- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Murder charge eyed for Olympian’s widow

OXNARD | A prosecutor says he intends to file murder and firearms charges against the widow of an Olympic shot put medalist who was gunned down in his Southern California backyard.

Jane Laut was arrested Saturday by Oxnard police and is being held on $3 million bail. She was expected to appear in court Tuesday in connection with the slaying.

Lead prosecutor Bill Haney told the Ventura County Star he intends to file murder and firearms against Mrs. Laut, 52, in Ventura County Superior Court.

Dave Laut, a shot-putter who won a bronze medal in the 1984 Olympics, was killed on Aug. 27.

Mrs. Laut’s attorney Ron Bamieh said Mr. Laut abused his wife and she was acting in self-defense.


Space station’s new lookout attached

CAPE CANAVERAL | Astronauts successfully attached a fancy new observation deck to the International Space Station early Monday after a long, frustrating night spent dealing with stuck bolts and wayward wiring.

But they will have to wait a few more days before gazing out the $27 million domed lookout, expected to provide unprecedented 360-degree views of Earth, outer space and the space station itself.

The shutters on its seven windows, including the largest ever sent into space, will be unlocked during the mission’s third and final spacewalk Tuesday night and cranked open Wednesday or Thursday — and neither astronauts nor flight controllers can wait to soak in the views.


Police: Man stabs, kills wife at Walmart

SUWANEE | A man stabbed his estranged wife to death in a Walmart parking lot where they met to exchange custody of their two children, police said.

A Suwanee police news release said the couple began arguing Sunday outside of the store in the city about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Phillip Chad Dunn, 28, of Lawrenceville stabbed his wife during the argument then stabbed himself, according to the release. Police said Shelley Dyan Dunn, 27, of Buford, died of her wounds at a nearby hospital.

Police said their children were present. Their ages weren’t disclosed.

Mr. Dunn was in custody and expected to survive.


Water haulers busy during island drought

PAHOA | Water haulers are keeping busy on the Big Island of Hawaii as a drought forces some residents to have water delivered.

About a third of the homes on the island are supplied by a rainwater catching system.

Residents pay about $130 to have an order of 4,000 gallons delivered.

Homeowners have grown impatient, while the haulers say they’re working long days to try to fill all their orders.

Some residents are filling up their own water tanks and taking them home in their trucks or the trunks of their cars.

Recent rains in the area have helped a bit and reduced the waiting period for a water delivery from three days to one.


Carbon monoxide sickens hotel workers

PORTSMOUTH | A New Hampshire hotel worker has been hospitalized in serious condition after a carbon monoxide leak sickened her and 10 others.

Scott Tranchemontagne, a spokesman for the Hilton Garden Inn in Portsmouth, said the cause has been traced to a vent that was leaking in the hotel’s basement boiler room Monday morning.

The spokesman said two workers were in a nearby laundry room and nine guests were in the pool area on the same level. He said they all were brought to the hospital, and all but one had been treated and released by Monday afternoon.

Mr. Tranchemontagne said the hotel worker who remained hospitalized was admitted in serious condition but had been improving throughout the day. Her identity has not been released.

The hotel remained evacuated Monday afternoon as workers repaired the leaking vent.


Snow blamed for ice rink collapse

ROSTRAVER | Heavy snow buildup from recent storms likely contributed to the collapse of an ice rink roof, causing a panicked evacuation but no injuries, a fire official and the building’s owner said.

“We believe it was excessive weight from the copious quantities of snow that we’ve had over the past 10 days,” Jim Murphy, who has owned the Rostraver Ice Garden since 1993, said Monday. “We believe a laminated wood truss broke and that caused two other ones to go and the roof to pancake in that area.”

The region has gotten more than two feet of snow in the past week and a half. Justin Shawley, assistant chief of the Rostraver Central Volunteer Fire Company, also said snow and ice buildup may have contributed to the collapse.

A 100-foot-by-200-foot roof section fell in during a youth hockey tournament Sunday afternoon. The teams were in the locker room and only one person, a rink worker, was on the ice.


Ex-Clinton prosecutor new Baylor president

WACO | Kenneth Starr, the former independent prosecutor whose work led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, has been named president of Baylor University.

The world’s largest Baptist university announced Monday that Mr. Starr would be the Waco school’s 14th president. Mr. Starr, 63, has been the dean of Pepperdine University’s School of Law in Malibu, Calif., since 2004.

Mr. Starr was appointed to investigate the Whitewater land deal involving Mr. Clinton and his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Many Democrats think Mr. Starr’s investigation was politically motivated. Mr. Clinton was impeached but not convicted.

Mr. Starr replaces John M. Lilley, who was fired as Baylor’s president in 2008.

Mr. Starr will be introduced Tuesday.


Polygamous church names new president

SALT LAKE CITY | A polygamous church led by Warren Jeffs before he was jailed in 2007 has named a new president who is facing bigamy charges.

Wendell Loy Nielsen, 69, was named president in documents filed with the Utah Department of Commerce. He has long been a senior leader in the hierarchy of the southern Utah-based Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He previously served as a counselor to Jeffs and his father, Rulon Jeffs, who led the church until his death in 2002.

Mr. Nielsen “has been running the day-to-day affairs of the church for some time,” church spokesman Willie Jessop said. “He has the trust of the people.”

A successful businessman, Mr. Nielsen lives at the faith’s Yearning for Zion ranch in Eldorado, Texas.

He faces three counts of bigamy for having allegedly married three adult women in 2005. Handwritten family records seized by police during the raid showed Mr. Nielsen may have as many as 21 wives.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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