- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2006

ARKANSAS

Nurse saves chicken using mouth-to-beak

ARKADELPHIA — This chicken had lips, just not her own.

A retired nurse saved her brother’s chicken, Boo Boo, by administering mouth-to-beak resuscitation last week after the fowl was found floating face down in the family’s pond.

Marian Morris said she hadn’t had any practice with CPR in years, but she was interested to see if she “still had it.”

“I breathed into its beak, and its dadgum eyes popped open,” she said. “I breathed into its beak again, and its eyes popped open again. I said, ‘I think this chicken’s alive now. Keep it warm.’”

FLORIDA

Diet doctor’s widow to donate to school

FORT LAUDERDALE — Veronica Atkins, whose late husband Dr. Robert Atkins ignited the low-carb craze, said she’ll donate $16,000 to a school where some students refused to raise funds by selling candy.

The North Side Elementary students said selling junk food violated their schooling about healthy eating. The money was for a field trip to Washington.

ILLINOIS

Settlement reached in stampede deaths

CHICAGO — The owners of a Chicago nightclub where 21 persons died in a stampede have agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle dozens of lawsuits brought by victims and their families, lawyers said yesterday.

Dozens of people were crushed in a narrow stairwell at the E2 nightclub when someone used pepper spray to break up a dance floor fight and sent the crowd into a panic. Bodies jammed the door as people still inside tried to push their way out.

The agreement by now-bankrupt club owner Dwain Kyles and business partner Calvin Hollins Jr. would settle 21 wrongful-death and 95 injury claims, said Robert Phillips, an attorney representing some of the more than 100 plaintiffs.

The agreement still requires a judge’s approval. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 8.

MICHIGAN

Documentary brings arrest in 1979 killing

HOLLAND — Twenty-six years after the slaying of a young woman, an arrest has been made in the crime, thanks to a college documentary that brought out witnesses, authorities said.

Robert Michael Lynch, 66, was arrested on murder charges Tuesday in the strangling of Janet Chandler. She vanished one night and her body was found the next day outside town.

Hope College professor David Schock said he decided to have his class make the documentary after talking with a retiring police captain who was troubled by the case. The film aired on a public television station in 2004.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Warm winter cancels sled-dog event

LACONIA — New Hampshire’s warm winter has forced the cancellation of another popular outdoor event. For the second year in a row, organizers have called off the World Championship Sled Dog Derby because there isn’t enough snow. The city also canceled this year’s Winterfest celebration held in conjunction with the races.

NEW YORK

Study says pill fails to ease prostate ills

NEW YORK — A popular herbal pill used by millions of men doesn’t reduce the frequent urge to go to the bathroom or other annoying symptoms of an enlarged prostate, a rigorous new study concludes.

The yearlong research found the plant extract, saw palmetto, was no more effective than dummy capsules in easing symptoms for the 225 men in the study. The results contrast with previous research that showed it helped.

“This certainly sheds some doubt on whether the product’s effective and suggests that it might not work,” said the lead researcher, Dr. Stephen Bent, of the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

The findings are published in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.

NORTH CAROLINA

Retirees waiting for pension checks

RALEIGH — Hundreds of newly retired government workers and teachers have waited months to receive their first pension checks. The delay results from a bottleneck created by a surge of people leaving state jobs.

The treasurer’s office has told 462 workers who retired between Oct. 1 and Jan. 1 that their first checks will be about two months late.

OREGON

Lawmaker questions cut for logging study

GRANTS PASS — Accusing the Bush administration of manipulating science for political ends, a congressman is calling for an investigation into why federal funding was suspended for a study that did not support White House calls for more logging after wildfires.

Rep. Jay Inslee, Washington Democrat, asked the Interior Department’s inspector general to examine whether the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was punishing researchers from Oregon State University for their findings.

“It’s very apparent to most neutral observers that under this administration in a variety of ways that the scientific process has been corrupted by political influence,” Mr. Inslee said Tuesday.

The Bush administration has argued that logging a national forest after a blaze can clear debris and reduce the risk of further wildfires. But the OSU study, published last month in the journal Science, found that salvage logging killed seedlings and increased, in the short term, the amount of fuel on the ground to feed more fires.

TEXAS

Mother indicted over adoption funds

HOUSTON — A Houston woman whose seven adoptive children were found abandoned at a Nigerian orphanage has been indicted for reportedly pocketing thousands of dollars meant to support them.

Mercury Liggins, 49, was charged with felony theft and held on $880,000 bail. She was receiving close to $500 in adoption subsidies for each child while the children lived in Nigeria, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Estella Olguin said.

An American missionary found the children, some of them sick and malnourished, in August 2004. The children eventually returned to Texas and are now in foster care.

WEST VIRGINIA

Injured soldier to get body armor refund

CHARLESTON — A former soldier injured in Iraq is getting a refund after being forced to pay for his missing body armor vest, which medics destroyed because it was soaked with his blood, officials said yesterday.

First Lt. William “Eddie” Rebrook IV, 25, had to leave the Army with a shrapnel injury to his arm. But before he could be discharged last week, he says he had to scrounge up cash from his buddies to pay $632 for the body armor and other gear he had lost.

Lt. Rebrook, who graduated from West Point with honors, said he was billed because a supply officer failed to document that the vest was destroyed as a biohazard. He said a battalion commander refused to sign a waiver for the vest, saying Lt. Rebrook would have to supply witness statements to verify the vest was taken from him and burned.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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