- The Washington Times - Monday, April 21, 2008


City dogs take to herding

VINCENT — The sun is shining, the fields are clear, and the sheep are just getting comfortable.

Selkie, a border collie recovering from a tennis ball addiction, gets her cue. She cuts a wide curve around the field, hunches low and creeps in. Bleats of protest are useless. The sheep stiffen and get moving.

Selkie isn’t really a stock dog, but she plays one at Drummond Ranch, which isn’t really a livestock ranch, but a 40-acre haven an hour outside Los Angeles. There, city dogs escape their leash-and-lounge existence and learn to get in touch with their inner herder.

The American Kennel Club says new herding clubs are popping up across the country, although it does not track exact numbers. Nearly 200 clubs held herding trials last year. More than 10,000 dogs competed, a roughly 10 percent increase over 2006.


Dalai Lama speaks on environment

ANN ARBOR — The Dalai Lama said yesterday that the need for environmental responsibility dovetails with Buddhist teachings on valuing human life, whether that is one person or the world’s entire population.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader addressed crowds of more than 7,000 during a weekend of lectures at the University of Michigan.

“Taking care of our planet, environment, is something like taking care of our own home,” he told an afternoon audience at Crisler Arena. “This blue planet is our only home.”

During yesterday’s lecture, “Earth Day Reflections,” the Dalai Lama said he has learned about the need for environmental responsibility from meetings with scientists and specialists.


Schoolgirl’s project ends up at NASA

TITUSVILLE — A Bahamian girl’s seaborne school project has landed on the sandy doorstep of NASA.

United Space Alliance worker Jill Vogel found a message in a bottle from a student at the Holy Name Catholic School in Bimini, about 220 miles southeast of Titusville and closest to Florida of all the Bahamas.

Miss Vogel recently found the bottle while volunteering for a beach cleanup near the space shuttle launch pads at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida Today reported Saturday.

“Dear Sea penpal,” the note began, going on to explain that the bottle wasn’t litter, but a Columbus Day project. “I hope you respond to my letter.”

Miss Vogel and others have collected space memorabilia — crew photos, pins, stickers and other NASA gear — to send to the 9-year-old girl and her classmates.


Court-martial set in shooting of Iraqi

HONOLULU — A platoon sergeant accused of shooting an unarmed Iraqi and then ordering another American soldier to “finish him” faces a court-martial this week on charges of premeditated murder.

Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales of San Antonio faces a minimum of life with parole if convicted.

The Iraqi man was shot repeatedly in the head and chest near the town of Kirkuk when Sgt. Corrales’ platoon raided a suspected insurgent hide-out on June 23. The U.S. military hasn’t been able to identify the man by name.

Pvt. Christopher Shore, the soldier whom Sgt. Corrales is accused of ordering to fire additional shots at the man, was found not guilty of third-degree murder in a February court-martial, but he was convicted of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to 120 days in prison and a two-grade reduction in rank.

Sgt. Corrales and Shore deployed to Iraq for 15 months starting in mid-2006 with the 25th Infantry Division’s 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team based outside Honolulu.


4 people killed in two-day span

NEW ORLEANS — A day after police touted a slight decline in the number of murders in New Orleans, investigators were looking into four fresh killings.

Two people were killed Friday night, and two others were killed Saturday, police said.

Friday afternoon, Police Superintendent Warren Riley said there had been 54 killings from January through March, compared with 59 in the first quarter last year. Of those, 60 percent have been solved and 30 people were arrested, eclipsing what he said was the 55 percent national average for clearing homicide cases.

“We have some very positive things going on. We are pulling murderers off the street more quickly than ever,” he said.

That night, a 23-year-old man was fatally shot and his car ran into a ramp outside a bar, police said. Another man was fatally shot about two hours later. Investigators found his body outside an abandoned home.

On Saturday, a 20-year-old was fatally shot in the Treme neighborhood, and another man was fatally shot in eastern New Orleans, Officer Sabrina Richardson said.


Dog crosses desert to return home

ELY — A dog who ran off during a road-trip rest stop apparently made her way nearly 80 miles across Nevada’s high desert and two mountain ranges to return home a week later.

Moon, a Siberian husky, was reunited April 14 with owner Doug Dashiell, who had last seen her April 6 near Railroad Valley, about 77 miles from his home in Ely.

Moon, who is nearly 2 years old, was no worse for the wear, with the exception of stinking like a skunk that apparently sprayed her somewhere along the journey.

“I’ve had trouble with her running away before. She’s always come home,” Mr. Dashiell said. But he didn’t expect her to show up after a week had passed.

“After seven days — no way,” he told the Ely Times.

The White Pine Veterinary Clinic called Mr. Dashiell and told him Moon was back in town. She had wandered up to an Ely residence where Alvin Molea fed her and gave her a place to sleep.

Mr. Molea called the clinic because the dog was wearing a tag from it.

The dog’s journey would have taken her across the White River and Ward mountain ranges.


Shooting spree kills one, wounds two

IRVINGTON — Police yesterday were seeking a gunman who they say shot a driver stopped at a traffic light and killed a pedestrian before firing at and wounding a police sergeant in his patrol car.

The three shootings took place within minutes in the same general area of Irvington, in northern New Jersey, about 3 a.m. yesterday, said Paul Loriquet, Essex County prosecutor’s office spokesman.

The gunman first drove up to a vehicle stopped at a traffic light, according to police. He spoke with the driver, a 23-year-old man from Bridgeport, Conn., before shooting him several times.

The gunman continued driving and fatally shot a 22-year-old Irvington man walking on a sidewalk, police said.

The gunman then passed an Irvington police patrol car, backed up and told the sergeant inside, a 24-year police veteran, that a shooting had just taken place, police said. He then drew his gun and shot the sergeant.

The Connecticut man drove himself to a hospital in Newark, and an ambulance took the police sergeant to a hospital, where he was treated and released.


Home offered as contest prize

SANTA FE — A couple have decided to give away their home to the winner of an essay contest.

The catch: It costs $100 to enter, and the home will go only if at least 2,500 people sign up.

The state Gaming Control Board is examining whether Tiffany and Todd Lovell’s contest qualifies as a raffle, which would make it illegal under state law, or a game of skill, which is allowed, said Greg Saunders, the board’s deputy director.

“We haven’t made that determination yet,” he said.

The Lovells said the depressed housing market led them to try to move their 1,200-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom home through the essay contest. They are hoping to get at least 2,500 entries, which would net them $250,000. If they receive fewer than 2,500 entries, they said they would cancel the contest and return the entry fees.

The couple said entries would be judged by “various members of the Los Alamos County community.”


Island due for makeover

NEW YORK — Governors Island is about to undergo an extensive makeover that would turn much of it into lush parkland.

A consortium of five design companies was chosen in December to transform the teardrop-shaped island, turning the flat southern end into a park with man-made hills and a shoreline promenade. Improvements also are in store for the northern half.

Planners want to build an amphitheater for outdoor concerts and provide free bicycles for roaming the island, where private cars are banned. Ten concerts are scheduled this year on an existing outdoor stage, among them a July 5 performance by the New York Philharmonic.

Financed by the city and state, the project will cost upwards of $500 million. Plans call for a groundbreaking in late 2009, but demolition of old buildings on the southern end may start as early as next month.

The only access to Governors Island is by ferry, a seven-minute trip from Lower Manhattan.

From its shore, visitors can see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Brooklyn Bridge. It is in the middle of New York Harbor.


Policeman faces parking complaint

PORTLAND — A lawyer who watched a police officer park illegally in front of a restaurant and then wait around while his meal was prepared, issued the officer a series of citizen-initiated violations.

Eric Bryant said he was sitting at the restaurant March 7 when Officer Chad Stensgaard parked his patrol car next to a no-parking sign and walked inside to wait for his meal, the Portland Mercury reported Thursday.

Mr. Bryant told the weekly paper that when he asked Officer Stensgaard about his car, the officer asked Mr. Bryant, “If someone broke into your house, would you rather have the police be able to park in front of your house or have to park three blocks away and walk there?”

Mr. Bryant filed a complaint as a private citizen claiming several violations, including illegal parking and illegal operation of an emergency vehicle.

Officer Stensgaard was issued a summons to appear in traffic court in May. The fines could total $540.

Cathe Kent, a spokeswoman for the Portland Police Bureau, said Officer Stensgaard would fight the complaint in court, “as he rightfully should.”


Student accused in school bomb plot

COLUMBIA — An 18-year-old student was arrested after collecting the supplies needed to bomb his school, authorities said.

Bryan Schillenberger was arrested Saturday after his parents called police when 10 pounds of ammonium nitrate were delivered to their home in Chesterfield.

Police Chief Randall Lear said that the teenager planned to make several bombs and that he had all the supplies needed to kill dozens of people at Chesterfield High.

He said a journal that the teenager kept for more than a year had detailed plans, including maps of the school.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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