Copyright 1995 Gannett Company, Inc.
May 2, 1995, Tuesday, FINAL EDITION
SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 3A
LENGTH: 873 words
HEADLINE: 'Baby Richard' adjusts to new life
BYLINE: Paul Leavitt
Four-year-old "Baby Richard" was reported Monday to be adjusting well to life with his biological parents after being taken crying from the Schaumburg, Ill., home of his adoptive parents. Counselors say the child's situation is "a hundred times better than they ever expected," said Loren Heinemann, lawyer for biological parents Otakar and Daniela Kirchner. The move ends a 4-year legal fight between the Kirchners and adoptive parents identified by the Chicago Sun-Times as Kimberly and Robert Warburton. The state Supreme Court granted Kirchner custody in January, ruling the adoption was illegal because he had been told by the boy's mother the baby was born dead. - Shannon Tangonan
FLORIDA SCHOOL TERROR: A man abducted a woman and baby and took them to Miami Springs Senior High, where he sexually assaulted one of the female students, police said. Police charged former Miami Springs student Andrew Peters, 21, with sexual battery and kidnapping. "He threatened to kill the woman and child, pointing the gun at the child unless the girls disrobed," said police spokesman Juan Del Castillo. He was captured by a janitor.
BANISHED YOUTHS: Two Native Alaskan teen-agers can remain banished to remote islands for robbing a pizza man so long as they know that "a standard-range prison sentence inescapably awaits them" when they return, a Washington state appeals court said. The court said the sentencing judge in Everett was wrong to suggest tribal exile might lead to reduced sentences for Adrian Guthrie and Simon Roberts, both 18, of the Tlingit tribe in Klawock, Alaska.
In Ketchikan, Alaska, Klawock court leader Rudy James is seeking to have a state judge turn over custody of James' brother, Daryle, who was convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl. Rudy James says his brother should be handed over for "constructive, tribal court-ordered activities, assignments and projects." Prosecutors are opposed.
MEGAN'S LAW: Only 910 of New Jersey's estimated 4,000 released sex offenders have refused to comply with Megan's Law, according to court papers filed ahead of today's state Supreme Court hearing on the legality of the measure. The law, which requires sex offenders to register with local authorities, is named for Megan Kanka, 7, who was raped and slain. A released sex offender is charged.
EMBEZZLEMENT CASE: Episcopal Church national treasurer Ellen Cooke embezzled $ 2.2 million over the past five years, Presiding Bishop Edmond Browning said. Cooke, who resigned in January, has not been charged. She is cooperating with the investigation and said she has "deep remorse and regret." She spent the money on a farm, school tuition for her sons, jewelry, clothing, meals and personal trips, the church probe found.
NO TOWER: Air traffic controllers at Ohio's Toledo Express Airport could be back in the tower today after asbestos problems last week forced them to direct aircraft from the back of a Chevy Suburban parked along a runway. Air traffic - about 30 flights daily - has not been significantly affected and controllers are holding up well, says FAA spokesman Don Zochert. Officials aren't sure what is causing the high asbestos readings.
ALSO MONDAY . . .
-- ENDANGERED RATS: Federal prosecutors agreed to drop charges that accused Wang Lin Farms of Kern County, Calif., of violating the endangered species act by allowing plowing on land inhabited by the Tipton kangaroo rat, San Joaquin kit fox and blunt-nosed leopard lizard. Farm officials agreed to pay $ 5,000 and seek permits before plowing.
-- UNABOMBER DEMAND: Bob Guccione, publisher of Penthouse, says he'll print the Unabomber's 29,000-word manifesto. The bomber, who has killed three and wounded 23 in attacks dating to 1978, has offered to stop if a major media outlet publishes his diatribe. Court bans art of Jesus at school
Bloomingdale, Mich., school officials lost a 2 1/2-year fight to keep a artist's rendering of Jesus in a high school hallway, where it had hung 30 years. The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that said the art has "a proselytizing, affirming effect that some non-believers find deeply offensive." It was removed in February by court order.
School Superintendent Thomas Hoke called the court's action "shameful" and said it's "absolutely absurd that a longstanding, landmark portrait depicting a famous teacher and a famous historical figure cannot be placed in a school system."
But Paul Denenfeld of the Michigan American Civil Liberties Union said, "Religious symbols that have nothing to do with studies, but rather simply endorse a particular faith, have no place in public schools that are attended by people of all faiths." And Barry Lynn of Americans United for Separation of Church and State said that as a minister he's appalled at the defenders' argument. "To treat it as just another historical painting demeans its religious character," Lynn said.
The court also agreed to decide whether a Rhode Island ban on liquor-price advertising violates free-speech rights. The ruling could affect laws in Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. Contributing: Carrie Dowling.
GRAPHIC: PHOTO, b/w, AP; PHOTO, b/w, Lori King, AP; PHOTO, b/w, Jay Drowns, AP