- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 29, 2008

DNA match made in journalist death

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. | Police say DNA taken from a man charged with murdering a Little Rock, Ark., television anchorwoman matches DNA tested in a separate rape case.

Marianna Police Detective Carl McCree said Friday that DNA taken from Curtis Lavelle Vance during the investigation into the brutal beating of anchorwoman Anne Pressly matched DNA gathered during an investigation into the April sexual assault of a teacher in Marianna, 90 miles east of Little Rock.

Ms. Pressly died of her injuries, and Mr. Vance is charged with capital murder in the case.

Mr. McCree says Mr. Vance faces rape and residential burglary charges in connection with the Marianna attack.

Muslim scientist loses suit, leaves U.S.

PITTSBURGH | An Egyptian scientist who claimed his rights were violated when the Department of Energy revoked his security clearance has left the country after 28 years and returned to his native Egypt after losing his federal lawsuit.

Moniem El-Ganayni, 57, worked at the Bettis Laboratory, which makes parts for nuclear warships, in suburban West Mifflin for more than 17 years. He has been a U.S. citizen since 1988.

His security clearance was revoked last late year, and he was fired in May. The Energy Department said it had reliable information that Mr. El-Ganayni was a security risk, but refused to let him see any evidence, saying the reasons were classified and could violate national security if made public.

Mr. El-Ganayni sued, claiming he was being retaliated against for comments he made opposing the Iraq war and U.S. treatment of Muslims after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. His lawsuit said Energy Department officials and FBI agents questioned him about speeches he made, his views on suicide bombings and the Koran.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry dismissed his suit. The American Civil Liberties Union plans to appeal. Mr. El-Ganayni and his wife returned to Cairo on Wednesday.

Contest called a tie after 55 days in truck

MADISON, Wis. | A Wisconsin radio station had to make two contestants an offer they couldn’t refuse in order to get them to quit a game to win a new car.

Tommy Kempfer, 26, of Sun Prairie, and Lisa Thompson, 40, of Westfield, had been living in a truck, hoping to outlast the other to win a new, $30,000 vehicle from WMAD-FM in Madison. After 55 days, the station became concerned that the contest would never end.

“We sensed these two were not going to back down,” said John Flint, a co-host on the station’s morning show. “There was no way we expected this to go 55 days. If it was not for the deal, it’s possible they could have gone on until New Year’s.”

On Tuesday, the station offered the two a compromise: End the contest and receive $10,000 toward the purchase of a car, among other prizes, or continue with the runner-up receiving nothing. Within 15 minutes, both agreed to the deal.

Oldest person dies at 115

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. | Edna Parker, who became the world’s oldest person more than a year ago, has died at age 115.

UCLA gerontologist Dr. Stephen Coles said the woman’s great-nephew notified him that Mrs. Parker died Wednesday at a nursing home in Shelbyville. She was 115 years, 220 days old, said Robert Young, a senior consultant for gerontology for Guinness World Records.

Mrs. Parker was born April 20, 1893, in central Indiana’s Morgan County and had been recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest person since the 2007 death in Japan of Yone Minagawa, who was four months her senior. Maria de Jesus of Portugal, who was born Sept. 10, 1893, is now the world’s oldest living person, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

Mrs. Parker had been a widow since her husband, Earl Parker, died in 1939 of a heart attack. She outlived her two sons, Clifford and Earl Jr. She also had five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

Don Parker, 60, said his grandmother had a small frame and a mild temperament. She walked a lot and kept busy even after moving into the nursing home, he said. “She kept active,” he said Thursday. “We used to go up there, and she would be pushing other patients in their wheelchairs.”

Three relatives die on rocky coast

POINT MUGU, Calif. | Three members of the same family drowned on Thanksgiving after being swept out to sea from a rocky outcrop along Southern California’s coast, authorities said Friday.

Two other relatives who lived in the same house with the victims were also washed away by a wave but managed to pull themselves to safety.

“To take out three members of the family — it’s just horrible,” Ventura County sheriff’s Senior Deputy Julie Novak said.

Two victims were Catalino Ramos Vazquez and Pedro Avila Ramos, both 19. A 17-year-old brother of Mr. Vazquez also died. The exact relationship among all five men wasn’t immediately available.

The three died while photographing the surf from Point Mugu, a popular spot for hikers and fishers. There is no beach at the spot, and waves can swell over the rocks with little warning. A wave estimated to be more than three feet tall crashed onto the rocks and pulled the five men into the ocean.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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