- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Moderate quake felt in Panhandle

ANCHORAGE — A moderate earthquake jolted southeastern Alaska yesterday and was widely felt throughout the Panhandle.

There were no immediate reports of damage, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center in Fairbanks. The quake, at 6:49 a.m., had a magnitude of 5.7, according to preliminary estimates, the center said. It was centered 57 miles west of Haines at a depth of five miles.

The earthquake was felt in Haines, Juneau, Sitka and numerous other communities. Haines is about 900 miles northwest of Seattle.


Mexico delivers suspect in cop-killing

LOS ANGELES — A Mexican national suspected in the shooting death of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in 2002 has been returned from Mexico by the U.S. Marshals Service to stand trial.

Deputy U.S. marshals and agents of Mexico’s Agencia Federal de Investigationes (AFI) delivered Jorge Arroyo-Garcia to the Orange County, Calif., jail in Santa Ana.

Mr. Garcia, accused of killing Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff David March four years ago, has been in a Mexican prison awaiting extradition since February. He was arrested in Tonala, Mexico, after AFI agents located him based on information provided by the U.S. law-enforcement officials in Los Angeles and Mexico City.

The case gained national attention because of the heinous nature of the Deputy March’s killing. After a traffic stop, Deputy March was shot multiple times in the face, neck and chest and left to die on the side of the road. Deputy March left behind a wife and daughter. Law-enforcement authorities said Mr. Garcia bragged to friends about the killing and even phoned local law enforcement, threatening to kill any police officer who sought him.

“Many people believe they can commit murder here in Los Angeles and simply run to Mexico and hide,” said U.S. Marshal Adam Torres in California. “Garcia’s arrest and extradition is just one more example of how wrong they are.”


Train kills two on maintenance team

WOBURN — A commuter train hit a maintenance crew yesterday, killing two workers and seriously injuring two others, transportation officials said.

The afternoon train was headed from Lowell to Boston with 43 passengers when it struck a piece of track-repair equipment near a station in suburban Woburn. Two other workers and about 10 passengers were treated for minor injuries.

One worker was on the equipment and five others were nearby, said Joe Pesaturo, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. The workers were using a piece of equipment called a “speed swing,” which uses a hook to lift rail ties.

Earlier trains had been switched to parallel tracks, said Scott Farmelant, a spokesman for the commuter-rail system. It was not clear why the train that hit the crew was on the track where the crew was working.


Vandalism raises Sunni-Shi’ite tension

DETROIT — The vandalizing of two Shi’ite mosques and five Shi’ite-owned businesses has raised the specter of Muslim sectarian clashes in the U.S.

Police have not determined who threw rocks and bricks through the windows of the mosques and businesses, but many Muslims think it was an attack by Sunnis, said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The vandalism came a week after the execution in Iraq of ousted dictator Saddam Hussein. Many Sunnis were offended by the way in which local Shi’ites celebrated his death, Mr. Walid said.

The owner of one of the restaurants targeted received a threatening phone call Saturday from a man speaking in Arabic and English who noted that he was a Shi’ite and said, “You’re going to get yours … what goes around comes around,” Mr. Walid said yesterday. The windows were smashed sometime that night.

Sunni and Shi’ite leaders were planning to meet today to discuss the rising tensions in a community that had previously been free of sectarian violence.


Wallet lost in WWII returned to owner

MEXICO — Ray Heilwagen has his wallet back — 62 years after he lost it in France during World War II.

Late last year, he received a call from Stephen Breitenstein of Palatine, Ill.

“He said, ‘Did you lose a billfold?’ and I remembered I did,” Mr. Heilwagen said. “Then he said, ‘I found it and will send it to you.’ I could hardly believe it.”

Mr. Breitenstein’s father, who also served in France during World War II, recently died. Digging through his father’s possessions — on Veteran’s Day — his son found the old wallet. He figured his dad found it during the war and brought it home but couldn’t locate Mr. Heilwagen.

Using the Internet, Mr. Breitenstein tracked down Mr. Heilwagen. After their phone conversation, he mailed the wallet to him. It included some francs, pictures and some receipts.


‘Godfather of Soul’ remains unburied

COLUMBIA — The body of soul singer James Brown has yet to be buried as lawyers and his children work to settle issues surrounding his estate, including where he will be laid to rest.

For now, his body lies in a sealed casket under guard in a temperature-controlled room at his home on Beech Island, said Charles Reid, manager of the C.A. Reid Funeral Home in Augusta, Ga., which handled the services.

The musician’s will has yet to be filed, said Buddy Dallas, an attorney for Mr. Brown. The trustees for his will, along with Mr. Brown’s children, will determine the burial site, Mr. Dallas said. Tomi Rae Hynie, Mr. Brown’s partner, said shortly after his death that she encountered locked gates as she tried to get into the home she says she shared with the singer and their 5-year-old son.

Mr. Dallas said the home has been locked to protect his memorabilia, furnishing, clothes and other personal items.

“Just imagine what would have happened,” Mr. Dallas said. “Items of James Brown would have left there like items off the shelves of Macy’s in an after-Christmas sale.”


College offers course in dating

SIOUX FALLS — Even college students might need a lesson or two about dating.

Beginning next month, the University of Sioux Falls will offer a one-credit dating course called “Finding Dates Worth Keeping.” Laurie Chaplin, a relationships counselor and licensed therapist who has been married 28 years, will be the instructor.

The course is being offered through the USF Learning Institute, the same agency that offers seminars on wellness, job hunting and business communication.

“Some people may think it’s a slack course, but I think they’ll come out with something that changes their lives,” Mrs. Chaplin said. “We go to college and get an education. But our love relationships impact us more than anything else.”


GOP challenger drops speaker bid

AUSTIN — Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick won election to a third term late yesterday as a Republican challenger bowed out.

Tom Pitts, a Waxahachie representative and former Craddick lieutenant, rose about 5:30 p.m. to inform legislators in Austin that he was dropping his challenge to Mr. Craddick, who in 2003 became the first Republican House speaker in more than a century.

Mr. Pitts said he did not want to put his backers in jeopardy by forcing them to vote publicly against a sitting speaker. “Reluctantly, I’d like to withdraw,” he said.

Mr. Pitts was backed by many Democrats and some Republicans who claimed that Mr. Craddick’s style was too autocratic and partisan. Mr. Craddick’s backers claimed they had enough votes to win from the outset.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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