- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2006


Driver kills huge gator on highway

JACKSONVILLE - A 12-foot American alligator, which was killed by a motorist on a coastal highway, weighed about 475 pounds and forced officials to use an excavator to remove it.

The alligator was about 85 years old, wildlife officials said. The gators live throughout the Southeast and cross roadways as part of seasonal migrations. The driver was not hurt.


Twin sisters reunited after 71 years

MILWAUKEE - Pat Gudinas has finally met her twin sister — 71 years after they were born.

“I’ve never had anybody in my family,” she said at the reunion Tuesday at a suburban restaurant not far from the home of her sister, Shirley McGuire.

The twins were born to a woman who had been with a married man, and they ended up in different foster homes and eventually at St. Joseph Orphanage on Milwaukee’s south side. Both girls were told while growing up that they were adopted and had a twin.

The efforts by Mrs. Gudinas, who lives near Austin, Texas, to find her sister made significant progress recently when a nun in Chicago who had archival materials from the orphanage provided her with the names of the people who adopted her twin. She hired a genealogist who tracked down Mrs. McGuire with


Thief of antique maps sentenced 31/2 years

NEW HAVEN — A dealer in antique treasures who admitted to stealing rare maps worth more than $3 million was sentenced Wednesday to 31/2 years in prison after a judge ruled that he deserved leniency for cooperating.

Edward Forbes Smiley III, once one of the country’s most respected dealers in rare maps, also must pay $1.9 million in restitution for stealing 98 of the world’s most precious maps, U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton said.

Smiley had faced up to six years in prison under federal guidelines but was handed a lighter sentence after he helped authorities recover most of the maps.

“I’m deeply ashamed,” Smiley told the court.


Suspect sought in shooting of deputies

LAKELAND — A man who had been pulled over for a traffic violation shot two sheriff’s deputies yesterday, killing one of them and prompting a manhunt that forced a lockdown at three schools, officials said.

The man was first approached during a traffic stop, but he fled into a wooded area when the officer began asking him about his identity, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

That officer and a deputy who arrived seconds later with a police dog chased him into the woods. Shots were fired, Sheriff Judd said, and the two deputies were hit.

The sheriff identified the slain deputy as Matt Williams. Another deputy was shot in the leg and will survive, he said.

“Listen to me, folks,” Sheriff Judd said at a press conference. “We will find him. We will bring him to justice. The sooner, the better.”

The shooting occurred near Kathleen High School, which was locked down, sheriff’s spokeswoman Donna Wood said.


State to sell air traveler discards

TUCKER — A butcher knife. A corkscrew. A chain saw.

These are just a few of the hundreds of items discarded at the security checkpoints of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport that will go on sale starting next week at new state government thrift stores in Tucker, Americus and Swainsboro.

They are among thousands of items — from pocket knifes to power tools — banned from being taken aboard aircraft and accumulated at security checkpoints at the state’s commercial airports. Now they can be yours for the right price, with the proceeds going to the state.

Each month, the federal Transportation Security Administration — the agency responsible for screening airport passengers — sends the state a pallet of government-issue plastic vats full of knives, scissors, baseball bats, barbells, toy guns and other items discarded or confiscated at airports.

State officials haven’t priced the items, but Steve Ekin, director of the Georgia Surplus Property Division, promises they’ll be inexpensive — from 50 cents to $5, depending on the quality and brand. The money will go toward operating the Surplus Property Division.


‘Tea party’ started over utility costs

CHICAGO — It’s the Boston Tea Party gone high-tech.

A week after asking unhappy Illinois residents to mail tea bags with their utility bill payments to protest upcoming rate increases, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said online bill payers can get in on the act.

Lt. Gov. Quinn’s official Web site has images of tea bags that consumers can mail electronically to chief executives of St. Louis-based Ameren Corp. and to ComEd, a division of Chicago-based Exelon Corp.

Earlier this month, Ameren announced that its customers will see increases of 40 to 55 percent, while ComEd is planning increases of about 22 percent.

Lt. Gov. Quinn initially wanted customers to mail tea bags to the companies with their payments, but the U.S. Postal Service warned that the lumpy bags could damage its high-speed, high-dollar processing equipment.

The lieutenant governor said the tea bags will harken back to the Boston Tea Party protest over unfair taxation by the British.


Inmate tattooed with victim’s name

CARLISLE — An inmate serving a life term for molesting and killing a 10-year-old girl named Katie somehow got “Katie’s Revenge” tattooed across his forehead, and prison authorities were trying to determine how it happened.

The Indiana Department of Correction placed Anthony Ray Stockelman, 39, in protective custody, away from the general inmate population, last weekend after authorities discovered the tattoo, said Rich Larsen, a spokesman for the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.

Stockelman was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to abducting, molesting and killing Katlyn “Katie” Collman. Katie was missing for five days before her body was found Jan. 30, 2005, in a creek about 15 miles from her home.


Woman set on fire; 2 men arrested

NAPOLEONVILLE — A man and his younger brother poured gasoline on his estranged girlfriend and set her on fire, leaving her with severe burns, police said.

The brothers were arrested and booked on a count of attempted murder of the 25-year-old woman, Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack said.

The sheriff’s office said Aquendius Landry, 28, and Larmatina Landry, 24, drove the woman to a remote road late Tuesday, then drenched her with gasoline and set her on fire early Wednesday.

The woman, who has two children with Aquendius Landry, has burns over 60 percent of her body, Sheriff Waguespack said.

“This person was tortured. It was a brutal crime, and at best this woman has a horrible recovery ahead of her, or she won’t make it at all,” he said.


9 hurt when truck hits school bus

SPARTA — A dump truck hit a school bus yesterday, injuring nine persons aboard, school officials said. None of the injuries was life-threatening.

The bus was hit almost head-on while carrying 16 Hopatcong High School students and two teachers to a meeting on student community service, schools Superintendent Wayne L. Threlkeld said.

Witnesses said the truck ran a red light, Mr. Threlkeld said.

The bus driver and a teacher had broken bones, and seven students complained of bruises and pain, he said. The truck driver appeared to be uninjured, he added.


Sea lion paints, gets fish as reward

PITTSBURGH — Some artists suffer for their work. Maggie, an 11-year-old sea lion at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, gets to eat dead fish for hers.

Kesha Phares, a zoo trainer, has been teaching the animal to paint since last year. It took three months to get the animal to hold a paint brush and touch the bristles to paper.

Miss Phares picks the paint colors — sea lions are colorblind — and puts paint on the brush. The paintings are done one stroke at a time, with Maggie getting a fish after each stroke.

If the animal can be said to have a style, it is this: She tends to put more paint on the right side of the canvas than on the left.

From staff reports and wire dispatches



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