- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 24, 2009

Child’s drowning called suspicious

PORTLAND, Ore. | The body of a 3-year-old boy was pulled from the Willamette River hours before daybreak Saturday, and an injured 7-year-old girl was rescued nearby after residents heard screams from the water.

As police continued to search the broad river that runs through Portland, officials were releasing few details about what they were finding in their investigation.

Police said the boy’s death was suspicious, but did not say how he died. Police didn’t identify the children, or provide information on the girl’s condition.

Officers were called to the Sellwood Bridge area around 1:20 a.m. Saturday after screams were reported by residents.

Upon arrival, officers also heard screams from the river but could not locate their source, said Officer Greg Pashley of the Portland Police Bureau. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a helicopter to assist in the search.

“As you look down into the darkness it’s hard to see anything,” Officer Pashley said. “I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a child in this cold river.”

A local resident who was searching with his boat found the children downstream of the bridge. Police searched both sides of the river.

An autopsy for the boy was pending.

Kobe Bryant sues housekeeper

SANTA ANA, Calif. | Kobe Bryant and his wife are suing their former housekeeper, accusing her of violating her contract by talking to the media about the family’s private affairs.

The housekeeper initially sued the Los Angeles Lakers star and his wife, contending they harassed and humiliated her.

The countersuit was filed Friday in Orange County Superior Court. It says Maria Jimenez broke a confidentiality agreement. The court filing was posted Saturday on the Web site TMZ.com.

Miss Jimenez said she was denied health insurance and was forced to quit because of intolerable working conditions. The countersuit calls those allegations specious and frivolous.

Lawyers for the Bryants and Miss Jimenez did not immediately return calls from the Associated Press.

Woman with MS climbs mountains

BAYFIELD, Wis. | A retired school teacher with multiple sclerosis has climbed the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents.

A dispatch from the expedition company Alpine Ascents International reported that Lori Schneider reached the 29,035-foot-high peak of Mount Everest, the tallest point in the world, at about 7:30 p.m. Central time Friday.

The 52-year-old from northwestern Wisconsin climbed six of the other peaks - including Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount McKinley - after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999.

Ms. Schneider is reported to be the first woman afflicted with the neurological disease to reach the Everest summit and the first person with MS to complete the Seven Summits.

Experts probe dolphin deaths

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. | Marine mammal specialists are investigating what caused the death of five dolphins that were discovered on a small island off the coast of Santa Barbara.

The National Marine Fisheries Service said the dead northern right whale dolphins were found Friday on Santa Rosa Island, about 35 miles southwest of Santa Barbara.

Rescuers received reports of five dead dolphins, but could only locate and recover the bodies of four. The carcasses will be analyzed to determine cause of death.

Northern right whale dolphins are approximately 6 to 10 feet in length and weigh up to 250 pounds. They typically travel in herds of 100 to 200.

Snake escapes, gets new home

GREENVILLE, Maine | “Buddy” the boa has a new home, after escaping from his cage at Greenville (Maine) High School, then getting away from the police.

The 2-foot-long boa constrictor disappeared on May 12, prompting a big search at the school. They even moved everything out of the room where Buddy lived, including an old computer printer. Turns out, Buddy was inside the printer and no one knew it until the school gave it to a student to take home and dismantle.

The Bangor Daily News reported the student gave the printer to a friend’s mom, and Buddy decided to peek out Thursday afternoon in the woman’s home.

A police officer got the snake into a cat carrier, temporarily. Buddy made a break for it in the cruiser, but was captured.

Buddy now lives with a teacher.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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