March 13, 2005 in Nation/World

Boeing ex-CEO’s wife seeks divorce

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Chicago The wife of ousted Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher has filed for divorce, less than a week after the aerospace company’s board forced him out for improper conduct related to an affair with a female executive.

Joan Stonecipher, 68, cited “irreconcilable differences” in papers filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court. The filing comes just a month after the couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

She listed her occupation as housewife and demanded a “fair and reasonable sum” from her husband, whom she described as having “substantial income and wealth.”

Stonecipher, the tough-talking son of a Tennessee coal miner, was credited with helping Boeing clean up its ethical behavior and improve its reputation. The company’s stock surged 52 percent during his tenure as chief executive officer.

Stonecipher, 68, resigned under pressure March 6.

A phone message left Saturday at the Stoneciphers’ St. Petersburg, Fla., home was not immediately returned.

Tsunami survivors sue Pacific warning center

Honolulu Tsunami survivors and relatives of victims have sued the federal agency that operates the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, alleging the center did not do enough to warn people about the disaster.

The lawsuit was filed last week in New York federal court by a plaintiffs group that includes at least 58 European survivors and family members of victims.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center monitors seismic and ocean conditions in the Pacific Basin and issues warnings to member nations. It is based on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

NOAA officials refused to comment on the complaint but have previously said the center was not set up to warn nations outside the Pacific rim.

A Dec. 26 earthquake caused the massive tsunami that killed at least 166,000 people in 11 countries on the Indian Ocean.

Priest sentenced for skimming collections

Chicago A Roman Catholic priest accused of skimming more than $77,000 from church collection plates and spaghetti dinner fund-raisers has been sentenced to six months of home confinement.

The Rev. Arthur LaPore pleaded guilty in June to filing a false income tax return in 1997. He admitted in a plea agreement skimming $100 weekly from collections and $300 weekly from dinners.

LaPore, who was also sentenced Friday to two years of probation, has been voluntarily repaying the money, according to his attorney, Daniel Purdom.

A church janitor and about 30 parishioners came forward with the allegations in 1999 after the diocese failed to respond to their complaints.

LaPore is on unpaid administrative leave from the parish.

Well-wishers flood Clinton Web site

New York As former President Bill Clinton recovered from surgery to correct a rare side effect of his recent heart operation, messages of love and support flooded his foundation’s Web site Friday.

“We all need you in our world,” a well-wisher told Clinton, who underwent a four-hour surgery Thursday at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan.

“Take care, mind the docs and take the time to heal,” read the posting from A. Johanson. “I’m praying for you!”

“Good luck, the world is a better place with you in it,” another supporter told Clinton.

The former president was expected to spend three to 10 days in the hospital, said Dr. Herbert Pardes, the hospital’s president.

Fluid and scar tissue had built up in Clinton’s chest cavity since his September quadruple-bypass surgery, choking off half his left lung.

He first noticed the problem when he suffered shortness of breath during his daily routine.

While rare, the condition posed no immediate danger. Doctors described the procedure as a low-risk one, and Clinton himself called it routine.

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