- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2009

COLORADO

Calf mutilations found on ranch

SAN LUIS | A creepy string of calf mutilations in southern Colorado has a rancher and sheriff’s officials mystified.

Four calves were found dead in a pasture just north of the New Mexico state line in recent weeks. The dead calves had their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage. One calf had its tongue removed.

But rancher Manuel Sanchez has found no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually predators leave pools of blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock.

Two officers from the Costilla County Sheriff’s Office have investigated the mutilations but say they don’t know what’s killing the calves.

IDAHO

Aviation advocate dies at 75

BOISE | Edward Stimpson, an aviation advocate who pushed to rejuvenate struggling small aircraft manufacturers in the 1990s by limiting lawsuits against them, has died after an extended illness. He was 75.

His death Wednesday was confirmed by state Rep. Wendy Jaquet, a Democrat. A cause of death was not known. Miss Jaquet said doctors discovered cancerous lesions in his lungs this year.

Mr. Stimpson, president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association for 25 years, was a major proponent of legislation signed by President Clinton in 1994 to prevent general aviation companies from being named as defendants in lawsuits in crashes of small planes that are 18 years old or older.

By 1994, a wave of lawsuits in crashes was being blamed for a downturn at small aircraft manufacturers such as Beech Aircraft Co. and Cessna Aircraft Corp., costing 100,000 industry jobs over the previous decade. Annual sales of single-engine planes averaged 13,000 from 1965 to 1982, but had dropped to only about 500 by 1993.

Mr. Stimpson also advocated against record attempts such as 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff’s 1996 bid to become the youngest person to fly across the country. Jessica, her father and her flight instructor died when their plane crashed in Cheyenne, Wyo., prompting Mr. Stimpson to call for measures to “stop the circuslike, media-driven events.”

In the late 1990s, Mr. Stimpson was chairman of “Be A Pilot,” an industrywide education and research program aimed at increasing the number of people learning to fly.

MAINE

‘Ghost’ traps keep on catching

PORTLAND | Thousands, perhaps millions, of old wire lobster ‘ghost traps’ live beneath the cold ocean waters off the coast of Maine.

The traps have been lost over the years to storms, boats and even the knives of fishermen who’ve cut them from their buoys to settle scores. Yet many of the traps continue catching lobsters.

Marine biologists say lost and abandoned lobster, crab and other fish traps plague coastal waters around the globe, putting pressure on a number of already-stressed fish populations. In U.S. waters, millions of dollars’ worth of marketable seafood is lost each year.

Lobstermen this winter will grapple up gear from selected spots in the first large-scale study of ghost traps along the Maine coast. Nationwide, other studies are focusing on lost traps off the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts.

MASSACHUSETTS

Dad accused of locking kids in trunk

FALL RIVER | A man locked his two young sons in the trunk of his car while he ran an errand, police said.

Michael Monahan put his children, ages 3 and 6, in the trunk of his Pontiac Trans Am for several minutes Tuesday morning while he went inside a sailing shop, Fall River police said.

According to court records, Mr. Monahan told investigators that the boys like to play in the trunk.

Mr. Monahan, 35, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to assault and reckless endangerment of a child. He was released on cash bail.

A broadcast from WPRI-TV showed Mr. Monahan’s attorney telling a judge that his client loves his children.

The children are in the custody of their mother.

OKLAHOMA

Man sentenced over dad in freezer

OKLAHOMA CITY | A 23-year-old Oklahoma man has been sentenced to 33 years in prison after admitting that he killed his father three years ago and hid his body in a freezer.

Former high school soccer star Andrew Jude Thompson pleaded guilty Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court to first-degree manslaughter. Prosecutors had charged Thompson with first-degree murder and his trial was set to start Dec. 14.

In December 2006, authorities found the body of Emmanuel Thompson, 48, stuffed in a car trunk, not long after a witness had reported seeing a body in a freezer at the home Andrew Thompson and his father shared in the Village.

Part of Andrew Thompson’s guilty plea included an acknowledgment that he hit his father in the head with an ax “in the heat of passion, during a verbal argument.”

UTAH

Man trapped in cave dies

SALT LAKE CITY | The brother of a man who died early Thursday trapped 700-feet inside a Utah cave said his family is remarkably strong but struggles to make sense of what happened.

John Jones, 26, of Stansbury Park, died nearly 28 hours after he became stuck upside-down in Nutty Putty Cave, a popular spelunking site about 80 miles south of Salt Lake City.

His death is the first known fatality at the cave, according to the Utah County sheriff’s office.

“We all were very optimistic and hopeful. But it became increasingly clear last night after he got re-stuck that there weren’t very many options left,” Mr. Jones’ brother, Spencer Jones, 30, of San Francisco, told the Associated Press.

Workers at one point had freed John Jones, but a rope and pulley system failed and he became stuck a second time.

Mr. Jones had a wife and 8-month-old daughter and was a second-year medical student at the University of Virginia.

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