- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 1, 2007

Recall of tainted pet food grows

The recall of wet and dry pet foods contaminated with a chemical found in plastics and pesticides expanded yesterday to include a new brand.

Nestle Purina PetCare Co. said it was recalling all sizes and varieties of its Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy wet dog food with specific date codes. Purina said a limited amount of the food contained a contaminated wheat gluten from China.

The same U.S. supplier also provided wheat gluten, a protein source, to a Canadian company, Menu Foods, which last month recalled 60 million containers of wet dog and cat food it produces for sale under nearly 100 brand labels.

Menu Foods and the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates the pet-food industry, have refused to identify the company that supplied the contaminated wheat gluten.

Wrong-way driver killed in crash

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A car going the wrong way on a divided highway collided head-on with a Greyhound bus early yesterday, killing the driver of the car and injuring 20 persons, police said.

The bus driver had tried to evade the oncoming car, police and a passenger said. Heather Marie Thomas, 23, was driving southbound in a northbound lane of Interstate 85, police Lt. Mark Drinkard said. Police said they did not know why the car was in the wrong lane or whether alcohol was involved.

Lt. Drinkard said 20 persons were taken to two hospitals for treatment of minor injuries.

The bus, carrying 49 passengers and two drivers, had just left the Montgomery terminal and was headed for Columbus, Ga., and Atlanta, Greyhound spokeswoman Anna Folmsbee said.

Kerik rejects federal plea deal

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has rejected a plea deal offered by federal prosecutors pursuing multiple charges against him, the Associated Press has learned.

Any indictments against Mr. Kerik could prove embarrassing to presidential hopeful Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor who appointed Mr. Kerik police commissioner and recommended him to serve as Homeland Security secretary.

A person close to the federal investigation said prosecutors could indict Mr. Kerik on multiple felony counts, including tax evasion, conspiracy to eavesdrop and providing false information. Indictments are not thought to be imminent, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Mr. Kerik’s attorney confirmed yesterday that his client had turned down a plea-bargain offer that included prison time because he “did nothing wrong.”

Representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, which is conducting the investigation, did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Peregrine falcon eggs moved from perch

SAN FRANCISCO — A peregrine falcon shrieked as scientists snatched three eggs from his precarious perch beneath the Bay Bridge to save the chicks from a deadly fall or car collision when they hatch.

University of California at Santa Cruz biologist Brian Latta on Friday removed the eggs from a narrow beam about 200 feet above San Francisco Bay.

“It’s the most dangerous place in the world for them,” Mr. Latta said.

If the eggs were allowed to hatch under the bridge, crosswinds could send the fledglings plummeting into the bay or hurtle them under the wheels of passing cars when they left the nest for their first flights.

Biologists at the university’s Predatory Bird Research Group planned to incubate the eggs and turn the hatchlings over to adoptive peregrine parents until they are ready to return to the wild.

Students charged in school prank

HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. — Some eighth-graders got an early start on April Fool’s Day when they handed out doughnuts laced with laxatives to classmates, but it was no laughing matter when five were ticketed by police.

There were no apparent injuries but ambulances were dispatched Friday to Sequoya Middle School on Long Island as a precaution, a spokeswoman for the Sachem School District said.

Suffolk County Police said 19 students and a teacher ingested some of the drugged doughnuts.

Two 13-year-olds and three 14-year-olds were charged with second-degree tampering with a consumer product. The teens, who were not identified because of their age, were issued appearance tickets for Family Court and released to their parents’ custody.

‘Barbie Bandit’ released on bond

MARIETTA, Ga. — One of the two young women dubbed the “Barbie Bandits” after they were accused of holding up a bank has been released on bail, authorities said yesterday.

Heather Lyn Johnston, 19, was released from the Cobb County Jail after posting an $11,000 bond, Cobb County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford said. She didn’t say when Miss Johnston was freed.

Miss Johnston and Ashley Miller, 18, are charged with felony theft and marijuana possession. Miss Miller remained in jail.

Two laughing young women wearing sunglasses were videotaped as they appeared to rob a Bank of America in Acworth, Ga., on Feb. 27, taking nearly $11,000.

The women were arrested after a brief car chase. Police also charged a bank teller and another man.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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