- The Washington Times - Monday, June 2, 2008


Mom fights church ban on her autistic son

BERTHA | Carol Race thinks it’s important for her 13-year-old son to be in church on Sundays for Catholic Mass.

Leaders of the Church of St. Joseph once felt the same way, but not anymore. They say that Mrs. Race’s autistic son, Adam, is disruptive and that his erratic behavior threatens the safety of other parishioners.

The northern Minnesota church has obtained a restraining order to keep Adam away, an action that has been hurtful to the Race family and has brought them support from parents of other autistic children.

The Rev. Daniel Walz wrote in his petition for the restraining order that Adam has hit a child, has nearly knocked over elderly parishioners while bolting from his pew, has spit at people and has urinated in the church.


Marine on war leave dies from mugging

CLEVELAND | On leave from the violence he had survived in the war in Iraq, a young Marine was so wary of crime in his hometown that he carried only $8 to avoid becoming a robbery target.

But Lance Cpl. Robert Crutchfield, 21, was shot point-black in the neck during a robbery Jan. 5 while he and his girlfriend were waiting for a bus.

Feeding and breathing tubes kept him alive 4 1/2 months, until he died of an infection May 18.

Ean Farrow, 19, and Thomas Ray III, 20, both of Cleveland, have been charged in the attack.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Bill Mason said Friday that the case was under review to decide whether to seek the death penalty.


Officer, 2 deputies shot during chase

TUCSON | A 25-year-old man shot and wounded three law enforcers during a car chase after firing at two homes in Tucson, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Department Bureau Chief Rick Kastigar said the man fired on the homes with an assault rifle yesterday morning. No one was injured in those shootings.

Chief Kastigar said the man then shot and wounded two sheriff’s deputies and a police officer while authorities were pursuing him.

He said the police officer was in serious condition with a gunshot to the head. He said the deputies’ wounds were not life-threatening.

The man was later arrested. Authorities did not say what charges he faces.


Confederate flag set for interstate

TAMPA | Next year, a giant Confederate flag may tower above the tree line near the junction of Interstate 75 and Interstate 4, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

The Sons of Confederate Veterans wants drivers in the Tampa area to see the massive flag - 30 feet high and 50 feet long - atop a 139-foot pole, the highest the Federal Aviation Authority would allow. It would be lit at night.

With the pole already in the ground and building permits in hand, the group is on its way to having what it calls the “world’s largest” Confederate flag in place by mid 2009.

The group just needs about $30,000 more, said Douglas Dawson, Florida division commander.


Cheerleader’s family awarded $700,000

WAILUKU | The chaperone of a teenage cheerleader who fell to her death from a hotel balcony in Hawaii while drunk has been ordered to pay nearly $700,000.

Arbitrator Gerald Sekiya said in his decision May 23 that Susan Sadler must pay the family and estate of Lauren Crossan, 18.

The cheerleader from New Jersey died in 2004 while she was in Hawaii to perform for the Hula Bowl. She had a blood alcohol level more than twice the state’s legal limit for driving.

An attorney for Miss Sadler declined to comment.


Man cites intent to compost pot

IOWA CITY | Police in Iowa said a man caught with a large quantity of marijuana claimed all he had in mind was recycling.

A complaint by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said the 30-year-old man told police in Iowa City that he planned to turn several large bags of marijuana into compost.

Officers report the bags he had when he was arrested early Saturday held a “gallon” or more of marijuana each.

The complaint states officers didn’t buy the compost story. The suspect remained in jail Sunday without posting $14,000 bail on a charge of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute.


Dentist gets prison for dodging taxes

NEW ORLEANS | A dentist who declared himself a “citizen of the Republic of Louisiana” in an attempt to dodge income taxes was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Louis Genard also was ordered to pay $155,683 in restitution.

During pretrial hearings on the case, Genard lost a motion to dismiss the charges because his status as “Ambassador and Citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven under its King Jesus the Christ” gave him diplomatic immunity.


NTSB: Train was speeding before crash

NEWTON | Federal officials say a commuter train was going nearly 30 miles per hour faster than it should have been when it crashed into another train in Massachusetts.

Kitty Higgins of the National Transportation Safety Board said Saturday that a red signal required trolley operator Terrese Edmonds to stop for 60 seconds at the Waban station before proceeding at no more than 10 mph.

However, Miss Higgins said Miss Edmonds’ trolley was going 37 to 38 mph when it struck the other train.

Miss Edmonds was killed in the crash Wednesday at Newton. About a dozen passengers were injured.

Miss Higgins said the board is investigating reports that Miss Edmonds was talking on a cell phone.


War veteran admits attempted child abuse

JACKSON | An Iraq war veteran accused of raping his 3-month-old daughter in Michigan has pleaded guilty to attempted child abuse.

Former Army paratrooper Kirk Coleman’s plea came Friday after prosecutors agreed to drop charges of criminal sexual conduct and child abuse.

Authorities said Coleman, 27, attacked the baby in September in a home west of Detroit. She suffered brain damage and broken bones.

Coleman faces up to five years in prison.


Scaffold collapse kills 2 painters

BAYONNE | A scaffold holding three painters at a industrial complex collapsed Saturday, killing two of them and injuring the other.

The men were painting a fuel tank at the International-Matex Tank Terminals in Bayonne when a bolt failed, said Hudson County prosecutor Edward DeFazio.

The tank was about 60 feet high, and Mr. DeFazio described the accident as “the equivalent of a multistory fall.”

Henryk Wyetecha, 56, and Stanislaw Bryjak, 55, were killed. Creslaw Saniewski, 56, was taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

A preliminary investigation called it an industrial accident, Mr. DeFazio said, but the probe continues. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration also is investigating.


Plane missing for 24 years found

FRITCH | What searchers couldn’t find, drought helped reveal.

Canoeists on receding Lake Meredith in the Texas Panhandle found a small plane that crashed in 1984, the National Park Service said Saturday.

The 25-year-old pilot and a passenger died in the crash, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board. The Park Service didn’t say whether it had recovered any remains.

A wheel from the plane and a jacket thought to have been the pilot’s were found floating on the lake in the two days after the crash. But a six-day dive turned up nothing else, according to the report.

Park Service workers have closed the area around the wreckage so they can investigate, spokeswoman Rozanna Pfeiffer said.

Lake Meredith, about 20 miles north of Amarillo, is at just 8 percent of its capacity, according to the latest monthly report from the Texas Water Development Board.


Driver pays ticket, 21 years later

KENOSHA | Someone in Texas apparently had a guilty conscience, paying up on a parking ticket handed out 21 years before.

The Kenosha Police Department said officers found a $6 payment for the ticket, issued Jan. 20, 1987, in a drop box.

A notice on the ticket indicated that failure to pay within 120 hours would result in doubling of the $3 forfeiture.

It was signed by a man who listed a Dallas address.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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