- - Monday, March 30, 2009


Volcano quiets after ashy mess

ANCHORAGE — Alaska’s Mount Redoubt has simmered down after spreading a coating of gritty volcanic ash over scores of communities, including the state’s largest city, Anchorage.

Monitors at the Alaska Volcano Observatory say the volcano was emitting low-level tremors Sunday but no more eruptions.

The calm follows several strong eruptions Saturday that spewed an ash cloud 100 miles northeast to Anchorage and beyond.

Observatory volcanologist Game McGimsey says the accumulation of ash about 50 miles away at Nikiski was as thick as a dime.

The volcano became active a week ago, followed by at least 18 eruptions. Mr. McGimsey says the eruptions are like “bullets coming out of a gun barrel.”

The last time the volcano erupted was in 1989-90.


Ex-megachurch leader dies in hospital

ATLANTA — An evangelical pastor whose leadership of an Atlanta-area megachurch ended in a sex scandal has died.

Atlanta Medical Center said Archbishop Earl Paulk, who was in his 80s, died early Sunday. The hospital could not release a cause of death. Paulk had been in bad health for the past couple of years after a battle with cancer.

Paulk co-founded the Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Decatur and helped grow it to a peak membership of about 10,000 in the early 1990s.

A lawsuit by a female employee sparked a chain of events that ended in Paulk pleading guilty in January 2008 to lying under oath by denying affairs with other women.


Man kills 2 sisters; police save third

MILTON | A man on a rampage fatally stabbed his 17-year-old sister, decapitated his 5-year-old sister in front of a police officer and then headed toward his 9-year-old sister with a knife in his hand before officers shot him amid what the police chief described as “a killing field.”

There was no clear motive for the events that unfolded Saturday in a tony Boston suburb that also is home to Gov. Deval Patrick. But there was no doubt at the carnage wrought by 23-year-old Kerby Revelus against his sisters in the home they shared with their parents and grandmother.

Bianca was killed as a cake for her 5th birthday sat on the kitchen table. Sarafina dialed 911 and watched police shoot her brother as her elder sister, Samantha, lay dead on the floor.

Sarafina was hospitalized with defensive wounds to her hands and stab wounds in her abdomen and one of her legs.

“In policing, we see the raw human emotion every day, but to think that a human being could afflict such an atrocious, violent act on his own family is unbelievable,” Milton Police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr. said. “When I walked up to the first officer [on the scene], I could see the whole story right in his face. This just told me that this was something very bad.”


3 boys discover mammoth bone

BARODA TOWNSHIP — Three boys in southwest Michigan have turned up what has been identified as a bone from a mammoth.

The Herald-Palladium of St. Joseph reports brothers Ethan and Evan Hoge and a cousin, Sebastian O’Connor, found the bone March 21 on top of soil that had been scraped from a drain in Baroda Township.

Nine-year-old Ethan, 7-year-old Evan and 10-year-old Sebastian regularly spent time looking for antique bottles and other items around what was once a railroad line along the edge of their family’s property.

But that day they and two uncles found the bone instead. Tom Goodwin, a professor of paleobiology at Andrews University, identified it as a vertebral section from the lower back of a Jefferson’s mammoth.


Tequila brand targets Jews

NEW YORK — A New York businessman is getting a new tequila ready. Only its competition is more Manischewitz than Jose Cuervo.

Martin Silver, president of Long Island-based Star Industries, says he wants to satisfy the craze for high-end tequila with one that observant Jews can drink.

He says a half million cases of Agave 99 are being produced at a Mexican plant using methods certified by a rabbi. It will be on the market at more than $40 a bottle in time for Cinco de Mayo, the holiday that celebrates Mexico’s defeat of French forces on May 5, 1862.

The product launch — with Mexican songs sung in both Yiddish and Spanish — is set for May 5, but it will also be sold earlier for Passover, which starts at sundown April 8 this year.


Gun club in trouble over pigeon shoot

BENSALEM — A suburban Philadelphia gun club is fighting a citation for shooting pigeons on the banks of the Delaware River.

The police citation accuses Philadelphia Gun Club president Leo Holt of animal cruelty and violations of a 2002 anti-hunting ordinance in the township of Bensalem, about 20 miles north of Philadelphia. The fine is about $160.

Police say the citation stems from a pigeon shoot March 14. An animal-protection organization alerted officials after receiving a tip the club had quietly resumed pigeon shoots last year. Bensalem said it issued a cease-and-desist order against the shoots in 2002.

Club attorney John VanLuvanee says the organization has “every right” to its pigeon shoots, both denying that any official order had been issued and also questioning whether the township had any legal authority. The gun club was chartered in 1877 and says that predates all legislation barring pigeon shoots. Efforts to pass a statewide ban on such hunting in 1999 failed in the legislature.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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