- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2006

MASSACHUSETTS

Fire destroys house after explosives found

PEABODY — A house undergoing repairs after a fire in April burned to the ground yesterday, hours after a bomb squad cleared the area because of reports of explosive material.

Officials were investigating the cause of the new fire. The cause of the April blaze was undetermined, the state fire marshal’s office said.

On Wednesday, crews repairing the house had reported finding pipes and chemicals, and authorities evacuated 17 homes, police Lt. Edward Bettencourt said.

Law-enforcement officials worked at the property past midnight, removing some materials. The fire broke out less than two hours later.

Shane Kieran, 23, who lives in the house with his mother and brother, said the suspicious materials were for paintball games.

PENNSYLVANIA

Freight train carrying chlorine gas derails

HERSHEY — Nearly a dozen homes were evacuated after a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying chlorine gas derailed near a golf course.

Officials reported no injuries and no hazardous leaks but said yesterday that the homes would remain evacuated while the 13 derailed cars — one a tank car containing toxic chlorine gas — were being removed.

The cars derailed about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday behind the Hershey American Legion Post. The post and part of the nearby Hershey Country Club golf course also were evacuated.

The 76-car train was traveling from Allentown to Baltimore, Norfolk Southern spokesman Rudy Husband said.

Last year, a train crash that punctured a tank car carrying chlorine gas in Graniteville, S.C., killed nine persons and sickened more than 250 others with the toxic vapors.

ARKANSAS

Justices uphold stay of killer’s execution

LITTLE ROCK — The U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to intervene in the case of convicted killer Don Davis, whose execution had been put on hold by a lower court judge.

Attorneys for the state had asked the high court to void the lower court’s stay. The court denied the request, spokesman Ed Turner said.

Davis, 43, was condemned to die for the 1990 execution-style slaying of Jane Daniels.

A federal judge in Little Rock last week granted Davis’ request for a stay. Davis says Arkansas, which uses the injection method, executes prisoners in a cruel and unusual manner in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Under a death warrant signed by Gov. Mike Huckabee, Arkansas prison officials faced a midnight deadline to execute Davis. His execution had been set for 9 p.m. Wednesday.

CALIFORNIA

2 held on suspicion of human smuggling

CALEXICO — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conducting inspections at the Calexico ports of entry arrested two Mexican nationals suspected of attempting to smuggle a 6-year-old Chinese girl and her father into the United States in two incidents.

CBP spokeswoman Angelica De Cima said Jose Leon Leyva, 36, of Mexicali, was arrested Monday after agency officers discovered the young girl hidden in a specially constructed metal compartment fastened to the undercarriage of Mr. Leyva’s truck. Mr. Leyva was charged with alien smuggling and transported to the Imperial County jail.

A day later, Miss De Cima said, CBP officers discovered a 35-year-old Chinese man hidden in a metal compartment welded to the undercarriage of a truck bed driven by Francisco Apodaca Velazquez, 21, of Mexicali. The Chinese man was determined to be the father of the girl intercepted on Monday. Mr. Velazquez was charged with alien smuggling and transported to the Imperial County jail.

GEORGIA

Teacher bequeaths $1 million to college

ATLANTA — Marie Hulbert was the quintessential schoolmarm — well-read, tidy and reserved.

A year after her death, Augusta State University is adding “generous” to that list of attributes.

Miss Hulbert, who taught junior high and high school biology in Georgia for 35 years, bequeathed $1 million to the university, officials said. The money likely will go to establish an endowment in education or science, said Helen Hendee, executive director of development and alumni relations at Augusta State.

Miss Hulbert, who never married and is survived by one cousin, decided in the early 1990s to give money to Augusta State after taking continuing education classes there, said Iva Williamson, administrator of Miss Hulbert’s will. Miss Williamson said Miss Hulbert used the classes as an outlet while taking care of her aging parents in the 1970s.

NEW MEXICO

Fourth July event features lizard race

LOVINGTON — They dashed their way down a ramp, tickled by feathers to make them move faster.

It was the 27th annual World’s Greatest Lizard Race, part of Lovington’s Fourth of July celebration. The race featured 16 lizards of varying shape, size and color. Some were family pets, and others were captured for the occasion.

A green iguana named Fred Zard, who traveled 900 miles from Lakeside, Calif., won the iguana race by default — he was the only entrant. His owner, Dave Jones, made the 13-hour drive after a friend told him about the event.

The lizard race was won by Miss Hissy Fit, owned by 9-year-old Madeleine Granath, of Lovington.

NEW YORK

Suspect arrested in power-saw attack

NEW YORK — A man wielding a cordless power saw in each hand rampaged through a Manhattan subway station early yesterday, using one of the buzzing blades to carve into the chest of a postal worker who later said it felt like “he was trying to cut through me.”

Police arrested Tareyton Williams, 33, of the Bronx, on attempted murder and other charges about two hours later after they said he punched someone in a random attack on the street.

The subway victim, Michael Steinberg, 64, was hospitalized in stable condition. Speaking by telephone to reporters who gathered outside the hospital, he said the assailant “never spoke … I think he was out of his mind.”

The attacker snatched the two saws from a cart being used by workers upgrading the public address system at a subway station a few blocks south of Columbia University.

“He looked at me, and before I knew it, he was attacking me,” Mr. Steinberg said of the pre-dawn attack, adding that the assailant finally paused to demand money, then bolted out of the station with the victim’s wallet and the power tools. The saws later were found in a trash can.

OHIO

Collection in potty pays streetlight bill

CHAUNCEY — In this Midwestern town, potty humor pays the bills. To collect money for the town’s streetlight bill, the Chauncey Emergency Management Group places a wooden outhouse on residents’ lawn with a donation box where the toilet bowl should be.

People who find the latrine in their yard have to chip in to get it shipped out. They also get to pick the next home it graces. The management group’s Jerry Dowler, whose phone number is posted inside the outhouse, hauls the privy in his pickup truck.

The money helps cover the southeast Ohio village’s $500-a-month bill for streetlights. Voters defeated a tax levy last year, and a committee that gets money from local cable TV bingo has paid the bill since then.

In its first two days, the outhouse collected $200, Mr. Dowler said. The primary purpose of the emergency management group, which is made up of village officials and citizens, is to keep the lights on. The group takes over the bill this month, and the levy is on the ballot again in the fall.

TEXAS

Man fatally shoots wife, self at hospital

KILLEEN — An 84-year-old man visiting his wife at a hospital fatally shot her in the head Wednesday before killing himself, police said.

Authorities said Loyd Tullos had routinely visited Bonnie Tullos, 82, since she was admitted at Metroplex Hospital on Sunday after a heart attack. He shot her shortly before breakfast and then turned the revolver on himself, said Killeen police spokesman Carroll Smith.

Police and hospital staff are not sure what prompted the shooting.

Dr. George Rebecca, who treated Mrs. Tullos at the hospital, said she had been “doing much better” since her hospitalization. She was to undergo a procedure to determine the damage from the heart attack, Dr. Rebecca said in yesterday’s editions of the Killeen Daily Herald.

The couple had no history of domestic disputes, Mr. Smith said. Autopsies were ordered on both bodies.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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