- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 25, 2007


Woman, 114, is world’s oldest person

BOSTON - A woman born to former slaves in the decades after the U.S. Civil War has become the world’s oldest person, at 114, according to Guinness World Records.

Emma Faust Tillman, born near Greensboro, N.C., on Nov. 22, 1892, became the world’s oldest person Wednesday, after the death of Emiliano Mercado del Toro, of Puerto Rico, Guinness said on its Web site.

Longevity is common in her family. Though none of her 23 siblings has matched her 114 years, three sisters and a brother lived past 100, her great-nephew John Stewart Jr. said yesterday.

She lives in the Hartford, Conn., nursing home she moved to when she was 110.


Teen rewarded with truck for help in rescue

ST. LOUIS - The teenager who helped authorities find his friend and another boy held captive got a surprise reward Wednesday.

DaimlerChrysler presented Mitchell Hults, 15, with a new Dodge Ram pickup at the St. Louis Auto Show.

Mitchell was with Ben Ownby just before his friend’s abduction Jan. 8 and gave police the description of the white pickup that eventually led them to the Kirkwood apartment where Ben and Shawn Hornbeck were found, authorities have said.

Suspect Michael Devlin, 41, faces two counts of kidnapping and one count of armed criminal action. He is jailed in Franklin County.

Later Wednesday, Mitchell, who turns 16 next month, was honored again — this time as a special guest of Gov. Matt Blunt during his State of the State speech.


Video shows child with sex offender

PRESCOTT — Authorities investigating a 29-year-old sex offender suspected of repeatedly enrolling in schools as a 12-year-old boy said yesterday that they seized a video showing him engaging in sex acts with a child.

Investigators were trying to determine the identity of the juvenile shown in the video with Neil Havens Rodreick II, a convicted sex offender from Oklahoma, said sheriff’s spokesman Scott Reed.

Rodreick, who looks youthful, was arrested last week after officials at a school in Chino Valley, about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix, became suspicious when he tried to enroll as a seventh-grader.

Compact discs, a computer and paperwork also were seized during searches of a Chino Valley home where Rodreick lived with Lonnie Stiffler, 61, Robert Snow, 43, and Brian Jay Nellis, 34.


Scientists condense memory circuit

SAN JOSE — Researchers in California said they have created the world’s densest memory circuit — about 100 times denser than today’s standard memory circuits while remaining as small as a human white blood cell.

Scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles reported the development in yesterday’s issue of the journal Nature.

The circuit has 160,000 bits of capacity, compared with previous generations of molecular circuits that were demonstrated at 64 bits.

Researchers point to the circuit’s density as the real breakthrough: 100 billion bits per square centimeter, which the researchers said is about 100 times more tightly packed than current memory circuits.


Soldier sentenced in detainees’ deaths

FORT CAMPBELL — A 101st Airborne Division soldier was sentenced yesterday to 18 years in prison for murdering a detainee and taking part in the killings of two others in Iraq last year.

Pfc. Corey R. Clagett, 21, was one of four soldiers from the division’s 3rd Brigade “Rakkasans” who were accused in the detainees’ deaths during a May 9 raid on the Muthana chemical complex in Samarra, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.

In an agreement with prosecutors, Clagett, of Moncks Corner, S.C., pleaded guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Prosecutors dropped a second obstruction charge and charges of disrespecting an officer and threatening.


Federal help added to fight crime

NEW ORLEANS — More federal crime-fighting help is headed to this city, where the homicide rate has rebounded much faster than the population since Hurricane Katrina hit, U.S. Department of Justice officials announced yesterday.

New Orleans is getting nine more agents from the FBI, six from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and new ballistics equipment to replace a system that was destroyed when Katrina hit in August 2005.

In addition, Justice officials plan to have some agents from the FBI, ATF and the Drug Enforcement Administration work with the New Orleans Police Department around the clock.

The department also is extending funding through September for six federal prosecutors already assigned to the area.


Black judge hears plea in ‘64 slayings

JACKSON — A reputed Ku Klux Klansman accused in the 1964 slayings of two black men pleaded not guilty yesterday, and in a measure of how things have changed across the South, the judge he faced was a black woman.

With his wrists and ankles shackled, James Ford Seale, 71, repeatedly addressed the judge as “ma’am,” a social courtesy whites typically denied to blacks in Mississippi 43 years ago.

Mr. Seale was arrested Wednesday on federal charges of kidnapping and conspiracy. Prosecutors said Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee, both 19, were seized and beaten by Klansmen, then thrown into the Mississippi River to drown.

A second white man long suspected in the attack, reputed KKK member Charles Marcus Edwards, 72, has not been charged. People close to the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity said Mr. Edwards was cooperating with authorities.


Institute to release Otto Frank letters

NEW YORK — Newly disclosed letters written by the father of Anne Frank illuminate his desperate attempts to get the family out of Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, a New York-based institution that focuses on the history and culture of Eastern European Jews, said yesterday that it had discovered the file among 100,000 other Holocaust-related documents about a year and a half ago. The institute did not disclose the find immediately because it had to explore copyright and other legal issues, said Cathy Callegari, a spokeswoman for YIVO.

“We have come across the file which belonged to Otto Frank, documenting his efforts to emigrate his family and get them out of Holland,” she said.

On Feb. 14, she said, the institute will release Mr. Frank’s letters and documents and records from various agencies that helped people emigrate from Europe.


1909 law used to block executions

RALEIGH — Citing a century-old law enacted to keep the state from spending too much on its first electric chair, a judge put two executions on hold yesterday as North Carolina struggles with the role doctors should play in carrying out the death penalty.

The ruling by Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens delays the executions of Marcus Reymond Robinson, 33, who had been scheduled to die at 2 a.m. today, and James Edward Thomas, 51, set to die next week.

The ruling further complicates the debate over whether the state can carry out executions without the assistance of an attending physician. State law requires a doctor’s presence at executions, but the North Carolina Medical Board decided last week that any participation by a physician violated medical ethics.

The state decided that a nurse and medical technician — instead of a doctor — would monitor condemned inmates’ vital signs as they die by lethal injection. A doctor would now only observe the execution and later sign a death certificate.

Judge Stephens said such a change in the state’s process for imposing a death sentence requires, under a law enacted in 1909, the approval of North Carolina’s Council of State — the governor and the nine other statewide office holders.


Bedbugs force out firefighters

SALT LAKE CITY — Firefighters have been forced to abandon a busy station because it is infested with bedbugs.

The pests were first discovered in November after two firefighters reported bites, spokesman Dennis McKone said.

Station House No. 2 downtown was vacated for a week and sprayed, but that didn’t solve the problem. Four subsequent sprayings still have not killed the bugs, Mr. McKone said.

The department is removing carpets from living quarters and installing linoleum. All beds and bedding have been replaced.


Pilots escape injury in airport collision

MILWAUKEE — Two cargo planes collided and burned on an airport taxiway Wednesday night, but no serious injuries were reported.

Both pilots escaped after the crash between small cargo planes at Gen. Mitchell International Airport, though one had a minor hand injury, an official said.

The planes — a Cessna 402 and a Beech 99 — both belonged to Freight Runners Express Inc. of Milwaukee, airport officials said.

The airport closed immediately, and crews put out the fire, officials said. It reopened about 8:30 p.m., about a half-hour after the accident.

It was not clear what caused the collision.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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