- The Washington Times - Monday, October 27, 2008

ARKANSAS

Anchorwoman dies after beating

LITTLE ROCK | An Arkansas television anchorwoman died Saturday, several days after she didn’t answer her wake-up call and was found beaten in her home, hospital officials said.

Anne Pressly, 26, died at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Margaret Preston said.

Miss Pressly was beaten around the head, face and neck. She had been unable to communicate with her family or police while being kept sedated in the intensive care unit.



The anchor’s death came only a day after a doctor said he was encouraged that her vital signs were stable while she remained in critical condition.

Dr. Clifton R. Johnson told reporters Friday that swelling in Miss Pressly’s brain had gone down since being hospitalized and that doctors had slowly been reducing her sedative dosages.

CALIFORNIA

Pair of quakes strike off shore

EUREKA | A pair of minor-to-moderate offshore earthquakes have struck the northern California coast, but there are no reports of any damage or injury.

The U.S. Geological Survey said in a preliminary report that the first quake had a magnitude of 5.1. It struck at 2:27 a.m. Sunday about 41 miles southwest of Eureka and 208 miles northwest of Sacramento at a depth of 11.5 miles.

The second was a magnitude-4.1 quake that struck one minute later farther south about 40 miles west of Santa Rosa and 74 miles northwest of San Francisco at a depth of about 3 miles.

Sheriff’s dispatchers in the nearest affected counties of Humboldt and Sonoma said they received no word of injuries or damage.

COLORADO

Taco order comes with side of pot

LAKEWOOD | A Colorado couple found an unusual topping on their order of tacos: a small bag of marijuana.

They discovered the drugs with their order from a Del Taco restaurant and called police, said Lakewood police spokesman Steve Davis.

Dennis Klermund, 26, who police say waited on the husband when he picked up food Oct. 16, faces charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Mr. Klermund initially denied any knowledge but admitted the bag was meant for a friend after a search dog found the more marijuana in a locker, police said.

Mr. Klermund no longer works at the restaurant, said manager Ulises Montero.

FLORIDA

Bee swarm kills dogs, hurts woman

RIVIERA BEACH | A 70-year-old woman was injured and three dogs were killed after a swarm of bees terrorized a neighborhood in South Florida.

Authorities said crews removed 50 pounds of honeycomb from the side of a home in Palm Beach County after Friday’s attack. The hive has been contained.

The bees swarmed Nancy Hill and her two dogs. Miss Hill was treated at a hospital, but the dogs died. The bees also attacked two other dogs in the neighborhood. One of those died, and the other was injured.

Lab tests should determine whether the bees were Africanized bees, also known as killer bees. Their stings are no more potent than an ordinary bee’s, but they are far more aggressive and attack in swarms.

MINNESOTA

NTSB criticized on bridge collapse

MINNEAPOLIS | The chairman of the House Transportation Committee criticized federal investigators Sunday after a published report said they have determined an original design flaw is the most likely reason for the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators think the bridge’s original designers probably neglected to calculate the size of key gusset plates - devices that help connect steel beams - that eventually failed, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis reported.

Investigators also determined that corrosion of certain gusset plates, extreme heat and shifting piers did not contribute to the bridge’s collapse, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the probe.

Rep. James L. Oberstar, Minnesota Democrat, was skeptical of earlier suggestions from the NTSB that gusset plate design was responsible for the bridge collapse and, on Sunday, held to that view.

OHIO

House explodes from gas leak

MANSFIELD | A gas leak ignited an explosion that destroyed a northern Ohio home while its owner was out running errands.

Mansfield Fire Capt. George Rippey said the home exploded Saturday about 4 p.m. The force of the blast knocked out the windows and doors of a neighboring home and threw debris across the street.

Capt. Rippey said the home’s occupant, Keith Phillips, was out buying an electric heater for the home when the explosion occurred. Mr. Phillips told authorities that his furnace had been acting up Friday night and that he had shut off gas to it.

PENNSYLVANIA

Ex-officer guilty of sex crimes

NEW BLOOMFIELD | A former small-town police officer has been convicted of molesting or propositioning more than a dozen teenage girls for sex while on duty.

Jurors deliberated for about 10 hours Saturday before finding Robert J. Pavlovich Jr. guilty of charges including corruption of minors, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and bribery in official matters.

Pavlovich, 40, of Camp Hill, took the stand during the three-day trial and denied that he had sex with any of the accusers, touched them improperly or asked them to sneak out of their homes. However, the former Marysville officer said he did ask three teenage girls to meet him late at night as part of an investigation into drug activity and underage drinking. No one was arrested based on information he received from them, he said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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