- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Deputy’s attacker helped start church

ASHLAND | A man who was fatally shot after cutting off the hand of an east Alabama deputy sheriff trying to arrest him is being described as a minister who started a church and sang gospel music with his family.

The Rev. Curtis Watts helped build Shining Light Baptist Church in Clay County, and an obituary said he performed with his family as the Watts Family Singers.

Sheriff’s officials said Watts swung a bush ax while being arrested Friday and cut off the right hand of Jason Freeman, a sergeant with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department.

Sgt. Freeman has undergone two operations. His hand has been reattached.

The preacher was being arrested on a charge stemming from domestic violence allegations.


Guns OK in bars beginning Wednesday

PHOENIX | A new Arizona law allowing people with concealed-weapons permits to carry their guns into bars takes effect Wednesday. But many bars are pulling in the welcome mat.

The law allows bar and restaurant owners to post signs barring guns.

There’s no official tally on how many of the 5,800 establishments that sell alcohol have posted signs, but the state said it has provided at least 1,300 laminated placards so far, and the signs are also available over the Internet.

The law was backed by the National Rifle Association, which argued that licensed gun owners shouldn’t be forced to leave their protection behind.

The law prohibits gun-carriers from drinking alcohol in the establishments.

The NRA said Arizona is the 41st state with such a law.


Marshal who served Nixon subpoenas dies

TARZANA | A U.S. marshal who served former President Richard Nixon with two Watergate-related subpoenas at his California home has died.

Gaylord L. Campbell’s daughter said he died Thursday at Tarzana Health and Rehabilitation Center. He was 81.

Gayle Campbell Hughes said her father delivered the subpoenas to Nixon’s San Clemente, Calif., home in 1974.

Campbell had been appointed as a U.S. marshal by Nixon in 1969.


Skull fragment not from Hitler

HARTFORD | A University of Connecticut scientist said DNA taken from a skull thought to be Adolf Hitler’s shows the bone fragment came from a woman.

But professor Linda Strausbaugh said some of the blood taken from the couch where Hitler reportedly shot himself did come from a man.

The section of a cranium is part of a collection of Hitler artifacts preserved by Soviet intelligence in the months after Hitler and Eva Braun reportedly committed suicide in a Berlin bunker in 1945.

Miss Strausbaugh and Connecticut archaeologist Nick Bellantoni were asked to examine the samples for a History Channel documentary.

Miss Strausbaugh said two other researchers were able to extract DNA to make the findings. She said nothing they found challenges the conclusion that Hitler died in the bunker.


Suspect arrested in 1976 killing

LAWRENCEVILLE | A man who went to a police station in suburban Atlanta for a background check on a job application wound up under arrest as a suspect in a 1976 Missouri slaying.

Police Capt. Greg Vaughn said Tuesday that Johnny Wright, 65, went to the department last week for a routine check after applying for a job as a driver. When police ran the check, they found out he was wanted in the slaying of University of Missouri student Rebecca Doisy.

Miss Doisy was a waitress at a steakhouse when she disappeared Aug. 5, 1976. She was reported missing two days later. Police had issued a warrant for Mr. Wright in 1985.

The Gwinnett County magistrate’s court said Mr. Wright waived extradition and is being held in the county jail awaiting his return to Missouri.


Son says census taker was slain

LONDON | The son of a U.S. Census Bureau worker found hanging from a tree in eastern Kentucky with the word “fed” scrawled on his chest said Tuesday that he has no doubt his father was slain.

Josh Sparkman told the Associated Press in a phone interview that he was frustrated investigators have not ruled out suicide or accidental death.

“I look at it as disrespectful to be still throwing suicide and accident around,” he said. “He didn’t do this to himself. That’s dishonorable. My dad was a good man. No person on this planet is going to fight cancer like he did, then turn around and kill himself a year or so later.”

Bill Sparkman, 51, was a substitute teacher and part-time census worker whose body was found tied to a tree with a rope around his neck in a remote Appalachian forest earlier this month. The Clay County coroner said “fed” was written on his chest, apparently in felt-tip pen.


Task force: Treat betting like booze

LAS VEGAS | A national gambling task force is recommending that colleges and universities take more steps to curb problem gambling by students by treating the issue as a health concern.

The Task Force on College Gambling Policies said in a report released Tuesday that most higher education institutions aggressively target alcohol problems on campus, but not gambling problems.

The task force was established last year by the Cambridge Health Alliance. It recommends that universities establish campus gambling policies, help treat students if they have gambling disorders and actively campaign against problem gambling.

The report cites studies saying that while half of college students reported placing some kind of bet during the past year, only 22 percent of colleges have written gambling policies.


Disney offers free entry to volunteers

NEW YORK | Disney is offering a free day’s admission to 1 million guests who complete a day of volunteer work next year.

The “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program will provide certified volunteers with a one-day ticket to any park at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., or Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla., in 2010.

Disney is partnering with HandsOn Network, a clearinghouse for volunteer opportunities, to connect people with projects and to certify that the work was done.

“We are trying to inspire 1 million people to volunteer in their communities, and we’re inspiring them to do that by giving them a free day at a Disney park,” Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a phone interview with the Associated Press.

Mr. Rasulo called the promotion “very timely,” citing the increased needs of nonprofits in the weak economy, as well as President Obama’s national volunteering initiative.


Notorious swindler arrested at border

MONTPELIER | A con man who has made a living stealing from wealthy hotel guests around the world has been arrested in Vermont, authorities said.

Federal authorities said Juan Carlos Guzman-Betancourt, 33, was nabbed Sept. 21 at a gas station near the U.S.-Canada border in Derby Line.

They said that he told a U.S. Border Patrol agent his car broke down in Quebec and that he unknowingly walked across the border into Vermont.

Authorities said the Colombian man has claimed at least 10 aliases, using his good looks and gift of gab to get into rooms and locked safes.

He has been convicted of larceny in Virginia and New York, as well as fraud in Florida. He has been wanted in Canada, Colombia, Japan, Mexico, Thailand and Venezuela.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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