- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 3, 2007

Cherokees revoke black citizenship

OKLAHOMA CITY — Members of the Cherokee Nation voted yesterday to revoke the tribal citizenship of an estimated 2,800 descendants of people the Cherokee once owned as slaves.

With a majority of districts reporting, 76 percent voted in favor of an amendment to the tribal constitution that would limit citizenship to descendants “by blood” of tribe members as listed on the federal Dawes Commission’s rolls from more than 100 years ago.

The commission, set up by a Congress bent on breaking up Indians’ collective lands and parceling them out to tribal citizens, drew up two rolls, one listing Cherokees by blood and the other listing freedmen, a roll of blacks regardless of whether they had Indian blood.

Some opponents of the ballot measure argued that attempts to remove freedmen from the tribe were motivated by racism. Tribal officials said the vote was a matter of self-determination.

Man sought in wife’s slaying

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Investigators found what is thought to be the torso of a mother of two who disappeared last month and sought her husband as a suspect in her slaying, authorities said yesterday.

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said the torso was found in the garage of the home shared by Tara and Stephen Grant in suburban Washington Township. Additional body parts were found yesterday at a public park near the home, he said.

Mrs. Grant, 34, has been missing since Feb. 9. Mr. Grant, 37, reported her missing five days later. Police say that on the day she went missing, the Grants argued over her frequent business trips abroad.

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday charging Mr. Grant with murder and disinterment and mutilation, Sheriff Hackel said.

Throughout the search, Mr. Grant has maintained his innocence.

Stolen painting found in Spielberg collection

LOS ANGELES — A Norman Rockwell painting stolen from a gallery in the St. Louis suburb of Clayton, Mo., more than three decades ago was found in Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s art collection, the FBI announced Friday.

Mr. Spielberg bought Rockwell’s “Russian Schoolroom” in 1989 from a legitimate dealer and didn’t know it was stolen until his staff spotted its image recently on an FBI Web site listing stolen works of art, the FBI said.

After Mr. Spielberg’s staff brought it to the attention of authorities, an FBI agent and an art expert from the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif., inspected the painting at one of Mr. Spielberg’s offices and confirmed its authenticity Friday morning. Early FBI estimates put the painting’s value at $700,000, officials said.

Mr. Spielberg is cooperating with the FBI and will retain possession of the “Russian Schoolroom” until its “disposition can be determined,” the bureau said.

Body parts delivered to home

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Two packages containing human body parts — including a liver and part of a head — meant for a medical research lab were instead delivered to a home.

The body parts, sent from China, were mistakenly dropped off Thursday at Franck and Ludivine Larmande’s home by a DHL express driver who thought the bubble-wrapped items were pieces to a table.

“My husband started to unwrap one and said, ‘This is strange, it looks like a liver,’ ” Mrs. Larmande said. “He started the second one, but stopped as soon as we saw the ear.”

The couple called Kent County sheriff’s deputies, who determined the preserved body parts were for medical research, Lt. Roger Parent said.

Authorities think 28 more bubble-wrapped human organs and body parts could be dispersed across the country.

DHL is investigating whether it should have shipped the body parts and how the packages were dispersed, spokesman Robert Mints said.

Woman rescued from icy canal dies

AUGUSTA, Maine — A woman rescued from her car after being trapped in an icy canal for about four hours has died, police said yesterday.

Jeannine Morin, 66, of Lewiston, apparently lost control of the car on slippery pavement during Friday’s snowstorm and plunged into the water off Canal Street, police Sgt. Michael Whalen said.

Ice kept the vehicle from sinking completely in the canal, which is 10 to 12 feet deep, police said. A man spotted the partially submerged car as he was plowing a parking lot, Sgt. Whalen said.

Miss Morin was conscious but not responsive when she was rescued, he said.

From staff reports and wire service dispatches

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