- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 17, 2008

Florida prepares for Fay’s wrath

KEY WEST, Fla. | Residents and tourists in the Florida Keys braced Saturday for Tropical Storm Fay, which forecasters said could strengthen to a hurricane and begin battering the island chain as soon as Monday.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency to help protect communities from the storm, which “threatens the state of Florida with a major disaster,” he wrote in an executive order.

Fay had the potential to hit Florida as a Category 1 or 2 hurricane, with winds reaching more than 100 mph, National Hurricane Center forecasters said Saturday. But they stressed it was too early to tell exactly how intense the storm would become or where it would make landfall.

Flooding from Fay killed two people and left two children missing in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, authorities said Saturday. Forecasters said the storm could reach hurricane strength when it approaches central Cuba on Sunday, and the government there issued a hurricane watch for several provinces.

Jena 6 defense fund to pay private school

JENA, La. | The youngest defendant in the Jena Six case is using his share of money donated for defense attorneys to attend a private boarding school with a focus on college preparation.

Attorney C. David Utter said that since Jesse Ray Beard’s defense was donated, the money was available for his education at Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn.

Mr. Beard is one of six black students who was accused of attacking a white student at Jena High School in 2006. He has been living with an attorney in New York, and was released from house arrest on unrelated juvenile charges earlier this month so he could attend the boarding school.

The lawyer for the white student who was attacked said the defense fund money - from donors including rocker David Bowie, who gave $10,000 - should go for restitution, rather than Canterbury tuition, which is about $40,000 a year.

Schwarzenegger suffers knee injury

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. | Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger pulled out of an environmental conference Saturday to have his knee examined after injuring himself while exercising.

The governor had been scheduled to co-host a climate change summit in South Lake Tahoe, but Sen. Dianne Feinstein told the crowd Saturday morning that Mr. Schwarzenegger had called her to say he couldn’t make it.

He injured his knee while working out and it has been bothering him all week, Schwarzenegger spokesman Matt David said. A doctor was expected to examine Mr. Schwarzenegger’s knee for a possibly torn meniscus at the governor’s home in Los Angeles.

The 61-year-old bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned politician has suffered numerous physical injuries over the years, most recently when he shattered his femur during a skiing accident in 2006.

Saturday’s event was attended by officials from California, Nevada and the federal government.

Senator wants to ban baggy pants

COLUMBIA, S.C. | A South Carolina state senator said saggy pants are a setback to the civil rights movement and should be banned.

Sen. Robert Ford said he will propose a law banning the style, taking statewide an effort by some Charleston City Council members to outlaw it locally. Youths who show their underwear as they walk are emulating prisoners who can’t wear belts, said the Charleston Democrat.

“If these guys want to look like prisoners, what’s the next step?” Mr. Ford told the Charleston Post and Courier for a Saturday story. “We, those of us who fought civil rights battles in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, anticipated wonderful things for African-Americans once we broke down a lot of barriers.

“This generation hasn’t built upon anything,” Mr. Ford said.

Other black leaders were quick to criticize Mr. Ford’s statements.

Lonnie Randolph, president of the state NAACP chapter, called them “unfair and inaccurate,” saying the style is not limited to young blacks, and most youths don’t wear their pants that way.

Animals shipped as park closes

ST. LOUIS | Owners of an eastern Missouri park are moving their animals to a facility in Oklahoma as part of a plan to shut the place down two weeks after a tiger attacked a volunteer.

About 20 exotic animals were loaded up Saturday at the Wesa-A-Geh-Ya park.

Owners of the park northwest of St. Louis say eight lions, four or five tigers, four Arctic wolves, a bear, a cougar and a leopard are being sent to the G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park at Wynnewood, Okla. They say they still need to find homes for about 30 other exotic animals.

A tiger jumped a fence at Wesa-A-Geh-Ya on Aug. 3 and attacked volunteer Jason Barr. Part of Mr. Barr’s leg had to be amputated. The tiger was shot.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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