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New York police hunt hit-and-run driver



Published: Wed, February 13, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



New York police hunthit-and-run driver

NEW YORK -- Police searched today for the driver of a car who injured 19 people -- including a 10-year-old girl -- in a series of hit-and-run accidents in Manhattan. The pedestrians suffered minor injuries.

The ordeal began Tuesday afternoon, when a man driving a Buick Regal with New Jersey license plates hit three people in a crosswalk at 34th Street near Pennsylvania Station, police department spokesman Sgt. James Foley said.

"He came flying down 34th and took the corner hard, man," Trey Barnes, 26, told the Daily News. "I saw two people fly up into the air."

A police officer on patrol stopped the vehicle, but as he approached, the driver took off southbound on Seventh Avenue, said police Capt. Dennis DeQuatro. He then hit five people at five intersections.

As the car approached West 17th Street, it struck a group of students from Liberty High School, DeQuatro said.

The car was found abandoned on that street, its windshield shattered, and the driver is believed to have fled on foot. Police did not identify the driver.

Authorities said the worst injury appeared to be a broken leg. Nine victims were taken to St. Vincent's Hospital and eight to Bellevue Medical Center. The other two refused medical treatment.

Va. Senate passes billto put motto in schools

RICHMOND, Va. -- A bill requiring Virginia's public schools to post signs reading "In God We Trust" has been approved by the state Senate.

The legislation passed 30-10 on Tuesday, and a similar bill has passed the state's House of Delegates. The two houses still need to consider each others' bills.

The measure's sponsor, Republican Sen. Nick Rerras, said the national motto offers a much-needed expression of hope in an era of terrorism and weakening moral values.

Senate Democratic Leader Richard L. Saslaw was the only senator who spoke against the Virginia bill, saying it trivialized the word "God." He said the moral decline Rerras described has occurred largely in the years since Congress made "In God We Trust" the national motto in 1956. The motto's inclusion on coins and currency hasn't helped, he said.

"It is on the back of all of our currency -- not the front, the back of our currency," Saslaw said. "If you think this promotes either some type of good conduct or patriotism or whatever, keep in mind people will pull a gun out of their pocket and kill to get their hands on this piece of paper, so it does no such thing."

Saslaw proposed an amendment to make Rerras' bill effective only if Congress passes legislation requiring that the motto be posted in federal buildings. It was rejected.

Ecoterrorist group'sspokesman won't talk

WASHINGTON -- A radical environmental group that has carried out 600 attacks since 1996 has become the largest and most active U.S.-based terrorist group, the FBI's top domestic terrorism officer said Tuesday.

But a House committee's efforts to shed light on the Earth Liberation Front and its companion, the Animal Liberation Front, were frustrated when former ELF spokesman Craig Rosebraugh refused to answer questions from members of Congress.

"I'll take the Fifth Amendment," Rosebraugh said more than 50 times to questions ranging from whether he helped produce an ELF training film to who was paying for his attorney.

Rosebraugh was subpoenaed to testify at the request of Rep. Scott McInnis, R-Colo., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health.

FBI expert James F. Jarboe said that since 1996, the ALF and ELF have caused $43 million in damage in more than 600 attacks, ranging from spray-painting buildings and breaking windows to firebombing fur farms, research centers and a ski resort.

New Viagra study

CHICAGO -- A study that had patients bicycling on their backs to simulate the rigors of sex suggests that many men with heart disease can safely take Viagra.

Fears about the effects of the impotence drug on heart patients have been stirred by reports of more than 100 heart attacks and deaths among users.

The latest study bolsters previous research showing that Viagra is unlikely to cause problems in heart patients who do not have severe disease and are not taking nitrate drugs.

Unlike some of the previous studies, the current research was not funded by Viagra's manufacturer. It was conducted through grants from the Mayo Foundation and the American Heart Association.

The results appear in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Associated Press




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