- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 21, 2006

ARKANSAS

Immigrant cleared of terror charge

FAYETTEVILLE — A University of Arkansas graduate was found not guilty of attempting to provide material support to a Palestinian terrorist organization but convicted of lesser charges, including making false statements on immigration documents.

Arwah Jaber, 33, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on each count of obtaining his naturalization unlawfully and making false statements.

CALIFORNIA

Lead poisoning feared in condors

PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT — Wildlife officials laid traps for California condors to test for lead poisoning after many were spotted feeding on squirrels that had been shot.

Even microscopic lead traces from ammunition can paralyze digestive systems in the endangered species and cause the birds to starve to death, park officials said.

The traps were laid over the weekend after 11 of the park’s 13 condors were seen feeding on the squirrel carcasses, said Denise Louie, the park’s chief of natural resources.

COLORADO

Film crew faces charges

LOVELAND — Deputies arriving at a parking lot at a lake came upon a horrifying scene: a woman handcuffed to a white car, a man pistol-whipping another man, people injured and bloodied and someone with a small video camera filming the event.

If the scene Saturday seemed straight out of a low-budget movie, that’s because it was.

Larimer County sheriff’s officials on Monday said actor Chris Borden and director Eileen Agosta were charged with disorderly conduct and accessory to disorderly conduct, respectively.

FLORIDA

NASA picks female commander

CAPE CANAVERAL — Air Force Col. Pamela Ann Melroy will become the second woman to command a space shuttle mission when her crew heads to the International Space Station next year, NASA announced.

Col. Melroy, 44, follows in the footsteps of Eileen Collins, who charted a groundbreaking career as the first woman to pilot and command a space shuttle.

Col. Melroy and five crew members will fly to the International Space Station aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis to deliver a module that eventually will connect to European and Japanese science laboratories, NASA announced Monday. The mission is tentatively slated for late summer 2007.

MASSACHUSETTS

Senator takes aim at Fluff

CAMBRIDGE — A state senator is taking aim at a childhood food staple: Fluff.

Sen. Jarrett Barrios was so outraged that his son Nathaniel, a third-grader, was given a peanut butter and Fluff sandwich at the King Open School in Cambridge that he pledged to file legislation to outlaw the marshmallow spread in school lunch programs.

“A Fluff sandwich as the main course of a nutritious lunch just doesn’t fly in 2006,” said Mr. Barrios, a Democrat. “It seems a little silly to have an amendment on Fluff, but it’s called for by the silliness of schools offering this as a healthy alternative in the first place.”

Mr. Barrios said he will offer an amendment to a junk-food bill that would limit the serving in schools of marshmallow spreads.

MICHIGAN

Teens charged in bus attack

NEW BALTIMORE — Two teenage boys have been charged with assault in the school bus beating of a 10-year-old that was recorded by a surveillance camera.

The tape shows the 13- and 14-year-old boys taunting and teasing Chester Gala on their way home from Anchor Bay Middle School North on May 12. Chester told police that he was hit about 15 times on the head and face.

NEVADA

Bomb materials found in home, police say

RENO — Police found bomb materials and ammunition in the bedroom of a man accused of killing his estranged wife and shooting a family court judge, court documents show.

Authorities were still searching for Darren Mack, who disappeared after the June 12 stabbing of his wife and shooting of Judge Chuck Weller. The judge, who had been handling the couple’s divorce case, survived the attack.

A search warrant affidavit said officers found several boxes of ammunition and an empty gun case with a receipt for a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle equipped with a laser sighting device, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported yesterday. Authorities also found explosive materials commonly used to make bombs, the affidavit said.

NEW YORK

Less-costly design for memorial offered

NEW YORK — A scaled-down design for the September 11 memorial that retains the central elements of the original — including reflecting pools and the inscribed names of the victims — was presented yesterday after the project was sent back to the drawing board because the cost was pushing $1 billion.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki signed off on the more modest proposal, more than a month after asking developer Frank Sciame to find ways to reduce the cost to $500 million.

The announcement marked the beginning of a seven-day public comment period. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which oversees the rebuilding of the site, will adopt a final design by the end of the month, officials said.

TEXAS

Charges dropped against students

ROUND ROCK — A judge has dismissed charges against five students who were ticketed for violating a city youth curfew while protesting national immigration policies.

Municipal Court Judge Dan McNeary dismissed two of the cases June 8 and three others on Thursday, Round Rock City Attorney Steve Sheets said. Prosecutors had asked the judge to drop the charges.

Mr. Sheets said cases are still pending against 93 other students who have pleaded not guilty. Eighty-three others pleaded guilty or no contest and accepted either $200 fines or up to 32 hours of community service.

The youths were among thousands of students in California, Texas, Nevada and other states who marched to protest tough immigration bills under debate in Congress.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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