PETERSON TO UNDERGO SURGERY -- MCLEAN, VA
only son of decorated retired Army Colonel Gordon Peterson,
and father of socialite Ashley Peterson and her older
brother, lauded restaurant critic Blayne, is said to be undergoing
immediate procedures to address an advanced cancer issue
that he had kept private for several months until he
collapsed at a business meeting last week.
The Peterson children
unfortunately first found out the news when reporters began
contacting them for comment.
Colonel Peterson declined to be
interviewed, simply saying, "I am leaving it in God's hands.
No parent should ever have to bury their child."
Congress confuses file sharing with manslaughter
By Thomas C Greene in Washington, DC
Making a movie available electronically
prior to its release can now result in a three year sentence, thanks to
the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act approved Tuesday by the
House. The Senate has already passed its own version, and the final bill
is expected to be signed by the President.
The bill also calls for three years in cases where a person is caught
recording a movie in a theater with a camcorder - and six years for a
second offence. It also indemnifies theater operators against all
criminal and civil liabilities arising from detaining suspects "in a
reasonable manner." (Welcome to movie jail.)
Since involuntary manslaughter brings, on average, anywhere from 0 to 36
months' incarceration, one might well question the morality of going
harder on those who trade files than on those who negligently cut short
the lives of fellow citizens. But the 109th Congress is about nothing if
not morality, and it understands well the essential sacredness of the
nation's ruling cartels.
Previously, criminal laws protecting copyright had been designed to
target major, organized bootleggers doing serious damage, not
individuals swapping files. The new legislation is designed to broaden
the law to where almost anyone can now be treated as a hardcore
criminal. And since we have seen the entertainment cartels using the
civil courts to conduct a vendetta against file sharers in hopes of
chastening them overall, one can expect that the same examples will be
made of small fry using these new, quite Draconian, criminal sanctions
as well. ®
Local Man Arrested for Using $2 Bills at Best Buy -
PUT YOURSELF in Mike Bolesta's place. On the
morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old
son Christopher's car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57
crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered
legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are
Bolesta's idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too.
For this, Bolesta, Baltimore County resident, innocent citizen, owner of
Capital City Student Tours, finds himself under arrest. Finds himself,
in front of a store full of customers at the Best Buy on York Road in
Lutherville (Timonium, MD), locked into handcuffs and leg irons.
Finds himself transported to the Baltimore County lockup in
Cockeysville, where he's handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the
U.S. Secret Service is called into the case.
Have a nice day, Mike.
"Humiliating," the 57-year old Bolesta was saying now. "I am 6 feet 5
inches tall, and I felt like 8 inches high. To be handcuffed, to have
all those people looking on, to be cuffed to a pole -- and to know you
haven't done anything wrong. And me, with a brother, Joe, who spent 33
years on the city police force. It was humiliating."
What we have here, besides humiliation, is a sense of caution resulting
in screw-ups all around.
"When I bought the stereo player," Bolesta explains, "the technician
said it'd fit perfectly into my son's dashboard. But it didn't. So they
called back and said they had another model that would fit perfectly,
and it was cheaper. We got a $67 refund, which was fine. As long as it
fit, that's all.
"So we go back and pay for it, and they tell us to go around front with
our receipt and pick up the difference in the cost. I ask about
installation charges. They said, 'No installation charge, because of the
mix-up. Our mistake, no charge.' Swell.
"But then, the next day, I get a call at home. They're telling me, 'If
you don't come in and pay the installation fee, we're calling the
police.' Jeez, where did we go from them admitting a mistake to suddenly
calling the police? So I say, 'Fine, I'll be in tomorrow.' But,
overnight, I'm starting to steam a little. It's not the money -- it's
the threat. So I thought, I'll count out a few $2 bills."
He has lots and lots of them.
With his Capital City Student Tours, he arranges class trips for school
kids around the country traveling to large East Coast cities, including
Baltimore. He's been doing this for the last 18 years. He makes all the
arrangements: hotels, meals, entertainment. And it's part of his schtick
that, when Bolesta hands out meal money to students, he does it in $2
bills, which he picks up from his regular bank, Sun Trust.
"The kids don't see that many $2 bills, so they think this is the
greatest thing in the world," Bolesta says. "They don't want to spend 'em.
They want to save 'em. I've been doing this since I started the company.
So I'm thinking, 'I'll stage my little comic protest. I'll pay the $114
with $2 bills.'"
At Best Buy, they may have perceived the protest -- but did not sense
the comic aspect of 57 $2 bills.
"I'm just here to pay the bill," Bolesta says he told a cashier. "She
looked at the $2 bills and told me, 'I don't have to take these if I
don't want to.' I said, 'If you don't, I'm leaving. I've tried to pay my
bill twice. You don't want these bills, you can sue me.' So she took the
money. Like she's doing me a favor."
He remembers the cashier marking each bill with a pen. Then other store
personnel began to gather, a few of them asking, "Are these real?"
"Of course they are," Bolesta said. "They're legal tender."
A Best Buy manager refused comment last week. But, according to a
Baltimore County police arrest report, suspicions were roused when an
employee noticed some smearing of ink. So the cops were called in. One
officer noticed the bills ran in sequential order.
"I told them, 'I'm a tour operator. I've got thousands of these bills. I
get them from my bank. You got a problem, call the bank,'" Bolesta says.
"I'm sitting there in a chair. The store's full of people watching this.
All of a sudden, he's standing me up and handcuffing me behind my back,
telling me, 'We have to do this until we get it straightened out.'
"Meanwhile, everybody's looking at me. I've lived here 18 years. I'm
hoping my kids don't walk in and see this. And I'm saying, 'I can't
believe you're doing this. I'm paying with legal American money.'"
Bolesta was then taken to the county police lockup in Cockeysville,
where he sat handcuffed to a pole and in leg irons while the Secret
Service was called in.
"At this point," he says, "I'm a mass murderer."
Finally, Secret Service agent Leigh Turner arrived, examined the bills
and said they were legitimate, adding, according to the police report,
"Sometimes ink on money can smear."
This will be important news to all concerned.
For Baltimore County police, said spokesman Bill Toohey, "It's a sign
that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world."
The other day, one of Bolesta's sons needed a few bucks. Bolesta pulled
out his wallet and "whipped out a couple of $2 bills. But my son turned
away. He said he doesn't want 'em any more."
He's seen where such money can lead.
DRUGS MAY HAVE PLAYED A PART IN VICIOUS ATTACK AT BOUND -
NORTHEAST -- DCPD were called to
respond to a report of an incident of aggravated assault at the bondage
nightclub "Bound," up on the U Street corridor near the Black Cat and
the Foxxx's Den in Northwest last weekend.
Witnesses report that two men, one black
and one with Arabic features, got into a violent altercation inside the
club. There was a short fist fight, after which the Arabic man downed
the black man and proceeded to bite him on the shoulder. His actions
suggested he may have been intoxicated or drugged up.
Wild reports of the black man turning to
dust afterwards were dismissed as the usual hysteria, but police insist
they have surveillance footage from the security system inside the club
that indicate something highly unusual and unexplainable occurred.
Nobody in the crowd could (or would) identify either of the two men
involved. Spokespeople for the DCPD would not confirm the precise
content of the security footage at press time.
Police cannot charge the second (Arabic) man
with murder as there is currently no body in custody, but he is wanted
for questioning. He is balding (possibly shaved), standing approximately
5'7" - 5'10", clean shaven face, wiry-built at about 170 lbs, aged
somewhere between late 20's to 40's.
Anyone who has more information on the
assailant is asked to call DCPD at 202-555-1431.
ENTIRE BLOCK OF BUSINESSES IN
NORTHEAST DC DESTROYED -- NORTHEAST --
Just about an hour after an incident of
violence just blocks away at Bound, adult entertainment
The Foxxx's Den, and several businesses on the same block all the way up
to Yuma Street, NE, were mysteriously destroyed this past weekend.
Residents and owners in adjoining neighborhoods reported, strangely, no
noises or explosions at the approximate time of the destruction. Many
were shocked to look out the next morning and see the next block
Responding Emergency Services personnel
stated that the Den had previously been cited for structural problems
twice before; once at its opening and once in the last few months, and
that it's possible the renovations of that block simply were too much
for the aged architecture and it collapsed in on itself. The debris was
cleared completely away with unusually great haste, as the entire block
stood completely razed just a day later. The Zoning Board has ordered
re-inspections of surrounding blocks for structural integrity within the
Court rules man can sue lover over deceitful
— CHICAGO (AP)
A man who says his former lover
deceived him by getting pregnant using semen obtained through
oral sex can sue for emotional distress — but not theft, an
appeals court has ruled.
Richard O. Phillips accuses Dr. Sharon Irons of a "calculated,
profound personal betrayal" six years ago, but
she says they had the baby through
The Illinois Appeals Court said Wednesday that Phillips can
press a claim for emotional distress after alleging Irons had
used his sperm to have a baby, but agreed that however the baby
was conceived, Irons didn't steal the sperm.
"She asserts that when
plaintiff 'delivered' his sperm, it was a gift," the decision
said. "There was no agreement that the original deposit would be
returned upon request."
Phillips, a Chicago family doctor, alleges that he and Irons
never had intercourse during their four-month tryst, although
they had oral sex three times. His suit contends that Irons
without his knowledge kept some of his semen.
The relationship ended, the suit said, when Phillips learned
Irons had lied to him about being recently divorced and was
still married to another doctor.
NYSE IT glitch fixed, sparks frustration
The problem halted trading just before the closing bell yesterday
News Story by Anna Driver
New York, NY -- A communications
outage at the New York Stock Exchange in the critical final minutes
of trading yesterday -- and the exchange's refusal to detail what
went wrong -- frustrated customers and exposed frailties in its
CEO John Thain told Reuters Television today that the problem
occurred when the exchange's computer system and its backup were
overwhelmed by an error message that duplicated millions of times.
The exchange has taken steps to correct the problem and it shouldn't
happen again, he said.
The glitch prompted the NYSE to halt floor trading four minutes
before the scheduled 4 p.m. close, which is a time when many
customers rush to fill orders.
The glitch was related to the Securities Industry Automation Corp.,
or SIAC, an electronic system that disseminates market data and runs
computer trading systems. SIAC is a technology center jointly owned
by the NYSE and the American Stock Exchange. Trading at the Amex was
The NYSE issued only a three-sentence statement yesterday more than
an hour after trade was halted. The statement cited only a
Toads Baffle Experts -- Hamburg, Germany:
Scientists in Hamburg, Germany, are baffled by the
strange deaths of hundreds of toads after
they apparently exploded in and
a pond, according to a Local 6 News report.
As many as 1,000 toads have died after their bodies swelled to bursting
point and then exploded, according to reports from animal welfare
workers and veterinarians.
The area around the pond in Hamburg has been cordoned off as experts
investigate the dead toads.
Scientists are looking at a fungus that may have been spread by foreign
race horses from a nearby track, Local 6 News reported Sunday.
scientist with the Hamburg-based Institute for Hygiene and the
Environment called it "absolutely strange" -- saying it doesn't appear
to have happened anywhere before.
The toads fill up like balloons until their stomachs suddenly burst. The
head of a local environmental group said it looks like a scene from a
science fiction movie.
Support Myth of Rome's Founding
Legend Legitimized? Ruins Found That Correspond to Timing of Myth of
By SARAH BARDEN Associated Press Writer
Rome, Italy -- Legend has it that Rome
was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of Mars, the
god of war, who were suckled as infants by a she-wolf in the woods.
Now, archaeologists believe they have found evidence that at least part
of that tale may be true: Traces of a royal palace discovered in the
Roman Forum have been dated to roughly the period of the eternal city's
Carandini, a professor of archaeology at Rome's Sapienza University who
has been conducting excavations at the Forum for more than 20 years,
said he made the discovery over the past month at the spot where the
Temple of Romulus stands today.
It is next to the Sanctuary of Vesta the Roman goddess of the hearth
just outside the Palatine walls, site of the earliest traces of
civilization in Rome.
Where previously archaeologists had only found huts dating to the 8th
century B.C., Carandini and his team unearthed traces of regal splendor:
A 3,700-square-foot palace, 1,130 square feet of which were covered and
the rest courtyard. There was a monumental entrance, and elaborate
furnishings and ceramics.
The walls were made of wood and clay, with a floor of wood shavings and
pressed turf. It was tests on the clay that allowed the archaeologists
to confirm the age of the find.
Carandini said the residence had "absolutely extraordinary dimensions,
dimensions not formerly known."
"It could be nothing other than the royal palace," he said, adding that
during that period the average abode was about one-tenth the size.
Carandini also found a hut where vestal virgins are believed to have lit
a sacred flame.
Eugenio La Rocca, the superintendent for monuments for the city of Rome,
said Carandini's interpretation of the ruins appears to be accurate.
"It seems to me that what is emerging from the excavation of Carandini,
who can be considered the highest authority in this field, is a very
coherent archaeological reading," La Rocca told the newspaper Il
Waters in Tlacote, Mexico
Waiting for their chance for a miracle, a line of people often stretches
for over a mile on a dusty road in the little town of Tlacote, Mexico.
More than 10,000 a day sometimes come to visit Jesus Chahin's well and
to take away a can or two of the now-famous miracle water which is said
to have cured everything from AIDS and cancer to obesity and high
the state health director has tested the water and says that it is
normal for this region and safe to drink, Jesus Chahin says that it
weighs less than normal water. Chahin, a wealthy man, has been giving
the water away since last May when he accidentally discovered its
healing properties by observing its swift healing effect on a farm dog
who lapped up some of it. He thinks its healing properties may be
connected to the fact that it weighs less than normal water.
Those who hope for healing continue to arrive and wait, unconcerned
about any scientific explanations. Dominican nun Maria Guadalupe Aguilar
drove 175 miles with Rev. Juan Crespo who suffers from prostate cancer,
to see if the water can heal him. "For me", she says, "all of these
things are God's miracles." (Source: Washington Post)
It all started with a sick dog who recovered soon after drinking from a
muddy puddle. A few people then cautiously tried the water, and they too
were healed. And then more came and were healed in the farm village of
Tlacote near Mexico City. The local priest applied to the Mexican
government to have the water pumped and filtered, but it refused to
provide any funding...until he sent water to a nearby army hospital,
where six hundred soldiers were cured.
After the miraculous healing well was discovered in Mexico, two more
sources of healing water have been found. One is in Germany, 100 km east
of Dusseldorf, the other is in the village of Nadana, 150 km north of
Delhi, in India.
While Katherine Whittier
is on assignment covering hard news, the Gossip Section is on hiatus.
However we do have one item of note that bears reporting.
and Exotic Dancer Meghan Ambrose, aka Gabrielle "Gabby" Wildwood and
fiancé Raine Drouven, have called off their engagement, reminding
everyone of her hot and cold running nuptial plans with Loki (Stephen
Byrne) just a couple of years ago.
Ambrose may be doing the Runaway Bride routine after the public
humiliation of her rape trial ordeal with Byrne, which ended in a
mistrial due to lack of actual proof that Byrne was
the culprit. Ambrose's attorney pulled the case just as prosecutors were
about to order a blood test on her fiancé to rule him out as a suspect.
She protested, and the trial ended with Byrne free to go. Some critics
have accused her of false charges to punish Byrne for alleged prior
infidelities and more recent dalliances tallied in the local news.
Ambrose denied the allegations but had no defense as to why she... had
no defense, as it were.
She has not been seen in public since then, but sources close to both
parties have indicated that the fallout from that trial destroyed their
relationship, and Ambrose has left the city to parts unknown, to nurse
her destroyed career and reputation, as well as her tattered social
Calls to both her agent, and to Mr. Drouven, as well as Mr. Byrne, went