- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 4, 2006

Man faces charges in campus crash

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A recent University of North Carolina graduate was charged with nine counts of attempted murder yesterday, a day after authorities say he drove through a popular campus gathering spot in an attempt to avenge Muslim deaths.

Derek Poarch, chief of the university police department, confirmed yesterday that Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, a 22-year-old Iran native, told investigators he wanted to “avenge the deaths or murders of Muslims around the world.”

Mr. Taheri-azar also is charged with nine counts of assault. He is being held on a $5.5 million bond and is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow. Chief Poarch would not say whether Mr. Taheri-azar had an attorney.

Parents complain about children’s book

SAVANNAH, Mo. — A children’s book about two male penguins that raise a baby penguin has been moved to the nonfiction section of two public library branches after parents complained it had homosexual undertones.

The illustrated book, “And Tango Makes Three,” is based on a true story of two male penguins, named Roy and Silo, who adopted an abandoned egg at New York City’s Central Park Zoo in the late 1990s.

The book, written by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, was moved from the children’s section at two Rolling Hills’ Consolidated Library’s branches in Savannah and St. Joseph in northwest Missouri after two parents complained.

Classical idea to deter criminals

HARTFORD, Conn. — Residents of one Hartford neighborhood hope Beethoven and Mozart will help drive drug dealers and prostitutes out of a local park.

Activists propose playing recordings of classical music in Barnard Park in hopes of annoying petty criminals so much that they’ll leave.

Resident Carol Coburn said she came up with the idea after reading about similar efforts in West Palm Beach, Fla., where she said crime decreased as much as 40 percent in parks where classical music was played.

The plan still needs city approval and funding.

Fire destroys home of Civil War general

LEEDS, Maine — A wind-whipped fire destroyed a farmhouse in which Civil War general and Howard University founder Oliver Otis Howard once lived.

The house was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived Friday morning. Firefighters said it took about five hours to douse the flames that also destroyed a barn and started a 10-acre brush fire.

Howard, an abolitionist, was born and raised in the 18th-century house before he attended and taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He commanded Union troops during the Civil War and went on to found Howard University in Washington.

Owner David Fortin said the fire started while he was using a space heater in an adjoining woodshed.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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