- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 26, 2009

Row house fire kills woman, child

PHILADELPHIA | A fire that ripped through a northeastern Philadelphia row house has killed a woman and a young boy and injured five other people, three of them critically.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers called the Saturday morning fire “horrific” and “fast-moving.” He said the woman and child were trapped on the second floor of the Frankford neighborhood home and died despite efforts by firefighters to reach them in the flames. Commissioner Ayers said four adults were taken to Temple Hospital, where two of the women were in critical condition. He said a child taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital was also in critical condition. He said investigators haven’t been able to find any smoke detectors in the home.

Partnership foes turn in signatures

OLYMPIA, Wash. | Sponsors of a campaign to overturn Washington state’s domestic partnership law turned in their petition signatures Saturday and said they think they have enough to force a public vote.

The expanded “everything but marriage” domestic partnership law was scheduled to take effect Sunday, but is now delayed until the signatures can be counted, a process that could take up to a month.

To qualify for the November ballot, supporters of Referendum 71 must have 120,577 voter signatures. Supporters say they have about 138,000. “I feel our signatures are pretty clean,” said campaign spokesman Gary Randall. If they have enough signatures, the law will be delayed until the outcome of the referendum. If they fall short, the domestic partnership expansion will immediately take effect.

The new domestic partnership law expands on Washington’s existing partnership laws. The newest version adds registered domestic partners to all remaining areas of state law that currently apply only to married couples. Those statutes range from adoption and child support rights and obligations, to pensions and other public employee benefits.

‘Octomom,’ kids get reality-TV series

LOS ANGELES | The mother of octuplets born in Los Angeles last January has signed a $250,000 agreement for her 14 children to star in a reality-television show, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The newspaper said a series of contracts filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court specify the children will earn the money over three years. European production company Eyeworks has inked the deal with Nadya Suleman, the mother of the children, who came to be known as “Octomom” and who had six children previously through in vitro fertilization treatments. Eyeworks lists “Breaking Bonaduce” and “The Biggest Loser” among its television credits.

Filming is scheduled to start on Sept. 1, the report said. The children will collectively earn $125,000 for 36 days of shooting in the first year of production, $75,000 for 21 days in the second year and $50,000 for 14 days in the third year, the paper said.

Any extra shooting days will be compensated at the same rate. The contract also states that 15 percent of the gross compensation will be deposited by Eyeworks into a trust account, and the money will not be touched until the children turn 18, the Times added.

Obama to meet with Gates, policeman

BOSTON | Black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. says he’s ready to move on from his arrest by a white police officer, hoping to use the encounter to improve fairness in the criminal justice system and saying “in the end, this is not about me at all.”

After a phone call from President Obama urging calm in the aftermath of his arrest July 16, Mr. Gates said in a statement posted Friday on The Root, a Web site Mr. Gates oversees, he would accept Mr. Obama’s invitation to the White House for a beer with him and Cambridge, Mass., police Sgt. James Crowley, whom Mr. Gates had accused of racial profiling.

It was a marked change in tone for Mr. Gates, who in the days following his arrest said he was contemplating a lawsuit.

Bail set for stabbing suspect

SEATTLE | A judge Saturday set bail at $10 million for a man accused of breaking into a south Seattle home and stabbing two women, one fatally.

Fingerprints and bodily fluids tied Isaiah M.K. Kalebu, a 23-year-old man with a history of mental illness, to the July 19 attack, police said. Investigators said Mr. Kalebu crawled through an open window at the home in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood and attacked Teresa Butz, 39, and her 36-year-old partner. Ms. Butz died after fleeing through a bathroom window and running into the street, naked and covered in blood. Authorities said Mr. Kalebu also is suspected in a July 9 fire that killed his aunt, Rachel Kalebu, 61, and a man who lived in her Tacoma-area home south of Seattle, former NFL quarterback John Eddie Jones, 57.

Car thief arrested for impersonation

OAKLAND, Calif. | Oakland police say a man impersonating a police officer tried to pull over a real undercover officer and was arrested.

Police say 21-year-old Antonio Fernandez Martinez of Oakland was arrested Wednesday in the Fruitvale district after trying to pull over an unmarked police vehicle. Martinez was driving a Ford Crown Victoria outfitted with flashing lights, a microphone and speakers. Martinez, a convicted car thief, will have his felony probation revoked and could face a prison term.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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