Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on October 28, 2002 · Page 5
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 5

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Monday, October 28, 2002
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Monday, October 28,2002 — Page 5 ELSEWHERE News from the nation, world Briefs By The Associated Press Jobs, education help fight terrorism CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico — Pacific Rim leaders headed home today with commitments to reduce poverty, and saying jobs and education are among their best weapons in the global fight against terrorism. A year after condemning the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and launching a global campaign against terror, top officials from the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum acknowledged Sunday that they need to do more. Mexican President Vicente Fox said that unlike last year's APEC resolution, which strongly condemned terrorism, leaders this year set deadlines for the security measures they recommended and carne up with ways to make sure countries comply. He said the threat of terrorism still is strong. Rebels, government continue negotiations PRETORIA, South Africa — Hoping to clinch a power-sharing deal, the Congolese government and the two rebel groups it has been fighting, made progress toward a deal during a second day of talks Sunday, negotiators said. . The weekend negotiations were brokered by U.N. envoy Moustapha Niasse and South African President Thabo Mbeki and were to continue today, officials said. The deal drafted by Mbeki envisions a unified Congo through the creation of a transitional government. The proposed government would be led by Congolese President Joseph Kabila and assisted by four vice presidents — one from each of the two rebel groups, a third from the current government, and a fourth from the unarmed opposition. Sunday the parties wrangled over exactly what the responsibilities of those posts would entail, Mbeki aide Billy Masetlha told the South African Press Association. Ceremony held for famous dog NEW YORK — A golden retriever who became a celebrity after recovering bodies in the rubble of the World Trade Center was honored at a memorial service a month after he died at age 12. Several dozen people and dogs attended Sunday's ceremony for Bear, who led last year's Columbus Day parade and made the Guinness Book of Records as "the most celebrated dog in the world." His human partner, Scott Shields, said that while he did not cry pulling friends from the rubble of the trade center on Sept. 11,2001, "I cried when Bear died." Controversy erupted when a pet insurance company, Veterinary Pet Insurance, denied Bear a policy on the grounds that his ailments — including arthritis and cancer — weren't incurred in recovery work at the trade center site. The company later reversed itself and agreed to provide medical coverage to Bear. District justice holds court in school TOWANDA, Pa. — A school district hopes to keep students in class longer by having a judge hear their summary offenses in school, authorities said. District Justice Tim Clark said he will begin holding court in the Towanda middle and high schools once each month for students who have committed minor offenses, including truancy, disorderly conduct and smoking on school grounds. "This will speed things up considerably," said Clark, who previously heard the cases at his office in town. Clark said the school court, which will be held in an auditorium, will only process summary offenses that occurred on the grounds of the school about 140 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Principal Steve Gobble said the new arrangement should stop students from missing out on class time because they are traveling to and from court hearings. Students summoned to appear in the court will be fined or assigned community service, Clark said. Death penalty promised in sniper case By STEVE SZKOTAK Associated Press Writer RICHMOND, Va. — The 17-year- old suspect in the Washington-area sniper attacks may have squeezed off the shot that killed an FBI analyst, a Virginia prosecutor said, raising the possibility that the death penalty could be brought against both suspects. Robert F. Horan, Jr., a Commonwealth attorney, told The Associated Press Sunday there is "an equal possibility" for both suspects — John Allen Muhammad, 41, and John Lee Malvo, 17 — to have shot FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot on Oct. 14 in Fairfax. The New York Times and Richmond Times-Dispatch both reported today that Horan suggested there is evidence Malvo was the shooter in that case. "There will be evidence that the juvenile was the shooter," The New York Times quoted Horan as saying. He refused to provide any more details. Despite murder charges filed in Maryland against the two sniper suspects, rival prosecutors in Virginia are circling the case with the promise that they could win death sentences against the pair. At least two Virginia counties were prepared to seek charges today against Muhammad and Malvo, the men suspected of 13 shootings that left 10 dead and terrorized the suburbs around the nation's capital. The suspects already face multiple murder charges in Maryland, and murder charges in Alabama unrelated to the sniper shootings. They also could be charged with federal extortion and murder counts that could bring the death penalty. Last week, Maryland filed six first- degree murder counts against both Muhammad and Malvo. But the top elected official in Maryland's Montgomery County urged prosecutors to choose the strongest venue. "They need to present a unified front to the public and say: 'Here's how we're going to handle this,' and wherever the case is strongest with the stiffest penalties, that's where they need to go," Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan said. Virginia has executed 86 people since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, more than any state but Texas. In the same period, Maryland has executed three people and is one of two states with a moratorium on executions. Virginia Attorney General Jerry T. Kilgore has left the decision to the local prosecutors on what charges his state will seek, a spokesman said Sunday. Kilgore has urged that Virginia 3 ... 2 ... 1... BLASTOFF! — The Soyuz TMA booster rocket was transported Monday to its launch pad at the khstan. The Soyuz TMA blastoff to the international space station is scheduled for Wednesday. Baikonur cosmodrome in Kaza(AP Photo) Teen accused of shooting rampage By NICKTROUGAKOS Associated Press Writer SALLISAW, Okla. — It all started with high school senior Daniel Hawke Fears getting scolded for driving his pickup truck recklessly near children. What followed was a rampage in which Fears allegedly killed two people and wounded eight, including a toddler. The 18-year-old was expected to make an initial court appearance today following a shooting spree that stunned residents in this town of 8,000 people about 20 miles from the Arkansas state line. "I don't know if there is ever going to be an answer for why he did this," said his attorney Monte Johnson. "He just flipped out." Authorities say the rampage started just after 5 p.m. Saturday when Gregory Caughman, 29, chastised Fears for driving erratically where children were playing. Fears then allegedly broke into his father's nearby house and stole a 20- gauge shotgun. Neighbors Patsy Wells, 61, and Elvie Gene Wells, 64, came to the house to talk to the teen. Witnesses say Fears came out of the house and shot the Wellses, Caughman and Caughman's 2-year-old daughter. Patsy Wells died. Elvie Wells was in fair condition Sunday. The Caugh- mans were treated and released. Fears then drove to a Sallisaw car dealership where authorities say he shot and killed Reba Spangler, 68, of Fort Smith, Ark. Salesman Jimmy Nunn, 58, of Muskogee was also shot. He was in good condition Sunday. From there Fears went to a statue shop three miles east of Sallisaw. Investigators say he shot a couple while they shopped. They both survived. Fears then continued down U.S. 64 and randomly shot at vehicles on the highway. Officials say he wounded Matthew Christopher Tabor, 27, who was treated and released. Fears drove into Muldrow where he fired from his truck and hit the last victim, Linda Dutton. Dutton, 26, was walking along the highway with her 9-month-old and 5-year-old daughters. The children were not injured. Dutton was in good condition Sunday. Minutes later Fears was arrested after he crashed his pickup near a roadblock near Roland. Residents in the three communities where the rampage stretched said Sunday they were shocked that such violence hit so close to home. Fears was described as a loner who worked part-time at a Wal-Mart. Adam Reherman, 21, told The Tulsa World that he saw no violent tendencies in his friend. "We had our group that hung out together but it was jusf like everyone in high school," Reherman said. "He didn't go to any parties. Parties for us consisted of : going to someone's house and playing video games. We used to hang out at the park and hit golf balls together. This is real unlike him." Sequoyah County District Attorney Dianne Barker Harrold said Fears did not show remorse when authorities talked to him Sunday. Johnson said Fears had suffered from depression over the last three years and may have been taking medication that was not prescribed to him. "I'm not sure he comprehends everything," Johnson told The Daily Oklahoman. He planned to request a competency hearing today. The violence was the talk of Sunday sermons at congregations along die highway followed by die shooter. "That's really all we talked about," said the Rev. Randy Wade, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Muldrow. "People talked about it: What causes a young guy to go off like that? That's what people are wanting to find out. They hope there are answers." Anita Doubrava, a member of First Baptist Church of Muldrow, said it seemed like the worst news to come out of a world of bad news. "It was the first time my daughter, Lexi, cried over something in the news," Doubrava said, adding that the terrorist attacks ofSept. 11,2001, didn't bother her child much. "The sniper didn't bother her," Doubrava said. "But this was just too close to home." have the first chance to try the case because it can more easily apply the death penalty. "The key is stil! that the federal government not indict before Virginia to preclude our prosecution," said the spokesman, Tim Murtaugh. "It's key to act now." Virginia prosecutors in Spotsylvania County and Hanover County were expected to seek indictments today. William Neely, the Spotsylvania prosecutor, said Saturday he would seek charges against Muhammad that could bring the death penalty. He said Malvo might also face capital charges, but that would depend on the teenager's role in the shootings. Bush tries to get votes for GOP By GEORGE GEDDA Associated Press Writer PHOENIX — After a weekend of high-stakes diplomatic talks, President Bush is returning to the campaign trail, hoping to give a homestretch boost to Republican gubernatorial and congressional candidates ahead of next week's elections. While stopping in New Mexico and Colorado today, Bush has one eye on deliberations at the U:N. Security Council this week. American diplomats are pushing for an Iraq resolution that will authorize the use of force in the event that Saddam Hussein balks at U.N. inspection efforts to uncover forbidden weapons in his arsenal. A vote is likely by the end of the week. After huddling on terrorism and trade at his Texas ranch with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and meeting with odier leaders from the Asia-Pacific region at the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas, Bush dashed to Arizona for a campaign stop Sunday night. Former Rep. Matt Salmon and Democratic Attorney General Janet Napolitano are in a competitive race for governor. Also, Republican Rick Renzi is a slight favorite over Democrat George Cordova for a new House seat. "Go to your house of worship, your community centers, your coffee shops and talk it up," the president told several thousand people who crammed a downtown theater to hear him speak. He also said the Democrat crossover vote could be helpful. "Listen, a good Democrat knows the difference between a tax raiser and a tax cutter," the president added. Bush was to devote his public appearances today to politics, looking to add to the Republican majority in the House and to put the Senate back in control of the GOP. Most of the remaining eight days before the Nov. 5 elections will be spent on the stump, with the focus on light races. Bush has been on the road since Thursday morning, starting with campaign stops in North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. In New Mexico, both Republicans and Democrats are spending heavily for an open House seat in the southern part of the state, one of the hottest in the country. lohn Arthur Smith, a Democrat, is running against the GOP choice, Steve Pearcc. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have raised money for Pearcc. New Hampshire governor's race focuses on income-tax issue By NORMA LOVE Associated Press Writer CONCORD, N.H. — In the race for New Hampshire governor, Democrat Mark Femald is doing what some analysts say borders on political suicide. Fernald is betting he can overcome New Hampshire's deeply ingrained opposition to an income tax. He is not only refusing to take New Hampshire's traditional pledge to veto 1 an income tax, but he's also making the tax the centerpiece of his campaign. In 30 years, only one person has refused to take the pledge and won. Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen did so two years ago in seeking her third term, but, unlike Femald, Shaheen did not embrace the tax. Shaheen is running against Republican Rep. John E. Sununu in a close Senate race that could help deter- mine the balance of power in Washington. Sununu beat Republican incumbent Bob Smith in the primary. Fernald is running against millionaire Republican Craig Benson — one of 36 gubernatorial races up for grabs this year. Benson had a commanding lead in a poll released Oct. 24, with 52 percent of the vote compared to Fernald's 33 percent. Fifteen percent were undecided. Benson, who has taken the pledge, promises to cap state school aid and limit state spending growth. Fernald would earmark a 4-percent income tax to pay more for public education while reducing state property taxes. To some, Shaheen's victory in 2000 signaled the death of the anti-tax pledge in gubernatorial elections — though Shaheen insisted that voters chose her based on her leadership. The last two governors who renounced the pledge — Democrat Hugh Gallen in 1982 and Republican Walter Peterson in 1972 — lost. New Hampshire is one of only two states —Alaska is the other — without a general income or sales tax. Republican analyst Thomas Rath says Shaheen's last win does not mean voters have warmed to the tax. "This is a litmus test for this office," he insists. Shaheen had pledged twice previously to veto the tax but insisted in her campaign for a third term that she had to keep her options open to deal with a school-funding crisis, Rath points out Fernald, by contrast, advocates an income tax at every campaign stop. "Every single poll I've seen — private or public — has shown an income tax has a base of about 32 percent," Rath says. RACE FOR A HOME - Fred Lee, from Malta, N.Y., hugged his newly adopted greyhound, Miss Emily, during a greyhound adoption clinic Sunday in Colonie, N.Y. (AP photo)

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