- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 5, 2007


Commerce City to keep its name

COMMERCE CITY — Commerce City won’t be changing its name to Stinky Town or anything else, at least not this year.

Voters rejected overwhelmingly a ballot measure that would have dropped the name of this northern Denver suburb in favor of a new name chosen by a committee. The final tally, released yesterday, was 890 votes in favor and 1,980 against.

Proponents of the change argued that the industrial-sounding name was hurting the town’s image — not to mention its property values and allure for local business. The community of 43,000 is known for its three refineries, but has recently seen a boom in high-end housing developments.

But old-timers insisted that Commerce City had nothing to be ashamed of, saying the name reflected the town’s heritage as an industrial hub.

A local radio station held a tongue-in-cheek poll last month asking listeners to vote for a new name. The winner was Stinky Town, presumably because the community was once adjacent to hog farms and cattle-feed lots.


3 Yale students burn U.S. flag

NEW HAVEN — Three Yale University students — two foreigners and a Pakistan-born U.S. citizen — were arrested on charges of setting fire to an American flag hanging outside a home.

Said Hyder Akbar, 23, Nikolaos Angelopoulos, 19, and Farhad Anklesaria, also 19, were arrested early Tuesday on charges ranging from reckless endangerment to arson, police said.

Mr. Akbar, a senior, was born in Pakistan but is a U.S. citizen, police said. He worked as an informal translator for U.S. forces during the invasion of Afghanistan and later published a memoir, “Come Back to Afghanistan,” based on his experiences, the Yale Daily News reported yesterday.

Mr. Angelopoulos, who is Greek, and Mr. Anklesaria, who is British, are both freshmen. They had to surrender their passports.


Smith’s doctor wrote all 11 prescriptions

MIAMI — One doctor authorized all 11 prescription medications found in Anna Nicole Smith’s hotel room, most of them in the name of the Playboy Playmate’s companion, according to documents released by the medical examiner’s office yesterday.

More than 600 pills were missing from prescriptions that were no more than five weeks old at the time of Mrs. Smith’s death, although it was not clear whether she took all of them, according to information obtained by the Associated Press through a public-records request.

Dr. Joshua Perper, Broward County’s medical examiner, has said all of the drugs were meant for Mrs. Smith, although they were prescribed in the names of others. A probe by the Seminole Police Department agreed with Dr. Perper’s assessment that Mrs. Smith’s death at 39 was an accidental overdose and there was no foul play.

Information released by Dr. Perper’s office shows that eight of the prescriptions were issued under the name of Howard K. Stern, the starlet’s lawyer-turned-boyfriend. Two were for Alex Katz, although it was not clear whether that was an alias or someone connected to Mrs. Smith. One prescription was under the name of Mrs. Smith’s friend and psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich.

The medical examiner’s office said Dr. Eroshevich authorized all the medications found at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., where Mrs. Smith was found unresponsive before her death Feb. 8.


Hurricane center warns of busy season

NEW ORLEANS — This year’s hurricane season will likely be more active than normal, the director of the National Hurricane Center warned yesterday, one day after a leading researcher forecast a “very active” season.

The El Nino weather pattern that suppressed hurricane development last year has diminished, and wind patterns appear to be shifting in a way that would lead tropical systems toward land rather than keeping them at sea, center director Bill Proenza said at the National Hurricane Conference.

It appears that “we tend to go back to an above-normal season” this year, in line with a theory that the Atlantic is in a decades-long active period that started in 1995, he said.

On Tuesday, hurricane forecaster William Gray predicted a “very active” season this year with at least nine hurricanes — five of them major hurricanes — and a good chance that one major hurricane will hit the U.S. coast. Mr. Gray, based at Colorado State University, predicts a total of 17 named storms this year.


Insulation firms admit bid rigging

NEW YORK — Two Long Island insulation service companies and an owner of the companies pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Manhattan to conspiring to rig bids on the supply of maintenance and insulation services to New York Presbyterian Hospital and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

The Justice Department said Michael Theodorobeakos of Upper Saddle River, N.J., and two maintenance and insulation companies he co-owned — Monosis Inc. and STU Associates Inc. — pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan for rigging bids to New York Presbyterian and Mount Sinai.

From 2000 to 2005, department officials said New York Presbyterian and Mount Sinai purchased substantial quantities of maintenance and insulation services from Theodorobeakos, Monosis, STU and co-conspirators.

The officials said Theodorobeakos and the co-conspirators attempted to create the appearance that New York Presbyterian and Mount Sinai were awarding contracts based on competitive bids, when, in fact, they frequently were not.


Gay activists arrested at Christian college

GREENVILLE — Three members of a pro-homosexual group who tried to enter a Christian college campus yesterday were arrested and charged with trespassing.

Members of Soulforce, a Lynchburg, Va.-based organization, stood mostly silent outside the gates at Bob Jones University, but when three activists tried to walk onto campus, they were handcuffed. Curious students stood on a walkway and watched the arrests.

The demonstrators wanted to enter the campus to speak with students and university officials about policies they contend discriminate against homosexuals. About two dozen counterprotesters stood opposite the roughly 30 Soulforce members, holding signs and preaching through a bullhorn.


Softball-size hail pounds region

NASHVILLE — Violent thunderstorms battered a three-state region with hail as big as softballs and wind that damaged several homes and caused power outages.

The storms that hit Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee marked the leading edge of a mass of cold air that dropped temperatures yesterday morning into the 20s in the central Plains and upper Midwest.

No tornadoes were confirmed during the storms Tuesday night, but strong wind heavily damaged three homes in Tennessee’s Cumberland County, authorities said. The storm damaged the roof of the emergency entrance at the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Harlan, Ky. Emergency room services were temporarily moved to another area of the hospital while repairs were made and no one was injured, hospital CEO David Brash said yesterday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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