- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 28, 2006

CALIFORNIA

Suspect wounded after deadly shootings

ELK GROVE — A man with a 12-gauge shotgun went on a shooting spree along a busy downtown street, killing one person and wounding four others before a deputy shot him, officials said Sunday.

Authorities said Aaron Norman Dunn, 28, randomly shot at people, hitting three, as he walked down the street Saturday night. Two other persons were injured by glass when bullets hit their car windshields.

Mr. Dunn, who is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder, was in critical condition at a hospital, said Sacramento County sheriff’s Sgt. R.L. Davis.

As two sheriff’s deputies confronted the shooter, one shielded an injured victim with her body to protect him from being shot again, Sgt. Davis said. Then one of the deputies shot Mr. Dunn when the suspect did not give up his weapon.

FLORIDA

Lost canisters found in space station

CAPE CANAVERAL — There’s no lost-and-found bin on the space station, where weightlessness can cause objects to float away.

So when four canisters disappeared earlier this month, crew members Bill McArthur and Valery Tokarev went hunting for them on the 15,000-cubic-foot space station. Over the weekend, Mr. McArthur found them behind a panel in a module used for docking with Russian space vehicles.

Mr. McArthur and Mr. Tokarev “had a couple of ideas of where to look, and this was one of them,” NASA spokeswoman Kylie Clem said yesterday.

Spacewalks in Russian spacesuits had been on hold since the lithium hydroxide canisters went missing, but the ban was lifted after their discovery. The canisters scrub carbon dioxide from the breathing air of spacewalkers.

GEORGIA

Court shootings blamed on infidelity

ATLANTA — Courthouse shooting suspect Brian Nichols told authorities that he lashed out because his girlfriend had a relationship with the couple’s church pastor, an FBI agent testified yesterday.

Agent Joseph Fonseca’s testimony came during a hearing in which Nichols’ attorneys were seeking to have the court throw out their client’s statements to police following his arrest the day after the March 11, 2005, shootings.

They’ve argued that Nichols was denied counsel before he made incriminating statements about the shooting deaths of a judge, court reporter, sheriff’s deputy and federal agent. But prosecutors have argued that Nichols waived his right to counsel and spoke voluntarily.

There was no immediate ruling by Superior Court Judge Hilton Fuller.

KENTUCKY

Protesters to be kept from military funerals

FRANKFORT — Flanked by National Guard soldiers and veterans of all ages, Gov. Ernie Fletcher signed legislation into law yesterday that will keep protesters away from military funerals.

The measure is aimed at members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., who have been holding demonstrations at funerals for troops killed in Iraq. The protesters say U.S. troops are dying because God is punishing America for tolerating homosexuality.

So far, 27 states have introduced legislation to either ban or curtail funeral protests. Kentucky is one of six states to enact such laws. The others are Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The measure requires protesters to stay at least 300 feet away from funerals or memorial services and bars them from using bullhorns. Violators can get up to a year in jail.

MASSACHUSETTS

Mother accused of shackling daughter

BOSTON — Authorities are investigating charges that a Massachusetts woman shackled her 14-year-old daughter in chains to teach her a lesson for skipping school.

The 37-year-old mother of four, whose name was not released, told police that the same chain-and-shackle technique had proved effective with a truant son several years earlier.

Police have not arrested the mother, but she is being investigated by state social workers, authorities said yesterday.

A police officer who pulled the woman’s car over about two weeks ago because it did not have a license plate discovered the two chained together, but he let them go because he had to respond to a more urgent call, Blackstone Detective Wayne Mowry said. Police who visited the woman’s home later found the daughter’s ankles chained together as she helped her mother cook dinner, Mr. Mowry said.

“The kid was actually upset that we were there,” police said. “She was sticking up for her mother.”

NORTH DAKOTA

Scrabble tourney held in Dakota Sioux

HANKINSON — Those who hope they can stop the Dakota Sioux language from dying out have hit on the perfect word: Scrabble.

A special Scrabble tournament in the language made its debut Friday, pitting teams from Sioux reservation schools in North Dakota, South Dakota and Manitoba, Canada.

The game is part of the tribe’s campaign to revitalize the Dakota language, now spoken fluently by a dwindling number of elders. One survey predicted the last fluent Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota speaker would die in 2025.

The first word to take shape was sa, pronounced “shah” — the color red. After a few minutes of frantic consultation with the official Dakota Sioux Scrabble dictionary, a team built on the base to form the word sapa, pronounced “shah-pa,” or dirty, a word worth seven points.

“This is a good stimulant for the mind,” said David Seaboy, 63, one of a group of Sisseton-Wahpeton elders, all fluent in the language, who wrote the 207-page Dakota dictionary.

RHODE ISLAND

Tribe member faults suspension

SOUTH KINGSTOWN — A council member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe said she was suspended soon after she questioned how the tribe spent $1 million from Harrah’s Entertainment, the tribe’s partner in a planned casino.

Yvette Champlain said her family members were told that their tribal lineage was being questioned. Chief Matthew Thomas said tribal ties are reviewed regularly, and he wouldn’t say how the $1 million was spent.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Students punished for unpaid lunch tabs

COLUMBIA — Students in a Lexington County school district whose parents let their school lunch debts go unpaid will be handed a lunch of saltine crackers and a 4-ounce juice box next fall.

District officials say the new policy was forced by mounting unpaid school lunch bills. Some say the policy will embarrass students for something their parents failed to do.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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