- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2008


Hit-and-run victim to rely on ventilator

HARTFORD | The victim of a hit-and-run that was caught on videotape and viewed by a national audience will never breathe again without a respirator, doctors said.

Angel Arce Torres, who is at Hartford Hospital, also will never return home, a family member said.

Mr. Torres, 78, was paralyzed from the neck down in the May 30 incident. He was struck by one of two cars that crossed the center line.

Hartford officials said they received four cell phone calls within a minute of the incident. Police Chief Daryl Roberts initially said the city had lost its moral compass, noting that none of the witnesses appeared to come to Mr. Torres’ aid.


Shuttle wings, nose checked for damage

CAPE CANAVERAL | Discovery’s astronauts inspected their ship’s wings and nose Wednesday for any signs of damage after bidding “sayonara” to the International Space Station and heading for home.

The shuttle’s flawless undocking from the space station ended nine days of linked flight.

The space station’s newest addition, a 37-foot Japanese lab, was clearly visible as the shuttle flew a victory lap around the orbiting complex.


Life expectancy tops 78 years

ATLANTA | For the first time, U.S. life expectancy surpasses 78 years, the government reported Wednesday.

The increase is due mainly to falling mortality rates in almost all the leading causes of death, federal health officials said. The average life expectancy for babies born in 2006 is about four months greater than for children born in 2005.

However, the U.S. continues to lag behind about 30 other countries in estimated life span, according to World Health Organization data.

Japan is No. 1 on the list, with a life expectancy of 83 for children born in 2006. Switzerland and Australia also are near the top of the list.


Rude salespeople evicted from hotel

MOORHEAD | About 40 traveling salespeople were thrown out of a hotel for “very, very rude behavior,” a motel manager said.

The salespeople, mostly in their mid-20s, were peddling cleaning supplies, but they left behind a mess, said Derek Crockett, front-desk manager at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites.

Mr. Crockett’s staff began getting complaints about the guests less than two hours after they checked in Monday night. The guests were drinking, partying and smoking in nonsmoking rooms, he said.

When the staff told them to leave, they “just started getting a little irate” and made threatening comments to housekeepers and security staff, Mr. Crockett said.

Police who were called to the hotel to keep the peace made no arrests, Deputy Chief Bob Larson said.

The guests will be charged for the rooms and the damage. “It’s going to be over $1,000,” Mr. Crockett said.


Belgian firm offers to buy U.S. brewer

ST. LOUIS | Anheuser-Busch Cos. says Belgium-based brewer InBev offered to buy the company for roughly $48 billion.

Anheuser-Busch says the offer is an unsolicited, nonbinding proposal. But shareholders might be eager to approve the deal. The purchase price works out to $65 per share for Anheuser-Busch, a steep premium to the company’s share price of $58.35 Wednesday afternoon.

Anheuser-Busch says its board of directors will evaluate the proposal, but the company didn’t give its timetable for making a decision. Shares of the U.S. brewer climbed to $62.80 in after-hours trading. They had risen $1.20 to reach $58.35 in regular trading Wednesday.


Snake found in crib, coiled on baby’s leg

BRENTWOOD | A woman who awoke to her baby’s cries was shocked to peer into the crib and find a foot-long snake wrapped around her 7-month-old daughter’s leg.

Cari Abatemarco, of Troy, N.Y., said she was visiting family in the Long Island town of Brentwood last week when she made the startling discovery.

A relative removed the hissing snake from the crib with a back scratcher, and placed it in a bucket until animal control officers arrived. The child was not harmed.

The reptile, identified as a non-venomous California king snake, didn’t belong to Miss Abatemarco’s family members. Officials said they don’t know where the snake came from.

The animal is being cared for at a Long Island animal shelter.


Two guns used in girls’ killings

WELEETKA | Two guns and likely two people were involved in the shooting deaths of two young girls found on a dirt road near a tiny eastern Oklahoma community, investigators said Wednesday.

Each girl was shot multiple times in the head and chest, according to the state medical examiner’s office.

Although a complete autopsy report has not been finished, investigators said sexual assault appears unlikely because the girls were clothed and had only been missing for half an hour.

The bodies of Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Whitaker, 11, were found Sunday by Taylor’s grandfather about a quarter mile from his house near Weleetka, about 70 miles south of Tulsa.

A reward for information leading to an arrest in the case was increased Wednesday to $25,000.


Hikers rescued from Mount Rainier

LONGMIRE | A helicopter rescued two hikers from high on Mount Rainier on Wednesday after they were caught in a freak June blizzard that caused a third hiker’s death.

An Army Chinook helicopter rescued the man and woman at about 6:15 a.m. from Camp Muir, a staging area about 10,000 feet up the 14,410-foot volcano. Both were suffering from frostbite and hypothermia and were taken by air to hospitals.

The two and the woman’s husband had been out for a day hike Monday when they were caught in the storm that dumped 2 feet of snow.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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