- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Burger King meal costs $4,334.33

PALMDALE — A quick meal at George Beane’s neighborhood Burger King ended up costing a lot more than he expected when he got the $4,334.33 bill.

Mr. Beane ordered two Whopper Juniors and two Rodeo cheeseburgers when he pulled up to the drive-through window last week. The cashier, however, forgot that she’d entered the $4.33 charge on his debit card and punched in the numbers again without erasing the original ones — thus creating a four-figure bill.

The electronic charge went through to George and Pat Beane’s checking account March 21 and left the couple penniless. Their mortgage payment was due, and they worried checks they had written would bounce, Mrs. Beane said.

Burger King did not charge the Beanes for their meal, and the couple got their $4,334.33 back on Friday.


Tight curbs protect Padilla case evidence

MIAMI — The federal judge overseeing the terrorism case against Jose Padilla imposed tight restrictions yesterday on the handling of classified material to prevent disclosure of national security secrets when classified evidence is turned over to the defense.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke agreed to a prosecution motion on the information, expected to include secret FBI investigations, material provided to the United States by foreign governments and Padilla’s own words from interrogations during his 3 years in military custody as an “enemy combatant.”

Padilla and four others are charged with being part of a North American terror-support cell that provided recruits, money and supplies to Islamic extremists worldwide. All have pleaded not guilty.

Judge Cooke said the order would allow defense lawyers to begin examining secret evidence under special conditions so they can prepare for a trial scheduled for September.


Bible classes OK’d in public schools

ATLANTA — Georgia lawmakers have approved a measure to fund elective Bible courses in public schools, raising concern among civil-liberties groups that the classes could violate the separation of church and state.

Under the bill, which now goes to Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, for his signature, the Georgia Board of Education would have to adopt curricula for two classes on the history and literature of the Old and New Testaments. School districts then would have the option of offering the courses.

The measure’s enactment threatens to inflame again the debate between secularists and the religious right that has been invigorated under President Bush.


Trial of ex-governor gets 2 new jurors

CHICAGO — A federal judge overseeing former Illinois Gov. George Ryan’s corruption trial replaced two dismissed jurors yesterday and ordered deliberations to start over.

Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer rejected a defense request for a mistrial, but said she would consider declaring a mistrial if deliberations did not continue fairly with the two new jurors.

Mr. Ryan and co-defendant Larry Warner were in the courtroom for yesterday’s decision, which came after six days of turmoil that began when the Chicago Tribune discovered that two jurors apparently lied on questionnaires.

Judge Pallmeyer dismissed those jurors Monday, a few hours after Mr. Ryan’s defense team filed a request opposing any move to replace jurors with alternates.


Ex-trooper gets life for killing his family

BOONVILLE — A judge sentenced a former Indiana state trooper to life in prison yesterday for the murders of his wife and two young children.

Jurors earlier this month convicted David Camm of three counts of murder for the September 2000 slayings of Kimberly Camm, 35; Bradley, 7; and 5-year-old Jill.

“I am innocent. I did not do this,” Camm said before the judge announced his sentence. “Another tragic mistake has been made.”

At the same time Camm’s trial was under way, another jury across the state was hearing testimony that led it to convict an ex-convict in the same killings.

Prosecutors said the two men conspired to carry out the shootings.

Prosecutors claimed in their closing arguments that Camm killed his family because his wife discovered he had molested their daughter. They also maintained that Mrs. Camm planned to leave her husband and that Camm was motivated to kill her to cash in on insurance policies worth nearly $300,000.


Use of water halted after possible tainting

BLACKSTONE — Residents of two towns were ordered to stop using water from their taps after someone broke into the area’s supply facility and left behind a 5-gallon container that had an odor.

Officials stressed that there was no evidence the water supply had been contaminated, but they ordered the halt to water use as a precaution while the container and water were being tested.

The system serves nearly 9,000 residents in Blackstone and 83 homes in neighboring North Smithfield, R.I.

Officials said someone cut barbed wire to enter the facility late Monday, then damaged an electrical panel and a vent at the top of a 1.3-million-gallon storage tank.

The 5-gallon container was found on top of the storage tank, said Ed Coletta, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He said officials didn’t expect to have results from testing until today.


Governor signs minimum-wage bill

LANSING — Workers earning the minimum wage in Michigan will get a raise in October under legislation signed yesterday by Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm.

The minimum wage will climb from $5.15 an hour to $6.95 an hour, then to $7.15 an hour in July 2007 and to $7.40 an hour in July 2008.

Michigan’s current hourly minimum rate matches the federal minimum wage. Seventeen states and the District set minimum wages higher than the federal minimum, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Michigan’s Republican-controlled Legislature passed the minimum-wage increase this month after it became evident that a petition drive to put the issue before voters in November was likely to succeed.


Mount Hood glaciers said to be shrinking

PORTLAND — The seven largest of Mount Hood’s 11 glaciers shrunk an average of more than 30 percent since the beginning of the last century, according to research by Keith Jackson, a Portland State University graduate student.

Retreating glaciers have been documented on other continents, but researchers say Mount Hood is vulnerable because it is near warm ocean weather.


Teens held in killing of man who mooned

PHILADELPHIA — Two teenagers taunted a man rummaging through a trash bin and then killed him after he bared his buttocks at them, police said yesterday.

“He didn’t want to be harassed by these kids or whatever, and he mooned them,” Upper Darby Township Police Sgt. David Madonna said.

Christopher McEneaney, 16, and Andre Mark, 18, were charged Monday in the slaying Friday night of Martin Malone, 47. He was stabbed with a multi-tool and bludgeoned with a shovel.

Police arrested the two after witnesses described the clothing the attackers were wearing.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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