- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 11, 2006


$2 garage-sale item goes for $1,500

HARRISON — A lawyer whose wife paid $2 at a garage sale for a hand-sewn pillow made from 55 small felt pennants and featuring 17 Major League Baseball players from the World War I era sold the artifact for more than $1,500.

Claude Jones said he had no idea how much the pillow would be worth when he listed it on an online auction site. Bidding opened at $49, but reached $1,527.25.


Psoriasis said to raise heart-attack risk

CHICAGO — The risk of a heart attack is higher among people with psoriasis, especially younger adults with severe cases of the disorder that commonly causes red, scaly patches on the skin, researchers said yesterday.

The connection between heart attacks and psoriasis seems to be related to inflammation in the body, University of Pennsylvania researchers said. Both share the biological signal of high levels of C-reactive protein in the blood that is linked to inflammation.

“The magnitude of association between severe psoriasis and [heart attack] in those patients younger than 50 years is similar to the magnitude of association for other major cardiac risk factors,” such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes, wrote study author Dr. Joel Gelfand in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.


New street signs signal city’s progress

NEW ORLEANS — A few signs of recovery emerged along the streets of New Orleans on Monday — thanks to crews that restored signs knocked down during Hurricane Katrina.

“Obviously, street signs going up is a great sign of progress,” said Ronnie Simpson, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is responsible for helping to restore the city to its pre-Katrina condition.

The city estimates that nearly 20,000 signs — displaying one-ways, street names, parking and freight zones — will need to be replaced throughout New Orleans on a schedule slated to extend into spring.

The signs either were destroyed by floodwaters that swamped the city after the Aug. 29, 2005, storm or in the aftermath and cleanup, public works director Robert Mendoza said.


More than 50 ill in supermarket scare

SOUTH PORTLAND — A supermarket reopened yesterday morning after a scare in which more than 50 customers and employees were treated for burning throats, difficulty breathing and nausea.

Officials think a problem with the heating system was to blame for the symptoms that led to the evacuation Monday of the recently renovated Shaw’s Supermarket at Mill Creek..

The manager ordered the supermarket evacuated after customers and workers began coughing and covering their mouths with shirts and handkerchiefs.

More than 50 people went to three hospitals on their own or by ambulance. Police say no one appeared to be seriously ill. Most of the people who fell ill were feeling better within an hour or so.


School board rejects intelligent design

LANSING — The State Board of Education yesterday approved public school curriculum guidelines that support the teaching of evolution in science classes — but not intelligent design.

Some science groups and the American Civil Liberties Union had worried that state standards would not be strong enough to prevent the discussion of intelligent design.

Intelligent design’s proponents hold that living organisms are so complex that they must have been created by a higher force rather than evolving from more primitive forms.

Richard Thompson, leader of the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, said intelligent design should have a home in science classes. “It would make students more knowledgeable about science and more interested in science,” Mr. Thompson said.


Shooting suspect charged as juvenile

JOPLIN — The 13-year-old boy accused of firing a single shot from an assault rifle inside a middle school was charged as a juvenile yesterday in the bloodless incident.

The boy, who is accused of entering Joplin Memorial Middle School wearing a mask, was charged with first-degree assault, armed criminal action and making terrorist threats. Officials from the Jasper County juvenile office said they were talking with a prosecutor about charging the boy as an adult.

Authorities said the student, whose name was not released because of his age, fired one shot into the ceiling of a school entryway Monday after confronting administrators and students. Nobody was injured, police said, and he left after his gun jammed.


Body of slain official’s 2nd husband exhumed

LAS VEGAS — The body of the second husband of slain Nevada state Controller Kathy Augustine was exhumed yesterday as investigators sought evidence on whether he also died as a result of foul play.

About 25 police and coroner’s officials watched as a backhoe lifted a pale blue casket from the grave of Charles Augustine.

Clark County Coroner Michael Murphy took the rare step of retrieving the body to perform an autopsy after Mrs. Augustine’s third husband, Chaz Higgs, was arrested and charged with using a paralyzing drug to kill her. She died July 11 at a Reno hospital.

Mr. Augustine died three years ago at 63. His death certificate listed complications from a stroke.

Mr. Higgs, a nurse who cared for Mr. Augustine at a Las Vegas hospital, was arrested Sept. 29 in Hampton, Va., where he waived extradition and is awaiting transfer to Nevada to face a first-degree murder charge.


Lennon’s killer denied parole again

ATTICA — John Lennon’s killer yesterday was denied parole for a fourth time because of the “bizarre nature” of his crime.

Mark David Chapman, 51, must remain at Attica Correctional Facility for at least two years for fatally shooting the former Beatle outside his Manhattan apartment building in 1980.

“The panel remains concerned about the bizarre nature of this premeditated and violent crime,” the board wrote in a one-page decision issued shortly after Chapman’s appearance before the three-member panel at Attica.

The hearing lasted 16 minutes, said Scott Steinhardt, spokesman for the state Division of Parole.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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