- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 1, 2006

ALABAMA

Folk artist Tolliver dies of pneumonia

MONTGOMERY — Folk artist Mose Tolliver, whose self-portraits and vivid images of nature and the female form were done in humble house paint and made him one of the leaders of the modern-day “outsider art” movement, has died. He was in his 80s.

The self-taught artist, who signed his work Mose T, died of pneumonia Monday at Baptist Medical Center East after years of declining health, family members said. Ross-Clayton Funeral Home in Montgomery did not have a confirmed year of birth, but many references cite 1919 or 1920.

“Mose Tolliver’s lyrical visions of birds, flowers and women are sometimes nightmarish,” a Washington Post critic wrote when Mr. Tolliver’s work was included in the influential 1982 exhibit “Black Folk Art in America: 1930-1980” at the Smithsonian’s Corcoran Gallery of Art.

ARKANSAS

Recycling plant blast kills two workers

HOT SPRINGS — An explosion at an aluminum recycling plant early yesterday killed two persons and injured a third, a company spokesman said.

The explosion occurred shortly after 3 a.m. in a production area where scrap aluminum is melted down for recycling, said Mike Shaw, human resources and safety director for Arkansas Aluminum Alloys.

There was no fire and no chemical release, but the company shut off power to the plant as a safety precaution, he said.

“We don’t know what caused it at this point,” Mr. Shaw said. Emergency crews were investigating.

Mr. Shaw said the survivor suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital.

CALIFORNIA

5th firefighter dies from wildfire arson

COLTON — A fifth U.S. Forest Service firefighter died of burns suffered when an engine crew was overrun by a Southern California wildfire blamed on arson, authorities said last night.

Pablo Cerda, 23, of Fountain Valley, died at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, said Jeanne Wade Evans, the San Bernardino National Forest supervisor, at a press conference outside the hospital.

“I felt the faith and hope for Pablo’s recovery and actually felt a miracle might be possible,” she said. “Today more sadness is added to our almost unbearable grief.”

Mr. Cerda was burned over 90 percent of his body Thursday as he and the crew of Engine 57 tried to protect a home from wind-driven flames. Three other crew members died at the scene, and his captain died soon after at a hospital.

GEORGIA

Gorilla twins turn 1, celebrate birthday

ATLANTA — Three-year-old Cooper Lund’s rendition of “Happy Birthday” included lines about living in a zoo and looking like a monkey, but the birthday boy and girl weren’t insulted.

Kali and Kazi just romped about their African rain forest playground, chewing on fruit and swinging from vines. The twin western lowland gorillas’ first birthday was celebrated at Zoo Atlanta yesterday, a significant hallmark in their young lives.

The zoo threw a low-key party for Kali and Kazi, offering banana muffins to visitors and encouraging youngsters to sing repeated rounds of “Happy Birthday.”

INDIANA

Deputy follows nose to robbery suspects

COLUMBUS — A sheriff’s deputy sniffed out two men suspected of robbing a pizza delivery woman when he caught a whiff of pepperoni and sausage pizza at their home.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Jimmy Green was searching the area where the delivery woman was robbed for potential witnesses Sunday night when he grew suspicious of one man, Maj. Mark Gorbett said.

“It just didn’t seem right to Jimmy, and he wanted to take it a step further and went to the witness’s residence. That’s when Jimmy smelled the aroma of pizza,” Maj. Gorbett said. “I’m sure our canine unit wouldn’t have hit on the pizza.”

Mr. Green noticed a phone book in the house opened to the pizza section. Officers also found the pizzas and cash taken in the robbery and a knife they think one of the suspects used, Maj. Gorbett said.

Police arrested two men in their early 20s at the home a couple of blocks from where the delivery woman was robbed.

KANSAS

Black widow spider found in grapes

TOPEKA — The thing in the bag of black seedless grapes in Lori Warren’s refrigerator was dark and shiny, but it had something grapes don’t: eight legs.

Making the whole experience worse, the critter had the red, hourglass-shaped mark on its abdomen that helped confirm its identity as a black widow spider.

Mrs. Warren’s 9-year-old daughter, Elysia Holland-Kyzer, discovered the spider Monday morning when she went looking in the refrigerator for butter for her toast. She yelled for her mother.

The grapes had been purchased at an area store by Mrs. Warren’s mother, who lives in Ottawa. The two women called two area stores where the grapes could have come from to tell them about their find.

NEW JERSEY

Two airliners clip wings on tarmac

NEWARK — A plane leaving a terminal at a major New York-area airport clipped wings with another plane being towed to a hangar for service on a taxiway last night, the head of the air traffic controller’s union said.

A Lufthansa Boeing 747 preparing to leave Newark Liberty International Airport for Frankfurt, Germany, clipped the right wing of a Continental Boeing 757, said Russ Halleran, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association local at the airport.

None of the Lufthansa flight’s 291 passengers and 17 crew members were injured in the collision, according to Jennifer Urbaniak, a spokeswoman for the German airline. The Lufthansa plane returned to the gate, and the airline was making arrangements for the passengers to take another flight, she said.

WEST VIRGINIA

Mines ordered to find damaged air packs

CHARLESTON — The state’s mine safety office warned coal mine operators yesterday that heat damage to emergency air packs could be more widespread than originally thought.

Recent tests and an inventory of emergency air packs prompted the Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training to warn underground mine operators and contractors to make sure air packs aren’t exposed to heat sources, such as hydraulic lines and heavy equipment.

The notice sent out also directed mine operators to remove any air packs suspected of exposure to high temperatures and to notify the agency.

The testing and inventory were conducted in reaction to the Sago Mine disaster that killed 12 miners in January, and another mine accident later that month in which two men died in a conveyor belt fire.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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