Archive for Friday, July 21, 2000

Nation briefs

July 21, 2000



TV host's sister discloses cancer

State Sen. Emily Couric, older sister of NBC's "Today" show host, announced Thursday she has pancreatic cancer and will not run for lieutenant governor next year.

Couric, 53, who has been considered a rising star in the Virginia Democratic Party, said she was told of the diagnosis Wednesday.

"My doctors, family and I are now working on designing the best course of treatment to address this cancer," she told reporters.

Couric won a Senate seat in 1996 and had been raising money for a bid for lieutenant governor for the 2001 election.

Couric, who lives in Charlottesville, said she will continue serving in the General Assembly. She was elected to a second four-year term last year.


Second boy arrested in school shooting

A 12-year-old boy was arrested Thursday on charges that he helped plan the shooting that forced an evacuation of a suburban middle school this week.

A 13-year-old boy accused of firing a shot into the ceiling of the school cafeteria on Monday surrendered the next day. No one was hurt in the incident.

The second boy is believed to have been in the Dimmitt Middle School cafeteria at the time of the incident. The King County Sheriff's office said the second boy was unarmed but was to have played an active role once the other boy gained control over the children in the cafeteria.

The plan failed, detectives said, when the approximately 50 students fled after the shot was fired. The younger boy was booked into the county's youth center for investigation of first-degree assault and kidnapping.


Wildfire forces park evacuation

Authorities closed Mesa Verde National Park and ordered as many as 1,500 people to leave Thursday after a wildfire raced through tinder-dry brush, growing from 50 acres to 500 acres in about three hours.

No injuries were reported and the park's Pueblo Indian ruins were not damaged, said fire management officer Mark Lauer. One structure, believed to be a residence, was threatened.

Mesa Verde, about 35 miles west of Durango in southwestern Colorado, is laden with cliff dwellings of the ancestral Pueblos. It was established by Congress on June 29, 1906, as the first cultural park set aside in the National Park system.


Police say suspect had used cocaine

The carjacking suspect whose videotaped beating by police caused a national outcry had cocaine in his system when he was arrested, a high-ranking police official said Thursday.

Toxicology reports show Thomas Jones had ingested cocaine, the officer told The Associated Press on the condition he not be named. The account did not detail how much of the drug was found in Jones' system.

Authorities have previously said they found a crack pipe in the car Jones is accused of stealing.

A TV news camera captured several officers kicking and hitting Jones last week, after a chase and shootout in which he and an officer were both shot and wounded.

Jones, 30, had been charged with attempted murder, assault, resisting arrest and other offenses, and with a series of purse-snatchings and other crimes in the week leading up to the incident.

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