- The Washington Times - Monday, November 16, 2009


Evidence tainted in 1998 murder

NEW HAVEN | The family of a Yale student found stabbed to death off campus in 1998 has learned that DNA evidence in the unsolved killing was contaminated by a former forensic lab worker.

The family of Suzanne Jovin and investigators had been holding out hope for nearly eight years that scrapings found under a fingernail on the 21-year-old’s left hand would lead to her killer.

The Hartford Courant reports that investigators recently learned the DNA belongs to the technician, who has since retired from the State Police Forensic Laboratory. He contaminated a blood sample during initial forensic tests.

The Jovin family recently wrote to Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell criticizing the state’s forensic laboratory for its “shortcomings.” The family learned of the contamination this month.


Shuttle Atlantis scheduled to launch

CAPE CANAVERAL | Space Shuttle Atlantis is on schedule to launch at 2:28 p.m. Monday from Florida, NASA officials confirmed. Loading of the external fuel tanks was scheduled to start at 5 a.m.

The main mission task for Atlantis is to deliver a full load of spare parts to the International Space Station, the New York Times reported.

The payload consists of pumps, ammonia and nitrogen tanks, refurbished gyroscopes, and parts for the system that operates the station’s robotic arm, the Times said.

“These are the highest priority spare parts for station,” said Eve Stavros of Boeing, builder of the American parts of the station. “This flight is really the first flight of the last series of flights to stage spare parts up there.”


Jet hits birds then turns back

KANSAS CITY | Airport officials said a Denver-bound Frontier Airlines jet struck a flock of birds shortly after takeoff about 7 p.m. Saturday and returned to land safely.

The jet hit the birds at about 4,000 feet.

Kansas City International Airport spokeswoman Kathleen Hefner told KSHB-TV that both engines were hit, but only one lost power.

Passengers said that they saw flames shooting from one of the engines and that there was a terrible smell in the cabin.

Bird-aircraft collisions are being more scrutinized since US Airways Flight 1549 safely ditched in the Hudson River in January after striking a flock of geese after takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport.


Dad, son die in plane crash

WOODBINE | A small plane crashed in southern New Jersey on Saturday morning, killing a father and son headed to Indiana for a hunting trip.

The single-engine A200 Piper plane went down shortly after taking off from Woodbine Municipal Airport in Cape May County.

The crash killed pilot Thaddeus Lazowski, 53, and his son, also named Thaddeus, 12. No injuries were reported on the ground.

New Jersey state police Sgt. Stephen Jones said the plane appeared to come straight down and ended up in a densely wooded area in Dennis Township, not far from the airport.


Man arrested after bat beating

ALAMOGORDO | Accused of hitting another man with a baseball bat over money, Jason Sheridan was arrested and charged with burglary, battery with a deadly weapon, assault and criminal damage.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Sgt. David Hunter said the victim told police that Mr. Sheridan chased him in his home while swinging the bat and hit him several times with the bat in his backyard, injuring his head.

The victim was treated and released from a hospital.


Searchers get tip for missing girl

FAYETTEVILLE | Authorities acting on a tip are scouring a portion of south-central North Carolina for a 5-year-old girl reported missing by her mother.

Capt. Charles Kimble of the Fayetteville Police Department said Sunday that multiple agencies began searching for Shaniya Davis at 8 a.m. He also said police were following up on a tip, but he would not elaborate.

Earlier Sunday, authorities arrested Antoinette Nicole Davis, Shaniya’s mother. Fayetteville police said she faces a human-trafficking charge, as well as child abuse charge involving prostitution and filing a false police report.

The child has not been seen since Tuesday, when surveillance footage recorded the man charged with kidnapping Shaniya carrying her into a hotel room.


Southerners split over ‘You lie!’

COLUMBIA | About half of Southern Democrats responding to a poll say they were opposed or outraged by Republican Rep. Joe Wilson’s shout of “You lie!” when President Obama addressed Congress in September.

The State newspaper reported that the Winthrop University poll showed that among Democrats, more than 48 percent said they were opposed to Mr. Wilson and were outraged by his remark.

Far fewer Southern Republicans, just over 11 percent, said they were outraged. But 36 percent of Southern Republicans said they opposed Mr. Wilson’s outburst. The poll also found more than 43 percent of Southern Republicans liked it when Mr. Wilson berated Mr. Obama.

The telephone survey of 866 people Oct. 24 to Nov. 7 reported a margin of error of 3.3 percentage points.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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