- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 13, 2009

Well-dressed elderly man robs bank

LA JOLLA, Calif. | Authorities said a well-dressed elderly man carrying an oxygen tank robbed a bank in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla.

San Diego police Sgt. Ray Battrick said the robber on Saturday presented a note demanding money to a teller at the San Diego National Bank. He fled with an unknown amount of cash.

Sgt. Battrick said it’s unclear whether the man had a weapon. The robber is described as a tall man in his 70s with white hair, a gray mustache and glasses. He was wearing a white beret, argyle sweater and brown sports jacket. Mr. Battrick said the oxygen tank was in a black bag and connected to the man’s nose with plastic tubing.

Service for two veteran firefighters

LOS ANGELES | Two veteran firefighters who died trying to save the lives of dozens trapped in the largest wildfire in Los Angeles County history were remembered as heroes Saturday in a memorial service at a sun-dappled Dodger Stadium attended by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and others.

Capt. Tedmund “Ted” Hall and firefighter specialist Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones were killed Aug. 30 when their truck plunged off a mountain road as they were trying to find an escape route for dozens of inmate-firefighters whose camp had become overrun by flames. “Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones, you are giants in my eyes and in the eyes of all Californians,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said.

Lava maps irk some Hawaiians

PAHOA, Hawaii | The U.S. Geological Survey’s 35-year-old maps of lava danger zones in this southern corner of the Big Island are a tableau of earthy colors and odd shapes originally meant for scientific and planning purposes.

The maps have also long been used by the home insurance industry to assess lava-hazard risks. But in the last year or two, the maps have become a source of contention as insurers have hiked rates or completely abandoned areas around this small town that are deemed to be the most dangerous. And Fannie Mae, the huge backer of home mortgages, recently declared it would no longer do so in the two most hazardous zones. That has residents pointing fingers of blame at the charts that even the Geological Survey acknowledges are outdated and need to be replaced.

Governor ready to veto budget

HARRISBURG, Pa. | Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell said Saturday he is ready to veto a bipartisan budget plan proposed by lawmakers to end a 10-week deadlock because it is out of balance and contains cuts to education and health care spending.

Mr. Rendell said the $27.9 billion plan, announced Friday by three of Pennsylvania’s four legislative caucuses, contains unrealistic revenue assumptions, and would lead to a budget deficit of more than $1 billion by fiscal 2010-2011.

Hundreds search for escaped killer

ANGOLA, La. | Hundreds of law enforcement officers, some on horseback, with bloodhounds or in boats, are searching the rugged Tunica Hills in northern Louisiana for an escaped killer.

Assistant Warden Cathy Fontenot said bad weather on Saturday kept helicopters from joining the hunt for 44-year-old Henry Smith, who walked off the Louisiana State Penitentiary’s farm on Thursday. Ms. Fontenot says investigators have a really good lead, but giving any details would jeopardize it. She said “well over 200” people from 18 agencies are searching for Smith, who is serving life for second-degree murder. Ms. Fontenot said he left the Angola prison on the anniversary of his mother’s death, and is also mourning the recent death of a fellow inmate.

Oldest person born in U.S. 114

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. | A 114-year-old woman is the oldest person born in the United States, the Gerontology Research Group says. The research group said Olivia Patricia “Pat” Thomas earned the honor after 115-year-old Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles died Friday, the Buffalo (N.Y.) News reported Saturday.

In addition to being tabbed the oldest person born in the United States, Ms. Thomas holds the distinction of being the second-oldest living American. The current holder of the oldest-living-American distinction is New Hampshire resident Mary Josephine Ray, 114, who was born in Canada. The world’s oldest person is Kama Chinen of Japan, another 114-year-old woman who was born May 10, 1895, a week before Ms. Ray.

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