- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 12, 2009


Wal-Mart to open all day Black Friday

BENTONVILLE | Wal-Mart Stores said Wednesday that it would keep its stores open 24 hours and take new crowd-control measures Thanksgiving weekend after a temporary employee was trampled to death in a Black Friday rush last year.

The world’s largest retailer says day-after-Thanksgiving sales will begin at 5 a.m. Nov. 27, but most U.S. stores will be open 24 hours to prevent a mad dash. The announcement doesn’t affect most of Wal-Mart’s Supercenters, which are already open 24 hours.

Federal safety regulators cited Wal-Mart for inadequate crowd management after the Nov. 28 death of a temporary employee at a Long Island, N.Y., store. A crowd of shoppers broke down the store’s doors, trapping employee Jdimytai Damour, who died of asphyxiation.


‘Best Cop’ steps down

MIAMI | Miami’s police chief, a nationally recognized leader dubbed “America’s Best Cop” by Esquire magazine, stepped down as one of his critics - the city’s new mayor - was sworn into office.

Chief John F. Timoney, who was previously top cop in Philadelphia, said he had fulfilled his mission by reducing crime and lowered officer-involved shootings.

Miami’s new mayor, Tomas Regalado, said Wednesday that he instructed the city manager to ask the chief to step down, saying crime was rising and officer morale was low.

“We are very happy that we are past the chief of police issue,” Mr. Regalado told the Associated Press.


Bomb plot suspect to undergo tests

SPRINGFIELD | A judge has ordered psychological testing for a central Illinois man charged with plotting to blow up a federal courthouse.

The tests will likely delay the Dec. 7 trial of Michael Finton, 29. Such tests typically take a month or more.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon agreed Tuesday that Mr. Finton’s mental competency should be tested.

Mr. Finton is charged with attempting to blow up the Paul Findley Federal Building in Springfield with a van he thought was loaded with explosives. It was supplied by an undercover FBI agent.

Mr. Finton has pleaded not guilty. He faces life in prison if convicted.

An FBI affidavit calls Mr. Finton a low-level al Qaeda operative who converted to Islam while in prison.


Hundreds honor fallen soldier

TERRE HAUTE | Hundreds of people who lined the streets of Terre Haute, Ind., for a Veterans Day parade stood silently as a hearse passed by carrying the coffin of a soldier whose return to the country was marked by a salute from President Obama.

Army Sgt. Dale Griffin of Terre Haute was killed Oct. 27 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Two days later, Mr. Obama met Sgt. Griffin’s coffin at Dover Air Force Base.

While the hearse carrying Sgt. Griffin’s flag-draped coffin passed through Terre Haute on Wednesday morning, some onlookers saluted or held their hands over their hearts.

The hearse stopped at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post. There, Sgt. Griffin’s family wiped away tears during a short ceremony that included a prayer and song.

Sgt. Griffin’s public funeral was held Wednesday afternoon.


Judge: Quadriplegic can have guns

SOMERVILLE | A quadriplegic blocked from buying a gun to go hunting has the right to bear arms even though he will have to use a wheelchair mount to use the firearm, a judge said.

Manville’s police chief had rejected James Cap’s application last year, citing safety concerns. The borough attorney said the safety issues could only be resolved by a judge.

A judge ruled Tuesday that the 46-year-old is eligible for a firearms ID, which is required to buy a gun. The judge addressed the safety issues by requiring Mr. Cap to have qualified people assist him with weapons.

Mr. Cap was an avid hunter as a teenager. He was paralyzed 30 years ago after breaking his neck in a high school football game. He plans to mount the gun on his wheelchair and operate it with a breathing tube.


Stench worsens near suspect’s home

CLEVELAND | A stench around the home of a suspected serial killer returned stronger than ever Wednesday as police searched the house next door for more bodies and carried out bags of evidence.

“It’s like it got worse,” said neighbor Terrance Johnson, 22. “It smells bad in the air, like death.”

Four plainclothes officers carried bags of evidence from the house next door to Anthony Sowell’s early Wednesday afternoon, but police did not indicate what had been removed. The red-painted house next to Sowell’s appeared to be abandoned but in good shape, aside from a broken porch railing.

Sowell, 50, has been charged with five counts of aggravated murder. He was indicted Monday on one count of attempted murder, two counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of felonious assault in an alleged attack Sept. 22 that led to the search of his home.


First lady endorses governor candidate

COLUMBIA | Disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford might not have much political capital these days, but his wife does.

Jilted first lady Jenny Sanford is endorsing Republican state Rep. Nikki Haley to succeed her term-limited husband when he leaves office next year.

Mr. Sanford has long complimented Mrs. Haley’s state government work and her Web site once displayed his photo. But it was taken down after Mr. Sanford disappeared from the state in June and returned to confess a yearlong affair with an Argentine woman.

Mrs. Sanford has issued a letter supporting Mrs. Haley that was made public Wednesday. The first lady is a former Wall Street executive credited with helping her husband’s political rise.

The Sanfords have been living apart since the scandal.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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