- The Washington Times - Friday, September 8, 2006

CALIFORNIA

Paris Hilton arrested

LOS ANGELES — Paris Hilton was arrested in Hollywood early yesterday on suspicion of drunken driving, but she said the incident had been blown out of proportion.

Miss Hilton, 25, the heiress to the Hilton hotel dynasty, told KIIS-FM radio in an interview yesterday morning that she had been to a charity fundraiser party after a long day shooting a music video and had just one margarita.

“I had one margarita [and] was starving because I had not eaten all day,” she said. “Maybe I was speeding a little bit and I got pulled over. I was just really hungry and I wanted to have an In-N-Out Burger.”

Police said Miss Hilton failed a sobriety test but she has not been charged with any offense. That decision will be made by the Los Angeles County District Attorney in the next few days.

PENNSYLVANIA

Hundreds mourn Pittsburgh mayor

PITTSBURGH — Mourners lined the streets yesterday as a horse-drawn hearse carrying Mayor Bob O’Connor’s casket made its way to St. Paul Cathedral, where more than 1,000 people attended his funeral.

“This is a day that we have heavy hearts in the city of Pittsburgh,” said the Rev. Terrence O’Connor, the late mayor’s son.

Bob O’Connor, 61, died last Friday, just eight months after taking office and weeks after being diagnosed with a rare brain cancer.

The Pittsburgh native was diagnosed in July with primary central nervous system lymphoma. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments, but the cancer spread.

City Council President Luke Ravenstahl has been sworn in to replace him.

ARIZONA

Arrest made in serial killer case

PHOENIX — Police arrested a man in two sexual assaults blamed on the city’s elusive Baseline Killer. But officials stopped short of saying yesterday that they have caught the predator who has been terrorizing the Phoenix area.

Mark Goudeau, 42, was arrested Wednesday and accused of attacking two sisters, ages 21 and 23, last September.

Police said forensic evidence tied him to the two crimes, but they would not elaborate.

The Baseline Killer, so named because his earliest crimes occurred along Phoenix’s Baseline Road, has been linked to 23 crimes in the Phoenix metropolitan area dating to August 2005, including eight killings, 11 sexual assaults of women and girls, and several robberies.

Mr. Goudeau, who faces charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping, sexual abuse and sexual assault, made an initial appearance in court yesterday, and was ordered held without bail. His attorney, Corwin Townsend, said he will plead not guilty.

CALIFORNIA

Three charged with conspiracy

FRESNO — Three men accused of trying to obtain secret defense information and stolen military equipment to send to Yemen were indicted on conspiracy charges yesterday, federal prosecutors said.

The probe began when Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials tipped off the FBI about a shipment of chemical suits and body armor from Long Beach to Yemen. The shipment was traced to Ibrahim A. Omer, 40, of Fort Worth, Texas, officials said.

Mr. Omer planned with Amen Ahmed Ali, 56, to illegally send the items to Yemen, without authorization from the U.S. Department of State, federal prosecutors said. Mohamed Al-Rahimi, 62, of Bakersfield, was indicted on charges of traveling to Yemen to broker the sale of the military equipment. He remains at large.

If convicted, the men face up to 10 years in prison for each count and up to $1 million in fines.

COLORADO

Man’s disappearance most likely staged

DENVER — Authorities who spent five days searching for a Marine reported missing after a hiking accident have arrested the man’s friend and said yesterday that they think the disappearance was staged.

Steve Powers, 20, of Boulder was arrested late Wednesday for investigation of a misdemeanor charge of false reporting, Sheriff’s Lt. Phil West said.

Authorities are trying to find the Marine, Lance Hering, 21, who returned from Iraq in July and was due back at Camp Pendleton, Calif.

“Essentially [Mr. Powers] was trying to keep [his friend] from having to return to service as a Marine,” Lt. West said. “That’s Powers’ version. Powers has lied to us repeatedly, so we take what he says with a grain of salt.”

FLORIDA

NASA to try launch today

CAPE CANAVERAL — Caught in a scheduling squeeze, NASA decided to try to launch Space Shuttle Atlantis today without replacing a troublesome electrical component.

Today is the last launch day available before the U.S. space agency runs into a scheduling conflict with the Russian space agency.

Yesterday, NASA decided against replacing an electricity-generating fuel cell whose coolant pump had given erratic readings, causing a scrub a day earlier. Replacing the cell could have delayed a launch by several weeks.

INDIANA

Trucker arraigned in fatal crash

MARION — A truck driver accused of falling asleep at the wheel of his rig and causing a highway crash that killed five persons, one of whom was misidentified for weeks, was arraigned yesterday on five counts of reckless homicide.

A judge entered a preliminary plea of not guilty on behalf of Robert T. Spencer, who was taken to Indiana on Wednesday after waiving extradition in Michigan. The judge assigned him a public defender after Mr. Spencer said he had only about $100 in cash and no bank accounts.

Mr. Spencer’s semitrailer crossed an Interstate 69 median and collided with a Taylor University van on April 26, killing four Taylor students and one faculty member. The case drew national attention five weeks later, when authorities discovered they had mixed up the identifications of two students, one killed in the crash and the other injured.

KANSAS

Bartender gets hefty tip

HUTCHINSON — A bartender who last week was left a $10,000 tip by a regular customer now has more than the excitement of the offer: She has the cash.

Cindy Kienow received a check Tuesday from Applebee’s franchise owner J.S. Stevens for about $6,300, her share of the tip after taxes.

The customer gave Miss Kienow the hefty tip Aug. 27 on a $26 meal. But because he paid by credit card, the restaurant wanted to ensure it was a valid charge before giving Miss Kienow the money.

Restaurant officials have declined to identify the tipper.

“I hate to say it, but I really don’t know him,” said Miss Kienow, 35. “You become friends with your customers. … I think he just appreciated the fact that I took the time to talk with him.”

MONTANA

Wildfire continues to expand

HELENA — The state’s largest wildfire grew to nearly 300 square miles yesterday, and officials predicted that the more than two-week-old blaze in south-central Montana will keep growing because of high winds and the density of dead trees.

Hazy, brown smoke hung over the area, which includes the Boulder River Valley, where the movie “The Horse Whisperer” was filmed.

The fire crossed into the valley earlier this week, but flames have not reached any of the historic ranches or homes located there. Fire information officer Cher Fuller said residents of 265 homes evacuated because of the fire likely would be allowed to return early today.

The blaze was sparked by lightning on Aug. 22 and has forced hundreds to evacuate.

NORTH DAKOTA

Student’s killer eligible for death, jury says

FARGO — A federal jury decided yesterday that the sex offender convicted of kidnapping college student Dru Sjodin, killing her and leaving her body in a Minnesota ravine is eligible for the death penalty.

The jury now must decide whether Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. should be sentenced to death for the murder. That phase of the trial is scheduled to begin Monday afternoon.

The same jury of seven women and five men found Rodriguez, 53, guilty last week of a federal charge of kidnapping resulting in death.

OHIO

Bone pieces found in foster-child probe

CINCINNATI — Investigators recovered 18 bone fragments near an old chimney where they think the body of a developmentally disabled 3-year-old foster child was burned, a county coroner said yesterday.

The boy’s foster parents, charged with killing him, pleaded not guilty yesterday to murder charges.

The bone fragments were from a child 2 to 4 years old, said Dr. O’dell Owens, the Hamilton County coroner.

The foster parents, Liz and David Carroll Jr., are accused of wrapping Marcus Fiesel in a blanket and packing tape, and leaving him in a closet for two days while they went to a family reunion in Kentucky. The boy was dead when they returned, authorities said.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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