- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 6, 2007

Curfew possible to stop homicides

NEW ORLEANS — Officials trying to stop a wave of homicides in a city still recovering from Hurricane Katrina said yesterday they will soon present anti-crime measures that could include a curfew.

At least seven persons have been fatally shot in the first week of the year.

Mayor C. Ray Nagin and Police Chief Warren Riley said at a press conference that a strategy against the homicides would be presented in coming days.

A curfew was among steps being considered, Chief Riley said. A dusk-to-dawn curfew was imposed in the chaotic days after Katrina flooded the city in August 2005 and worked well, he said.

Farrakhan undergoes 12-hour surgery

CHICAGO — Louis Farrakhan, who recently ceded leadership of the Nation of Islam to an executive board because of ill health, has undergone a 12-hour operation, the organization said yesterday.

Physicians have told Mr. Farrakhan’s family they were pleased with the operation’s outcome, but will monitor him closely for the next 24 to 48 hours, the Chicago-based group said.

No other details were released, and a man who answered the telephone at the office of Mr. Farrakhan’s chief of staff declined to reveal the nature of the surgery or where it was performed.

In September, Mr. Farrakhan, 73, said he was suffering health problems after treatment for prostate cancer.

Two killed in dust storm

LOS ANGELES — A major windstorm has blacked out thousands of customers, boosted the danger of wildfires and whipped up a dust storm linked to two deaths.

Strong Santa Ana wind is customary in Southern California in December and February, but this storm, which was continuing yesterday, is one of the fiercest in years, meteorologists said. The National Weather Service declared a red-flag warning for fire danger because of the wind.

The wind also downed scores of trees and utility lines, knocking out electrical service Friday to more than 100,000 homes and businesses.

3 firefighters hurt in crash, blaze

PHILADELPHIA — A firetruck apparently slipped out of gear, crashed into the back of a firehouse and caught fire yesterday, injuring three firefighters, officials said.

Firefighters were moving the truck at the station in the city’s West Oak Lane section when it lurched forward, said Daniel Williams, executive fire chief. Investigators think the truck’s transmission had jumped out of gear, but the exact cause remained under investigation, Chief Williams said.

A firefighter who was hit by the truck was listed in good condition, and two other firefighters were released after treatment for smoke inhalation, Chief Williams said.

Residents sick of Snowzilla

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Snowzilla may be a smash hit with shutterbugs, but the towering snowman has detractors closer to home.

Some neighbors of the two-story high snowman say they’re fed up with the hordes of gawkers clogging their street.

“When you get 20 people out there in their cars, now the whole street comes to a stop, and nobody can get through,” said Anthony Bahler, who can see Snowzilla from his front window.

Mr. Bahler’s neighbor, Billy Powers, supervised construction of the original Snowzilla last year.

This year, Mr. Powers resurrected the snowman and its giant hat made from tomato cages, corncob pipe and beer-bottle eyes. At 22 feet, the new Snowzilla is 6 feet taller than its predecessor.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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