- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2006


Island volcano erupts again

ANCHORAGE — A volcano on an uninhabited Alaskan island erupted again after 10 days of relative calm.

The first eruption in a series that started Friday night and continued into Saturday shot a cloud of ash almost six miles into the air, said geologist Jim Vallance of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The eruptions prompted the National Weather Service to issue an ash advisory for Kodiak Island to the southeast and a warning for pilots in the area.


Great-grandma kills boy’s dad, police say

LAKE FOREST — A man picking up his young son for a supervised court visit was shot twice at point-blank range by the boy’s 81-year-old great-grandmother and died of his injuries, police said.

Alex Reyes, 26, was shot Saturday while picking up his 18-month-old son, said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Witnesses reported that Mr. Reyes appeared to be having a casual conversation with his ex-wife and her grandmother, Jeane Ellen Allen, on the front porch of their home, when the grandmother reportedly pulled out a gun and fired, Mr. Amormino said.

Mrs. Allen was arrested for investigation of attempted murder and was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail. She likely will be charged with murder, the sheriff’s department said.


Army decorates Lynch’s rescuers

SAVANNAH — The Army unit that helped rescue prisoner of war Jessica Lynch from an Iraqi hospital during a nighttime raid has been given an award for valor.

The 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, based in Savannah, received the Valorous Unit Award during a ceremony Friday. It is the Army’s third-highest unit citation.

A convoy from Miss Lynch’s company took a wrong turn and was attacked in Nasariyah in March 2003. Eleven U.S. soldiers were killed and six captured, including Miss Lynch. She suffered spinal fractures, nerve damage and a shattered right arm, right foot and left leg when her Humvee crashed.


Sex offenders face stiffer penalty

DES MOINES — A bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed a “one strike” bill for sexual predators of children that could bring a sentence of life in prison without parole.

The measure calls for a mandatory 25-year sentence for an adult convicted of sexually abusing a child 12 or younger, with the potential that a judge could impose a life sentence. The legislature last year toughened the state’s sex abuse laws after the slaying of 10-year-old Jetseta Gage.


Business cards lead to drug suspect

LEAVENWORTH — The business cards got a response, but surely not what their owner had in mind when he had them printed.

Police said they heard that Sylvester J. Williams, 21, of Leavenworth, was selling drugs. Then, they received an unexpected tip.

“Then we heard that he was handing out business cards,” Maj. Patrick Kitchens said. “In the course of our investigation, we were fortunate to come up with one, and we gave him a call.”

Maj. Kitchens said the business card had an image of what appeared to be an alarm clock being hit by a boxing glove and said, “For a quick hit on time call the boss.”

Mr. Williams was charged Monday with possessing crack cocaine with the intent to sell it, Maj. Kitchens said. He was in custody Wednesday on $75,000 bail.


Teacher resigns after R-rated class

LEXINGTON — A school has decided that showing the R-rated movie “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” is not an appropriate high school Spanish lesson.

Fernando Del Pino was suspended with pay Tuesday for showing the movie to students at Lexington’s Tates Creek High School a day earlier, said Lisa Deffendall, spokeswoman for Fayette County Public Schools. He resigned Thursday.

Mr. Del Pino, who was hired in August, said he decided to show the film after a student brought it to class and said it “was very funny,” the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The movie is about a 40-year-old single man whose friends try to help him gain sexual experience.


U.S. to cover Medicare expenses

TRENTON — U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael O. Leavitt promised to reimburse New Jersey for the costs of getting medicine to residents wrongly denied coverage under the new Medicare prescription-drug plan.

Mr. Leavitt made the announcement after meeting with Gov. Jon Corzine, who said the state has spent $1.3 million daily since the plan began on Jan. 1.


Father convicted of raping girl, 3

CINCINNATI — A man who was arrested after offering to have sex with a toddler live on the Internet was convicted of raping his 3-year-old daughter and faces life in prison.

The man’s wife also was charged with sexually abusing their children but was found incompetent to stand trial and is undergoing treatment. Prosecutor Joe Deters said both Paul Kraft, 32, and his wife sexually abused their four sons and daughter, ages 1 to 6, over the past year.

Kraft was arrested after he encountered an undercover Secret Service agent in March in an online chat room called “baby and preteen sex.” In an online exchange, Kraft offered to rape a 3-year-old live on the Internet if another person would do the same so he could watch, prosecutors said.

Kraft waived his right to a jury trial, and Judge Charles J. Kubicki convicted him Thursday of five charges of rape and 12 charges of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor.


University funds will top $1 billion

NORMAN — The University of Oklahoma expects its endowment for expansion, research and faculty to grow to $1 billion within three years, a level reached by only 14 public universities.

President David Boren told university regents that the endowment stands at $850 million. Mr. Boren said the school has nearly quadrupled its endowed faculty positions since 1994, attracting top scholars from around the world.


Amtrak derailment causes minor injuries

SPOKANE — Amtrak’s Chicago-bound Empire Builder passenger train derailed early Saturday near Spokane, causing minor injuries.

Preliminary reports indicated that a rail was broken, but it wasn’t clear when it broke or how, said Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell.

A few of the 86 passengers and six crew members were treated for minor injuries in the town of Sprague, near the accident site about 45 miles west of Spokane, Miss Connell said.


Cat blamed for house fire

EAU CLAIRE — Fire officials are blaming a 20-pound cat for starting a house fire that caused about $25,000 damage.

The gray and white cat apparently jumped onto an electric range in the basement of a two-story home at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday and turned on the push-button control, said Darrell Christy, the fire department’s chief of operations. Plastic containers on top of the range smoldered.

“We eliminated everything except for the cat,” Mr. Christy said.

The cat died, likely of smoke inhalation, he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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