- The Washington Times - Monday, September 29, 2008

ALASKA

Anti-bear spray closes airport

JUNEAU | The airport serving Alaska’s capital city doesn’t have to worry about bears coming around anytime soon.

Juneau International Airport had to be evacuated Friday afternoon because of an accidental discharge of anti-bear spray.

The chemical comes in a canister-like pepper spray but is used to defend against attacking bears.

Fire Chief Eric Mohrman said the spray spread through the building via the ventilation system. The terminal had to be cleared and the building aired out. One person was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The airport reopened after about an hour and a half.

CALIFORNIA

Lapdogs can stay in moving cars

SACRAMENTO | Hollywood celebrities can continue to drive with animals nestled in their laps.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is vetoing a bill to fine motorists $35 for sharing the driver’s seat with lapdogs or other animals.

Republican Assemblyman Bill Maze said the practice is distracting. He introduced the bill after seeing a woman driving with three dogs on her lap.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, said he’s signing only bills that are “the highest priority for California.”

And a lapdog ban isn’t one of them.

COLORADO

Man arrested after bomb threat

DENVER | Officials at the Denver airport said a passenger was taken into custody after claiming to have explosives on a Northwest Airlines plane.

Airport spokesman Chuck Cannon said no explosives were found Saturday after the plane was towed away from the terminal and the man arrested.

Mr. Cannon said the plane was leaving the gate when the man said he had explosives in his luggage. Northwest spokeswoman Michelle Aguayo Shannon said about 140 people were on the Minneapolis-bound flight.

Passengers were re-screened before continuing on their way.

The situation came a day after a false bomb threat forced nearly 100 passengers off a Northwest jet waiting for takeoff in Detroit.

ILLINOIS

University to move temporary memorial

DEKALB | Northern Illinois University has decided to move a temporary memorial to students killed in a February campus shooting to make it more accessible for those wanting to pay respects.

The memorial will be moved by mid-October to the Holmes Student Center on the Dekalb campus.

The memorial includes a video, a flag flown at the Pentagon in the school’s honor, archived items and letters of support.

A former student opened fire in NIU’s Cole Hall Feb. 14, killing five students and injuring more than a dozen before turning the gun on himself.

LOUISIANA

Young brothers die in apartment fire

RESERVE | Two brothers — an infant and a toddler — were found dead in the smoldering ruins of a Louisiana apartment building that caught fire.

Fire officials in Reserve, about 40 miles west of New Orleans, said the building was engulfed in flames by the time they arrived Saturday afternoon.

The Times-Picayune reports that 18-month-old Tramonte Campbell and 3-month-old Ke’miy Campbell were found in the rubble of the building’s first floor after the fire was put out.

Relatives said the boys’ mother, Keshia Sanders, 21, was able to rescue her 3-year-old son, but the smoke was too thick for her to reach her other two boys. She was treated for possible smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

MAINE

Nearly $1 million bid on antique cars

OWLS HEAD | Winning bidders at an auction of vintage vehicles and memorabilia in Maine have bought a 1910 Mercedes-Benz four-seat Tourabout for $887,000 and a 1913 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost for $832,000.

The auction on Friday and Saturday drew an estimated 500 people to the town of Owls Head plus telephone bidders from around the world.

The auction disposed of part of the collection of car fancier Richard Paine Jr. of Seal Cove, Maine, who died last year.

The 1910 Mercedes-Benz and the 1913 Rolls-Royce were the top-priced items, and a half-dozen other cars sold for more than $250,000 each.

Proceeds of the auction go to an endowment for the Seal Cove Auto Museum, which houses the core of Mr. Paine’s collection.

MISSISSIPPI

Two contractors charged with fraud

JACKSON | Two contractors face felony home-repair fraud charges in separate cases dating back to Hurricane Katrina.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said Edward Boyd, 60, of Covington, La., and James Clifford Plummer, 44, of Gulfport, Miss., were arrested last week.

Court dates have not been set.

Mr. Boyd was arrested by Covington police who learned he was wanted in Mississippi. Mr. Boyd signed a waiver of extradition. He worked on the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Katrina and is accused by a Biloxi homeowner of being paid but failing to make repairs to a home damaged by the 2005 storm.

Mr. Boyd’s bond is set at $25,000.

Mr. Plummer is accused by a Pass Christian homeowner of being paid for work that he never did after Katrina. His bond was set at $20,000.

NEW YORK

Up to 7 stabbed in nightclub fight

NEW YORK | As many as seven men were stabbed during a quarrel at a nightclub in New York City, police said. Two are in critical condition.

The bloody fight erupted about 4 a.m. Sunday inside the Tahona club in the Queen’s neighborhood of Astoria.

Police are trying to determine the exact number of victims — from five to seven. Two of them are in critical condition at Elmhurst Hospital.

The Tahona is a flashy club with state-of-the-art sound, video and lighting, featuring live bands and a big dance floor.

PENNSYLVANIA

High school athlete dies of staph

PHILADELPHIA | Philadelphia school district officials said a high school football player died of a drug-resistant staph infection.

The officials said tests on Friday confirmed that Saalen Jones, 17, had the contagious germ known as MRSA.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard said two other players have lesions that are being tested for the MRSA bacteria and the school is being cleaned. Saalen was a senior at Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King High School. He died Tuesday.

In recent years, MRSA has become more common in hospitals, prisons, gyms and locker rooms and in poor urban neighborhoods.

TEXAS

Man acquitted of killing intruder

LAREDO | A Texas jury acquitted a man accused of killing a boy who broke into his home looking for a snack — a case that sparked outrage in this border city, where many thought the man should not have been charged.

It took the jury of eight men and four women three hours Friday to find Jose Luis Gonzalez, 63, not guilty of murdering Francisco Anguiano, who was 13 when he and three friends broke into Mr. Gonzalez’s trailer to rummage for snacks and soda one night in July 2007.

Mr. Gonzalez said he was sorry for Francisco’s death, but “it was a situation in which I feared for my life.”

Texas law allows homeowners to use deadly force to protect themselves and their property. In June, a grand jury in Houston cleared a homeowner who fatally shot two burglars outside his neighbor’s house despite the dispatcher’s repeated request that he stay inside his own home.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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