- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2006

COLORADO

Lightning strike hurts 7 mountain hikers

MARBLE — Lightning struck a tree where seven mountain hikers were resting, seriously injuring a 15-year-old and sending all seven to a hospital, authorities said yesterday.

The hikers, from two parties, had stopped near the tree Monday on 11,850-foot Marble Mountain when lightning hit it, the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Department said.

Four persons in the group were able to walk to Marble, about four miles away, and call for help.

The 15-year-old was in serious but stable condition, the sheriff’s department said. The six others were treated at a hospital and released. Two children, ages 5 and 9, were among the injured, officials said.

FLORIDA

Second tropical storm of season forms

MIAMI — Tropical Storm Beryl, the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, formed off the North Carolina coast yesterday and a watch was issued for the eastern part of the state.

A hurricane reconnaissance aircraft reported that the storm’s maximum sustained winds were at least 40 mph, the National Hurricane Center said. At 5 p.m., Beryl was centered about 180 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras and was moving toward the north at about 6 mph.

The storm is expected to make its closest approach to North Carolina today, and it was forecast to remain a tropical storm, said hurricane specialist Eric Blake.

CONNECTICUT

Lesbian couple files malpractice suit

STAMFORD — In what attorneys say is the first case of its kind since Connecticut legalized civil unions, a lesbian couple filed a medical-malpractice lawsuit yesterday, claiming botched cancer treatments damaged their love life.

Margaret Mueller and Charlotte Stacey are accusing two doctors of treating Miss Mueller for ovarian cancer when she actually had cancer of the appendix. They contend she underwent years of grueling chemotherapy while the cancer spread.

Married couples in personal-injury cases commonly sue over damage to their love lives, or what is known as loss of consortium.

Joshua Koskoff, an attorney for the lesbian couple, said that Connecticut’s civil union law — which passed last year and gives homosexual couples many of the same rights as heterosexual ones — entitles same-sex partners to sue for loss of consortium.

Attorneys for the doctors, Iris Wertheim and Isidore Tepler, said the two provided appropriate care for a complex illness.

ILLINOIS

Migraine with ‘aura’ linked to heart risk

CHICAGO — People who experience vision abnormalities before a migraine strikes are at double the risk of heart disease, compared with people who do not get the debilitating headaches, a study said yesterday.

The “aura” that immediately precedes a migraine affects sufferers differently, with some combination of dizziness, flashes or spots of light, and temporary loss of vision.

Among the 28 million Americans, mostly women, who suffer migraines, fewer than one-third experience the aura beforehand that was linked in the study to the increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

Though the risk of stroke or heart problems was double among migraine sufferers with aura, the problems can take a long time to appear, and there are more significant risk factors, such as smoking and high cholesterol, according to the five-year study of 5,125 women age 45 or older.

NEW MEXICO

Man proposes at UFO Museum

ROSWELL — Ross Savedra fought aliens to rescue his girlfriend, then popped the question in an out-of-this-world proposal.

Mr. Savedra, 32, staged his elaborate proposal Sunday afternoon for Ariana Ash, 23, with the help of family members and Roswell’s UFO Museum.

Mr. Savedra and Miss Ash were touring the museum when a silver-suited, masked alien from an exhibit called “alien autopsy” suddenly abducted Miss Ash from in front of a group of tourists. Mr. Savedra dashed through the crowd, fought two aliens and rescued her.

He then dropped to his knees, presented her a ring and asked her to marry him.

They embraced in a cloud of shiny colored confetti tossed by onlookers and were applauded by tourists who had been tipped off by the aliens — Miss Ash’s brother-in-law and stepfather.

“By the way, everyone, she said ‘yes,’ ” said Julie Shuster, the museum’s director.

NEW YORK

Ex-mayor jailed in underage-sex case

OSWEGO — The former mayor of this Lake Ontario town was sentenced yesterday to more than three years in federal prison for trying to arrange a sexual encounter with two teenage girls.

John Gosek, mayor of Oswego from 2000 to 2005, admitted paying $250 to a woman he believed had lined up two 15-year-old girls for sex at a hotel in suburban Syracuse. The woman was an FBI informant who secretly recorded Gosek as part of a sting operation.

U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy in Binghamton sentenced Gosek to 37 months in prison. He will have to register as a sex offender after his release.

Gosek, 59, pleaded guilty in March to using a cell phone to entice someone under 18 to have sex with him.

NORTH CAROLINA

58 persons detained in ICE sweep

FORT BRAGG — Federal agents conducting a sweep aimed at illegal immigrants detained 58 civilian workers yesterday as they tried to enter Fort Bragg with suspected false or fraudulently obtained identification, officials said.

Almost all of them were construction workers, officials said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, U.S. marshals and FBI agents worked with the military on the sweep, which was conducted between 6 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., when most of the thousands of soldiers and civilian workers who live off the post enter the gates.

Some of the people detained were from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, ICE spokesman Marc Raimondi said.

Four persons were also arrested for drug possession.

PENNSYLVANIA

Dog helps save tot running on rooftops

PHILADELPHIA — A toddler climbed out of a second-story window and scampered across the porch rooftops of at least eight row houses before a family dog’s barking alerted residents, police and neighbors said.

Neighbors who heard the dog spotted the 23-month-old boy, Phillip Redmond Jr., followed closely by the family’s German shepherd, Alfie.

“He was protecting the baby, making sure the baby was all right,” neighbor Tina Mitchell told WPVI-TV.

Another neighbor, Shavyonn Robinson, was able to grab the toddler from a porch roof a few doors down Sunday morning, police said.

By the time police arrived, the child had been helped down from the roof and officers took him to the hospital.

Child-welfare officials placed the boy in the care of relatives while the incident is investigated, said the boy’s father, Phillip Redmond. He said he was embarrassed, but grateful that his son was fine.

TEXAS

Doctor says Yates killed to help herself

HOUSTON — Andrea Yates drowned her five children in the bathtub because she was overwhelmed and felt inadequate as a mother, not because of any altruistic or religious motive, a forensic psychiatrist testified yesterday in her murder trial.

“In my professional opinion, Andrea Yates drowned her children to help herself, not to help her children,” Dr. Michael Welner told jurors.

He said Mrs. Yates had become detached from 6-month-old Mary, 2-year-old Luke, 3-year-old Paul, 5-year-old John and 7-year-old Noah and showed no remorse.

No symbols were found at the scene that would suggest a religious motive, and when Mrs. Yates initially told police she killed the children, she didn’t say that she sent them to heaven or was trying to save them from hell, as she later told a jail psychiatrist.

Mrs. Yates was convicted of capital murder in 2002, but the conviction was overturned by an appeals court that said some erroneous testimony may have influenced jurors. Her retrial traces much of the same ground as the original.

Her attorneys say she suffered from severe postpartum psychosis.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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