- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006


Train derailment prompts evacuation

GURDON — A train carrying a flammable liquid derailed yesterday near a residential area, causing churches to cancel services and prompting evacuation orders for 300 residents, officials said.

Residents were allowed to return home later in the day.

No injuries were reported after six cars of an 85-car Union Pacific train derailed, said James Barnes, a spokesman for the Omaha, Neb.-based railroad. It wasn’t clear what chemical the cars were carrying, but five of the six cars were loaded.

“To our knowledge, there’s been no release of chemicals and no injuries,” Mr. Barnes said.

At least four churches canceled Sunday services, said Barbara Frazier of the Gurdon Police Department.

Union Pacific representatives yesterday were traveling to the scene. The train was traveling from Houston to Little Rock, Ark., Mr. Barnes said.


Vehicle auction fetches $36 million

OXNARD — A collection of 90 rare cars and 80 motorcycles owned by former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler brought in more than $36 million at auction.

More than 1,200 people crowded into Chandler’s Vintage Museum, which housed the collection, for the auction Saturday by Gooding & Co.

Company founder David Gooding said the auction broke the previous record for a single-day sale — $21 million in 1990 — when there were still 33 cars and motorcycles to be sold. The final tally was $36,094,250.

Two classic cars sold for more than $2 million apiece. A 1931 Duesenberg J Special Phaeton fetched $2.64 million, and a 1904 Mercedes 40/45 HP Sports Touring went for $2.25 million, auction officials said.

The highest-selling motorcycle, a 1907 Harley-Davidson 440CC Strap-Tank Single, brought in $352,000.


Drug operation shut down

DENVER — Investigators said they broke up a drug operation that was bringing marijuana from Washington state and California to Colorado in 50- to 100-pound quantities, repackaging it and selling it for up to $500 an ounce.

A Denver grand jury indicted 38 persons on 152 counts including drug distribution, marijuana cultivation and racketeering.


Man kills coyotesuspected in attacks

WASHINGTON — A man killed a coyote suspected of attacking two other residents earlier in the week. Tim Cook was cutting wood when the snapping, growling animal approached, and he beat it with a long-poled log roller.

Officials think it’s the same coyote that bit a jogger and was driven off by another man who threw rocks at it.


Girl, 9, wins storm-name contest

COEUR D’ALENE — Chrysta Orr, 9, won a city contest allowing her to name Coeur d’Alene’s winter storms.

The Winton Elementary School student used ice cream as a theme to arrive at the names, which include Arctic Almond Avalanche and Howling Huckleberry.


Forgotten graves get proper burial

WALTHAM — All Kathryn Peirce knew about her mother’s twin was that the baby died at birth and was probably a boy.

After years of research, her cousin uncovered a birth certificate that revealed the baby was a girl. They also learned she was buried at St. Joseph cemetery in Boston in 1923, though Miss Peirce couldn’t find a cemetery of that name in the city.

The mystery was solved this year when archaeologists discovered a forgotten burial site on the grounds of St. Joseph church in Boston’s Roxbury section. On Saturday, Miss Peirce’s aunt was honored along with more than 1,200 others in a ceremony led by officials from the Boston Archdiocese.


Elementary school bans newspapers

EAGAN — After a parent complained about the “sex, death and general mayhem” in newspapers, a suburban elementary school decided to cut off students’ access to free copies provided by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Copies of the Pioneer Press had been available to students for several years at Deerwood Elementary School through its Newspapers in Education program.

“There are many great articles in the newspaper that are appropriate for elementary students,” Principal Miles Haugen told KARE-TV.

“However, there are some articles in there that we would not want exposed to elementary-aged students.”

The parent of a 7-year-old sent the school an e-mail last week complaining that the newspaper is “not appropriate reading material for elementary-aged kids” and that she didn’t want her child “exposed to the sex, death and general mayhem that have become the standard fodder for newspapers and TV news.”

Managers at the Pioneer Press weren’t aware of such restrictions at any other school.


Elevator checked after student dies

COLUMBUS — An elevator in an Ohio State University dormitory where a student was pinned and killed has been sealed while state inspectors and police investigate, officials said.

Andrew Polakowski, 18, of Erie, Pa., was the last person in a group of students to enter the elevator on Stradley Hall’s third floor Friday night when it unexpectedly began to descend with the doors open, said Rick Amweg, assistant chief of campus police.

Mr. Polakowski, a freshman, was pinned when he tried to escape through a gap between the top of the elevator and the third floor, police said. It was not clear whether he jumped or tried to climb out.

Elevator inspectors from the state Commerce Department will return today to continue their investigation, department spokeswoman Denise Lee said.

Mr. Polakowski had chest and abdominal injuries, and he died of mechanical asphyxia, said Franklin County Coroner Dr. Bradley Lewis.


Parachute faulted in jumper’s death

FAYETTEVILLE — A malfunctioning parachute may have caused the death of an experienced BASE jumper who leapt from a bridge during a popular festival, a county sheriff said yesterday.

Investigators will continue to examine the fatal incident in the coming days, but Brian Lee Schubert’s death Saturday appears to have been caused by a malfunctioning chute, Fayette County Sheriff Bill Laird said.

Mr. Schubert, 66, died of injuries suffered when he hit the water 876 feet below the New River Gorge Bridge during the annual Bridge Day festival, Sheriff Laird said. Thousands of people attending the festival witnessed the fatal jump, and jumping continued after his body was taken away.

Investigators will ask for video footage and press photos this week, Gary Hartley, chief ranger for the National Parks Service, said yesterday.

Mr. Schubert, of Alta Loma, Calif., had been well-known in the sport of Building, Antenna, Span and Earth jumping. In 1966, he and a friend became the first persons to jump from El Capitan, a nearly 3,000-foot-tall rock formation, in California’s Yosemite National Park.


Andy Griffith runs for sheriff

PLATTEVILLE — Amusic store co-owner is putting a touch of Mayberry in a sheriff’s race in western Wisconsin.

A Grant County sheriff candidate earlier this year changed his name to Andy Griffith, the actor who portrayed Sheriff Andy Taylor on TV’s “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s.

The candidate, 42, formerly known as William Fenrick, said his goal was to focus attention to a sheriff’s race that otherwise gets little notice.

He’s running as an independent in the Nov. 7 election against incumbent Keith Govier, a Republican who has held the job for 10 years, and Democrat Doug Vesperman, who has worked in the sheriff’s department 16 years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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