- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2006


Scam artist squirrels away money

HOT SPRINGS — A scam artist bilked a woman by promising to squirrel-proof her home.

The man told the woman he had seen a squirrel crawl into a plumbing vent atop her home and offered to cap the vent for $40. When he went to the front door later for payment, he said he had capped 100 holes and wanted $4,000. She paid $2,000, authorities said.


Motorcyclists ride to honor slain girl

BAILEY — About 5,000 motorcyclists rode in a caravan in honor of the 16-year-old girl who was shot at her high school by a gunman who held her hostage.

The motorcyclists, including Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener, rode 40 miles to Platte Canyon High School from Columbine High School, the scene of the nation’s worst school shooting in 1999.

It was Sheriff Wegener who made the call for SWAT officers to invade a classroom where authorities said Duane Morrison, 53, took Emily Keyes and other girls hostage and molested them on Sept. 27.

On Saturday, bikers paid donations to take part in the ride from Columbine to Bailey. Money collected from the ride will go to a fund to help the girls who were taken hostage.


Ritzy entry wins ice-cream contest

JACKSONVILLE — Chocolate-covered Ritz crackers, gooey caramel and vanilla ice cream — it doesn’t get much better than that, judges ruled at an ice-cream contest.

Judges said Tasha Callister’s entry, “Puttin on the Ritz,” tasted great and had a clever name. The flavor got top prize in the national Ben and Jerry’s Do Us a Flavor Contest in Waterbury, Vt., on Thursday.

Miss Callister, of Jacksonville, acquired the recipe from her grandmother, who would melt caramel over a campfire and squish it between two crackers before covering it with chocolate.

Miss Callister and the other four finalists won ice cream for a year, in addition to the trip to Vermont. She also won an ice-cream party for her family and friends. Ben & Jerry’s will create enough Puttin on the Ritz for the party, but there are no plans to put the new flavor in production, Ben & Jerry’s spokesman Sean Greenwood said.


Driver loses SUV, wins replacement

LEVANT — The bad news is that James Lee demolished his sport utility vehicle in a crash. The good news: It wasn’t the SUV he had just won in a contest.

Mr. Lee told police he wrecked his 2003 Lincoln Navigator on Wednesday when he lost control of it after being startled by a spider. The vehicle slammed into a tree.

Mr. Lee, 28, walked away with a bloody nose caused by the air bag.

It could’ve been worse. He wasn’t driving his new Volvo XC90 because he hasn’t yet taken delivery, Darling’s Volvo in Bangor said.

Last month, Mr. Lee was one of 11 persons nationwide to win a new vehicle from McDonald’s, the Bangor Daily News reported. After finishing a Big Mac extra value meal, he got the winning piece for the “Pirates of the Caribbean” game.


Lawmaker improving from combat wounds

PARKVILLE — A Missouri state legislator wounded by enemy fire near Baghdad was up and walking Saturday at a hospital in Iraq, a family spokesman said.

Republican Rep. Jason Brown, 36, a staff sergeant in the Army Reserve, was shot in the lung during a recent patrol near Baghdad, said George McClintock, a family friend.

Mr. McClintock described Staff Sgt. Brown’s condition as “very good.” The legislator had not undergone surgery, as doctors worked to determine the best treatment, Mr. McClintock said.

Staff Sgt. Brown began a one-year tour of duty in Iraq in April as a civil affairs specialist. His duties included helping to build roads, bridges, hospitals and schools.

He also is seeking re-election. His Democratic opponent in November is Jared Welch, a lawyer who is a staff judge advocate in the Missouri National Guard.


O’Connor to sit on appeals court panel

NEW YORK — Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will wear the black robe again this week when she joins a federal appellate court panel in Manhattan to hear arguments on five cases.

Justice O’Connor, a moderate appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan, will sit Wednesday on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Circuit Executive Karen Milton.

Senior Judge John M. Walker Jr., who stepped down this month as the circuit’s chief judge, invited Justice O’Connor to sit on the panel, Miss Milton said. Forty percent of the judges assigned to 2nd Circuit panels are visiting judges.

Justice O’Connor, the nation’s first female justice, will sit on a three-judge panel beside Judge Walker and the new chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, Miss Milton said.

They will consider five cases, including one criminal, one bankruptcy and three civil in nature.


Pumpkin grower thinks he has record

WARREN — Despite heavy rains that stunted pumpkin growth, a Rhode Island farmer has set what could be a new record for the largest pumpkin in the world.

Ron Wallace’s pumpkin weighed 1,502 pounds at Saturday’s weigh-off competition, heavier than the current Guinness World Record-holding 1,469-pound pumpkin grown last year by Larry Checkon of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Wallace said at the 13th annual Rhode Island Southern New England Giant Pumpkin Growers Championship that the key to growing a giant pumpkin is the ability to commit to the task from April to October.


Minor earthquake rattles homes

SEATTLE — A magnitude 4.5 earthquake rattled homes east of Mount Rainier on Saturday night, but no injuries or damage were reported.

The quake struck just before 8 p.m. about 7 miles east of the mountain’s summit, said Tom Yelin of the University of Washington Seismology Laboratory.

Mr. Yelin said he did not think the quake was associated with any volcanic activity.


Baby delivery takes some detective work

MILWAUKEE — Communicating with hand gestures and facial expressions, two police detectives and a crime scene photographer helped deliver a baby to a woman who cannot speak English.

Detectives Vincent Lopez and Dolores Beaver said they were investigating an armed robbery early Thursday when a passer-by told them there was a woman who might be in labor three blocks away. The partners found the woman, a Hmong.

The baby was in a breach position and the woman, 27, was in pain, Miss Beaver said. So she, Mr. Lopez and their photographer, John Heim, called the medical unit and got to work. The passer-by who first noticed the woman also stayed to help, they said.

The baby, a boy, was born in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, Miss Beaver said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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