- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 21, 2006

Donations few for 9/11 memorial

NEW YORK — Fewer than 15,000 of the millions of New Yorkers who filed tax returns this year checked off a box to make a donation to the World Trade Center Memorial fund, state officials said.

The program raised $150,085, according to the Department of Taxation and Finance.

The state allows taxpayers to make contributions to as many as seven charitable organizations on their tax forms. More than $420,000 was raised for breast cancer research and treatment, while a wildlife fund raised nearly $353,000.

“We are slightly disappointed by the results,” WTC Memorial Foundation President Gretchen Dykstra told the New York Daily News.

Voluntary tax donations are only one way the foundation is raising money to build the World Trade Center memorial, a September 11 museum and two other cultural buildings at ground zero.

Judge strikes down adoption law

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge struck down a two-year-old law that prohibits Oklahoma from recognizing adoptions by same-sex couples from other states and countries.

U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron, a 1991 appointee of the first President Bush, ruled Friday the measure violated due-process rights under the U.S. Constitution because it attempted to break up families without considering the parents’ fitness or the children’s best interests.

Homosexual-rights organization Lambda Legal had challenged the law on behalf of three same-sex couples.

Kevorkian lawyer seeks pardon

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — An attorney for Jack Kevorkian said the assisted-suicide advocate will probably not survive another year if kept in prison, as he again asked the state to grant his client a pardon or commute his sentence.

Mayer Morganroth said he applied to the state Parole Board and Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm on Friday seeking a pardon, parole or commutation, citing the 77-year-old’s deteriorating health.

“Kevorkian has become increasingly frail and has fallen twice, injuring his wrist and fracturing two ribs,” Mr. Morganroth said in a statement.

The former doctor is serving a 10-to25-year sentence for second-degree murder for giving a fatal injection of drugs in 1998. He is eligible for parole in 2007.

Convict recaptured after 38 years

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After 38 years, Michael Robert Smith figured no one was looking for him anymore.

He escaped from prison on June 7, 1968, while serving time for a robbery conviction, then headed to Nevada, then New Jersey. Five years ago, Smith moved to a tiny trailer in a heavily wooded area of Creek County, Okla. It turned out the California Department of Corrections was still on his trail.

Authorities found him Thursday.

“He looked at the ground a little bit, then he looked up and said, ‘Yeah, that’s me,’” Creek County Sheriff’s Detective Les Ruhman said Friday. “He didn’t dream people would be looking for him for so long.”

Smith, now 63, is being held without bond and likely will be shipped back to California within 10 days, after an extradition hearing.

Warrant issued in fatal shooting

BOSTON — An arrest warrant has been issued for a man accused of fatally shooting four young men in December in the city’s bloodiest crime in a decade.

The warrant charges Calvin Carnes Jr., 19, with four counts each of first-degree murder and armed robbery, and various gun charges, police said. Mr. Carnes was at large Friday night.

His purported accomplice, Robert B. Turner, 19, was arrested Friday and charged with four counts of being an accessory after the fact and similar gun charges, police said.

Mr. Turner is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow in Dorchester District Court.

Authorities would not comment on a possible motive, but have said they do not think the killings were gang- or drug-related.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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