Ore. city sues $2.6M lottery winners over alleged 4-month party

Published February 18, 2007

City files suit against lottery winners

A couple who won a $2.6-million lottery jackpot and spoke of helping young people fight drug addiction and alcohol abuse are facing a lawsuit alleging they held four months of parties with public sex, fights and signs of drug dealing. The city lawsuit against Elizabeth and Samuel Howard also detailed allegations of an assault on a neighbor, slashed tires and loud music. Samuel Howard, 54, denied the allegations. "I just feel like I'm a victim in the whole situation," he said.

The city wants to board up the house for six to 12 months, according to Roland Iparraguirre, a deputy city attorney. The Howards accepted a lump-sum payment of $871,000 from the Oregon Lottery in October 2005. In the first four months after they moved in, police were called to the street 52 times, the lawsuit said.

Scientists end search for friend

A high-technology search of waters off Northern California for engineer Jim Gray, 63, a highly respected Microsoft Corp. scientist, has been called off by Gray's friends, the Associated Press reported Saturday.

Computer scientists from Google Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft and the University of California at Berkeley and other universities created custom software, assembled satellite imagery, collected weather conditions data to search waters as far away as Oregon and Mexico. Gray, acclaimed for his pioneering research on databases, has been missing since Jan. 28. He set out from San Francisco to scatter his mother's ashes around the Farallon Islands, about 25 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Suspect arrested in Wiesel attack

A man accused of roughing up Nobel laureate and Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel at a San Francisco hotel this month was arrested Saturday, authorities said. Montgomery Township police arrested Eric Hunt, 22, of Sussex County, N.J. Hunt faces charges that include attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery and the commission of a hate crime, according to San Francisco police. He was being held without bail in the Somerset County Jail in New Jersey, awaiting extradition to San Francisco.

Air Force tests synthetic fuel

With the wind chill making it seem like 40 below zero, Lt. Col. Daniel Millman said the Air Force picked the right place to test a new fuel.

Millman, pilot of a B-52 bomber, helped test a synthetic fuel blend that could be made domestically from coal or natural gas as the Air Force seeks to wean its dependence on foreign crude and defray soaring fuel costs. The cold-weather ground tests of the fuel showed it compared well to conventional petroleum-based military aviation fuel, known as JP-8.

"It behaves exactly the same as JP-8, no more no less," Millman said. The fuel is a Fischer-Tropsch fuel, named after two German scientists who developed the process in 1923 of converting natural gas or coal into liquid fuel. Germany used the process to convert coal to fuel during World War II.

At $20 a gallon, the Fischer-Tropsch fuel costs about eight times as much as the standard fuel it uses, so its widespread use in military aircraft could still be years away.