- The Washington Times - Friday, October 6, 2006


Classes resume a week after standoff

BAILEY — Students streamed back to their reopened high school yesterday, a week after a gunman took six girls hostage in a classroom, sexually assaulted them and then killed one before fatally shooting himself.

Platte Canyon School District Superintendent Jim Walpole said Tuesday that the classroom, Room 206, will be sealed off for the rest of the school year. He said additional security personnel have been hired, and adult visitors will be required to wear name tags in the school.

Duane Morrison, 53, took the girls hostage in the classroom on Sept. 27, Sheriff Fred Wegener said. Morrison fatally shot Emily Keyes, 16, as she tried to run, authorities said.


Cross-shaped beams moving to church

NEW YORK — Workers yesterday began removing the cross-shaped steel beams that were left standing in the rubble of the World Trade Center five years ago and prepared to move them to a temporary home at a nearby church.

The 20-foot-tall artifact was discovered in the smoking ruins two weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks and became a symbol for recovery workers, family and later construction crews at the site.

It will be moved to the exterior wall of nearby St. Peter’s Church during construction at the site. The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has said it plans to include the cross as part of its memorial or inside the September 11 museum.


Woman, 83, arrested on drug charge

PHOENIX — U.S. police arrested an 83-year-old woman on suspicion of entering California from Mexico with 10 pounds of methamphetamine strapped to her body, officials said yesterday.

The woman, who is a U.S. citizen, and two Mexican nationals were arrested in San Ysidro, Calif., Monday as they drove north from Tijuana, Mexico.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Angelica De Cima said officers at a U.S. border crossing stopped their car and found the drugs strapped to the body of the retiree and a 40-year-old Mexican woman.

Both women were passengers in the vehicle driven by a 22-year-old Mexican man.


Karr released after charges dropped

SANTA ROSA — A judge dismissed child pornography charges yesterday against former JonBenet Ramsey murder suspect John Mark Karr after prosecutors said they didn’t have enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau ordered Mr. Karr released immediately, bringing an end to his two-month odyssey in the U.S. criminal justice system after he was extradited from Thailand on suspicion of killing the 6-year-old beauty queen.

Mr. Karr, 41, was returned to California last month to face the five-year-old pornography case after DNA evidence cleared him of killing the girl in her Boulder, Colo., home in 1996.

The misdemeanor pornography case dissolved almost as quickly, as investigators conceded losing vital computer evidence that was seized from Mr. Karr in April 2001 when he was working as a substitute teacher in Sonoma and Napa counties.


CDC replaces financial chief

ATLANTA — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is replacing the director of its financial management office as federal authorities investigate accusations of altered payment records and after a report criticized the office’s leadership.

In an e-mail to employees Wednesday afternoon obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, John Tibbs said he will be moving to a new job as chief management official in the agency’s office of workforce and career development.

The financial management office handles accounting for the agency’s annual budget of about $8.4 billion.

Effective Monday, Bill Nichols will become director of CDC’s financial management office. Mr. Nichols was head of the agency’s procurement and grants office.

The Journal-Constitution reported last month that the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general is investigating accusations that CDC officials have altered or falsified payment records to pharmaceutical companies.


Robbery suspect cites ‘Robin Hood’ motive

HONOLULU — A boat refinisher wanted for a series of bank robberies dating back to last October said he was driven by “Robin Hood syndrome,” or taking from the rich to give to the poor.

After his arrest, a handcuffed but talkative Michael Rosario, 40, spoke Wednesday with news crews shortly after arriving at police department headquarters.

“I was going to turn myself in today after I see my face in the paper,” Mr. Rosario said.

The arrest was made at Pacific Diversified Finishers Inc. after his boss, Jim Maynard, tipped police that Mr. Rosario was coming in to pick up his last paycheck.

Mr. Rosario neither confessed nor denied he was responsible for nine bank heists he is accused of committing, but he did say he thought he would get away with the robberies “‘cause I had good disguises.” The serial robber was known for donning wigs and dressing up as a woman, an injured soldier and a hospital employee.


Parents indicted in kidnapping

PORTLAND — A couple accused of tying up their pregnant daughter and taking her across the state line to try to force her to have an abortion were indicted on charges of kidnapping, assaulting and terrorizing.

The Cumberland County grand jury handed up the indictments late Wednesday against Nicholas and Lola Kampf, who were arrested Sept. 15 at a shopping center in Salem, N.H., after their daughter, Katelyn, 19, fled and called police on a cell phone.

The Kampfs’ attorney has denied that the couple kidnapped their daughter and said they never intended to force her to have an abortion. No abortion was performed.


Bag inspections to resume for riders

BOSTON — Police will resume inspections of bags on public trains, buses and boats in the greater Boston area for the first time since the city hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2004, Gov. Mitt Romney announced yesterday.

Mr. Romney, a Republican weighing a 2008 run for president, said the inspections for explosives were not a response to any immediate threat, but that police recognize transportation systems are vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

Daniel Grabauskas, general manager of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said the inspections would begin as early as next week and could be performed quickly enough to guarantee riders aren’t delayed. Police will check a bag by swabbing the outside for any traces of explosive materials, a minute-long process that can be followed by a request to open the bag.

To guard against ethnic profiling, police will either inspect all riders entering a station or pick out riders on a random numerical basis — every third, or fifth or eighth rider, Transit Police Chief Joseph Carter said.


Clinic to separate conjoined twins

ROCHESTER — Conjoined twins from North Dakota have undergone their first procedure leading up to the surgery that will separate them.

Eight-week-old Abygail and Madysen Fitterer, who are joined at the abdomen, had tissue expanders inserted during a four-hour procedure on Tuesday, the Mayo Clinic announced Wednesday.

After two weeks, the expanders will be filled slowly with saline solution to give each girl enough skin after separation to close their incisions.

The separation likely will take place before the end of the year, the hospital said.


Tot held hostage in police standoff

FOREST HILL — A nearly 14-hour standoff between police and a man accused of shooting three persons and taking a 4-year-old boy hostage ended at dawn yesterday with the child safe and the suspect in custody.

Police in the Fort Worth suburb of Forest Hill arrested Joe Dixon, 57, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Lt. Chris Hebert said.

The boy, described the nephew of someone who lived in the house, was found unharmed and placed in the custody of an unidentified guardian, Lt. Hebert said. He said the child had been in the house with Mr. Dixon throughout the standoff but asleep during much of it.

Brenda Jackson said the dispute started with an argument between her 43-year-old sister and Mr. Dixon.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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