- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2006


Statue honors river rescue hero

MEMPHIS — A new statue honors the courage of a levee worker who 81 years ago pulled 32 persons out of the Mississippi River when a steamboat capsized.

The life-size sculpture dedicated yesterday shows Tom Lee leaning out the side of his 28-foot wooden boat toward the outstretched hand of a drowning man.

Mr. Lee was called the first black hero in Memphis when on May 8, 1925, he ferried five boatloads of men, women and children to the shore. Mr. Lee, who couldn’t swim, kept some of those he rescued warm by burying them in the sand of the riverbank. The sinking killed 23 persons.


Fugitive recaptured after 3 months

CHILLICOTHE — A murder suspect who escaped from jail in July was captured yesterday in a wooded part of town, the sheriff’s department said.

John W. Parsons had been scheduled for trial in the April 2005 shooting death of Chillicothe police Officer Larry Cox when he escaped from a recreation area on top of the jail on July 29.

A report on the escape determined that no guards were watching the recreation area when Parsons slipped away in the middle of the day using a rope of bedsheets.

Parsons’ mother was indicted last month on two counts of obstruction of justice related to his disappearance.


Woman killed walking rails with headphones

LITTLE ROCK — A woman killed when a train struck her as she walked along tracks in southwestern Little Rock was wearing headphones and probably never heard the train approaching, authorities say.

Lataya Jones, 30, was killed Tuesday when a Union Pacific train struck her from behind, said Lt. Terry Hastings, Little Rock police spokesman. Miss Jones apparently never turned around as she walked, Lt. Hastings said. She also was carrying a can of beer.

Margarita Tudon, who saw Miss Jones walking on the tracks just before she died, said she honked her horn and tried to yell to Miss Jones about the approaching train.

“She never turned around,” Miss Tudon said. “I rolled down my window and tried to yell. I know I couldn’t yell louder than the train, but I tried anyway.”


Officials confused by visiting caribou

GREELEY — Wildlife officials are puzzled by the appearance of a caribou in Colorado this week, hundreds of miles from its normal Arctic habitat.

The buck, weighing an estimated 350 pounds and sporting a large rack of antlers, was spotted about 40 miles north of Denver.

It dashed into the path of a car and was killed, officials said.


Police say slain man didn’t molest girl

NEW HAVEN — Police have concluded that a 2-year-old girl was not molested by a neighbor whom the girl’s father is accused of stabbing to death in a rage, a police official told the Associated Press yesterday.

Jonathon Edington, a 29-year-old lawyer from Fairfield, is charged with killing Barry James on Aug. 28 after his wife told him that their daughter had indicated Mr. James touched her inappropriately, police said.

Mr. Edington pleaded not guilty last week.

“We’re confident this 2-year-old was not molested,” Capt. Gary MacNamara said. “We are confident in our investigation that Mr. Edington did in fact kill Mr. James. We are as confident in our investigation that Mr. James did not molest the Edingtons’ daughter.”


Stingray leaves barb in boater’s chest

LIGHTHOUSE POINT — An 81-year-old man was in critical condition yesterday after a stingray flopped onto his boat and stung him, leaving a foot-long barb in his chest similar to the accident that killed “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin.

“It was a freak accident,” Lighthouse Point acting Fire Chief David Donzella said. “It’s very odd that the thing jumped out of the water and stung him. We still can’t believe it.”

James Bertakis of Lighthouse Point was on the water with his granddaughter and a friend Wednesday when a stingray flopped onto the boat and stung Mr. Bertakis. The women steered the boat to shore and called 911.

Doctors were able to remove the barb during surgeries Wednesday and yesterday by eventually pulling it through his heart and closing the wound, said Dr. Eugene Costantini at Broward General Medical Center.


Firefighter admits setting forest blazes

SALMON — A federal firefighter pleaded guilty yesterday to starting two blazes in a national forest, which he told investigators that he set because he was bored and wanted to make money.

Levi Miller, 22, of Salmon, admitted that he used cigars and baskets of smoldering charcoal to ignite the fires near the Idaho-Montana border in 2003.

“I was bored and wanted to fight fires,” Miller said in a written confession provided to law-enforcement officials.

Miller will face up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $50,000 for each of the two felony arson counts.


FBI arrests couple in child kidnapping

GODFREY — Authorities last night arrested a Kentucky couple suspected of kidnapping the woman’s 9-month-old son from state custody after a social worker, later found dead, brought the child for a visit.

The FBI said its agents arrested Renee Terrell, 33, and her boyfriend, Christopher Wayne Luttrell, 23, in a rural area near Godfrey about 8:30 p.m., said FBI spokesman Marshall Stone. Sgt. John Nevels of the Henderson, Ky., Police Department said the couple had been hiding in a camper.

The boy, Saige, was found unharmed in the same place, Mr. Stone said. The baby had been removed from Miss Terrell’s custody when he was 13 days old because of neglect, according to police.

On Monday, social worker Boni Frederick, 67, took the boy to his mother’s home for a visit. She was found beaten to death at the house later that day, and the baby, his mother and the social worker’s station wagon were gone, authorities said.


More human remains found near WTC site

NEW YORK — Human remains that appear to be from World Trade Center victims were found by utility workers in a manhole at the northern edge of the site, a Port Authority official said yesterday.

A Consolidated Edison crew doing excavation of the manhole at street level found the remains, some as big as arm or leg bones, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the site.

Con Ed said it entered the site Wednesday to remove material from two manholes that had been damaged and abandoned after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Crews hauled the excavated materials to a work center more than a mile away, as is customary, Con Edison said. Yesterday morning, a contractor working for the Port Authority realized that the materials contained remains, Con Edison spokesman Chris Olert said, and the medical examiner’s office was contacted.


Teacher sues boss over no-sex pledge

DALLAS — A church preschool teacher who became pregnant out of wedlock sued her employer, saying she was forced to sign a pledge that she would stop having sex until marriage.

Freda Brown also says in her federal lawsuit that First Baptist Church of Dallas leaders asked her inappropriate questions and reduced her compensation.

The lawsuit was filed last week after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found discrimination against Miss Brown’s sex and pregnancy.

A First Baptist spokeswoman referred calls to the church’s attorney, John Harrison, who said he had not talked with church leaders about the lawsuit.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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