- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 9, 2007

Gabrielle expected to soak North Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Tropical Storm Gabrielle moved closer to the East Coast yesterday, where a tropical storm warning is in effect for North Carolina’s shoreline.

“It’s going to get a little gnarly,” said 51-year-old Sharon Peele Kennedy, a lifetime resident of the Outer Banks who works at the Hatteras Harbor Marina in Hatteras, N.C.

The National Hurricane Center forecast called for Gabrielle to brush North Carolina’s Outer Banks this afternoon, with maximum winds of between 60 mph and 65 mph, before curving back out into the Atlantic. Forecasters don’t expect the storm to become a hurricane. They said Gabrielle could bring between 2 inches and 4 inches of rain to eastern North Carolina, with some areas receiving as much as 6 inches.

Nifong released after day in jail

DURHAM, N.C. — Former Durham County prosecutor Mike Nifong walked out of jail yesterday morning after completing a 24-hour contempt sentence for lying to the court about critical DNA evidence in the Duke lacrosse rape case.

Mr. Nifong left the county jail shortly after 9 a.m., where he was greeted with cheers and applause by a crowd of about 20 supporters waiting for him in the lobby.

“I just want to go home and spend some time with my family,” he said, refusing to speak with reporters who peppered him with questions.

Mr. Nifong was disbarred for more than two dozen violations of the state’s rules of professional conduct, including withholding exculpatory DNA evidence and making numerous inflammatory comments about the lacrosse players to the press. He resigned as district attorney in July.

First lady operated on for pinched nerves

First lady Laura Bush underwent surgery yesterday to relieve pain from pinched nerves in her neck. The White House said the procedure was successful.

The problem kept her from joining President Bush on a trip to Australia last week for the annual meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Sydney, Australia.

Mrs. Bush underwent the 2½-hour procedure at the George Washington University Hospital. The surgical team was led by Dr. Anthony Caputy, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and co-director of the Neurological Institute, in consultation with Dr. Richard Tubb, who is the president’s doctor.

Mrs. Bush returned to the White House in the afternoon and was said to be resting comfortably.

Two injured in helicopter crash

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — An Air Force helicopter crashed during a training mission, injuring an officer and airman, the military said yesterday.

The military is investigating why the aircraft went down shortly before midnight Friday near the base. Five other persons on the MH-53 Pave Low helicopter weren’t hurt, according to the Air Force.

Col. William Nelson and Airman 1st Class Bradley Jordan were taken to two hospitals for treatment of injuries described as non-life-threatening. No one on the ground was hurt, the military said.

Jury convicts ’Baseline Killer’

PHOENIX — After two months of testimony, jurors needed only three hours of deliberations to convict the city’s suspected “Baseline Killer” of a pair of 2005 sexual attacks.

The reason: biological evidence linked the accused serial predator to the crime scene.

“It left little doubt in everyone’s mind,” jury foreman Michael Voda said Friday. “The DNA was really a linchpin to the case. It was pretty much irrefutable.”

Prosecutors called four DNA specialists to testify in their case against Mark Goudeau, a 43-year-old former construction worker.

The jury convicted Goudeau on 19 charges stemming from an attack on two sisters near a south Phoenix park. He still faces trial on 74 other criminal charges, including nine murder counts, from a crime spree police have attributed to the Baseline Killer, named for the south Phoenix street where many of the attacks took place. Goudeau is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 6.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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