- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Groups to appeal ruling on documents

SAN FRANCISCO | Two civil rights groups have notified a federal judge that they intend to appeal his decision requiring them to surrender internal documents from their campaign against California’s same-sex marriage ban.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Equality California notified U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker Tuesday while asking him to temporarily suspend the order.

Judge Walker ruled Monday that lawyers for the sponsors of Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure that stopped gay marriage, were entitled to review the material because the ban is now the subject of a constitutional challenge.

The judge gave the groups until March 31 to turn over the material.


Eight hurt in bus collision

ORLANDO | A Walt Disney World bus rear-ended a charter bus near the entrance to the Epcot theme park Tuesday, seriously injuring the Disney bus driver, officials said.

Deputy Fire Chief Bo Jones of the Reedy Creek Fire Department said seven passengers were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries. He said the bus driver was airlifted to Orlando Regional Medical Center with injuries considered serious but not life-threatening.

There were no passengers on the charter bus, which was stopped in a through lane near an Epcot toll plaza where visitors pay for parking. Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes said the charter bus driver wasn’t in the bus at the time.


State asks Obama for presidential library

HONOLULU | President Obama should put his future presidential library in Hawaii, where he was born and raised, according to state lawmakers.

The House Tourism, Culture and International Affairs Committee unanimously passed a resolution Monday urging Mr. Obama to choose Hawaii as the location for the library, which will serve as the repository for the documents, records and artifacts of his presidency.

“It could be a home away from home for the first family and their work after the presidency,” said Robert Perkinson, an American studies professor at the University of Hawaii who is preparing a presidential library proposal.

The resolution would be mailed to Mr. Obama if it’s approved by the full House, which appears likely because 47 of 51 representatives signed on to it.


Research: Older women need hour workouts

CHICAGO | Sobering new research spells out just how much exercise women need to keep the flab off as they age, and to put it mildly, it’s a lot.

At least an hour of moderate activity is needed for healthy-weight women who aren’t dieting. For those who are already overweight — and that’s most American women — even more exercise may be needed to avoid gaining weight without eating less, the study results suggest.

Brisk walking, leisurely bicycling and golfing are examples of moderate exercise. But don’t despair if you can’t do those things for at least an hour a day. Even a little exercise is still good for your health even if it won’t make you thin, the researchers said.

Their findings are based on 34,079 non-dieting middle-aged women followed for about 13 years.


Baked goods dumped along river

MUNCIE | Police say someone has dumped hundreds of breads, bagels and buns along a river in Muncie.

Sanitation workers spotted the mess on the central Indiana city’s east side. City police Sgt. Bruce Qualls recognized the baked goods as the product of Panera Bread. The chain cafe has a location on the city’s north side.

Sgt. Qualls said restaurant managers assured him they would look into what happened. The unsold baked goods are usually given each day to charitable organizations.

Panera Bread spokeswoman Linn Parrish said managers didn’t know how the bread got to the riverbank.


CatholicTV debuts shows in 3-D

BOSTON | Avatars and Mad Hatters are already performing before American audiences in 3-D, and Shrek is coming soon. Now, a national Catholic television network is throwing priests into the mix.

CatholicTV debuted 3-D programs Tuesday in an effort to reach younger people and to make the faith message more vivid. The network posted several 3-D shows on the Internet, released its monthly magazine in 3-D, complete with glasses, and said it will eventually broadcast some programs in 3-D.

CatholicTV’s director, the Rev. Robert Reed, said he’d been planning to introduce 3-D well before the success of James Cameron’s movie “Avatar” or the 3-D “Alice in Wonderland.”

“It’s a way for us to show that we believe the message we have is relevant, and we’re going to use every possible avenue to bring that message to people,” said Father Reed, whose network reaches 5 million to 6 million homes nationwide through various cable providers.


US Airways seeks exemption from delay rule

MINNEAPOLIS | US Airways is joining other airlines with big East Coast operations that want exemptions from new rules punishing long tarmac delays.

Other big airlines have asked for exemptions for the three New York-area airports. In a new filing, US Airways wants to add Philadelphia International Airport to the list. It’s only about 100 miles by air from the New York airports and shares their air traffic control jurisdiction. It may share their delay problems, too, US Airways wrote in the filing with the Transportation Department.

Beginning April 29, flights that sit more than three hours on the tarmac will be subject to fines that could add up to millions of dollars for a single plane, if the Transportation Department invokes the maximum penalty.


Judge won’t force district to hold prom

JACKSON | A Mississippi school district violated a lesbian student’s rights by banning her from bringing her girlfriend to the prom, a federal judge ruled Tuesday, but he stopped short of forcing the district to hold the event.

U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson denied an American Civil Liberties Union request for a preliminary injunction that would have forced the Itawamba County school district to sponsor the April 2 prom and allow Constance McMillen to escort her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo.

Judge Davidson said he will hold a trial on the issue later, but he did not set a date and any ruling would likely come too late to force the district to hold the prom when it was originally scheduled.

Judge Davidson’s order says the district violated Miss McMillen’s constitutional rights by denying her request to bring her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo, and ACLU Mississippi legal director Kristy Bennett called that a victory.


CSI chief convicted of evidence tampering

PLATTSMOUTH | A judge on Tuesday convicted a top crime scene investigator of evidence tampering, after prosecutors argued that the investigator planted blood from a slaying victim in a car linked to two innocent suspects to bolster the case against them.

Cass County District Judge Randall Rehmeier said he didn’t believe Douglas County CSI director David Kofoed’s excuse that the victim’s blood ended up in the car because of a sloppy mistake. Judge Rehmeier said there was enough evidence to show that Kofoed intentionally planted fake evidence.

Kofoed, 53, faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine at his May sentencing hearing. He remains free on bond.


West Point worker sentenced in fraud case

WEST POINT | A civilian U.S. Military Academy employee who defrauded the government out of $2.9 million has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.

Bobbie Cyana Ryan, 51, of Highland Falls, worked in the West Point dean’s office and was responsible for coordinating information-technology training programs. Ryan pleaded guilty in October to scheming to divert payments from the academy to a bogus corporation she controlled.

Ryan was sentenced Tuesday at a federal court in Washington, D.C., to three years and 10 months in prison. She also faces three years of supervised release and must pay the money back.


Music-makers mull museum at torched offices

PHILADELPHIA | Longtime record producers Leon Huff and Kenneth Gamble say they are considering whether to rebuild their fire-damaged Philadelphia offices into a music museum.

The duo’s comments came Tuesday after a court hearing for the man accused of setting the fire at Philadelphia International Records.

A judge ordered Christopher Cimini, 29, to stand trial on charges including arson and burglary. Authorities say Mr. Cimini may have been extremely intoxicated when he set the Feb. 21 fire.

Mr. Gamble and Mr. Huff’s record label was home to artists including Teddy Pendergrass, Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls and the O’Jays.


Girl, 11, wins rotten sneaker contest

MONTPELIER | An 11-year-old from Connecticut has the most disgusting shoes in America.

Trinette Robinson of Bristol, Conn., was crowned the winner of the 35th annual National Odor-Eaters Rotten Sneaker contest Tuesday in Montpelier, Vt.

Her sneakers were judged the most vile on the basis of their condition and odor. She said she got them dirty by playing hard in Girl Scout Camp and doing community walks for charity.

She was among nine children ages 6 to 16 competing in the contest. She wins $2,500 and an expenses-paid trip to New York City.


Chiropractor charged with dealing steroids

McLEAN | A Northern Virginia chiropractor was arrested on drug charges Tuesday after a co-defendant accused him of supplying steroids to members of two Washington-area professional sports teams.

Douglas O. Nagel, 50, of Reston, was arrested Tuesday morning in Virginia and charged by Florida authorities with seven counts of conspiring to deliver a controlled substance, specifically steroids.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Nagel received regular shipments of steroids, including testosterone and nandrolone, from a Florida man, Richard Thomas. Thomas has since pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing steroids with intent to sell. He awaits sentencing.

According to an affidavit, Thomas told police that Mr. Nagel boasted about supplying steroids to members of the Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals and the National Hockey League’s Washington Capitals.

Carrie Eleazer, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said police have no direct evidence indicating that athletes received steroids from Mr. Nagel.

On Tuesday, investigators with the sheriff’s office went to the Capitals’ practice facility in Arlington. Team spokesman Nate Ewell confirmed the Capitals were visited by authorities, but said he did not know who was interviewed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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