- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 27, 2007

Navy searches for missing crew

SAN DIEGO — A flotilla of Navy and Coast Guard vessels and aircraft searched off the Southern California coast yesterday for three crew members of a Navy helicopter that crashed during a training flight, killing a fourth sailor.

The Navy was operating on the assumption that the crew members missing since Friday afternoon might still be alive, Lt. Cmdr. Elizabeth Meydenbauer said yesterday.

“At this point it is still a search,” she said.

The MH-60S Sierra helicopter, based at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, went down about 5:30 p.m. Friday. It was on a mission off the USS Bonhomme Richard.

‘Draft’ mulled for poll workers

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s secretary of state is considering a plan to draft poll workers to supplement an aging work force and shorten the job’s long hours, a spokesman said yesterday.

Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, plans to ask the Republican-controlled legislature to authorize the proposal, Brunner spokesman Jeff Ortega said yesterday.

Mrs. Brunner said she thinks the plan would lower the average age of poll workers from 72 and ease the workload. Ohio has about 47,000 poll workers — or just over four per precinct.

Prospective poll workers would be notified by mail that they would be needed for two days of training and would be required to work an eight-hour shift on Election Day.

Traffic returns to Big Dig ramp

BOSTON — Another section of the Big Dig highway complex under downtown Boston reopened to traffic yesterday after completion of reinforcements ordered because of a ceiling panel collapse that killed one woman, State Police said.

The reopened “Ramp L” provides a direct connection from Interstate 93 north to Interstate 90 east toward Logan International Airport. An estimated 22,000 vehicles will use it each day, state transportation officials said.

On Jan. 14, the eastbound I-90 Connector tunnel where 39-year-old Milena Del Valle was killed was reopened to traffic.

Traffic is still excluded from part of that tunnel.

Royal couple begin weekend in U.S.

PHILADELPHIA — Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, shook hands with well-wishers outside Independence Hall yesterday to kick off their first trip to the city where Americans declared their independence from British rule.

The Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, greeted long lines of gushing fans, mingling with them, accepting flowers and charming many in the crowd.

The royals were on a two-day trip to the United States that focuses on youth development, urban renewal and environmental stewardship.

Today, they are scheduled to take a private train to New York City. They plan to visit a social services agency in Harlem and Charles is to receive an award from Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment.

Reputed Klansman wants charges dropped

JACKSON, Miss. — The reputed Ku Klux Klansman accused in the 1964 slayings of two black men has asked a federal judge to dismiss the charges, saying the statute of limitations has expired.

Assistant federal defender Kathy Nester filed the motion Friday in U.S. District Court on behalf of James Ford Seale, who pleaded not guilty Thursday to two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton said yesterday he had not seen the motion and could not comment.

Mr. Seale, 71, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted in the deaths of Charles Eddie Moore and Henry Hezekiah Dee. Prosecutors said the men were seized and beaten by Klansmen, then thrown into the Mississippi River to drown.

Mr. Seale remained in jail pending a bail hearing set for tomorrow.

Priest sought in assault

LAS VEGAS — Police were searching for a Catholic priest they think may have sexually assaulted and struck a woman at a church.

Authorities said they were called to Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church on Friday evening by someone who heard a woman in the church cry for help.

Officers found a church employee who said she had been assaulted and hit in the head with an object by a priest. Investigators consider the Rev. George Chaanine a person of interest, police spokesman Bill Cassell said.

The victim was treated at University Medical Center and released.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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