- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Sheriff to release Columbine evidence

DENVER — The Jefferson County sheriff said yesterday that he would release nearly 1,000 pages of documents seized from the homes of the Columbine High School killers but not the videotapes and audiotapes that the two teenagers made.

Deputies had seized journals kept by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, along with a videotape that the gunmen made of themselves talking about their hatred for most people and their plan to attack the school.

Sheriff Ted Mink said the release of the documents could be delayed if the teenagers’ parents appeal. It wasn’t clear whether they would.

Sheriff Mink said he decided against releasing the tapes after the FBI, which conducted a review at his request, concluded that they “could serve as a strong motivating influence for other adolescents to commit and/or attempt to commit similar acts of violence. The tapes provide instructional material for how to successfully plan and implement similar acts.”


Sanctuary offered to vicious cat

BRIDGEPORT — An animal sanctuary is offering a safe haven to Lewis the cat, a Fairfield feline whose vicious attacks on neighbors have landed his owner in court.

Neighbors say they have been terrorized by Lewis, claiming that the gray-and-white cat has used his long claws and stealth to attack at least a half-dozen people and ambush an Avon saleswoman.

The Best Friends Animal Society of Kanab, Utah, which claims to be the country’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary, offered to take Lewis free of charge.

Superior Court Judge Patrick Carroll is expected to decide Lewis’ fate today, when the cat’s owner, Ruth Cisero, returns to court. Miss Cisero, who was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, earlier refused another judge’s offer of special probation because it carried the condition that Lewis be put to death.


Beagle awarded humanitarian prize

MIAMI — A Florida dog that chomped for help by cell phone — saving the life of her owner, who was in a diabetic seizure — fetched a humanitarian award.

In February, Belle the beagle dialed the emergency number 911 on the cell phone of her owner, Kevin Weaver, when he began to convulse and lapsed into unconsciousness.

Mr. Weaver, a resident of the Central Florida city of Ocoee, adopted Belle for companionship. But after learning about a nonprofit organization that trains dogs to alert diabetic owners of oncoming seizures and to respond, he had her trained as a medical assistant.

Belle was scheduled to be the first animal to receive the VITA Wireless Samaritan Award yesterday in Washington. The annual award is given by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA)-The Wireless Foundation to honor people who use their wireless phones to save lives, stop crime or help in other emergencies.


School-bus videotape shows beating of boy

NEW BALTIMORE — A videotape shows a 10-year-old boy being punched repeatedly by two others on a school bus while the driver continued her route without stopping, the child’s father said yesterday.

The videotape from a camera on the bus shows two boys taunting and teasing Chester Gala on their way home from a middle school in New Baltimore, 30 miles north of Detroit, earlier this month. The tape was shown yesterday on NBC’s “Today.”

After finger-pointing and shoving, one of the boys stood up and punched Chester repeatedly. Despite the altercation, the driver continued her route without stopping, the boy’s father, Eric Gala, said on “Today.”

“I want the whole world to see this tape. I want every parent to realize that when you put your child on the bus, there is a concern for their safety,” he said.

The identities of the boys shown beating Mr. Gala’s son were not available, and there was no indication of whether any charges would be filed.


Street sweeper taken for joy ride

MANCHESTER — A man faces drunken-driving charges after taking a street sweeper out for a joy ride early Saturday morning.

The sweeper was being used in a downtown parking garage Saturday when the operator left the machine unattended. Police say Michael Moran, 26, hopped on the sweeper and started it. Mr. Moran, of Bedford, traveled several blocks before he was caught.

Police said Mr. Moran admitted to taking the street sweeper and said it was a stupid thing to do.


16 states challenge EPA mercury rules

TRENTON — New Jersey’s attorney general filed a court petition yesterday on behalf of 16 states challenging the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new mercury pollution rules.

The petition asks a federal judge to reactivate a lawsuit filed last year challenging a rule known as “cap and trade.”

Cap and trade allows power plants to buy emissions-reduction credits from plants whose emissions fall below target levels, rather than installing their own mercury emissions controls. The regulations are to go into effect in 2010.

The lawsuit was put on hold in October after the EPA agreed to reconsider the rules. On May 31, the agency announced revisions, but they didn’t include cap and trade.

The petition was filed in federal court in Washington.


Sago Mine survivor talks to investigators

MORGANTOWN — Sago Mine survivor Randal McCloy Jr. spoke with state and federal investigators for the first time yesterday, telling them what he can remember about the Jan. 2 explosion and prolonged entrapment that killed 12 co-workers.

Mr. McCloy, 27, of Simpson, is recovering from brain damage caused by more than 41 hours of exposure to carbon monoxide. He often had to pause for long periods or have questions clarified during questioning, said family spokeswoman Aly Goodwin Gregg.

In late April, Mr. McCloy sent a letter to the families of his dead colleagues detailing how at least four air packs failed after the blast, forcing the men to share what little oxygen they had.


Beating victim to sue city

MILWAUKEE — A man beaten outside a party attended by off-duty police officers filed notice yesterday that he would be suing the city for $30 million.

Frank Jude Jr., who is biracial, said he was beaten in 2004 by a group of white men who identified themselves as off-duty police officers.

A jury in April acquitted three men of most of the charges after defense attorneys argued that key witnesses were unreliable. Prosecutors said they planned to retry one after the jury failed to reach a verdict on a charge against him. U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic also is investigating whether to file federal charges. All three men were fired.

Mr. Jude, 27, is seeking $25 million for lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. His wife is asking for $5 million for damages, including loss of companionship and earnings of her husband.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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