- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ALABAMA

Officer killed, another wounded in shooting

FAIRFIELD — One police officer was reportedly killed and another was wounded yesterday in a shooting in the Birmingham suburb of Fairfield.

WBMA-TV, WBRC-TV and WVTM-TV all reported that the officer was fatally wounded about 10:15 a.m. in a neighborhood west of Birmingham. The second officer was in surgery with a bullet wound at UAB Hospital, but officials declined comment on his condition.

One suspect was reportedly in custody, and police cars blocked roads searching for at least one more suspect. Officers went door to door looking for suspects with their handguns drawn.

GEORGIA

Coca-Cola to donate land for museum

ATLANTA — The Coca-Cola Co. announced yesterday it would donate $10 million worth of prime downtown land to the city, to develop a civil rights museum in the hometown of Martin Luther King.

Coca-Cola Chairman-CEO Neville Isdell said his company is donating 2 acres for the museum near the Georgia Aquarium and the new World of Coca-Cola, now under construction. Coke previously donated nine acres for the aquarium.

Mr. Isdell said the idea for the museum came from Mayor Shirley Franklin, who said in January a civil rights museum belongs in Atlanta. A spokeswoman for Mrs. Franklin said yesterday she had no details on the museum or who would develop it.

IDAHO

Hunter lost for days is safe at home

STANLEY — A wrong turn changed an overnight trip into nearly a week of shivering and hunger in the snowy Sawtooth Mountains for a hunter who finally made it to safety on his own.

Bill Helfferich set out on his two-day solo elk hunt on Oct. 15, but several hours after parking his truck, he took a wrong turn. After snow began falling he decided to wait out the storm, hoping rescuers would soon be on his trail. He ate snow to stifle hunger pangs. At one point, he said, he was surrounded by a pack of howling wolves.

By Friday, Mr. Helfferich decided help wasn’t coming, so he opted to try to hike out of the woods on his own. He found some researchers studying pine beetle damage, and they gave him a ride to Stanley.

ILLINOIS

2 drinks daily help men avoid heart attack

CHICAGO — Even healthy men may benefit from an alcoholic beverage or two daily to help lower the risk of heart attack, medical researchers reported yesterday.

“Our results suggest that moderate drinking could be viewed as a complement, rather than an alternative” to lifestyle interventions such as regular physical activity, weight loss and quitting smoking, said the study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

The report, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, said previous studies have linked moderate drinking to a lower heart-attack risk, compared with the risk run by those who do not drink at all. The apparent protective effect may be that alcohol appears to raise the level of so-called “good” cholesterol in the bloodstream.

But doctors do not generally recommend people drink, it said, because of the risks associated with heavy drinking.

MASSACHUSETTS

Commuter train rams stalled truck

FRANKLIN — A commuter train heading into Boston struck a flatbed truck that had bottomed out on a railroad crossing, injuring 19 persons yesterday morning, authorities said.

The driver of the truck, which was hauling construction equipment, had walked up the tracks to try to warn the approaching train, but the engineer was unable to stop in time, said Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Construction equipment on the truck swung around when the train hit and smashed into one of the passenger coaches and another nearby vehicle.

Eighteen persons and the engineer, who warned passengers to brace for impact, were hurt in the 8 a.m. crash, he said. Most had been released from hospitals by afternoon.

Transit police and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.

NEW JERSEY

Jury selection starts in dorm-fire trial

NEWARK — Nearly seven years after a dorm fire killed three freshmen at Seton Hall University, the trial of two former college roommates charged with murder and arson in the blaze began yesterday with jury selection.

Sean Ryan and Joseph T. LePore could each face at least 30 years in prison if convicted of murder. Both deny setting the fire that injured 58 persons.

The fire started early on the morning of Jan. 19, 2000, in a third-floor lounge in Boland Hall, a freshman dormitory on the private school’s South Orange campus.

Prosecutors say Mr. Ryan and Mr. LePore, who were roommates in the dorm, set fire to a banner, which ignited a couch and poured dense smoke through the dormitory.

OHIO

Elevator’s weight limit topped before death

COLUMBUS — Twenty-four persons had crowded onto a dormitory elevator before it pinned and killed an Ohio State University freshman, exceeding its weight capacity by as much as 1,100 pounds, a fire official said yesterday.

The count came from a medic who interviewed survivors immediately after the Friday night accident, said Doug Smith, a battalion chief for the Columbus Division of Fire.

Andrew Polakowski was the last person to enter the elevator on Stradley Hall’s third floor when it unexpectedly began to descend with the doors open, campus police said.

Authorities have not concluded that the extra weight caused the elevator to malfunction. The case remains under investigation.

PENNSYLVANIA

Blast kills miner; 4 others escape

TREMONT — A coal mine explosion killed a Pennsylvania miner yesterday, but four others were able to escape, authorities said.

The blast happened at the R&D; Coal Co. anthracite mine in Schuylkill County, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

State and federal investigators were attempting to determine the cause, said Kurt Knaus, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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