SOUTHWEST - Whittier continues to recover; police still undecided about charges: Noted news columnist Katherine "Kitty" Whittier continues to convalesce at Georgetown University Hospital under close medical supervision and security.
Sources are tight-lipped about her situation, but it seems to be no secret that there is more than meets the eye in this strange case. Doctors do not wish to jeopardize Whittier's chances of continuing her career, but recent allegations on her part of an extensive cocaine habit, that do not match her own personal doctor's findings, have raised many unanswered questions both for police and media. At this juncture, it is possible her assertions are the result of possible brain damage due to seizures. Whittier is alert but is not physically able to interact for more than a few minutes at a time before becoming exhausted. Her weekly newspaper column has been temporarily suspended pending evaluation of her fitness to safely return to work. Whittier is said to be anxious and a bit down from her extended hospitalization, as well as a touch paranoid, but doctors blame all of this on her ordeal and say that she may experience radical personality shifts and memory lapses, resembling the effects of a stroke, as her body readjusts. They gave no indication as to when she would be fit to be discharged, or to testify to police investigators.
Police at this time concluded there is not enough strong evidence to proceed with charges against Whittier for drug-related offenses, but have not yet closed her case.
Whittier was scheduled to conduct three exclusive local celebrity interviews this Spring, all of which are now also on hold.
N.H. Senator's Wife Abducted, Then Freed
By MATTHEW BARAKLOW, Associated Press Writer
McLEAN, Va. - The wife of Sen. Judd Gregg (news, bio, voting record), R-N.H., was abducted at knife point from her home on Tuesday morning, but later released unharmed, said suburban Virginia police and spokesmen for the senator.
Police said that 52-year-old Kathleen Gregg arrived at her house about 9:30 a.m. EDT to find two men waiting inside. One drew a knife and demanded cash, said Jacqi Smith, a spokeswoman for the Fairfax County Police Department.
One of the men then drove her to a nearby bank while the other followed in another car, Smith said, reporting that after the men received an undisclosed amount of cash from a teller, they fled the scene in a car and the woman called police.
Sgt. Jeff Gossett of the Fairfax County Police Department said there was "no indication at this time they knew who she was."
Abductors Discussed Killing Her, Gregg Says
In an exclusive interview with ABCNEWS affiliate WMUR in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Gregg said she feared for her life, and overheard the men planning to kill her if they felt cornered by authorities.
"There were two men that were just … they just weren't all there," she said. "I mean, they were crazy people. They were there, they wanted to get money. … They went through jewelry, took things that they thought they maybe could get some cash for. "
Virginia police said Gregg had been out of the house early Tuesday morning, but returned to her house about 9:30 a.m. ET. Gregg told WMUR that she was reading her newspaper when she heard noises in the garage.
"Before I knew it I was face-to-face with these two men that I had never seen before," she said. "And I said 'what are you doing here?' And you know, I knew what he was doing. So I ran to the front door to get out of the house and I didn't make it. They caught me and put me down on the floor and tied me up."
The men — one black, one white — demanded cash and Gregg said she told them there was none in the house. They then rifled through the house and took jewelry and other items, Gregg recalled.
Sen. Gregg was amazed at his wife's survival and just grateful she was physically unharmed.
"I think obviously she's an amazing person. We all know that," he said, choking back tears. "[Ernest] Hemingway said courage is grace under fire. Well, it's also thinking. Thinking and grace under fire."
Early this morning, authorities in Fairfax County, Va., said police in Carteret, N.J., spotted a car matching the one used in Gregg's abduction and robbery — described as a Chevrolet Monte Carlo with Virginia license plates.
The two detained today have been identified as 26-year-old Michael Pierre of Upper Marlboro, Md., and 31-year-old Christopher Ford of no fixed address. They also face charges in New Jersey for resisting arrest and police battery for this morning's car chase.
Fairfax County police also believe the two men are responsible for rash of recent crimes in Arlington and Alexandria, Va.
SOUTHEAST - Teen Who May Have Seen Killing Is Slain: WASHINGTON - Police said a 14-year-old girl was shot to death and her friend wounded after being targeted because their assailant thought the slain girl had witnessed a killing the day before.
Jahkema Hansen, 14, and an unidentified 12-year-old girl were found Friday evening in a townhouse not far from the U.S. Capitol. The shooting of the two girls was in an area where two men were shot to death last Sunday.
Cmdr. Michael Anzallo, chief of detectives for the District of Columbia police, said the girl was killed because her killer thought she was a witness in the first of two shootings in the same area Sunday. Police said they did not believe the shooter was after the girl who was wounded in the leg. The slain girl was shot three times, including once in the head.
The mother said she was angry at police for not providing more help. "Even if my daughter didn't want to say anything, they were supposed to put out protection just in case," she said.
The slaying of Jahkema Hansen, who was 14 and was known as Princess, turned out to be a more complicated story than it initially seemed. Prosecutors say she was a witness to a killing near the Sursum Corda housing complex and was executed after saying she expected to be paid for her silence.
Washington, D.C., which some people fondly call “Chocolate City” because of its large black population, was the nation’s murder capital in 2002. There were 262 homicides that year in this city of roughly 565,000 people. It had more murders per 100,000 people than any other city with a population over 500,000. Last year, the number of homicides fell to 247, but Washington retained it’s “murder capital” ranking. The youngest victim was 5 months old; the oldest was 96.
NORTHEAST - SINGER LOKI PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO RAPE AND ASSAULT CHARGES, AWAITS TRIAL DATE - The Goth singer and accused rapist known publicly as Loki, this morning pled "not guilty" to charges of 1 count each of rape and assault on fellow singer Meghan Ambrose earlier this year.
The judge adjourned the hearing moments later, saying he expected to set a trial date during a May 27 hearing. Loki then was excused, with plenty of time to return to the studio to continue working on details for an upcoming Tour that has been postponed pending outcome of the trial.
Ambrose was not present in the courtroom this morning; however, her attorney was. Her attorney indicated to the court that his client does not wish to drop the charges at this time.
Loki has insisted that he would never hurt his accuser, and that he continues to have no memory of the evening's events in question. The singer has been known to partake in recreational drugs on occasion, some of which could cause such a condition even days or weeks after first being imbibed.
If convicted of felony sexual assault, the young British-born singer would face four years to life in prison or 20 years to life on probation. Failing that, he could also be deported.
The trial must be set within six months unless he waives that right. Both sides have told the judge they think a trial would take two to three weeks.
Earlier Tuesday, attorneys argued behind closed doors on a defense motion to use the accuser's own sexual and drug use histories against her, not to mention extensive precedent of past rough sexual play between the parties during the course of their romantic relationship.
STYLE & SOCIAL NEWS
CELEB NEWS (Compiled by Staff Writers; Kitty's Korner is still on hiatus while Ms. Whittier recuperates.) -- Spotted Chez Phantasm, cozying up to DC's Least Sought After Bachelor 2004, the Post's own rookie journo, Berkeley Learmonth, writing sweet somethings on the palm of none other than Goth Rocker Loki's hand. How 4th Grade...
SOUTHWEST - THE HUSH PIANO BAR CONTINUES OPEN MIKE WEDNESDAYS: Up and coming musicians in the DC area are encouraged to audition for slots in The Hush's "Open Mike" Wednesdays offering. Recently featured performers include Hope Falon and Kenzo.
ACADEMIC TUTORS WANTED: Local adult student seeks Political Science and Public Speaking Tutors to coach in finishing College Degree. Please reply to (202) 555-8117. Ask for Selena.
Super-hot star caught in death throes
By Maggie McKee
The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the death throes of a searingly hot, Sun-like star that has cast off its outer layers in a form resembling the opalescent wings of a giant butterfly.
Gas in the Bug Nebula, officially called NGC 6302, is being ionized by an unseen star - one of the hottest known - at the intersection of the wings.
The nebula is 4000 light years from Earth.
But what excites astronomers most is not the shimmer of the wings but a dark band that bisects them. A dense ring of gas and dust - called a torus - girdles and obscures the dying star and contains most of the star's ejected gas.
Future observations with radio telescopes could help map out the torus and explain the nebula's shape. The star's high temperature - about 250,000° Celsius - also fascinates astronomers. The Sun's surface is about 5000° C, and white dwarfs, the remains of Sun-like stars that have puffed out their gas in planetary nebulae, reach temperatures of about 100,000°C.
"I can't think of any known star hotter than this," says Zijlstra. The hottest phase in a star's life comes just before it runs out of hydrogen fuel and then fades quickly into a white dwarf, and it appears that Hubble has captured this fleeting phase.
Porn Actors Cleared For Work: (AP) CALIFORNIA -- Nineteen
have been cleared to go back to work.
adult performers have tested positive for the virus since an actor
apparently acquired it in March while shooting in Brazil. The quarantined
actors have refrained from doing sex scenes.
The moratorium affected an estimated $4 billion- to $10 billion-a-year business -- based mainly in the San Fernando Valley -- that churns out 4,000 new movies a year.
Connelly estimated that about 85 percent of production companies heeded the work stoppage. More than 300 productions were postponed.
Local DC Adult Film Star Chastity Foxxx assures her fans and followers that she is rigorously careful in all her professional endeavors, and guarantees she has not personally been affected by the HIV problems in California, additionally plugging her recently opened erotic fantasy club, "The Foxxx's Den".
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Felecia went beyond the boundaries that no reporter or editor should go beyond. Not only did she fail to mention the said FBI Agent in an anonymous manner, or by his name, but she went into great length to describe the appearance of the said individual.
It seems to me like the Washington Post and Felecia Bellman, is looking to invite a Libel civil case against this newspaper. As much as I personally disagree with the scope and balances of the Patriot Act, what was done was out of line and uncalled for.
Dear Mr. Baird,
It seems you are misinformed about the legal and/or ethical constraints upon American media. Libel is the crime of putting in print damaging untruths that ruin a specific someone's reputation, lifestyle or livelihood. What I printed does none of these things.
As a matter of fact, the assertions in your letter come closer to libel than my editorial, as you were accusing me publicly of committing crimes under the aegis of my work duties; in fact, calling me to task in the very venue in which I work, causing possible deleteriousness to my professional reputation.
It is completely unclear from your letter which boundary it is you believe we have crossed here. I would only be held liable in a libel suit if I did, in fact, name the suspect involved, as you suggested, seeing as his identity is only conjecture at this time. I merely reported the facts we were given about the incident, in conjunction with its relevance to the topic of the Editorial. I am perplexed as to how using facts to back my stance is professionally remiss.
Additionally, the description of the suspect in the thefts is from police reports, and by the Freedom of Information Act, is public knowledge. It is in the interest of public safety that the description is posted (unless police specifically request it not be, so as to not hinder apprehension of a suspect), so that if any witnesses read our paper and recognize him, they can inform police.
Do you not believe that a strange man entering a place of business, claiming to represent our government, yet violating numerous Rights and Laws regarding Search and Seizure, is newsworthy? Our readers think it is. They fear they could be next, and clearly with valid reason.
While we appreciate your enthusiastic concern with keeping our paper out of the courts, and while everyone is entitled to their respective opinions, your letter demonstrated a root level deficiency in knowledge of media regulations, ethics and law. I stand behind my Editorial as is, and assure you there is no danger of a lawsuit involved here, except potentially on your part.