- The Washington Times - Monday, May 29, 2006


Climbers rescued from Mount Hunter

ANCHORAGE — Two Korean climbers were rescued from a mountain after being stranded near its summit for more than a day without food or shelter, officials said.

Whang Cheung Sik and Hong Sung Hyun, both 35, were flown by helicopter Saturday evening to the base camp at the bottom of Mount Hunter, the third-highest peak in Denali National Park, officials said. Rescue efforts had been delayed because of severe winds.

The climbers were fatigued and dehydrated but were in relatively good condition, despite exposure to high winds and overnight temperatures near 5 degrees, park officials said.

The men somehow became separated Friday evening as they neared the top of a challenging route known as “Deprivation,” said park spokeswoman Maureen McLaughlin.


Liberian president attends graduation

KENNESAW — Hundreds of people cheered, clapped and snapped pictures Saturday in the presence of Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, but most of the praise was not for the leader of the West African nation.

Instead, it was for the hundreds of graduates of North Cobb High School’s Class of 2006, including Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s granddaughter, Jenelle Elsa Sirleaf.

For a couple hours, the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa’s history took pleasure in being a proud grandmother. Smiling from her front-row seat at Kennesaw State University, the president stood to salute Jenelle and applauded when the young woman accepted her diploma.

Principal Gary Boling took only a moment to recognize Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf at the beginning of the program, mentioning her name in the same breath as school officials before recognizing the class salutatorian.


Body recovered, among storm deaths

LEOPOLD — Conservation officers searching a swollen creek yesterday recovered the body of the third of three family members who drowned when their pickup truck was caught in a flood during severe thunderstorms.

The body of Robert Edwards, 55, of Leopold, was found in Oil Creek about 300 yards downstream from where the pickup was carried off a road, Conservation Officer Mark Farmer said. Officers found the bodies of Mr. Edwards’ grandson, 4-year-old Isaac Kemp, and the boy’s father, Greg Kemp, 35, of Leopold, on Friday, a day after the mishap.

Elsewhere during the storms on Thursday, lightning killed a woman in Lexington, Ky.; a 4-year-old girl drowned when she was trapped inside a vehicle washed off a road near Irvington, Ky.; and two 15-year-old boys drowned when they were swept away while swimming in a swollen creek near Clarksville, Tenn., authorities reported.


Man finds snake in rental car

PADUCAH — The next time Dan McBride rents a car, he may want to inspect it not just for dings and dents but also for snakes.

The assistant athletic director at Eastern Kentucky University found a two-foot-long ball python in his rental car last week as he left the Ohio Valley Conference baseball tournament in Paducah.

Mr. McBride got into his car Wednesday night with a colleague and saw the snake draped across the console. He said he thought it was a rubber snake that someone put there as a joke. He even gave the snake a pat and put the car into drive.

As he drove toward the exit, the snake lifted its head. Mr. McBride hit the brakes, then started to get out of the car. But the snake was on the gear shift, forcing Mr. McBride to keep his foot on the brake.

The snake was captured and was being held until its owner comes to claim it, authorities said.


Katrina victim found in house

NEW ORLEANS — Less than a week before the next hurricane season starts, firefighters still searching for those missing after Hurricane Katrina have found another body.

A DNA test will be needed to identify the body; the only certainty is that it was man, said John Gagliano, chief coroner’s investigator in New Orleans.

The body was found Saturday in the rear laundry room of a house in Mid-City. The house was fifth to be checked of 47 addresses given to the search team Friday, said Capt. Kenneth Kirsch of the New Orleans Fire Department. The addresses came from the Louisiana Family Assistance Center, a state agency that has a list of 226 persons missing since the 2005 hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30.


Agents use shovels in Hoffa search

MILFORD TOWNSHIP — Searchers turned to using shovels yesterday as they resumed digging in an area of a horse farm where FBI agents think former Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa might be buried.

That section of the Hidden Dreams Farm had been worked over by a backhoe a day earlier. Digging at the 89-acre site was expected to continue through the holiday weekend, said FBI spokeswoman Dawn Clenney.

Yesterday was the 12th day of the search at the farm, about 30 miles northwest of Detroit.

Agents have said they have a credible tip that the former labor leader’s body is buried at the farm, once owned by a Hoffa associate.


Burglars leave trail of snack wrappers

SYRACUSE — A trio of hungry burglars that left a trail of snack wrappers was arrested after stealing six packages of instant lottery tickets from a convenience store, authorities said.

“This was a combination of good police work and a stupid criminal,” said Sgt. Tom Connellan, a police spokesman.

The burglars smashed a window early Wednesday at the convenience store and fled with the lottery tickets and some Little Debbie Coffee Cake snacks.

Officer James Johnson followed a trail of discarded wrappers to a nearby apartment building, where he arrested the three.


Lieutenant governor leaves hospital

GREENVILLE — Clad in shorts and pushed in a wheelchair by his deputy chief of staff, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer was released from Greenville Hospital System on Saturday afternoon.

Mr. Bauer, 37, had been recuperating from injuries he got when his small plane crashed shortly after takeoff Tuesday from a rural airstrip near Blacksburg in Cherokee County.

Mr. Bauer’s chief of staff, Mike Easterday, said the lieutenant governor will have an operation to repair his shattered left heel in about two weeks. It hasn’t been decided where that surgery will take place.

“Clearly, God has a purpose for me,” Mr. Bauer said Saturday afternoon. “I got a lot of chances to do some thinking up here, and I got to figure out what that purpose is.”


Man fatally shot after I-80 rampage

GREEN RIVER — A motorist rammed into and randomly shot at several vehicles on Interstate 80 until a trooper fatally shot him, authorities said.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said two persons were taken to a hospital with bruises and cuts from broken glass after Thursday night’s incident. Three others refused treatment for minor injuries.

The identity of the 70-year-old New Mexico man police killed was not released.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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