- The Washington Times - Friday, July 3, 2009


Wright-designed home sold

PHOENIX | A home that famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed for his son has been sold for $2.8 million.

Realtor Cionne McCarthy said escrow on the spiral-shaped home of about 2,250 square feet closed last week.

She said the undisclosed buyer plans to restore the home, built in 1951, to its original condition and live in it.

The 2-acre property includes a guesthouse, pool and a spiral ramp leading to the home’s second-level living space with a rooftop deck offering views of nearby Camelback Mountain.

It was one of two homes Mr. Wright designed for his children, and it was occupied by David Wright and his wife, Gladys.

They were the only owners. David Wright died in 1997. His wife died last year.

It is one of eight Phoenix-area houses and about 500 worldwide that sprang directly from the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, who died in 1959.


Court says governor can’t reject whites

TALLAHASSEE | The Florida Supreme Court said Gov. Charlie Crist can’t reject an all-white list of appeals court nominees, even though he wants to appoint someone who will make the judiciary more diverse.

The justices unanimously ruled Thursday that the Florida Constitution leaves Mr. Crist no choice but to pick one of the six white candidates submitted by a judicial nominating commission.

Mr. Crist refused to make an appointment to the Daytona Beach court after the commission refused to give him a more diverse slate. The 10-member court has no black judges.

Mr. Crist said he was disappointed by the ruling but respected it.


Computer problem disrupted flights

CHICAGO | A computer problem temporarily disrupted United Airlines flights at O’Hare International Airport on Thursday, causing long delays and lines for travelers headed out for the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

The outage affected all of United’s computers at the airport and also caused some flight cancellations, said airline spokeswoman Robin Urbanski.

The problem started shortly after 5 a.m. and at one point, the airline instituted a “ground stop,” keeping United flights bound for O’Hare grounded if they hadn’t taken off yet, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory.

She said the glitch affected the boarding pass system and the computers that tell pilots the number of passengers on board and weight of the plane, which affect how much fuel an aircraft can carry.


Judge queries photo releases

BOSTON | A federal judge has ordered prosecutors to produce affidavits explaining why photographs were released and any press conferences held after the arrests of two Boston politicians on corruption charges.

Judge Douglas Woodlock said Thursday at a pretrial hearing that he wants to evaluate whether prosecutors tried to “gin things up” among the public after the arrests last year of former Sen. Dianne Wilkerson and Boston city councilor Chuck Turner.

Judge Woodlock said he wanted affidavits by July 16 from anyone involved in the decision-making process, potentially including former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan.

The judge still has to rule on the prosecution’s request to have Mr. Turner not disclose any documents provided to him before the trial. Mr. Turner said making that agreement would waive his First Amendment rights.

Judge Woodlock set a tentative March 15 trial date.


Interrogation sites won’t be dismantled

NEW YORK | A prosecutor agreed Thursday that the government will not dismantle overseas locations where a former Guantanamo detainee claims he was interrogated by the CIA before he was brought to the United States for trial on terrorism charges.

The prosecutor, David Raskin, told U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that the U.S. would preserve the locations for now, even though it does not plan to use at trial any statements Ahmed Ghailani made while he was in the custody of any other government agencies.

Judge Kaplan set a Sept. 13, 2010, date for the trial of Ghailani on charges that he participated in the Aug. 7, 1998, bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 224 people, including 12 Americans.

Authorities say he was a bomb-maker, document forger and aide to Osama bin Laden when he aided the attacks at embassies in Tanzania and Kenya.

Ghailani was brought to the United States last month. The government has not decided whether to seek the death penalty if it wins a conviction.

The Tanzanian, captured in Pakistan in 2004, was held at secret overseas locations by the U.S. before he was moved to the U.S. naval prison in Cuba in 2006. He is the first Guantanamo detainee to be brought to a U.S. civilian court for trial.


Children found locked in shed

SEALY | A Texas couple were arrested after a state inspector found several children locked in a tool shed behind an unlicensed day care center.

State officials said the children were surrounded by lawn equipment, gasoline and insecticide when they were found Wednesday morning. The children were not injured.

A child welfare inspector had gone to the site in response to a complaint that an illegal day care center was being operated at the home.

In all, there were 14 children, ranging in age from 3 months to 5 years, being cared for by the couple, Child Protective Services spokeswoman Gwen Carter said Thursday. They included several in the shed and others hidden in the house or at a home next door.

Austin County District Attorney Travis Koehn said Marietta Patek, 55, was charged with six counts of child endangerment. Her husband, Freddie Patek, 47, faced an evidence tampering charge.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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