- The Washington Times - Monday, January 12, 2009


Portly ‘ninja’ sought in theft try

WEST PALM BEACH | A ninja, or at least someone dressed like one, is lurking in the shadows of Palm Beach County.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said a heavyset man with a visible potbelly and a ninja costume unsuccessfully tried to steal two different ATMs over the past two weeks.

Security video from the automated teller machines showed the unidentified man dressed in a black ninja outfit with a hood that showed only his eyes.

Authorities said the first attempt was made at a bank on Dec. 29, and the second at a Walgreens on Tuesday. Authorities did not say how the man tried to steal the machines.


Man admitted spying, investigator says

HONOLULU | An Air Force investigator said a Maui man accused of being a spy acknowledged helping the Chinese government design a stealth cruise missile.

Joseph Williams of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations testified Friday that Noshir Gowadia told him he gave military secrets to China.

Mr. Williams also read a written statement in Honolulu federal court in which the former B-2 stealth bomber engineer says that what he did was espionage and treason.

Mr. Gowadia is trying to persuade U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor to throw out statements he made following a search of his home in Maui on Oct. 13, 2005, and in an airport in 2004.

Hearings on Mr. Gowadia’s request will continue this week. His trial is scheduled for April.


Couple weds at Taco Bell

NORMAL | Wedding bells meant Taco Bell for Paul and Caragh Brooks.

Customers inside the fast-food restaurant continued to order tacos and burritos as the couple sat Friday in an orange booth at Taco Bell and exchanged vows.

“It’s appropriate,” groom Paul Brooks said. “It’s an offbeat relationship.”

Employees displayed hot sauce packets labeled with the words “Will you marry me?” They decorated the restaurant with streamers and balloons.

The bride wore a $15 hot-pink dress, and the entire wedding cost about $200. Several dozen guests looked on as the couple’s friend, Ryan Green of Normal, administered the vows while wearing a T-shirt. He was ordained online.

“This is the way to go - there’s no stress,” said the groom’s mother, Kathy Brooks.

Caragh Brooks, 21, of Australia, met Paul Brooks, 30, on an Internet dating Web site. They already had the same last name.


Audit sought in case of missing boy

TOPEKA | A state senator wants to know whether the Kansas social services department had any contact with an 11-year-old boy who went missing a decade ago but whose disappearance wasn’t reported until this month.

Adam Herrman disappeared from his home in Towanda in 1999. His disappearance came to life last week when authorities acting on a tip searched the empty lot where his adoptive family’s mobile home once sat.

State Sen. Jean Schodorf, the Senate assistant majority leader, said Friday she had asked Don Jordan, secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, to look for any signs that authorities had needed to take Adam out of the home and whether the state played a part in his disappearance by not acting on them.


Police called during Mass

SCARBOROUGH | Church officials called police Sunday when demonstrators showed up to support the mother of a clergy abuse victim, but there were no arrests.

About 30 people upset with the bishop’s failure to meet Marie Tupper in Boothbay Harbor attended St. Maximilian Kolbe parish, where Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Malone was installing a new pastor Sunday.

The survivor advocates wore buttons and stickers that said, “Bishop Malone: Please Meet with Marie Tupper,” said Michael Sweatt, one of demonstrators. About 25 of the participants, some from as far away as Boston, received communion but didn’t address the bishop, he said.

Scarborough Police Sgt. Steve Thibodeau confirmed that officers were sent to the church. He said the officers were not needed and that there were no arrests.


Rare kangaroo has twins at zoo

OMAHA | Nebraska zookeepers are seeing double and they’re thrilled about it, with the birth of twins to a rare species of tree kangaroo.

Twin joeys were born last month at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo to Matschie’s tree kangaroos Milla and her mate Noru. They were found in Milla’s pouch last month and count as two of the four documented Matschie’s tree kangaroo births last year.

Kansas City Zoo zookeeper Jacque Blessington said only about 50 of the animals exist in North America. In the wild, they live in the rain forest in northeastern Papua New Guinea.

She said the babies were likely the size of a lima bean at birth.

They are expected to begin poking out their heads or feet as early as May.


Charter bus, cars collide on snowy road

DERRY | State officials said 59 vehicles, including three buses and two tractor-trailer rigs, have crashed on a snowy highway.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Boynton said the crash happened Sunday morning on Interstate 93 at Derry, N.H.

Derry Fire Battalion Chief Jack Webb said the most common injuries were broken ankles and legs, and none was life threatening.

WMUR-TV said witnesses reported that one of the vehicles was a chartered bus carrying a group of Boy Scouts from Massachusetts. The station said another bus was carrying the University of Massachusetts-Boston women’s hockey team.


Salmonella prompts peanut butter recall

COLUMBUS | An Ohio distributor said it has recalled two brands of its peanut butter after an open container tested positive for salmonella bacteria.

Federal health officials said the company’s peanut butter had not been conclusively linked to a national salmonella outbreak.

King Nut Companies said that it asked customers to stop distributing all peanut butter under its King Nut and Parnell’s Pride brands with a lot code that begins with the numeral “8.”

The peanut butter was distributed only through food-service providers in Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Arizona, Idaho, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida. It was not sold directly to consumers.

Preliminary laboratory testing found salmonella bacteria in a 5-pound container of King Nut brand creamy peanut butter, the Minnesota Department of Health said Friday.

The Minnesota tests had not linked it to the type of salmonella in the outbreak that has sickened almost 400 people in 42 states, but the department said additional results are expected early next week.

The federal Food and Drug Administration also is analyzing samples of peanut butter from King Nut and Peanut Corp., spokeswoman Stephanie Kwisnek said Sunday. The agency has not conclusively linked the peanut butter to the strain of salmonella that has sickened people in the outbreak, she said.


Fire rampages lakeside chateau

JOHNSON CITY | A luxurious castlelike home in Johnson City has been badly burned by fierce flames.

Assistant Fire Chief Mark Finucane said the roof and top floor of Crantzdorf Estate’s main three-story complex were badly burned Saturday night. The lower two floors suffered water damage as about 25 firefighters took hours to extinguish the blaze.

Chief Finucane said no one was home at the time and no serious injuries were reported. Fire marshals were investigating the cause of the fire, which began in a thunderstorm.

Luxuryrealestate.com has the nine-bedroom lakeside chateau with indoor basketball court listed for sale at $28.5 million.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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