- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2007


Suspect loses leg while trying to escape

POMONA — A man accused of using a chain and pickup truck to yank a 1,500-pound automated teller machine from a market failed to escape police when his prosthetic leg fell off during the getaway.

Gregory Daniels, 48, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of burglary for the attempted heist from Pomona Ranch Market, police said.

Authorities say Mr. Daniels and another man drove up to the market about 3 a.m., smashed a window, wrapped a chain around the ATM and used the pickup to rip it from the floor. After loading the cash machine into the truck, the pair drove off.

Officers chased the truck into a residential neighborhood, where the men drove into a dead-end street. Mr. Daniels’ suspected accomplice fled, police said, but Mr. Daniels wasn’t able to escape.

The ATM and its cash were recovered. The assistant manager of the Pomona Ranch Market, Tom Zvoda, said he didn’t know how much money was inside.


King portrait for Capitol rebuffed

ATLANTA — A bid to hang Coretta Scott King’s portrait in the state Capitol died in a legislative committee yesterday, with the chief supporter comparing the failure to Don Imus’ slur against the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

The resolution would have urged the Capitol Standards Arts Commission to hang the portrait next to a picture of her late husband, Martin Luther King, but the three-member House Special Rules Committee declined to move the proposal forward yesterday.

“It’s another example of blatant disrespect for black women in 2007,” said state Rep. Roberta Abdul-Salaam, a Democrat. “It’s worse than what Don Imus did.” Mr. Imus was suspended from his radio show for two weeks after making a derogatory reference to the Rutgers players on April 4.

Mrs. Abdul-Salaam said she will ask Gov. Sonny Perdue to issue an executive order to hang Mrs. King’s portrait in the Capitol. Perdue spokesman Dan McLagan said Mrs. Abdul-Salaam should direct her request to the commission.


Midwest blanketed with snow again

CHICAGO — Hundreds of airline flights were grounded yesterday, a major league baseball game was called off and six persons were killed in accidents on icy roads as yet another spring snowstorm hit the upper Midwest.

North Dakota and South Dakota both measured about 7 inches, and up to 10 inches was possible in Wisconsin, the National Weather Service said.

About 400 flights were canceled at O’Hare International Airport because of poor visibility, city aviation spokesman Gregg Cunningham said.

Six persons were killed in two separate accidents in Iowa, including a woman and her two children when their minivan collided with another minivan in the state’s south-central region.

Yesterday’s Houston Astros at Chicago Cubs game was postponed because of the storm.

Nearly two dozen school districts canceled classes yesterday across southern Minnesota, where up to 6 inches of snow was forecast.


Toddler bitten in coyote attack

ATLANTIC CITY — Wildlife officials are investigating what could be the first coyote attack on a human in New Jersey after a backyard attack on a toddler that was foiled by an 11-year-old.

Playing in the back yard of his Middletown Township home with his 22-month-old nephew over the weekend, 11-year-old Ryan Palludan first thought the animal that bolted into the yard just before dark was a deer.

But when it grabbed Liam Sadler in its jaws, Ryan instinctively sprang into action, yelling and kicking at the attacker, which was later determined to be a coyote.

“It ran real fast, and in 10 seconds it was on Liam’s back, biting the back of his head and his neck,” Ryan said. “My dad and I chased it into the woods, and my sister got Liam inside.”

Liam, who lives in Crestview, Fla., is undergoing a series of rabies shots as a precaution. He suffered bites on his head and neck, but is doing fine, relatives said.


Billionaire gives college $400 million

NEW YORK — Billionaire media entrepreneur John Werner Kluge is giving $400 million to Columbia University for financial aid, one of the largest gifts ever to an American university, the university announced yesterday.

Mr. Kluge, a former Charlottesville-area resident, attended Columbia on scholarship and credits the opportunity with helping him become a successful broadcast entrepreneur.

While most large donations are made toward the construction of a new building or to endow a professorship, Mr. Kluge wanted his to go for financial aid to students. It is the largest in Columbia’s history and will come from his estate when he dies.

“John’s extraordinary gift, coupled with his earlier gifts, will help generations of Columbians,” university President Lee C. Bollinger said at a ceremony attended by Mr. Kluge, 92, a longtime supporter of the institution.


City drops in on sex offenders

GRAND FORKS — Pedophiles, rapists and other registered sex offenders who live here can expect the law to come knocking on a fairly regular basis.

Unlike most U.S. cities, Grand Forks monitors the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders by assigning a police officer the job of periodically visiting them.

Federal law mandates that states develop programs to notify communities when convicted sex offenders are released into their neighborhoods. In North Dakota, offenders are required to register with a local law-enforcement agency within 10 days after release. They must list home and work addresses, and keep them up to date. Failure to register is a felony that could send the offender back to prison.

In addition to verifying addresses, home visits offer an opportunity to look for “anything that appears out of place … like children’s toys or pornography,” said Officer Derik Zimmel, who each month tracks 60 to 80 registered sex offenders living among Grand Forks’ 50,000 residents.

The city’s monitoring is not without critics. Jennifer Ring, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Dakotas, calls the checks on every convicted sex offender “overly broad and obtrusive.”


Authorities probe blaze at Cash house

NASHVILLE — Johnny and June Carter Cash raised children, wrote music and grew old together in their home overlooking Old Hickory Lake.

Ultimately, the big wood and stone house all but ended with the country legend’s ownership, burning to the ground Tuesday before the new owners could move in.

“One could look at that philosophically — that no one else was going to live there,” said Lou Robin, the late singer’s longtime manager.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials say the flames spread quickly because construction workers had recently applied a flammable wood preservative while preparing the house for the current owner, former Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb.


Boy on trampoline killed by stray bullet

AUSTIN — A 7-year-old boy jumping on a trampoline with friends was killed by a stray bullet, and a man living two houses away was arrested, authorities said.

The boy was playing with four or five other children Tuesday night in a back yard near Uhland when they heard gunshots, Hays County sheriff’s spokesman Leroy Opiela said. He said the boy, whose name was not released, was hit in the back and died shortly after reaching an Austin hospital.

Deputies searched the neighborhood after the shooting and arrested Jose Barrera Espitia, who lives two houses from where the boy was playing, authorities said.

They found a .22-caliber rifle they think was the source of the shot, though it wasn’t clear why Mr. Espitia would have been firing the gun.

Mr. Espitia, 37, was charged yesterday with second-degree manslaughter. No bail was immediately set.


Two are killed when 3 semis crash

ROSENDALE — Three tractor-trailer rigs crashed at a rural intersection, killing two persons and spilling liquid nitrogen and diesel fuel that shut down a state highway for hours.

Fond du Lac County Sheriff Mick Fink said the crash Tuesday caused a tanker to overturn and spill about 300 gallons of liquid nitrogen.

A hazardous-material team from the Fond du Lac Fire Department cleaned up the spilled material and diesel fuel.

Sheriff Fink said one semi was turning onto a road from state Highway 26 when it was rear-ended by another semi and pushed into the path of the third.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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