Week In Review A Look Back At The Top Stories From The Last Week

CRIME End of the line

On Monday, the two-week odyssey of Kevin Ronald Miller came to an end in the Spokane Valley when the Texas fugitive shot himself in the head after holding a gun on his 19-month-old son for nearly three hours.

Miller had been hunted by Texas authorities for shooting his common-law wife, killing her mother and kidnapping the boy.

Miller died Monday night at Sacred Heart Medical Center. His son, Dylan, returned to Texas on Tuesday with his maternal grandfather, Michael Kennedy.

By shooting himself, said Kennedy, “Kevin Miller did make a contribution to society, finally, for the first time in his life.”

CONGRESS Lives in the balance

Congress approved a five-year bipartisan plan to cut taxes and balance the federal budget.

In denouncing the agreement, House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., said the agreement favored the wealthy with its tax cuts, did not spend enough on children’s health, or education, or roads and bridges, and was based on economic assumptions that were too optimistic.

“This budget agreement is a budget of many deficits - a deficit of principle, a deficit of fairness, a deficit of tax justice and, worst of all, a deficit of dollars,” said Gephardt, who stood alone among Hill Democratic leaders in his opposition.

“It isn’t brilliant, it isn’t perfect, but it is a huge step forward,” said House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga. “It will rebuild faith in this country in these institutions.”

A veto waiting to happen

The Senate on Tuesday approved a bill to ban a controversial late-term abortion procedure. The bill to outlaw the procedure, known as intact dilation and extraction, fell three votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override President Clinton’s promised veto.

Sorry, Charlie

The House voted Wednesday to lift the tuna import embargo and redefine when to label canned tuna “dolphin-safe.”

The legislation, which has sharply split the environmental community and was strongly supported by the White House, would end a 7-year-old U.S. embargo of tuna that is caught by encircling with giant nets.

The bill would allow the continued use of the “dolphin-safe” label even if tuna is caught by encirclement, although an observer must verify that the nets killed no dolphins.

Tuna encirclement has been blamed for the loss of millions of dolphins, which in the eastern Pacific swim with tuna. Since the import ban was established, the world has seen a dramatic decline in dolphin deaths, from more than 100,000 in 1986 to an estimated 2,700 last year.

SCIENCE Missing link

Scientists announced the discovery in Patagonia of what appears to be the long-sought “missing link” supporting the theory that birds descended from dinosaurs.

Found were more than 20 bone fragments that come from a previously unknown ancient critter whose pelvis resembles both dinosaurs and birds, and whose shoulder is uncannily birdlike. The flightless creature stood nearly 4 feet tall, was about 7-1/2 feet long and ran upright on two legs.

Paleontologist Fernando E. Novas of the Museum of Natural History in Buenos Aires and his colleague Pablo F. Puerta named the theropod Unenlagia comahuensis, meaning “half bird from northwest Patagonia” in Latin and the language of the local Mapuche Indians.

GENDER ISSUES Sex and the single lieutenant

The nation’s first female B-52 bomber pilot, in the final act of a military morality play, Thursday accepted less than the honorable discharge she had sought from the Air Force to avoid a court-martial on charges of committing adultery and lying about it.

First Lt. Kelly J. Flinn, cutting short a pioneering career that she had hoped would lead to space flight, agreed to resign with a general discharge “under honorable conditions” rather than face criminal charges.

Flinn, 26, who is single, was charged with committing adultery with a married man. She also allegedly had an affair with an enlisted man. Her allies assailed the military for effectively branding her with a scarlet letter for allegedly committing an act that many male officers have done with impunity.

In the end, the Air Force - which maintained the issue was not about sex, but about honor - spared itself a legal proceeding that promised to be as embarrassing for itself as for her.

Her cup runneth over

Twelve-year-old Melissa Raglin became an overnight celebrity when she refused to wear a boy’s protective cup while catching for her team in the Boca Raton, Fla., Youth Baseball League.

A rule, enforced by an umpire last week for the first time since Melissa became the starting catcher for the Dodgers two years ago, requires all catchers to wear a cup.

The issue is significant in that it is perhaps the only time we’ll ever see Rush Limbaugh agreeing with the National Organization for Women. The syndicated talk-show host sent the child a supply of protective cups designed for girls.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: Week in Review is compiled by News Editor Kevin Graman. For more information on these stories, see Virtually Northwest, The Spokesman-Review’s online publication, at

Week in Review is compiled by News Editor Kevin Graman. For more information on these stories, see Virtually Northwest, The Spokesman-Review’s online publication, at

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