- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Veterans agency head won’t oversee home

PHOENIX — Gov. Janet Napolitano removed the director of the Department of Veterans’ Services yesterday from direct responsibility over the state’s troubled nursing home for military veterans, the governor’s spokeswoman said.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services penalized the state $10,000 on March 16 for substandard care conditions at the Arizona State Veteran Home in Phoenix after a routine inspection in February.

The Arizona Republic reported Friday that conditions found in that inspection included staff ignoring patients’ call-button activations and patients being left unattended for long periods. Inspectors found one patient left in soiled bedclothes and others whose cigarettes had burned their clothes, the newspaper said.

Patrick F. Chorpenning remains department director, but “at this point he is being separated from any action that has to do with operation of the home,” Napolitano spokeswoman Jeanine L’Ecuyer said. The nursing home provides long-term care to as many as 200 veterans, mostly from World War II and the Korean War.


Airport installs carpet at checkpoints

HONOLULU — Honolulu International Airport is installing carpet at its seven security checkpoints after travelers complained about having to walk barefoot or in socks across the bare floors.

The state decided against buying disposable booties to distribute, as some other airports do, officials said.


Male lion donated to zoo

IDAHO FALLS — A young male African lion was donated to the Tautphaus Park Zoo, where officials say they are optimistic he will produce cubs with a lioness living there.

Dohoma, 1 years old, comes from the Oklahoma City Zoo as part of the Species Survival Plan, which moves animals to different zoos to promote genetic diversity.


Gay activists arrested at Baptist seminary

LOUISVILLE — Members of a homosexual group were arrested yesterday after staging a sit-in at a Baptist seminary whose president is drawing criticism for his comments on prenatal treatments that would influence a child’s sexual orientation.

The group, Soulforce, attempted to meet with the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s president, the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., an influential evangelical leader. Twelve were charged with criminal trespassing — a misdemeanor — and booked into jail, Louisville police said. They had sat in front of Mr. Mohler’s office for about two hours, said Jarrett Lucas, a co-director of a Soulforce tour that is visiting Christian colleges.

Mr. Mohler argued in a recent article that homosexuality would remain a sin even if it is biologically based, and noted that animal research, while showing that homosexuality occurs in animals, also shows that prenatal medical treatments can prevent it.


Components tested in tainted pet food

ALBANY — The laboratory that identified the poison thought to be responsible for the deaths of pets across the country has started testing individual components of the tainted pet food to determine which ingredient was contaminated, officials said yesterday.

Scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory on Friday identified aminopterin as the likely culprit in a poisoning scare that prompted the recall of 95 brands of “cuts and gravy” style dog and cat food.

Jessica Chittenden, spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture and Markets, did not know when the lab would have results from the new tests.

Scientists have offered no theories on how aminopterin got into the products of Menu Foods, which makes pet food for most of North America’s top retailers. Aminopterin, a derivative of folic acid, can cause cancer and birth defects in humans and can cause kidney damage in dogs and cats. Its use as a rodent poison is banned in the United States.

Some pets that ate the food suffered kidney failure, and the company has confirmed the deaths of 15 cats and one dog.


Bow hunters wanted to help control deer

FARGO — The city’s Police Department and the North Dakota Game and Fish Department are recommending the city continue using bow hunters for deer management.

Forty-five hunters this year may kill two antlerless deer each for a potential total of 90. An initial bow hunt, from Sept. 1 through Jan. 31, was called a limited success, with 15 deer killed by 35 hunters.


Nesting eagles likely to cause squawking

PHILADELPHIA — America’s national emblem is nesting in Philadelphia for the first time in more than 200 years, but it may be on a collision course with developers.

A pair of bald eagles, a species that has recovered from the brink of extinction in the past 40 years, has built a nest in a former Navy yard on the south side of Philadelphia, the sixth-largest U.S. city and site of the composition of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

“They have eggs in the nest, and you can tell they are incubating by their behavior,” said Doug Gross, an endangered bird specialist for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

The birds’ survival may be threatened by plans for a $150 million produce market and a new marine terminal in the Navy yard, and by an expected move to lessen the official protection of the eagles because of their strong rebound. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will decide whether to remove the bald eagle from the federal list of threatened and endangered species by June 29.


Shootout kills 2 officers, suspect

MONCKS CORNER — A police officer shot in the head during a weekend shootout died yesterday, a day after another officer and the suspect were killed, authorities said.

Officer Marcus Stiles, 26, who died yesterday, and another officer, Lonnie Wells, 40, responded to the suspect’s home on Sunday after a witness reported seeing a couple arguing outside a coin-operated laundry. Police would not say what led to the shooting, but neighbors said they heard many shots.

Moments after the shots were fired, the suspect, Gary Douglas, 51, stole a police cruiser and sped toward a highway roadblock. Witnesses said more shots rang out. Douglas was shot by police at his home and then again at the roadblock, said Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Salisbury. He said it was not clear whether police gunfire killed the suspect or whether he shot himself. An autopsy was pending.


Stolen wedding camera located one year later

MENASHA — When their photographer’s camera was stolen shortly after they exchanged vows, Karen and Tory Nordlinder figured they would never have keepsakes of their wedding day.

This week, they got a pleasant surprise when the camera turned up in a vacant lot near a lake, a year after it disappeared.

The lot’s owner, Leslie Mason, said that her son was cutting down trees and spotted the camera. Inside was contact information for the photographer, Charles Boesen, Mrs. Mason said. When he got it back, Mr. Boesen plugged the camera’s memory card into his computer and the photos appeared instantly.

Mrs. Nordlinder said she couldn’t express how happy she was to see the photos.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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