- The Washington Times - Friday, September 15, 2006

CALIFORNIA

Tribes oppose resort expansion

SAN FRANCISCO — Southwestern Indian tribes protested yesterday in front of a federal appeals court over the proposed expansion of an Arizona ski resort they say desecrates sacred land.

About 50 American Indians, some wearing traditional garb, burned sage, chanted and held signs that read “Save the Peaks.” Inside, the courtroom was filled to capacity, mostly with Indians, many of whom had traveled from Arizona to attend the hearing.

“Their plans to make snow, if allowed, would be cultural genocide,” said Kelvin Long, a Navajo who lives in Flagstaff, Ariz. “What we’re doing here is trying to protect that and trying to protect our heritage.”

The protest came ahead of a hearing before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the tribes’ bid to block upgrades to the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort.

MONTANA

Wildfire triples in size

LIVINGSTON - Strong wind caused a fire in an area popular with celebrities to nearly triple in size, and people were asked to evacuate 325 homes and cabins, officials said.

Crews flew over the area to see if any buildings were lost when the fire grew to 27,400 acres by early yesterday, compared with 9,360 acres the morning before.

Wind gusted to 31 mph in Livingston, but clouds and higher humidity were expected to help fire crews work from above. On Wednesday a 35,000-foot plume of smoke combined with the wind to hinder efforts to fight the fire with water drops, said Myrna Daley, public affairs officer for the Gallatin National Forest.

Lightning started the fire Aug. 25.

ALABAMA

Christian group changes name

MONTGOMERY — The Christian Coalition of Alabama changed its name yesterday to Christian Action Alabama to reflect its split from the once-powerful national organization.

Last month, Alabama followed the lead of Iowa’s and Ohio’s Christian Coalition organizations in separating from the Christian Coalition of America. They disagreed with new directions being taken by the national group, including its support for a higher minimum wage.

Alabama coalition Chairman Bob Russell said that the organization’s staff, board and objectives remain the same and that only the name has changed.

ARIZONA

Woman held in plot over MySpace photo

MESA — A 22-year-old woman was arrested after authorities say she tried to hire someone to kill another woman whose photo appeared on her boyfriend’s MySpace.com Web page.

Heather Michelle Kane was booked Tuesday for investigation of conspiracy to commit murder, Mesa Detective Jerry Gissel said.

She was arrested after she met an undercover Mesa police detective at a grocery store, gave the officer $400 and offered to pay an additional $100 once the woman had been killed, according to court records.

The records say Miss Kane gave the undercover officer photographs taken from her boyfriend’s social networking Web page of the woman she wanted killed. She also requested a photo of the woman’s body.

CONNECTICUT

Big newborn breaks record

NORWICH — Oh baby! Marie Michel’s fifth child was one for the record books. She gave birth to a 14-pound, 13-ounce boy Tuesday at William W. Backus Hospital.

Backus officials said the newborn — Stephon Hendrix Louis-Jean — broke the record for biggest baby born at the hospital by 1 pound, 13 ounces. He was nearly 23 inches long.

The baby’s size came as no surprise to his mom. Her oldest son weighed 9 pounds at birth, her 8-year-old twin sons each weighed 81/2 pounds and her youngest son, 3, was nearly 12 pounds.

Less than 24 hours old, the baby was fitting into clothes meant for a 6-month-old.

HAWAII

TV reality star held in kidnapping case

HONOLULU — TV reality star Duane “Dog” Chapman and two performers on his show were arrested yesterday in Hawaii on charges of illegal detention and conspiracy in an suspected kidnapping three years ago.

Mr. Chapman, son Leland Chapman and associate Timothy Chapman, no relation, were taken into custody and did not resist arrest, said U.S. Marshal Mark M. Hanohano. “It went down without incident,” Marshal Hanohano said.

Mona K. Wood, a publicist for the star of the popular cable series “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” said Duane Chapman would be vindicated. “He arrests the bad guys — and he is definitely not one of them,” she said.

The charges stem from Duane Chapman’s capture of Max Factor heir Andrew Luster on June 18, 2003, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, said Marshals spokeswoman Nikki Credic in Washington.

Mr. Chapman’s capture of Luster, who had fled the country after being convicted of raping three women, catapulted the 53-year-old bounty hunter to fame and led to the reality series on A&E.;

PENNSYLVANIA

Philadelphia enacts smoking ban

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia yesterday became the latest U.S. city to ban smoking in most public places.

Mayor John Street signed a bill that would ban smoking in all restaurants and many bars, said his spokesman, Joe Grace. Sidewalk cafes, specialty tobacco establishments, private clubs and casinos are exempt.

The bill is expected to take effect in January. Violators face $25 to $300 fines.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Video shows official scratching car with key

NORTH CHARLESTON — A police video apparently caught the city’s ombudsman scratching the rear of a city council member’s sport utility vehicle with a key after the latter took his parking space.

Police had a camera on council member Bob King’s Nissan Murano because his car had been keyed previously. They released the tape Tuesday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

The tape shows Mr. King’s car parked in city Ombudsman James Bell’s parking spot, marked “Ombudsman.”

WASHINGTON

Ex-mayor arrested in death of policeman

BRIER — A police officer died in a struggle with the former mayor of this Seattle suburb while responding to a call for aid at the man’s home, authorities said Wednesday.

The death occurred Tuesday after emergency dispatchers got a report that a diabetic man needed medical treatment, according to papers filed in Snohomish County District Court.

A dispatcher told the officer that the man seeking medical attention “had a history of being aggressive to officers and aid workers while in this condition,” the document said.

Gary Lee Starks, 55, was booked into jail on suspicion of third-degree assault and released on his own recognizance after a court appearance, officials said.

WISCONSIN

Boy suspended for setting off firework

RACINE — A 5-year-old boy was suspended from kindergarten for popping a firework toy in school.

Quinn Lucier set off the popper — which makes a loud sound when its string is pulled — at Jerstad-Agerholm Elementary School on Monday, startling his teacher.

The principal, Cecilia Holley-Young, imposed the four-day suspension, telling the boy’s mother that the item qualified as an explosive device.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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