- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tornado injures 2, damages buildings

APALACHICOLA, Fla. — This seaside town was without power yesterday after a tornado tore through the area, damaging several buildings and leaving two persons with minor injuries, authorities said.

Some residents could be without electricity until today, said Butch Baker, Franklin County’s emergency management director.

Mr. Baker said eyewitnesses confirmed that it was a tornado that struck the town of about 2,500 people, about 65 miles southwest of Tallahassee.

School drill with police scares some students

WYOMING, Mich. — A school safety drill that included police officers in riot gear with weapons has caused concern among some parents who say it was too realistic and frightened some students.

Police entered two classrooms at Lee Middle and High School on Thursday and announced there was a threat to the school, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

Students were taken into the halls, patted down by officers and asked what they had in their pockets, according to the newspaper.

Principal David Britten said students weren’t told ahead of time to make the drill as realistic as possible. Teachers were informed moments before it took place, he said.

But Wyoming Police Chief James Carmody said his officers were not aware students and parents were not told. He said his department will mandate that parents be notified ahead of time in the future.

Teen girl charged in daughter’s death

SAUK VILLAGE, Ill. — A 14-year-old girl accused of suffocating her newborn daughter and leaving the infant’s body in a trash can has been charged with murder.

The teenager also was charged Friday with concealment of a homicide, said Thomas Mountford, deputy police chief of the Sauk Village Police Department.

The girl’s name was not released because she was charged as a juvenile, Mr. Mountford said. A judge later could decide to try her as an adult, authorities said.

Census bureau alters opinion on Boston

BOSTON — The city is growing, not shrinking, the U.S. Census Bureau said, acknowledging it underestimated the population by more than 37,000 people.

Its new estimate puts Boston’s population at 596,638, rather than 559,034, a 1.3 percent increase since 2000 instead of a 5.1 percent decrease, Mayor Thomas Menino said Friday.

The former estimate of where the population stood as of July 1, 2005, was challenged by Mr. Menino, who has sought to counter perceptions that Boston is a city in decline amid high housing prices and surging crime in some sections. He argued that the agency failed to account for new housing production and new college dormitories, and overestimated housing demolition.

The Census Bureau sent a letter about the revision to Mr. Menino on Thursday.

Dead woman wins board race

JUNEAU, Alaska — A coin toss made a dead woman the winner of a rural school board race.

Incumbent Katherine Dunton and challenger Dona Highstone were tied after the Oct. 3 election in Adak, the same day Miss Dunton died.

Even with Miss Dunton’s death, state law requires a tie vote to be settled by lot after an official recount.

Division of Elections Director Whitney Brewster flipped the coin to determine the winner Friday. Miss Highstone called heads, but the coin landed on tails.

The school board now must find a replacement for the three-year term.

Dennis the Menace statue stolen

MONTEREY, Calif. — The mischievous Dennis the Menace has gone missing — except this time, he’s not hiding because he broke the rules.

A statue of the perennial pint-sized troublemaker that stood for almost two decades in a city park was unbolted and stolen sometime between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning, police said.

Police said the statue, which is 3 feet tall and weighs 125 pounds, is worth as much as $30,000. The city is offering a $5,000 reward for its safe return.

The statue was crafted by Carmel artist Wah Ming Chang. It was commissioned by Hank Ketcham, the cartoon character’s creator, who died in 2001.

Driver causes crash, then shoots at people

MILWAUKEE — The driver of a sport utility vehicle slammed into a car early yesterday, killing three family members, then pulled a gun and fired at people fleeing from a third car that had been sideswiped, police said.

Police do not think the shots hit anyone, Capt. Gregory Habeck said. The 23-year-old SUV driver was in police custody, but authorities were still searching for a gun, he said.

The SUV driver, who investigators think may have been speeding and under the influence of alcohol, ran a red light and hit the passenger side of a sedan, Capt. Habeck said.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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