- The Washington Times - Friday, December 18, 2009


Teacher on leave for Hooters lunch

PHOENIX | An Arizona music teacher whose students performed at a presidential inauguration event is on administrative leave after taking 40 high school students to a Hooters restaurant.

Paradise Valley school district spokeswoman Judi Willis said choir director Mary Segall accompanied the students to a performance in downtown Phoenix last week, and during the outing, they ate lunch at Hooters.

Miss Willis said Miss Segall explained that the restaurant, known for its waitresses’ somewhat revealing attire, was the only place that could accommodate a group of that size. But district officials think other options were available for lunch in the area.

Miss Segall could not be reached for comment.


Apartments cleared as cliff crumbles

PACIFICA | A crumbling cliff is forcing residents of an apartment building atop a Northern California coastal bluff to flee over fears their homes could slide into the Pacific.

Building officials in Pacifica ordered residents to leave by midmorning Thursday as large chunks of cliff plunged into the ocean, leaving just 10 feet between the 12-unit building and the cliff’s edge.

Chief building official Doug Rider said the evacuation order was issued after part of the cliff broke off about 5:30 a.m.


Family contesting deathbed marriage

BEATTYVILLE | Denton Cooper and Izetta Johnson weren’t married long before death took him.

Mr. Cooper and Miss Johnson got married just hours before the groom died on June 10 in eastern Kentucky. Mr. Cooper’s three daughters by his first wife are now contesting the nuptial.

The daughters, Crystal Mays, Shena Reece and Cassie Taulbee, have gone to court in Lee County seeking to have the marriage nullified.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the petition to nullify the marriage calls it a “pretended ceremony” and “a mockery.”

Charnel Burton of Booneville, the attorney for Mrs. Cooper, did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press seeking comment Thursday.


Hacker seeks reduced sentence

BOSTON | A computer hacker who was a force behind one of the largest cases of credit card theft in U.S. history said he has a developmental disorder and is asking for a reduced sentence.

Albert Gonzalez of Miami admitted invading the computer systems of such retailers as TJX Cos., BJ’s Wholesale Club and Sports Authority. Federal authorities said tens of millions of credit and debit card numbers were stolen.

His lawyers have submitted a report from a psychiatrist who concluded his behavior was consistent with Asperger’s syndrome, which is a form of autism.

Mr. Gonzalez was scheduled to be sentenced Monday. The hearing has been postponed indefinitely so prosecutors can consider the psychiatrist’s report.

His lawyers are asking for a sentence at the lower end of the 15 to 25 years in his plea agreement.


2 get prison time in blackmail case

MAYS LANDING | Two men convicted in a videotaped sex sting against an Atlantic City councilman are going to prison.

A judge on Thursday sentenced Ronald Callaway to nine years behind bars. He will be eligible for parole after four.

Floyd Tally was sentenced to 12 years, with parole eligibility in six.

The judge told the men the crime perpetuates the notion of Atlantic City politics as “a dirty business.”

Tally and Callaway were found guilty of conspiracy, criminal coercion and invasion of privacy.

The charges involved the secret videotaping in 2006 of Councilman Eugene Robinson, who is also a Baptist minister. He was lured to a motel by a prostitute hired by the defendants and former Council President Craig Callaway.


Boy, 4, caught with stolen gifts

CHATTANOOGA | Tennessee investigators say a 4-year-old boy was found roaming his neighborhood in the night, drinking beer and wearing a little girl’s dress taken from under a neighbor’s Christmas tree.

The child’s mother, 21-year-old April Wright, told WTVC-TV the boy “wants to go to jail because that’s where his daddy is.” Wright said she and the boy’s father are getting a divorce.

The boy, found outside his house in Chatanooga on Tuesday, was taken to a hospital and treated for alcohol consumption.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Janice Atkinson said the incident is being investigated but the department declined to release the report.

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