April 17, 2005 in Nation/World

Dems lash out at Schwarzenegger

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Los Angeles

California Democrats lashed out at Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during their annual convention Saturday, vowing to block his administration’s agenda in an extraordinary reversal of good will toward the celebrity governor.

Schwarzenegger, whose push for controversial government reforms has enraged labor unions and other traditionally Democratic constituencies, came under withering attack as speaker after speaker chastised his leadership abilities.

“The governor has declared war on the state of California,” Assemblywoman Judy Chu said. “He declared war on us and I declare war on him.”

Police say pair stole $3 million in clothing

Tucson, Ariz.

Police arrested two women who allegedly stole about $3 million worth of clothing from department stores and sold it to secondhand stores.

“This was a full-time occupation,” police Detective John Stamatopoulos said.

Vernell Anderson, 49, and Cecelia Wilson, 55, were arrested Wednesday after they stole from three stores, Stamatopoulos said. Both were released on bond.

Stamatopoulos said the pair took women’s clothing from several stores, including Dillard’s, Sears, JC Penney and Kohl’s, over the last five years.

The detective said one woman would stuff a large shoulder bag with clothes, and the other fashioned a girdle under her skirt to hide clothing.

“It was pretty simple the way she did it,” Detective William Briamonte said of Anderson. “It’s the volume that’s shocking.”

Stamatopoulos estimated the pair stole about $600,000 worth of clothing a year. They got about $1,200 for every $30,000 worth of stolen goods, the detective said.

The women have been charged with aggravated shoplifting and conspiracy. Anderson also has been charged with trafficking in stolen property and theft.

Anderson’s phone was disconnected Friday. Wilson doesn’t have a phone number listed in her name.

Cheetah gives birth at National Zoo

Washington

Five months after a cheetah gave birth at the National Zoo for the first time in its history, another one of the speedy cats has had a litter.

Five cubs were born Thursday night in the zoo’s cheetah section, officials said. They are not yet on public view.

The way the first-time mother treats the babies will determine whether they survive, said Peper Long, a zoo spokeswoman.

“She could do a lot of things,” Long said. “You really don’t consider yourself ever out of the woods until they are full-grown.”

On Nov. 23, four cheetahs were born at the zoo, founded in 1889. At their 20-week weigh-in, they tipped the scales at between 22 and 25 pounds apiece. Those cheetahs are on exhibit daily.


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