- The Washington Times - Monday, March 15, 2010


Grandma wants boy back in U.S.

LEADVILLE | A Colorado woman who says she is the mother of an American held and later released in Ireland over a purported plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist said Sunday she does not know where her daughter or grandson may be.

Christine Mott, of Leadville, said she learned from federal law-enforcement agencies that her 31-year-old daughter, Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, had been arrested. Irish police said Saturday that they had released an American woman and three others arrested over the purported plot to kill Lars Vilks, who depicted the Prophet Muhammad in a 2007 sketch with the body of a dog. Police wouldn’t confirm whether those released included Mrs. Paulin-Ramirez.

Mrs. Mott said Sunday she had not heard from federal authorities, Mrs. Paulin-Ramirez or her 6-year-old grandson, Christian.

“The only thing I care about is getting that little boy back in the United States where he is safe,” she said.

Mrs. Paulin-Ramirez lived in Blue Springs, Mo., before moving to Leadville, her mother said. She told her family last year that she had converted to Islam and that they’d go to hell if they didn’t do the same, Mrs. Mott said.


‘Granny D’ praised at memorial service

DUBLIN | Hundreds of admirers of a New Hampshire activist who was known as Granny D and walked across the country to raise awareness of campaign-finance reform have attended her memorial service.

Doris Haddock’s service at the Dublin Community Church on Sunday drew guests including federal, state and local officials. Ms. Haddock died Tuesday of respiratory illness at her home in Dublin, a small town southwest of Concord. She was 100.

At age 89, she walked 3,200 miles in 14 months for campaign finance reform. She wore a wide-brimmed straw hat and carried a yellow flag. On Sunday, admirers handed out small straw-hat pins in her memory.

Dennis Burke said in the eulogy Granny D didn’t cure diseases or end wars, but was more durable than the Old Man of the Mountain, a famous granite formation that collapsed in 2003.


Cashier, 91, back at work after heist

EAST NORTHPORT | A 91-year-old New York pharmacy cashier refused medical attention and went back to work after a thief punched her.

Florence Critelli grabbed the man’s hand and screamed when he reached over and grabbed cash from her cash register at the Rite Aid in East Northport on Long Island. He punched her in the chest, knocking her down, before fleeing.

But Mrs. Critelli refused to leave work early. She said she didn’t want to just “sit there and be bored.”

After finishing her shift Thursday, she insisted on driving herself home. Mrs. Critelli, who has seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, said if police catch the guy, she wants to “smack him.”


Cities fear rerun of 2009 flooding

FARGO | North Dakota and Minnesota residents who fought off record flooding a year ago in a frantic one-week sandbagging effort were jolted Sunday by the prospect of doing it over again.

The latest flood forecast from the National Weather Service shows the river rising to 38 feet in Fargo by week’s end before leveling off. That would be 20 feet above flood stage and about 3 feet below last year’s record. The crest had been expected later this month or early April.

The cities of Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn., have been filling sandbags for the last two weeks, but hadn’t planned to hand them out until later.

“It’s go time now,” Moorhead City Manager Michael Redlinger said Sunday.


Insanity defense for Smart case suspect

SALT LAKE CITY | Attorneys for the man charged in the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart are telling a federal judge they plan to present an insanity defense.

Federal defender Robert Steele also said Friday he’ll seek a change of venue for the trial of Brian David Mitchell.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled last week that Mr. Mitchell is competent to stand trial. Trial has been set for Nov. 1.

Miss Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City bedroom. She was found nine months later.


Man waits 5 months to get $89 million

HARRISONBURG | For five months, Virginia carpenter Steve Williams lived with a secret worth millions.

Mr. Williams won a $200 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot on Oct. 16 but only came forward Friday after consulting with legal and financial advisers. Mr. Williams, of Shenandoah, says he is going to invest the money.

Mr. Williams chose the cash option of $125 million, rather than receive the full amount over 26 years. After taxes, he gets about $89 million.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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