Bentley May. Ninety minutes later, Mrs. Callister had a son, 5-pound, 8-ounce Dakota Dean.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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