Archive for Thursday, February 5, 2004

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February 5, 2004

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Texas

Airline stowaway sentenced, fined

A man who shipped himself in an airline cargo crate from New York to Dallas because he was homesick and didn't want to pay for a plane ticket was fined $1,500 Wednesday and placed on probation for a year.

Charles D. McKinley was also sentenced in Fort Worth to four months under house arrest.

McKinley, a 25-year-old shipping clerk at a New York warehouse, pleaded guilty in November to stowing away on a cargo jet and could have gotten a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. He had no comment Wednesday.

The fine was far more than what it would have cost to fly first-class.

McKinley traveled about 1,500 miles by truck, plane and delivery van before popping out of the wooden box Sept. 6, much to his parents' surprise, at their home in De-Soto, a Dallas suburb. The shaken deliveryman called police.

McKinley said he took a cell phone, which did not work, but no food or water. He said he occasionally got out of the 42-by-36-by-15-inch crate. He also said someone else helped him by closing the box and shipping him. The $550 freight charges were billed to his employer.

Mississippi

Troopers will again display state flag tags

After a four-year ban, Mississippi Highway Patrol cars will again display the state flag with its Confederate emblem.

In Jackson, Public Safety Commissioner Rusty Fortenberry, in an interview with The Associated Press this week, said all patrol cars would carry an official decal with the flag.

He made the decision after being asked by new Republican Gov. Haley Barbour to review a ban imposed in 2000 by L.M. Claiborne, the first black chief of the Highway Patrol.

Claiborne had banned all decals during the first days of Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's administration, saying he wanted patrol cars to have a uniform look. Troopers were putting unofficial flag decals on their cars, along with university logos, Playboy decals and other personal tags.

Virginia

Senate kills measure celebrating Confederacy

The Virginia Senate rejected a resolution Wednesday that would have designated April as Confederate History and Heritage Month after black lawmakers called it "a slap in the face."

The resolution passed easily out of a committee but failed on a voice vote in the full Senate in Richmond.

Republican Sen. Charles R. Hawkins introduced the measure in response to a request from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. He said it was to honor thousands of Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.

"You cannot change history," Hawkins said. "What takes place is there. If you can't change it, you have to learn from it."

Oregon

Scientists may study Kennewick Man

Scientists can study the Kennewick Man -- 9,300-year-old remains found in Washington state -- despite the objections of some American Indian tribes, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in Portland.

Northwest tribes consider the bones sacred and want to bury them. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a lower court that found that federal grave-protection law does not apply because there is no evidence connecting the remains with any existing tribe.

Kennewick Man has drawn scientific interest because it is one of the oldest, most complete skeletons found in North America, with characteristics unlike modern Indians.

The bones, found in 1996 on the north bank of the Columbia River by teenagers going to a boat race, are housed at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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