- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 15, 2009


Illinois prison eyed for Gitmo detainees

The Obama administration may buy a near-empty prison in rural northwestern Illinois to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay along with federal inmates, a White House official said Saturday.

The maximum-security Thomson Correctional Facility, about 150 miles west of Chicago, was one of several evaluated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and emerged as a leading option to house the detainees, the official told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because a decision has not been made.

President Obama wants terrorism suspects from the military-run detention center at the U.S. naval base in Cuba to be transferred to U.S. soil so they can be prosecuted.

Thomson was built by the state in 2001 with 1,600 cells, but budget problems prevented it from fully opening, and it now houses about 200 minimum-security inmates.


Buyer pays $14,500 for Madoff jacket

NEW YORK | Items once belonging to Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff and his wife have fetched as much as 20 times their estimated value at a New York City auction.

The fallen financier’s blue satin New York Mets baseball jacket with his surname stitched on the back was valued up to $720, but sold for $14,500. Two pairs of Ruth Madoff’s diamond dangle earrings sold for $70,000 each, far beyond their pre-sale estimates of $9,800 and $21,400.

But the top-priced item in the sale was Bernard Madoff’s Rolex watch, estimated to sell for about $80,000. An anonymous buyer picked it up for only $65,000.


Helicopter crash kills crew members

RENO | A medical helicopter crashed early Saturday north of Reno near the Nevada-California state line, killing three crew members aboard, officials said.

The helicopter, an Aerospatiale AS350, crashed about 29 miles northwest of Reno in Lassen County, Calif., about 2 a.m. Saturday, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor. All three people aboard were killed.

The helicopter had dropped off a patient at Reno’s Renown Medical Center and was returning to its base in Susanville, Calif., Mr. Gregor said. The aircraft was destroyed in the crash and fire.

Mr. Gregor said the pilot was not communicating with air traffic controllers at the time of the accident.

The helicopter was operated by Mountain Lifeflight out of Susanville, Mr. Gregor said.


FBI agent digging for more bodies

CLEVELAND | FBI agents used rakes and shovels Saturday to dig through the backyard of a Cleveland home where the remains of 11 women have been found.

The agents continued searching for evidence in the yard of suspected serial killer Anthony Sowell. One agent had a tape measure, while another took pictures and a third marked locations with orange paint.

On Friday, the FBI worked at the house next door to Mr. Sowell’s to do X-rays, thermal imaging and other tests.

Mr. Sowell, 50, has been accused of luring women to his home with the promise of alcohol. Authorities said he then strangled them and left their bodies in his house or buried them in the backyard.

He remains in jail on $6 million bond on five preliminary charges of aggravated murder.


Man zapped with Taser dies

Police say a man who had locked himself and his mother in her Long Island home died after he tussled with officers and was zapped with a stun gun.

Police say they’re investigating the early Saturday death of 43-year-old Darryl Bain in Coram, about 50 miles east of New York City.

They say Mr. Bain’s brother called 911 saying Bain was high on cocaine and had shut himself in the house with their 78-year-old mother.

Police say three officers heard a struggle inside and entered the house and fought with Mr. Bain, who was temporarily stunned after being shot with a Taser.

Police say he continued to struggle as they handcuffed him, and he stopped breathing moments later.

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