- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 9, 2006


Conservative group fights partner benefits

ANCHORAGE — A conservative Christian group has entered the battle over employment benefits for same-sex partners.

The Colorado-based Focus on the Family is using an automated phone system to ask whether people support a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would nullify a court decision that ordered Alaska to pay such benefits. Those who support the amendment are encouraged to call their representatives.


Nuclear power plant to repair reactor

PHOENIX — Operators of the nation’s largest nuclear power plant plan to shut down one of the three reactors at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station this summer to fix a vibrating pipe that has hampered electricity output since December.

Arizona Public Service Co. (APS), which owns 29.5 percent of the plant and operates it for a consortium of utility companies in four states, plans the repair beginning in June.

APS studied or attempted three temporary fixes at Unit 1 before deciding that the best approach is to shut down the reactor for five weeks to relocate a key valve on the emergency shutdown line.


Lawsuit charges recruiters with rape

SAN FRANCISCO — Two women who said two U.S. Marine Corps recruiters forced them to have sex after they expressed interest in joining the force sued over the incidents yesterday.

The lawsuit names the Marine Corps, the Navy, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee, Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter and the two recruiters as defendants. It seeks an injunction forcing the Marines to train recruiters properly, as well as monetary damages.

The women, who were 17-year-old high school students at the time of the incident last year, said recruiters Staff Sgt. Joseph Dunzweiler and Sgt. Brian Fukushima told them they would have to submit sexually to join the Marines.

“The complaint alleges that [Sgt.] Dunzweiler raped [Miss] Doe on three separate occasions in the Ukiah recruiting office, each time telling her that she had to have sex with him if she wanted to join the Marines,” attorneys Barry Vogel and Michael Sorgen said. The two plaintiffs are identified by the fictitious names Jane Doe and Mary Roe.

The lawsuit asks for an injunction to force the Marine Corps to provide more comprehensive training to recruiters and better protections for women.


EBay pulls listing for Klebold’s car

DENVER — A 1982 BMW advertised as once belonging to one of the gunmen in the Columbine High School killings was pulled from an online auction, a spokesman for EBay said.

“If the owner wanted to sell this car, there’s nothing stopping them from doing so,” EBay spokesman Hani Durzy told the Rocky Mountain News. “They just can’t market it as being owned by Dylan Klebold.”

“The car was bought without knowing who previously owned it,” the seller, whose handle is “isubars,” said on the site. “Once I found out it was Klebold’s I put it up here.”

Bidding on the black 320i, which has 144,000 miles on it, reached at least $1,825 before it was pulled Monday. The seller did not respond to an e-mail request for an interview.


Deputy kills driver in stolen-truck case

IMMOKALEE — A sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a person who reportedly drove a stolen truck in his direction early yesterday, the sheriff’s office said.

The deputy, who had been pursuing the stolen truck, had stepped out of his patrol car before the driver turned the truck toward him, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said.

A woman in the truck was not injured. The sheriff’s office did not identify the deputy or the person who was killed.


Injured deputy to sue over court attack

ATLANTA — The deputy who was beaten severely and had her gun stolen reportedly by a rape defendant who went on a shooting spree at a downtown courthouse nearly a year ago plans to file a lawsuit against the county and state, her attorney said yesterday.

Cynthia Hall suffered a brain injury and has been recovering since the March 11, 2005, attack at the Fulton County Courthouse.

Her attorney, Brandon Hornsby, said details of the lawsuit would be released at a press conference today, at which a videotape of comments by Miss Hall about her ordeal will be released. She will not attend, nor will she answer questions, Mr. Hornsby said.


Fifth member leaves hate-crimes panel

SPRINGFIELD — A fifth member of the state’s hate-crimes commission resigned yesterday in a controversy over another panel member who is a high-ranking official in the Nation of Islam.

All five departing members of the Governor’s Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes are Jewish.

Alan Spellberg, a supervisor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, said in his resignation letter that the commission has been “damaged beyond repair” by recent events.

The four others who resigned said they were leaving rather than serve alongside Sister Claudette Marie Muhammad, minister of protocol for the Nation of Islam.

Criticism of her has mounted since she invited other commissioners to attend a speech last month by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in which he referred to “Hollywood Jews” promoting homosexuality and “other filth.”


Stolen statue found in stranger’s yard

FRANKFORT — A woman who wondered for more than a decade about who stole the concrete angel that once watched over her mother’s grave finally has the missing cherub back.

Brenda Hasty’s daughter spotted the 3-foot-tall statue in late February on the front porch of a stranger’s home.

Mrs. Hasty took her suspicions, along with a decade-old photograph of the angel, to police.

Sgt. Joe Sheets said the statue seems to have changed hands quite a bit, having been sold at several garage sales. It was recovered without incident.


Sheriff asks president to secure borders

BUTLER COUNTY — An Ohio sheriff who billed the Department of Homeland Security $125,000 for the cost of jailing illegal aliens arrested on criminal charges has asked President Bush in a personal plea to secure the nation’s borders and assist with speedy deportations.

Angry over what he called the federal government’s failure to keep illegals out of the United States, Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones asked Mr. Bush to “lead and encourage legislation … that will give local law enforcement the right to arrest persons who are in our country illegally.”

Sheriff Jones, in the plea, outlined problems that he said his department faces by arresting illegals who commit repeated criminal acts, and said he thinks the majority of Butler County residents want increased immigration enforcement.

“The people of my county are disheartened with the federal government’s lack of security in the border states and the resultant influx of illegal immigrants into the Heartland,” he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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