- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Governor’s wife phones while driving

LOS ANGELES | Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling out his wife, Maria Shriver, for apparently violating a state law he signed - holding her cell phone while driving.

The celebrity Web site TMZ.com posted two photographs Tuesday showing Mrs. Shriver holding a phone to her ear while behind the wheel. It says one was snapped Sunday and the other in July.

The Web site later added a video it said was shot Tuesday in Brentwood, where the family lives. It shows Mrs. Shriver holding a cell phone to her ear while driving a large SUV. She puts the phone down while the camera is rolling.

On his Twitter feed, Mr. Schwarzenegger wrote to TMZ.com founder Harvey Levin: “Thanks for bringing her violations to my attention. There’s going to be swift action.”

The governor’s spokesman Aaron McLear said “swift action” means the governor will ask his wife not to hold the phone while driving.


Zero-tolerance policy is changed

NEWARK | A Delaware first-grader suspended for bringing his favorite camping utensil to school got a reprieve Tuesday night when the Christina school board unanimously changed its strict code of conduct.

The board reduced the punishment for kindergartners and first-graders who take weapons to school or commit violent offenses to a suspension ranging from three to five days.

Zachary Christie, 6, had faced 45 days in an alternative school for troublemakers after he took the utensil to school to eat lunch under the board’s zero-tolerance rule.


3 life sentences in rape of mother

WEST PALM BEACH | Three men convicted of the gang rape of a West Palm Beach woman and the beating of her young son were sentenced to life in prison Tuesday by Palm Beach Circuit Judge Krista Marx.

She sentenced Jakaris Taylor, 17, and Nathan Walker, 18, to life in prison while Tommy Poindexter, 20, was sentenced to life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison. Avion Lawson, 16, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in December.

The four were convicted of barging into the then-35-year-old woman’s West Palm Beach apartment in 2007, raping her repeatedly, beating her then-12-year-old son and forcing her to perform oral sex on him.


Lotteries discuss cross-selling tickets

DES MOINES | The nation’s two biggest lottery games are talking about cross-selling tickets in U.S. lottery jurisdictions with the potential for a national lottery, the head of a lottery association said Tuesday.

Powerball is played in 31 states, the District and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mega Millions is played in 12 states.

The consortium behind Mega Millions and the Urbandale, Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball, have agreed in principle to cross-sell tickets for both games beginning next year, officials said.


Police: Pickle smell might lead to thieves

SLIDELL | The pungent smell of pickles or jalapenos may lead to the suspects in a crime, police said.

Police in Slidell, east of New Orleans, are asking parents to call authorities if their children came home smelling of pickles or jalapenos over the weekend, or if they hear about students selling lots of candy.

Capt. Kevin Foltz said thieves stole $1,000 worth of candy and five cases of soda and sports drinks from a stand at John Slidell Park. While inside, the thieves ate dill pickles and poured pickled jalapenos around the stand. Capt. Foltz said a nacho cheese machine and boxes of chips and sunflower seeds will be checked for fingerprints.


Swastika, ‘Obama’ carved in a green

LAKEVILLE | The Secret Service and local police are investigating after a swastika was found carved in a Massachusetts golf course green next to President Obama’s name.

Authorities said the vandalism was discovered early Monday on the 18th hole of the Lakeville Country Club.

Assistant manager Lou Mincone said the vandal might have used a cleated shoe or a tool to carve out the letters and symbol sometime Sunday night. The carving is about 10 feet by 10 feet.


Panel repeals archaic crimes

LANSING | A panel of Michigan lawmakers has voted to scrub archaic crimes such as dueling and prizefighting from the state’s penal code.

The bills approved Tuesday by the Senate Judiciary Committee aim to repeal obsolete crimes that no longer are prosecuted.

That includes to engage in a duel with an enemy, to be in a prizefight or to take a woman against her will and force her to marry. Prosecutors feel laws against kidnapping and violence are sufficient without the need for such specific prohibitions.

At a lawmaker’s request, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan submitted a list of such crimes. Legislators are taking up bills that deal with them as they are able. The Senate is expected to vote on the measures soon.


Slaughterhouse to hire local workers

SIOUX FALLS | The new owner of a northeast Iowa kosher slaughterhouse said Tuesday that he would hire local residents and use a federal verification system to ensure his employees are in the U.S. legally.

Hershey Friedman bought the Postville plant that was once the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse in July, more than a year after a massive immigration raid. The plant had been owned by Agriprocessors Inc., which filed for bankruptcy months after the raid.

The first of two trials for the plant’s former top manager began Tuesday.


City admits big payout error

MONTPELIER | Vermont’s capital city is coming clean about a 5-year-old accounting mistake that cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars.

After being questioned by the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, Montpelier officials apologized and revealed the extent of the blunder in an extraordinary full-page newspaper ad.

The overpayment was prompted by a clerical error.

A contractor was owed about $85,000 for a water line project. In late 2004, the city sent him a check for $548,110, which he cashed. The city realized the mistake in 2006.

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