- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2007

ALABAMA

Civil Air Patrol fires commander

MONTGOMERY — The Civil Air Patrol has removed its national commander after investigating complaints that another patrol member took Air Force tests for him.

Maj. Gen. Antonio J. Pineda denied that anyone took tests for him, and said yesterday that he never got to tell his side to the CAP’s board of governors.

“After being a volunteer in this organization for 20 years, this is how they pay me back,” he told the Associated Press.

Gen. Pineda was suspended two months ago after another CAP member said he took tests for Gen. Pineda at the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College in Montgomery in 2002 and 2003.

He was replaced by the volunteer organization’s first female leader, Vice Cmdr. Brig. Gen. Amy S. Courter of South Lyon, Mich.

CONNECTICUT

Suspect charged with ‘98 kidnapping

HARTFORD — A man accused of kidnapping a teenager who was found hidden in his home in June was charged yesterday with kidnapping another girl almost a decade ago.

Adam Gault, 41, was arraigned on the new first-degree kidnapping charge, and the judge added $100,000 to his $2.25 million bond. Mr. Gault did not enter a plea but was ordered to return to court Oct. 25.

The kidnapping reportedly occurred in 1998. All documents related to it are sealed, and prosecutors did not provide details during Mr. Gault’s brief court appearance.

Defense attorney Gerald Klein said the accuser in the new case was a minor at the time but is now in her 20s. She filed a criminal report then, but West Hartford police did not press charges.

Mr. Klein said the young woman went to police again after seeing news reports about the disappearance and recovery of the girl in Mr. Gault’s home this year.

FLORIDA

Boot camp guards go on trial

PANAMA CITY — Seven former juvenile boot camp guards and a nurse were responsible for a teenager’s death because they repeatedly hit him and failed to get him help, a prosecutor said yesterday as their manslaughter trial began.

Prosecutor Pam Bondi described a video of the guards striking Martin Lee Anderson with their fists and knees at the military-style boot camp in January 2006, as the 14-year-old lay limp for most of the time and the nurse watched.

She said the guards held their hands over the boy’s mouth and shoved ammonia capsules up his nose.

Defense attorneys said in their opening statements that Martin died of a rare genetic blood disorder and not the actions of camp employees.

KENTUCKY

Driver convicted in dragging death

LOUISVILLE — A man was cleared of murder but convicted of reckless homicide yesterday in the death of a man who was dragged several blocks by a car and flung against a utility wire.

Thomas Sewastynowicz, 50, faces up to five years in prison for causing the death of Anthony Graham in March 2006. The defense argued that Mr. Graham was trying to rob Sewastynowicz and he drove away in self-defense.

Prosecutors argued that there was no evidence Sewastynowicz was being robbed.

Mr. Graham died after his body struck a support wire on a utility pole when the car dragging him screeched to a stop. Sewastynowicz left the scene but went to police the next morning, saying he didn’t know that Mr. Graham had been killed.

NEVADA

Woman gives birth on freeway

RENO — Carla Dupree said God is trying to tell her that five children is enough. That was after No. 5 was born at a freeway offramp.

Mrs. Dupree, 29, said her mother-in-law was driving her from Sparks to a Reno hospital on Saturday when Jayden Dupree took things into his own hands.

“I had him on the freeway,” she said. “This is the last one. God is telling me something.”

Jayden, who was due Oct. 19, weighed in at 6 pounds, 7 ounces. Mother and son were doing fine.

NEW YORK

Cabbies set strike over GPS demands

NEW YORK — A New York City cabbies group plans to stage another strike later this month to protest a new rule requiring taxi drivers to install Global Positioning System devices and credit card machines in their cars.

The 24-hour walkout by the Taxi Workers Alliance will begin at 5 a.m. Oct. 22, and will include a lunchtime demonstration outside the Taxi & Limousine Commission in Lower Manhattan, said its executive director, Bhairavi Desai. She predicted thousands of drivers would participate.

The strike would be the second in two months. The alliance pronounced last month’s two-day strike a resounding success, but city officials said its effect was minimal.

OREGON

Minister accused of stealing gifts

PORTLAND — Kitty and Shawn Sonnenschein didn’t think they had cheap friends.

The couple were married last month at their Portland house. Because they were remodeling the kitchen, they requested gift cards from Home Depot instead of gifts.

But when they looked in the basket they had set out by the guest book, they found only three Home Depot cards. Not wanting to offend their guests, the couple didn’t say a word.

But over the next week, many of their friends and family began to ask what they were going to buy with their gift cards. That was when they became suspicious that someone might have stolen them.

The newlyweds suspected the Rev. Shey-Rima Silveira because she was the only person in the house during the outdoor ceremony, and she seemed out of sorts and eager to leave.

Home Depot officials, using credit card numbers, were able to trace the gift cards and discovered that at least four had been redeemed. Portland police Detective Willie Halliburton pulled the store’s surveillance tapes, and spotted Miss Silveira buying tools and detergent.

Police arrested her Tuesday on an accusation of second-degree theft.

WEST VIRGINIA

DUI suspect chased on lawn mower

MARTINSBURG — A man accused of drunken driving tried to outrun police, but his vehicle wasn’t up to the task.

Michael Ginevan of Bunker Hill was driving a riding lawn mower on Runnymeade Road about a mile from his home when a Berkeley County sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull him over.

Mr. Ginevan, 39, reportedly sped away and Deputy J.H. Jenkins stopped his cruiser and gave chase on foot, according to magistrate court records.

Deputy Jenkins caught up to the lawn mower after a short chase, but Mr. Ginevan reportedly wouldn’t stop so the deputy pulled him off the machine. Mr. Ginevan refused to take a field sobriety test and was arrested. Deputy Jenkins then found a case of beer strapped to the lawn mower’s front, court records show.

WISCONSIN

Ex-boss testifies hunter ‘hated’ Hmong

MARINETTE — Two months before a Hmong immigrant was killed while hunting, the white man on trial for the crime told his boss he “hated” Hmong and wished to kill one, the boss testified yesterday.

James Nichols, 29, is accused of shooting and stabbing Cha Vang, 30, after the two got into a dispute while hunting separately for squirrels Jan. 5 in the Peshtigo Wildlife Area.

Mr. Vang’s death rekindled racial tensions in northern Wisconsin, where a Hmong deer hunter fatally shot six white hunters three years ago.

John Spaulding, owner of JS Forest Products, said Mr. Nichols worked at the sawmill last fall. Mr. Nichols, who no longer works there, talked about seeing a Hmong man — not Mr. Vang — during a weekend trip to far northern Wisconsin.

Mr. Nichols said “he wished he would have killed him. I ask him why and he said he hated those little [expletive],” Mr. Spaulding testified.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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