April 29, 2005 in Nation/World

Woman, 80, saves neighbor from fire

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Hopkinton, R.I. An 80-year-old woman rescued her 67-year-old neighbor from an apartment fire, carrying the ailing woman down two flights of stairs.

Madalene Lindill put Grace Brayman’s arms around her neck and carried her on her back out of their elderly housing complex Wednesday after Brayman accidentally ignited a fire in her apartment.

Lindill told WJAR-TV there was “nothing to it.”

“I’m not a great person,” she said. “You just don’t think at the time.”

Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire Chief Fred Stanley described Lindill as “a small woman.” She told him she had served as an auxiliary firefighter in the 1960s in Plainfield, Conn.

Fire officials said the blaze started when Brayman, who was wearing an oxygen mask, lit a cigarette. That caused the mask to ignite, and the fire spread to a chair and carpet.

Brayman was released Thursday from a hospital.

Stanley said Lindill would receive a department citation for heroism.

Casino employees face accusations

Atlantic, N.J.

Four more surveillance camera operators at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel Casino have been accused of using the equipment to ogle women, according to a complaint filed Tuesday.

In December, the same casino was fined $80,000 for incidents involving two camera operators who trained their in-ceiling cameras on low-cut blouses and revealing clothing.

The hidden cameras are required by law in New Jersey casinos to deter and prosecute theft, embezzlement, cheating and other crimes.

According to the new complaint filed by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, the four Caesars employees aimed their cameras on “selected parts of the anatomy” of female gamblers and employees over a three-day period in October.

NYC subways see rise in thefts of riders’ iPods

New York The iPod craze has spawned a crime wave in city subways.

Police told the city transportation board on Wednesday that 50 iPods have been reported stolen on the subways so far this year, compared to none during the same period last year. Cell phone thefts have more than doubled to 165 from 82 last year.

The thefts fueled a 20 percent spike in robberies last month on the subway, officials said. Most thieves are believed to keep the devices, which can retail for $100 to $500.

“It usually has to do with young people taking them from young people,” said police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Thieves spot people with the telltale white earphones, then snatch the devices and run out train doors. On Web sites, iPod devotees suggest keeping the devices concealed and switching to cheaper-looking earphones.

Texan, 7, takes second in world chess tourney

Athens, Greece The first world school chess championships ended Thursday with top prizes split among five nations, while a 7-year-old Texan came in second.

Indonesia’s Aston Taminsyah won the Under-8 tournament with eight points in nine rounds, edging Fernando Spada Jr., of Brownsville, Texas, who had 7.5 points.

Fernando, who said before the tournament that he was “coming to win,” admitted to one regret from the weeklong chess fest – not beating the eventual winner in the third round.

“I really enjoyed playing good, playing great chess. (I) just made one little mistake,” the boy said.

The second-grader was taught chess by his grandfather at age 4. He is currently rated No. 3 in the United States for his age group.

The tournament, held at the northern Greek seaside resort of Halkidiki, involved 200 young players from more than 20 countries.

Women claim church promised Christ meeting

Salt Lake City Two women claim they were bilked out of their life savings by an apocalyptic religious group that promised them land and a face-to-face meeting with Jesus Christ.

Kaziah Hancock and Cindy Stewart earlier won their lawsuit against Jim Harmston and The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of The Last Days in a district court, but it was thrown out by a judge.

They appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

In the appeal, the women’s attorney, Don Redd, argued Harmston and the church should not be allowed to create a “religious cocoon” to protect themselves.

Harmston’s attorney, Kevin Bond, said the promises were not to be fulfilled by Harmston, but by God, and that a ruling in the women’s‘ favor would set a precedent for excommunicated church members of any faith to seek repayment of tithing.

The women first sued in 2002, when a jury awarded them $300,000. However, a judge ruled that the damages were unfair, and Redd refiled the lawsuit. A judge then dismissed three of five claims, prompting the appeal and a separate district court lawsuit.

The church – founded in 1994 by Harmston after his excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – preaches the practice of polygamy as one of its tenets. It made news in 2002 after posting a Web site declaration that the end of the world was at hand and only church members would survive.


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