- The Washington Times - Monday, June 22, 2009


Government opposes Geronimo lawsuit

NEW HAVEN | The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by descendants of Apache leader Geronimo, whose remains purportedly were stolen by members of a secret society at Yale University.

The government filed the motion June 10 to oppose a lawsuit filed in February by 20 of Geronimo’s descendants, who want to rebury the warrior near his birthplace in southern New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness.

Geronimo died in 1909. The lawsuit claims that Skull and Bones members took some of the remains in 1918 from a burial plot in Fort Sill, Okla., to keep in its New Haven, Conn., clubhouse.

Former President George H.W. Bush; former President George W. Bush; Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat; and many others in government and industry positions are members of the society, which is not affiliated with the university.


Tour bus, SUV in fatal collision

ANGOLA | Officials say a person was killed Sunday when a tour bus carrying a semiprofessional football team from Canada crashed into a sport utility vehicle about 40 miles north of Fort Wayne.

Angola Fire Department spokesman T.R. Hagerty says one person in the SUV was killed and 14 other people were injured in the crash reported about 11:40 a.m.

Mr. Hagerty said the bus was carrying the London Silverbacks of London, Ontario. He said its passengers suffered injuries ranging from minor to serious, but none appeared life-threatening.

Twelve people were taken to an Angola hospital with minor injuries and two others were airlifted to a Fort Wayne hospital with serious injuries.


Union, management to resume talks

BOSTON | Negotiations are set to resume Monday between the Boston Globe’s largest union and management over $10 million in contract concessions the Globe’s owner - the New York Times Co. - says it needs to keep the newspaper open.

Two weeks ago, members of the Boston Newspaper Guild narrowly rejected a new contract that called for an 8.3 percent wage cut, unpaid furloughs, benefit cuts and the elimination of lifetime job guarantees for about 190 staffers.

The New York Times Co. then imposed a 23 percent pay cut to reach the $10 million in annual cost cuts. The union filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board.

Both sides have said they are hopeful about reaching an agreement on a new contract.


Priest hurt in Iraq bombing dies

ST. PAUL | The Rev. Tim Vakoc, 49, a Minnesota priest who was gravely wounded by a roadside bomb in Iraq five years ago, died Saturday in a nursing home in New Hope, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Sunday. The cause of death was not immediately released.

Father Vakoc was thought to be the first military chaplain wounded in Iraq.

He was an Army chaplain on May 29, 2004, when the blast cost him an eye and severely damaged his brain as he was returning from celebrating Mass with troops near Mosul.

“A man of peace, he chose to endure the horror of war in order to bring the peace of Christ to America’s fighting men and women,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said. “He has been an inspiration to us all, and we will miss him. We ask everyone to remember him in prayer.”

Father Vakoc was hospitalized for four months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, and was transferred in a near coma to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Minneapolis in October 2004.

After many surgeries and infections, he slowly started to recognize friends and family, and began to communicate with squeezes of the hand or slight smiles. In the fall of 2006, he spoke for the first time in 2 1/2 years.


Plant to reopen after fatal accident

LUMBER BRIDGE | A poultry processing plant will restart its operations just two days after an ammonia leak killed one worker and injured four others, the company said Sunday.

Mountaire Farms said authorities have inspected the plant and declared the building safe. The Millsboro, Del.-based company said the plant in Lumber Bridge will reopen Monday morning and return to full operation.

Mountaire Farms plans to hold an internal employee meeting and provide grief counselors for workers. Authorities said that 30 to 40 people were at the plant when the leak occurred and the site employees 2,500 people total.

Authorities have said that 47-year-old Clifton Swain of Fayetteville died Saturday from the ammonia leak, which happened while workers were doing maintenance work on a piece of machinery. Investigators have ruled it was an accident and that no crime was involved.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own. Clifton Swain was a valued employee and held in high esteem by his coworkers,” Mountaire Farms said in a news release. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the injured employees in the tragic incident at the Lumber Bridge plant.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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