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Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Nation Briefs

June 6, 2001

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Michigan: Ex-husband kills former wife, self

A man walked into a truck rental center early Tuesday, shot his former wife to death and then killed himself, police said. Sandy Robinson, 34, called 911 from a second-floor office at Penske Truck Rental and Leasing around 5:30 a.m. while the man made his way to the second floor, Plymouth Township Police spokeswoman Jamie Senkbeil said.

She was speaking with a 911 dispatcher when two shots "very close" in succession could be heard on the tape, Senkbeil said.

"The only thing we heard on the tape was, 'Get out of here. Stop. Get out of here,"' followed by the shots, Senkbeil said. Robinson had sought a personal protection order against the man in February, Senkbeil said. The ex-husband, John McGhee, 31, also was a Penske employee but in a different Detroit-area location.

NEW YORK CITY: Hotel queen sued for gay discrimination

The former manager of Manhattan's pricey Park Lane Hotel has sued owner Leona Helmsley for $10 million, charging that the self-styled hotel queen fired him because he's gay. Charles Bell, 47, said he was forced out of his job in March after months of being subjected to contempt and ridicule because of "Helmsley's malevolent homophobia." Bell made the claims in papers filed Monday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. "The allegations made by Charles Bell are untrue, and Helmsley Enterprises looks forward to an opportunity to rebut them in court," said Helmsley's lawyer, Michael Weber.

Bell's papers also allege that Helmsley charged personal items and services to the Park Lane, including special meals for her dog, Trouble ,and a $27,000-a-year salary for her tea leaf reader. Helmsley also allegedly sent Park Lane employees to work at her estate in Greenwich, Conn., without compensation.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Animal activist faces severe scrubbing threat

If Rep. Mark Green gets his way, an animal rights activist will get a good washing down later this year when he returns from England. Green, R-Wis., wants the Agriculture Department to decontaminate Bruce Friedrich of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, because the activist has said foot-and-mouth disease would be a good thing for animals in this country. Friedrich, PETA's vegan campaign coordinator, made that comment in the same breath that he disclosed he would be going to England this summer and then coming to the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wis., upon his return.

Green and others took that as a possible threat that Friedrich would try to bring Britain's foot-and-mouth epidemic to the United States. Friedrich, who has called for the expo to be canceled, said he has no intention of trying to bring the disease to the U.S.

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