Asheville Citizen-Times from Asheville, North Carolina on February 4, 2008 · Page 1
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Asheville Citizen-Times from Asheville, North Carolina · Page 1

Asheville, North Carolina
Issue Date:
Monday, February 4, 2008
Page 1
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- -r - , , : - - .'- v : " n VH .' ;, t ' " x-xys v - . " - v . " -,v V.' - I'M ) " " ?J j r. ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES VOICE OF THE MOUNTAINS Monday February 4, 2008 50 cents Ml 1 J IV" i r JJi - TOP PICKS AND THE WINNER IS: John Boyle reveals the results of his Prettiest and Ugliest Buildings contest. Page Bl ONE-WHEELED WONDERS: The Fairview Flyers unicycle team spent Saturday wowing the crowds at the Clemson basketball game. Page Bl LIGHTEN UP 4 LIFE: Minorities, which are underrepresented in this year's Lighten Up 4 Life contest, will be a bigger focus in recruitment for next year, Mission Hospitals says. PageBl FORESTS BESEIGED: With Africa ahead, the world fells trees at -"alarming" rate, imperiling climate. Page A2 NATURAL GAS BOON: Scientists are trying to find an efficient way to tap into a field of natu-. ral gas bigger than Pennsylvania. Page A2 AGING PARENTS: Boomers need to talk with their parents about living wills, power of attorney and funeral . . wishes. A look at the issues involved. Page CI IS " V ; Today's forecast Mild, occasional drisgle High 57, Low 48 WEATHER, D6 Index BUSINESS K C1ASSIFIED C6-10 CROSSWORD, PUZZLES CI LIVING Cl-5 LOTTERIES B2 MOUNTAINS Bl-2,5 MOVIES C2 NATIONWORLD 2-3 OBITUARIES B4 OPINION A4-5 SPORTS Pl-6 YOUR NEWS B3 0901"12200"" 5 A GANNETT NEWSPAPER VOL 139 NO. 35 28 pages 2008 QUESTIONS ABOUT CIRCULATION? Call (800) 672-2472 odd mm far D B STEPHEN MILLERSMILLERCITIZEN-TIMES.COM Officials from state and federal agencies on Sunday investigate the skeletal remains found in Nantahala National Forest In Macon County. Hunter makes discovery; officials won't comment on Hilton link By Jon Ostendorff " JOSTENBOeiTIZEN-TlMES.COM- . - and Dale Neal DNEALCITIZEN-TIMES.COM FRANKLIN State and federal authorities on Sunday investigated skeletal remains found in the Nantahala National Forest in Macon County. Sheriff Robert Holland said he could neither confirm nor deny any connections between the body and Gary Michael Hilton, who was convicted last week of beating to death Georgia hiker Meredith Emerson and is a suspect in the slaying of hiker Irene Bryant and her husband, John, in the Pisgah National Forest WEB EXTRA , Visit CmZEN-TIMES.comphotos to view a photo gallery of the investigation at the site. near Brevard last year. "All of it is still under investigation," , Holland said. "We are treating it as a homicide and conducting a thorough investigation." Mark Waldroop, a hunter who lives in Haywood County but grew up in Franklin, discovered the remains around 5 p.m. Saturday when he walked past a gate on a forest service road off Old Murphy Road. Please see HUNTER on A6 Body found in Nantahala National Forest., Authorities investigating skeletal remains found in a national forest would not confirm or deny on Sunday any connection to accused killer Gary Michael Hilton. He is a suspect in the slaying of hiker Irene Bryant in Brevard and in the presumed death of her missing husband, John. Hilton was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for the murder of Georgia hiker Meredith Emerson. Chattanooga. g Body found W fcf ienn. Saturday ftruantc' hank nam ' WIIUIIW MUlllt VUIW UJ used In Ducktown, Yj) Tenn. rr&A, . 1 T. 7. . J9rCf7tX ISi ' Body of Irene g T!tk 5Ks Bryant found I ' Body of Meredith 'fSZmT OK'sC Beds J Emerson found In I Ga- Ga- V ii. jmi t, Dawson Forest I J ' f'!- T Management Area f rsi (. , 1f R. BradleyCITIZEN-TIMES Electionyf rf IKi Primary in N.C. bereft of impact By Jordan Schrader JSCHRADE8CmZEN-TIMES.COM RALEIGH Americans started choosing their president earlier than ever this year, but North Carolinians will wade into the fray on the same day they did in 1972. The May 6 election that year was the state's first presidential primary. The Democratic race remained wide open, and Tar Heel Democrats gave a victory to segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace. When North Carolina Democrats and Republicans go to the polls 36 years later to the day, candidates may have long ago sewn up then-parties' nominations. Just eight states vote later. "North Carolina is not a player at all in the presidential primary selection process. We pay, but we don't get to play," said state Sen. Andrew Brock, referring to campaign contributions from local supporters. . The state would be holding elections Tuesday, as 22 other states do, if a bill introduced by Brock last year had passed. "Not only would we have an impact on the political process," the Mocksville Republican said, "but we also would have a financial Please see PRIMARY on A6 WEB EXTRA Visit Tuesday evening for primary result updates. INSIDE More election stories on Pages A2,3 Sheriff in Tenn. feces extortion charges FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS CHATTANOOGA Federal officers arrested Hamilton County Sheriff Billy Long, a career lawman, on charges of extorting money from ethnic Indian store owners operating illegal video gambling. Long, 55, who was elected after 31 years of service, also was charged during an undercover investigation that involved FBI audio and video recordings with providing a firearm to someone he was told was a convicted felon. U.S. Attorney James R. Dedrick said in a statement that Long, a Democrat elected in 2006, was arrested Saturday morning following an investigation that started in April. Dedrick said no other law enforcement officer was a suspect in the investigation, which he said is ongoing and could lead to additional charges. -imm D. PATRICK HARDING, TIMES FREE PRESSTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS Hamilton County Sheriff William "Billy" Long, right, is led by a federal officer from the federal courthouse in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., on Saturday, after Long was charged In a federal Indictment with extortion, money laundering and providing a firearm to a felon. He declined to say if anyone outside of law enforcement is a suspect. Longtime chief deputy Allen Branum, 53, was placed in charge of the sheriff's department, which has about 400 employees, including about 150 law enforcement officers. The affidavit shows that beginning in April and continuing through mid-December, the sheriff accepted 12 payments totaling $17400, "representing what he was told were pay ments from ethnic Indian store owners to protect their video poker business and other illegal activity." That activity included selling ingredients used to make methamphetamine. The affidavit said Long promised the store owners to inform them when he became aware of any investigation focused on their involvement in illegal activities. Please see SHERIFF on A6 Iraq's Baathists can reclaim their jobs By Kim Gamel THE ASSOCIATED PRESS BAGHDAD Iraq's presidency council issued a law Sunday that will allow thousands of Saddam Hussein-era officials to return to government jobs. The Bush administration had viewed the legislation as central to mending deep fissures between minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds and the majority Shiites who now wield power. The measure, which was passed by parliament on Jan. 12, was the first of 18 key U.S.-set benchmarks to become law after months of bitter debate. But it was issued without the signature of the Sunni vice president, and the presidency council cited reservations and plans to seek changes in the bill, clouding hopes it would encourage reconciliation. The US. military, meanwhile, said a soldier had been killed Thursday in a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Baghdad, raising to at least 40 the number of troop deaths reported in January, nearly double the 23 recorded in December and the largest monthly toll for the Americans since September. A U.S. soldier also died of noncombat causes in Ninevah province in northern Iraq, the military said Sunday. Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi objected to provisions in the new law that would pension off 7,000 low-level members of Saddam's former secret police and intelligence agents who still worked in Iraq's security apparatus. Al-Hashemi aides also said he wanted decisions on exceptions to the law to be handled by the presidency council rather than parliament as the law requires. The presidential council, which also includes President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a Shiite, issued the law 10 days after receiving it for consideration, as required by Iraq's constitutioa mm - I j a .'-4 . Airport Road East of 1-26 (828) 681-8811 V

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