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Winchester Star Newspaper Archive: March 20, 2008 - Page 1

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   Winchester Star (Newspaper) - March 20, 2008, Winchester, Virginia                                The Winchester Star Thursday, March 20, 2008 112th YEAR No. 220 WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA 22601 Bush: war has made U.S. safer President defends Iraq actions despite chigh cost in lives, treasure5 By BEN FELLER Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON - President Bush defiantly defended the Iraq war on Wednesday as U.S. troops began a sixth year of combat in the long and costly conflict that has dominated his presidency. The president conceded that the war has been harder and more expensive than anticipated, but insisted that it has all been necessary to keep Americans safe. Protesters marked the anniversary of the U.S. invasion with demonstra- tions near the White House and in other cities, though they seemed to lack the fervor of those that preceded the war. Bush, in a speech at the Pentagon, offered some of his boldest assessments of progress and said the war's legacy is absolute: "The world is better, and the United States of America is safer." A war-weary country isn't nearly so convinced. The majority of people think the invasion was a mistake, polls show. However, Americans are more split about how the war is going and when U.S. troops should be pulled home, as reduced violence in Iraq has begun to influence the public view. Almost 4,000 U.S. military members have died, and more than 29,000 have been wounded. The cost is $500 billion and counting. "No one would argue that this war has not come at a high cost in lives and treasure," Bush said. "But those costs are necessary when we consider the cost of a strategic victory for our enemies in Iraq." The U.S. has about 158,000 troops in Iraq, and that number is expected to drop to 140,000 by summer. But Bush signaled anew that he will not withdraw more troops home as long as his commanders worry that doing so will imperil recently improved conditions in Iraq. "Having come' so far, and achieved so much, we're not going to let this happen," he said. Demonstrators converged in the nation's capital, other large cities such as Miami and San Francisco, and in smaller towns in Vermont and Ohio to urge an end to the war. Police arrested more than 30 people who blocked the Internal Revenue Service building in Wash-See War, Page A6 GERALD HERBERT/The Associated Press President Bush marks the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion with a speech at the Pentagon. JEFF TAYIOR/The Winchester Star Harp and soul Master Sgt. Karen Grimsey concentrates as she tunes her harp before* a performance of the United States Marine Band on Wednesday night. The famed ensemble - often referred to as "The President's Own" - visited Shenandoah University in Winchester, playing in Armstrong Concert Hall. Grimsey's hometown is Wheaton, III. For another photo, see Page A3. Lack of state figures slows budget efforts, Frederick officials say By ROBERT IGOE The Winchester Star WINCHESTER-The Frederick County Finance Committee recommended on Wednesday that the Board of Supervisors vote on the real estate tax rate at its next regular meeting on April 9, but hold off on approving the budget. The supervisors will hold public hearings on the tax rate and the proposed budget for fiscal year 2009 during their regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Frederick County Office Complex However, county Finance Director Cheryl Shiftier told the Finance Com mittee that a final, detailed draft of the county's budget is not ready due to delays in receiving necessary information about funding levels from the state Legislature. County Schools Superintendent Patricia Taylor, who attended Wednesday's meeting, said the school system is experiencing similar delays, but hopes to have its budget completed See Budget, Page A6 Court won't delay Bell execution By ERICA M. BUSH The Winchester Star WINCHESTER - A federal appeals court will not delay the execution of a city man convicted of killing a police officer while he petitions the Supreme Court to hear his case. On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond denied Edward Nathaniel Bell's request to postpone his execution. Bell, 42, petitioned the court to stay his death sentence in a motion filed on Friday. He is scheduled to be executed on April 8. Only a stay of execution from Gov. Timothy M. Kaine or an order from the U.S. Supreme Court can prevent Bell's death. Bell, who is being held on death row at the Sussex State Prison in Waverly, had previously asked the Court of Appeals to set aside the death sentence he received for the Oct. 29,1999, murder of Winchester Police Sgt Rick L. Tim-brook, but the court rejected his request. The execution date was set in February. Bell shot Timbrook, 32, once in the forehead during a foot pursuit on Piccadilly Street, near the present site of the Timbrook Public Safety Center. A Winchester Circuit Court jury found Bell guilty of capital murder in January 2001 and recommended the death penalty. He was sentenced to death by Judge Dennis L. Hupp on May 30,2001. See Bell, Page A6 Edward Nathaniel Bell Spring is arriving earlier, and scientists are worried BySETH BORENSTEIN AP Sc/ence Writer WASHINGTON - The capital's famous cherry trees are primed to burst out in a perfect pink peak around the end of this month. Thirty years ago, the trees usually didn't bloom until about April 5. In central California, the first of the field skipper sachem, a drab little butterfly, was fluttering about on March 12. Just 25 years ago, that creature predictably emerged there between mid- April and mid-May. And sneezes are coming earlier in Philadelphia. On March 9, when allergist Dr. Donald Dvorin set up his monitor, maple pollen was already heavy in the air. Less than two decades ago, that pollen couldn't be measured until late April. Pollen is bursting. Creatures are stirring. Buds are swelling. Scientists are worrying. "The alarm clock that all the plants and animals are listening to is running Spring began at 1:48 a.m. today too fast," Stanford University biologist Terry Root said. Blame global warming. The fingerprints of man-made climate change are evident in seasonal timing changes for thousands of species on Earth, according to dozens of studies and last year's authoritative report by the Nobel Prize-winning international climate scientists. More than 30 scientists told The Associated Press how global warming is affecting plants and animals at spring- time across the country, in nearly every state. : What's happening is so noticeable that scientists can track it from space. Satellites measuring when land turns green found that spring "green-up" is arriving eight hours earlier every year on average since 1982 north of the Mason-Dixon line. In much of Florida and southern Texas and Louisiana, the satellites See Warming, Page A2 Planners study school proposal By ROBERT IGOE The Winchester Star WINCHESTER - Frederick County planning officials have taken their first good look at the site plan for the county's 12th elementary school. At its regular meeting on Wednesday, the Planning Commission reviewed the proposal for the 100,800-square-foot facility. It will be constructed off Senseny Road on Channing Drive, near Woodrow and Lynnehaven drives east of Winchester, and See School, Page A6 Negotiators seek accord on bonds for state projects By DREW HOUFF The Winchester Star WINCHESTER - General Assembly negotiators continue to work on a proposed bond package that would provide financing for higher education construction projects, mental health facilities, and parks programs. Among the possibilities for the bond package are two buildings at Lord Fairfax Community College's Middletown campus and another at its campus near Warrenton. Del. Beverly J. Sherwood, R-Freder-ick County, served as a member of the Committee of Conference that devised the final version of the proposed biennial budget. ' Although not a member of the committee negotiating the bond package, Sherwood said on Tuesday that the conferees on the bonds will face many challenges in trying to develop something the entire General Assembly can support. The bond package will be put to-See Bonds, Page A6 TODAY'S QUICKREAD Hair care Members of the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America club at James Wood High School organized a haircutting event on Wednesday to benefit Locks of Love. Full story Bl 'Romeo and Juliet' Wayside Theatre presents Shakespeare's classic love story. Full story Dl Wood's new coach Former assistant Mike Bolin was introduced as James Wood's new football coach on Wednesday. Full story CI COMING FRIDAY Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will discuss the budget and legislation passed during the 2008 General Assembly during a Town Hall meeting this evening at Skyline High School in Front Royal. Four Sections, 28 Pages Bulletin Board...........B2 Business....................B7 Classified Ads............D3 Comics......................B6 Dear Abby..................D3 Editorials...................A4 Weekend....................Dl Local........................Bl Movies.......................D2 Nation.......................A5 Sports........................CI Virginia......................A3 TODAY'S FORECAST Mostly sunny, with northwest ro    winds at 15-20 mph and 5o   2usts UPt0 40 mph- HIGH Full report A6 33 LOW Miss your paper? Call 665-4946 from 7 to 11 a.m. See us on the Web: www.wirichesterstar.cpm 0608566000375   

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