- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 6, 2006


Court upholds Denver gun ban

DENVER — A divided Colorado Supreme Court yesterday upheld Denver’s ban on assault weapons, despite arguments that state weapons laws should trump city ordinances.

The 3-3 vote, with one justice abstaining, ended a high-profile fight between Colorado’s largest city and state officials over two state laws enacted in 2003 that pre-empted local regulation of firearms in favor of uniform state regulation.

The city sued the state, claiming the laws violated its rights to regulate matters of local concern.

Denver District Judge Joseph Meyer III ruled in 2004 that the city had to conform to some parts of the state laws, but he said the city could bar the sale of assault weapons and so-called Saturday night specials despite state laws prohibiting local governments from banning weapons that are otherwise legal under state and federal law. Both the city and the state appealed Judge Meyer’s ruling.


Couple to travel in Model A Ford

FLORENCE — Roy and Anna Williams are planning a trip across the country in a vehicle that looks like it made a trip through time.

The northern Kentucky couple are using a 1929 yellow Model A Ford to make a 4,400-mile journey from their home to California and back. They expect the trip to take six weeks.

“It’s all about sightseeing and adventure,” said Mr. Williams, 63. “It’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a couple years.”

The Williamses plan to begin their excursion Saturday, when they head to Los Angeles to visit their daughter. Along the way, they will spend time in St. Louis, Iowa, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone National Park and the Oregon coast. On the way back, they will go through Las Vegas and Colorado.


Oil field explosion kills 3 workers

RALEIGH — An explosion yesterday at an oil field in central Mississippi killed three workers and injured another, authorities said.

The workers were on a catwalk connecting four storage tanks at the time of the explosion, said Gary Wray, one of the owners of Partridge-Raleigh Inc., which owns the 280-acre oil field.

Two died in the blast and a third was pronounced dead at Magee Hospital, said spokeswoman Althea Crumpton. A fourth worker whose condition was not released was being treated, she said.

The Stringer Oil Field Services employees were preparing the tank to receive oil from a new pump they had installed on a well, Mr. Wray said.

One of the workers was using a welding torch on a tank, said Lea Stokes, spokeswoman for the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.


Cloned mules lose professional race

WINNEMUCCA — Nature triumphed over nurture as two cloned mule brothers came up short in a professional race against traditionally bred runners.

Idaho Gem, the world’s first equine clone, finished third, while Idaho Star wound up seventh in an eight-way race Sunday at the 20th annual Winnemucca Mule Races, Show & Draft Horse Challenge.

Idaho Gem covered his 350-yard sprint in 21.246 seconds, 2 lengths behind the winner, Bar JF Hot Ticket, who finished in 20.866 seconds. Idaho Star checked in at 22.181 seconds.

The clones, who competed for an $8,500 purse in the finals of their bracket, won their qualifying heats Saturday in what was billed as the first professional competition between clones of any kind.


Toddler found safe; girl, 13, arrested

NEW YORK — A 3-year-old boy who disappeared from his father’s tattoo parlor was found unharmed on a Brooklyn street early yesterday with the 13-year-old girl suspected of kidnapping him.

The boy, missing since Saturday, was reunited with his family. The girl was arrested on charges of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment and endangering the welfare of a child, police Detective John Sweeney said.

Her case was turned over to Family Court, where she will answer charges as a juvenile.

Police had been looking for Tatiana Morales, who often hung out at Zeus Tattoos, a tattoo parlor and hair salon co-owned by the boy’s father. Employees said she lured little Brandon Aponte outside on Saturday even though his father had made clear he didn’t want her to take him.

The boy’s father, Luis Aponte, called police when the two didn’t return.


Kennedy upbeat after drug rehab

PROVIDENCE — U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy said yesterday he was feeling good after nearly a month in drug rehabilitation and was looking forward to getting back to work.

“I can tell you today, I feel confident about my health, positive about my future and passionate about my work representing the people of Rhode Island,” the Rhode Island Democrat said in a speech at Brown University on the future of mental health care and addiction treatment.

It was his first public appearance since being released Friday from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The six-term congressman checked into the clinic on May 5, one day after a middle-of-the-night car crash near the U.S. Capitol that he said he could not remember. He also had been treated at the clinic late last year.

Mr. Kennedy said he would continue to undergo addiction treatment.


Pilot lands safely before dying

BRIGHAM CITY — A pilot suffering a heart attack made an emergency landing on a highway, saving his three passengers shortly before he died.

Jack Francis, 61, president of Francis Trucking in Brigham City, had taken off from Jackpot, Nev., and was headed home with his wife and another couple when he suffered a heart attack Sunday morning, Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Derek Jensen said.

He landed the single-engine Cessna 185 on Utah 30 near Park Valley and was taken to Bear River Valley Hospital in Tremonton, where he died, Mr. Jensen said.

The plane went off the highway and hit a fence before coming to a stop, but the passengers were not injured.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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