- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 8, 2007


Dog rescued from icy lake

DENVER — A black Labrador named Pearl plunged through thin ice on a Denver lake and was rescued by a firefighter who scooted along the ice and scooped up the scrambling pooch.

The rescue was caught on video by two television stations. Pearl could be seen desperately pawing at the slick ice for several minutes, trying and failing to pull herself out of the water in a northwest Denver park.

Pearl’s owner, Wanda Padilla, ran onto the ice after she and a passer-by called 911.

Firefighter Tony Padilla, no relation to the dog’s owner, put on a dive suit and pulled himself along the surface until he reached Pearl. Once the firefighter pulled Pearl onto firmer ice, she ran to her owner and others on the shore.


Bill requires check of age for MySpace

HARTFORD — State lawmakers announced legislation yesterday that would require MySpace.com and other social-networking Web sites to verify users’ ages and obtain parental consent before minors can post profiles.

On Tuesday, a man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for using MySpace.com to set up a sexual encounter with an 11-year-old Connecticut girl. It was one of the first federal sex cases involving the popular site.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who met with other attorneys general Tuesday, said 10 to 20 other states are considering similar legislation.

Under the proposal, any networking site that fails to verify ages and obtain parental permission of users younger than 18 would face civil fines up to $5,000 per violation. Sites would have to check information about parents to make sure it is legitimate. Parents would be contacted directly when necessary.


NASA fires astronaut charged in kidnap try

CAPE CANAVERAL — Astronaut Lisa Nowak was fired from NASA yesterday, a month after she was charged with trying to kidnap a woman she regarded as her romantic rival for the affections of a space shuttle pilot.

Navy Capt. Nowak’s dismissal did not reflect the space agency’s belief in her guilt or innocence, NASA officials said. The agency said it lacked an administrative system to handle the accusations because Capt. Nowak is a naval officer on assignment to NASA, rather than a NASA civil servant.

Capt. Nowak will return to the military. She will be assigned to the staff at the Chief of Naval Air Training in Corpus Christi, Texas, starting in two weeks, Navy Cmdr. Lydia Robertson said. Cmdr. Robertson said she didn’t know what specific job Capt. Nowak would be performing.

The space shuttle pilot who was the object of Capt. Nowak’s affections, Navy Cmdr. Bill Oefelein, remains on active duty while working for NASA. Cmdr. Robertson said she could not speculate whether his status is under review.


Truck driver claims half of record jackpot

DALTON — A Georgia truck driver stepped forward yesterday to claim half of a $390 million jackpot, the biggest lottery prize in U.S. history.

“I’m going to do a lot of fishing,” Ed Nabors, 52, of Rocky Face, about 90 miles north of Atlanta, said in a deep Southern drawl.

The other winning ticket in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing was sold at a liquor store in New Jersey, and the holder did not come forward yesterday.

Mr. Nabors bought his ticket at a convenience store in Dalton — the self-proclaimed “Carpet Capital of the World” — near a carpet mill run by his employer, Mohawk Industries. Asked whether he will keep working, he said: “Well, at least for a couple more days.”

He elected to take his winnings in a lump sum instead of annual installments, and will get $116.5 million before taxes, or more than $80 million after.


Teen shoots girl, kills self at school

MIDLAND — A teenager shot his former girlfriend four times outside her high school, then killed himself in one of two fatal U.S. school shootings yesterday, authorities said.

Jessica Forsyth, 17, was taken to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, where she was in serious but stable condition, hospital spokeswoman Christie White said yesterday afternoon.

The boy, a 17-year-old from Coleman, went to H.H. Dow High School to try to talk with Jessica, but school officials turned him away, Midland Police Chief James St. Louis said. The boy then called Jessica and asked her to meet him outside the building. After a conversation in the parking lot, the boy pulled a gun out of a backpack and shot Jessica before turning the gun on himself, the police chief said.


Fire injures 6 in doctor’s office

NEW YORK — Fire broke out in a doctor’s seventh-floor office at Mount Sinai Medical Center yesterday, injuring six persons and forcing the staff to move more than a dozen patients, officials said.

“The flames were coming out the windows, but the fire was basically in the office,” Assistant Fire Chief Michael Weinlein said.

Ken Davis, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer, said nurses on the eighth floor saw smoke and transferred the 13 patients there to other units. That floor houses a neurosurgical intensive care unit. There were no injuries among them, but four medical staff members were treated for smoke inhalation.

Two firefighters also were hurt, Chief Weinlein said.


Children’s bodies found under house

SAN ANTONIO — The decomposing bodies of two children, no older than toddlers, were found wrapped in plastic bags and placed under a house, police said yesterday.

The bodies were found late Tuesday by residents of a triplex who were trying to locate the source of a foul odor they had been smelling for as long as two weeks, police Sgt. Gabe Trevino said.

Investigators reported that one of the black plastic bags contained an infant wrapped in a blanket, according to a police report.

The medical examiner will determine the children’s ages, sex and cause of death, but Sgt. Trevino said police think the children were between 6 months and 2 years old.

Two children about that age had lived in the building, but adults who lived in the same unit moved out about a week ago, neighbors told police. Sgt. Trevino said police knew the adults’ identities and were attempting to speak with them.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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