Staying in school may win car
YUMA — Stay in school — win a car.
That’s the message for high school students in the Yuma area after a local car dealership announced plans to give away two cars next spring. To be eligible for the raffle, students need a perfect attendance record.
Fisher Chevrolet began its Cool to Stay in School program by giving away a Chevrolet Cavalier at the end of the 2004-05 school year. The prize went to a student from San Luis High School.
This year, the dealership is giving away two cars: a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt and a 2006 Dodge Caliber.
Co-worker testifies he knew suspect on tape
SARASOTA — A business partner of a man accused of raping and strangling an 11-year-old girl testified yesterday that he recognized his co-worker in images captured by a security camera and broadcast worldwide on television.
The suspect in the images had Joseph Smith’s gait and wore a uniform like the one worn at the garage they operated, Ed Dinyes said. On the tape, the suspect is seen taking the girl, Carlie Brucia, away by the arm.
“That is Joe? What … is he doing there?” said Mr. Dinyes, recounting his reaction after seeing the images in February 2004. “I couldn’t believe that this is the guy I know.”
Mr. Dinyes said his wife, Lynn, was the first to recognize Mr. Smith in the images broadcast just a few days after Carlie disappeared from the parking lot of a car wash. She woke her husband, told him to watch the television and urged him to call authorities. Mr. Dinyes reported his suspicions to a police hot line recording and called 911.
Board approves dual-language school
JONESBORO — A school board voted Monday night to open a public elementary school where students will be taught to be equally proficient in English and Spanish by fifth grade.
Unidos Dual Language Charter School, which is scheduled to open next fall, is thought to be the first of its kind in the state.
It won’t target the immigrant community by teaching English as a second language, but aims to teach both languages together to classes equally divided between English- and Spanish-native speakers.
Hispanics make up nearly 8 percent of students enrolled in the state’s public schools this year, according to a report released last week by the National Council of La Raza, the largest U.S.-based Hispanic advocacy group.
Colas, not coffee, linked to hypertension
CHICAGO — Women do not develop high blood pressure from a coffee-drinking habit but there is a link between hypertension and drinking colas that might have nothing to do with caffeine, a study said yesterday.
“We found strong evidence to refute speculation that coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of hypertension in women,” wrote study author Wolfgang Winkelmayer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health. Previous studies have offered conflicting findings about the relationship between coffee consumption and hypertension.
No link was found between habitual coffee consumption and hypertension based on analysis of 12 years of data on 33,077 cases of high blood pressure among 155,594 women participating in the Nurses Health Study, which is jointly run by the hospital and the school.
However, there was an association found between hypertension and consumption of caffeinated colas, independent of whether the soft drinks were sugared or diet. The current study did not look at non-cola soft drinks.
Elementary school reopens in Waveland
WAVELAND — Waveland Elementary School reopened with about 100 of the school’s 380 pre-Hurricane Katrina students in attendance. Portable classrooms sit where a playing field used to be and lunches are being brought in from another school.
“Reopening the schools, it means Waveland is coming back. We’re not off the map,” Principal Rebecca Ladner said.
Jury acquits union officials of mob ties
NEW YORK — Two executives of the International Longshoremen’s Association and a reputed mobster who went missing midtrial were acquitted yesterday of charges that they helped the Mafia keep its grip on the New York waterfront.
Supporters gasped and burst into tears as a federal jury in Brooklyn found union officials Harold Daggett and Arthur Coffey not guilty of extortion and fraud charges.
The jury also acquitted Lawrence Ricci, a suspected Genovese crime family associate who had been accused of wire and mail fraud. Mr. Ricci vanished in the middle of the trial and is suspected to have been slain by the mob.
Foursome claims $340 million jackpot
SALEM — Two Oregon couples came forward yesterday to claim the second-biggest jackpot in U.S. lottery history: $340 million.
Lottery officials confirmed that Steve West, his wife, Carolyn, and his in-laws, Bob and Frances Chaney, held the winning ticket in an Oct. 19 Powerball drawing. The two couples had gone in together on $40 worth of tickets.
They will split the jackpot, lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann said.
The biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history was $363 million, won by two ticket holders in Illinois and Michigan in 2000.
One killed, two hurt in school shooting
JACKSBORO — A student fatally shot an assistant principal and seriously wounded two other administrators at a high school yesterday, officials said. The student was arrested.
The motive for the shooting at Campbell County High School, 30 miles from Knoxville, was not known, Sheriff Ron McClellan told WVLT-TV.
Several students identified the shooter as a 14-year-old freshman.
Assistant Principal Ken Bruce was killed, according to state Education Department spokeswoman Rachel Woods. Principal Gary Seale, who was shot while trying to take the student into custody, was reported in serious condition, and Assistant Principal Jim Pierce in critical condition.
Immigrant gets life for killing hunters
HAYWARD — A Hmong immigrant convicted of murdering six deer hunters and attempting to kill two others Nov. 21 after a trespassing dispute was sentenced to life in prison yesterday with no chance for parole.
Judge Norman Yackel ordered Chai Soua Vang, 37, to serve six life prison terms, one after the other, guaranteeing he would never be freed from prison. Wisconsin does not have a death penalty.
Judge Yackel described Vang as a “time bomb ready to go off” at the slightest provocation.
From wire dispatches and staff reports