Archive for Monday, August 19, 2002

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August 19, 2002

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New York City: Times to run notices of same-sex unions

The New York Times plans to begin publishing announcements of same-sex commitment ceremonies along with its wedding announcements.

The announcements of formal gay and lesbian unions will begin next month in the paper's Sunday Styles section, Howell Raines, executive editor of the Times, said in Sunday's editions.

"In making this change, we acknowledge the newsworthiness of a growing and visible trend in society toward public celebrations of commitment by gay and lesbian couples celebrations important to many of our readers, their families and their friends," Raines said.

Gay and lesbian couples featured in the paper will be selected by editors under the same criteria used to choose the weddings: the newsworthiness and accomplishments of the couples and their families, Raines said.

New Jersey: Two postal facilities tested for anthrax

The U.S. Postal Service tested two New Jersey mail processing centers for anthrax Sunday as federal authorities investigate whether spores found in a Princeton mailbox had been there since tainted letters surfaced last fall.

A contractor sampled dust from equipment in areas where mail is received and sorted at the Monmouth Processing and Distributing Center in Eatontown and the Kilmer General Mail Facility in Edison. Postal officials said last week there was some speculation that there was a residual amount of anthrax on the public drop box in Princeton.

Results of Sunday's tests were not expected until Wednesday or Thursday at the earliest, said Postal Service spokeswoman Diane Todd.

Colorado: Columbine staff has 60 percent turnover

About 60 percent of the people on the staff at Columbine High have left since the school became the site of the nation's deadliest school shooting in 1999.

Only 58 of the 143 faculty members and staffers from 1999 are still at the school in Littleton. For the district as a whole, teacher turnover was only 11 percent annually from 1999 to 2001.

Columbine seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold stormed the school April 20, 1999, killing 13 people before committing suicide. Twenty-three others were wounded.

The turnover at Columbine is typical in the aftermath of tragedy, says Steven M. Herman, an Indianapolis specialist on post-traumatic stress syndrome. "One of the most common ways of coping is flight," he said. "It is painful to be in the building, to be with people who shared the experience and see the reminders."

Cincinnati: Youth gangs fight at family festival

Groups of youths fought and overturned tables while leaving the downtown Black Family Reunion festival Saturday. Eight people were arrested, but the disturbances did not force the cancellation of any closing events Sunday at the three-day festival.

Some 2,000 to 4,000 youths yelled obscenities and threw chairs during a Saturday night hip-hop concert at the festival in a riverfront park, police Capt. Greg Snider said Sunday. Fighting escalated as smaller groups of up to 150 spilled into the downtown Fountain Square, dumping trash cans and tipping newspaper boxes, police said.

People told police they heard gunshots and that youths were throwing objects at cars, and one group attacked a bus driver, who was slightly injured, but the attackers fled before police could arrest them, Snider said. About 10 people were treated for minor injuries.

Continuing thunderstorms kept attendance down at Sunday's closing day events, which included concerts by gospel groups and Mary Wilson of the Supremes.

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