- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 19, 2006

CALIFORNIA

Diamonds are icing on wedding cake

LOS ANGELES — A confection billed as the most expensive wedding cake in the world makes its debut Monday night in Beverly Hills, but it is likely to cause indigestion.

The extravagant $20 million diamond-studded wedding cake, created by jeweler Mimi So and cake designer Nahid La Patisserie Artistique, is the star attraction of the Luxury Brands Bridal Show and will be showcased on exclusive Rodeo Drive.

The cake is protected by a team of uniformed security guards at all times, show organizer Ilona Sherman said, and there is no way it will ever be eaten.

COLORADO

Ailing Ford may sell home near Vail

BEAVER CREEK — Former President Gerald R. Ford is considering selling his longtime home in this ski resort town because of his frail health, his spokeswoman said.

Mr. Ford, 93, was taken to a Vail hospital in July after experiencing shortness of breath, and he later spent time at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and had a heart pacemaker implanted. He was hospitalized again last week in California for medical tests.

The nation’s oldest living former president is at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and it isn’t certain whether he will return to Beaver Creek, spokeswoman Penny Circle said. She said a final decision had not been made on selling the home.

FLORIDA

Research centers receive $35.6 million

CORAL GABLES — A 100-year-old woman who quietly amassed a vast fortune before her death last year left $35.6 million to local diabetes and cancer research.

Eugenia Dodson donated two-thirds of the money to the University of Miami’s Diabetes Research Institute, the largest gift in its 35-year history. The rest goes to the university’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

She lost part of a lung to cancer, and her two brothers died from complications to diabetes, said Donald Kubit, co-trustee of her fund.

Mrs. Dodson’s husband had held a stake in a limestone quarry, which went to her after his death in 1949. Although she could have afforded a more lavish lifestyle, she instead saved money by living in a small condo and refusing in-home care until she was nearly 100, Mr. Kubit said.

GEORGIA

Youth pastor gets life for killing wife

SAVANNAH — A youth minister who confessed to killing his wife and burying her body in the woods amid wild boar carcasses pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Eric Brian Golden, 36, entered the plea Tuesday in the death of DeeDee Marie Golden, who had been his high school sweetheart.

Police said Golden attacked his wife in a rage at their Berwick Plantation home on Nov. 17. A year earlier, Golden was arrested after offering an undercover detective $20 for oral sex at a Savannah motel. Police later found pornographic photos on his home computer.

Golden, a former Army sergeant, confessed to his brother-in-law three days later, then drove to the Chatham County Jail and handed a confession letter to deputies.

He was a youth minister at the Southside Assembly of God, a Pentecostal church.

ILLINOIS

Police raid complex in deadly heroin case

CHICAGO — Police raided a public-housing complex yesterday in a sweep targeting those suspected of dealing deadly fentanyl-laced heroin, authorities said.

Officers were looking for 37 suspects and had arrested about half by yesterday afternoon, said Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond.

The arrests at the Harold Ickes public-housing complex followed a federal raid in June at a nearby housing complex, Miss Bond said. Federal drug agents were not involved in yesterday’s raid, she said.

LOUISIANA

Suicide note leads to girlfriend’s body

NEW ORLEANS — A note found on the body of a suicide jumper led police to a French Quarter apartment where they found his girlfriend’s dismembered body, a law-enforcement officer said yesterday.

New Orleans Police spokesmen confirmed that a 26-year-old woman was found Tuesday night in her apartment’s kitchen above a voodoo shop.

The 28-year-old man leapt from the seventh floor of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter on Tuesday night, police said.

Police and the coroner’s office declined to release the identities of the couple, saying family members had not been notified.

The apartment’s owner, Leo Watermeier, said the boyfriend called him on Oct. 5, angrily saying the woman was kicking him out. Mr. Watermeier said the woman told him that she had caught the boyfriend cheating.

MASSACHUSETTS

Turnpike board set to remove tolls

BOSTON — The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board yesterday moved to eliminate tolls along on the 138-mile-long roadway that spans the state, leaving in place only those in the metropolitan Boston area.

The proposal, which faces a final vote in November, is considered both a cost-saving measure and a way to satisfy drivers who have long complained that the state promised to dump the tolls years ago.

MICHIGAN

Ex-Nazi guard freed as deportation fails

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Federal authorities freed a former Nazi concentration camp guard after failing to find a country willing to take the 81-year-old man, who had been stripped of his U.S. citizenship.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January upheld a decision to revoke Johann Leprich’s citizenship.

In September, Mr. Leprich’s attorney asked a federal judge to order his client released, citing a 2001 U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring the freeing of those still held for deportation six months after a removal order.

The Justice Department said it released Mr. Leprich on Monday because Romania, Hungary and Germany refused to accept him, despite high-level meetings with officials from those countries, the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday.

Mr. Leprich was released to his wife and son, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Greg Palmore said. He said Mr. Leprich must report weekly to ICE, which will continue to seek his deportation.

NEW YORK

Mayor’s car stolen; employee beaten

NEW YORK — One of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s personal employees was beaten by thieves who then stole the billionaire’s car yesterday morning in New Jersey, authorities said.

The employee was driving the 2001 Lexus in Hackensack, N.J., on an errand for the mayor shortly before 9 a.m. when he was approached by a woman asking for money, police said. As he declined and began to roll up the window, a man got into the passenger seat and punched him in the face.

“They forced him out and took off,” said Capt. Frank Lomia of the Hackensack Police Department. The employee, whose name was not released, was not seriously injured.

The car was found about two hours later, abandoned on the side of the road in Fairlawn. Police were looking for the thieves.

TENNESSEE

VA employee gets 4 years for red tape

NASHVILLE — A Veterans Affairs employee was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for taking more than $115,000 in kickbacks on the purchase of red tape — actual red tape.

The tape is stamped with the word “security” and is intended to deter tampering.

Natalie Coker, former associate director of a VA pharmacy in Murfreesboro, was arrested along with her boss in November in a scheme to collect kickbacks from a company that was selling the tape to the federal agency at inflated prices.

Her boss, Joseph Haymond, was found dead at his home in an apparent suicide the day after his arrest.

Coker was sentenced on Tuesday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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