Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - December 31, 2005, Syracuse, New York
The Post-Standard Affiliated, with Syracun.com SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31. 2005 FINAL EDIf ION O 2005 Ihe Posl-Standaid SYRACUSE, N.Y. 50 CENTS GOOD MORNING YEAR-END RUSH A fast-moving storm is expected to bring cold tem- peratures and about. 1 to 3 inch- es of snow today, but irshould turn into an occa- sional flurry by New Year's Day'. A storm forecast for Monday may start as ice, but should become mostly rain by evening. Complete forecast, D-10 HIGH: 29 LOW: 25 Florida teen heads home after risky Iraq trip Farris Hassan, the 16-year-old who took off for Iraq without telling his parents, left Baghdad Friday, the U.S. Embassy said. His mother, Shulha Atiya, said that after she sees her son, she'll say, "Thank God you're and then she'll "have a long dis- cussion about his conse- quences." Hassan left the United Slates on Dec. 11 and traveled to Ku- wait, where he thought he could take a taxi into Baghdad and wit- ness (he Dec. 15 elections. Iraqi baby Noor flying to U.S. for medical care Noor al-Zahra, a 3-month-old with spina bifida found by U.S. Iroops, look off Friday with her family in a mili- tary transport plane from Bagh- dad airport for free spinal cord surgery in Atlanta. A pediatri- cian and a physician assislant with the 1 Olh Mountain Division examined her Friday and found her healthy enough for the trip. STORY, PAGE A-5 Collect them all: SU basketball photos Today's full page spotlights SU's Ashley McMillcn. SPORTS, PAGED-6 Clash with Egyptian police kills Sudanese refugees At least a dozen people were killed when Egyptian police cleared Sudanese migrants from a park where they had protested a U.N. agency's refusal to con- sider them for refugee status. STORY, PAGE A-5 Big Apple hotels take big bite out of wallets Even "low-budget" hotel rooms in York City cost more than a night. NEW YORK, PAGE A-8 Tribute: Who died in 2005 We look back at the well- known people who were lost to us during the past 12 months. STORY, PAGE A-2 Online news updates The Post-Standard's reporters updale the news of Central New York from morning until night seven days a week. Get Ihe latest news when you want it al: Corrections Addresses of suspects arrested after Granby home IMAX movie Heimlich Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Bunn at 470-2240 to discuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Index Business...........C-l Letters.............. A-7 Bridge...........G-l 1 Local news.......B-l Calendar..........E-2 Lottery..............A-2 Classified.........G-7 Movies...............E-4 New York.........A-8 CNY________E-l Obituaries........1-4 Crossword.. Sports...............D-l Dick Case.........B-l Editorials........A-6 Sudoku..............E-7 Entertainment. E-4 Television..........E-5 E-l Weather........D-l 0 THE POST-STANDARD Police: Quick-Wined Women Thwart Man On A 'Mission' Man charged with criminal impersonation, other crimes after attempted abductions. By Meghan Rubado and Delen Goldberg Staff writers Quick action by victims and po- lice Friday foiled an intoxicated town of Onondaga. man's "mis- sion" to abduct a woman off the street by pretending to be an police officer, Syracuse police said. Abdo Ahmed Mobaraz, 34, of 4613 Broad Road, tried unsuccess- fully to abduct three women from different parts of the city in less than an hour Friday morning, Chief Gary Miguel said. He is also ac- cused of trying to persuade a fe- male .City Hall employee to let him inside the locked building. Each time, Mobaraz claimed to be a police officer, and at the re- quest of each woman, showed iden- tification that did not look official, police said. He did not have a badge and was not wearing a uni- form. Real police officers caught up with him about 7 a.m., just Ihree minutes after they got word of his last attempt to get a woman into his car, police said. Police found a screwdriver in his pocket when they searched him, Miguel said. Mobaraz told investigators he was upset that an encounter with a woman at a motel earlier in the morning fell through. "He was looking to spend some time with a female. Miguel said. "He was on a mission." Police reports also said Mobaraz drank alcohol before he tried to ab- duct the women. RELATIONSHIP, PAGE A-3 This story was first reported at Syraciise.com. For breaking go to www.syracuse. updates For now, no tax on Carousel ROBERT SMITH, lawyer for The Pyramid Cos. (standing at listens as Syracuse Corporation Counsel Terri Bright (right) makes her case to state Supreme Court Judge James Dick photographer Tormey Friday. Seated between them are (from left) Tony Rivizzigno, chief counsel for Onondaga County, and Tom Carnrike, senior assistant corporation counsel fo.r Syracuse. Pyramid to pay the court a month By Rick Moriarly Staff writer Years of debate over the proposed Destiny USA project took a new twist Friday when a judge temporarily blocked the city of Syracuse from put- ting Carousel Center on the lax rolls. State Supreme Court Judge James Tormey issued an order barring the city from taxing the mall until another judge rules on larger issues: whether The Pyramid Cos. has met the terms of a 30-year property exemption for the mail and whether the original 15-year lax deal expires Sunday, as the city contends. Acting on a request from I This news story was first reported: I atSyracuse.com. For breaking news, goto Pyramid, ihe judge also re- versed an aclion Wednesday by Ihe Syracuse Industrial De- velopment Agency to hand title to the mall'back to Pyra- mid in anticipation lhal the property-would go on the tax rolls Sunday. The agency had held the deed to the mall as part of the.original property tax exemption for the mall. The judge ordered Pyramid to pay the court a month until the questions are settled whether the mall can be taxed, whether it is covered by the original lax deal or whether il qualifies for the tax exemption in the new, 30-year deal. The amounl splils Ihe difference between whal Pyramid says it should be paying in lieu of taxes, and what the city says Pyramid should be paying in taxes. Friday's court action fol- lowed months of wrangling between the city and Pyramid over whether the company has mcl the requirements of a lax agreement approved by the city in 2000 as an incentive to expand the mall into a retail, hotel and entertainment resort called Destiny USA.-. The cily conlcnds that deal, amended in 2002, will expire if it is -not activated by Ihe end of ihe year and thai ihe mall should Ihen slart paying million a year in taxes. Friday morning, Pyramid filed a petition asking Tormey to block the city from taxing the mall, to declare that Ihe company has complied with me amended 2002 lax deal and to order Mayor Mall Dris- coll lo execute ihe lax deal. Tormey temporarily blocked the cily from taxing Ihe mall unlil ihe bigger issues can be decided by Judge John CITY, PACE A-3 Spying leak probe begins Cox News Service Washington The Justice Department has launched a crim- inal investigation into who dis- closed the secret domestic eavesdropping program. The department is investigat- ing "the unauthorized disclosure of classified material" relating to the program, said a Justice Department official who was au- thorized to confirm the inquiry to reporters on the condition thai he not be quoted by name. He would not elaborate, citing pro- hibitions on discussing ongoing investigations. The investigation is in re- sponse to a recent disclosure in The New York Times thai fol- lowing the Sept. 11 terrorist at- tack's President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to bypass a secret court that grants approval for the agency to en- gage in domestic eavesdropping. Advocates of press freedoms voiced concern that the probe, following a similar ongoing in- vestigation into press leaks, could citst a pull over news cov- erage dependent upon internal whistleblowers who help hring questionable U.S. government practices to light. Bush has called the leaks "shameful." He has defended the- practice through which he said NSA analysts listen in on overseas telephone calls, includ- ing some originating in the Unit- ed States. The president said it only af- fects calls between the United Stales and phone numbers U.S. intelligence officials have linked to terrorist organizations. The NSA is a U.S. govern- ment agency responsible for electronic eavesdropping world- wide. In most cases, U.S. inlclli- ACIU, PAGE A-3 O THE YEAR IN PHOTOS A special section of our best photographs from our photographers of life in Central New York and beyond. SECTION F ALSO Stories that touched Central New York and moved people to step up and help The top 10 religion stories of the Dick Case reviews the local political It wasn't a great year for What to expect in the home, garden Dick Clark, who suffered a stroke, will be Bob Snyder looks back on the year in From the Gulag to Cornell The story of a Russian physicist's survival, fight for human rights and journey to freedom By Rebecca James Staff writer The KGB has come again for Yuri Orlov, banging on the door of the cottage Where he lives in exile in north- ern Siberia. They give the 62-year-old physicist an hour to pack Iwo bags, then order him lo climb inlo a motorcycle sidecar and drive off, as his dog, Dina, runs, panting, alongside. It is Sept. 28, 1986, and Orlov has no idea that U.S. President Ronald Reagan has engineered his release after 10 years of im- prisonment and exile. He's never heard of Cornell University or Ithaca, which four months later will become his home. COHNtUOfEHEO, MMA-4 V j Stephen D. Cannerelli Staff photographer CORNELL PHYSICIST Yuri Orlov, 81, spent 10 years in prison and exile in the Soviet Union because of his stand on human rights. President Ronald Reagan got him released in 1986. When he was a boy, Orlov was inspired by what his grandmother told him: "It's possible to live. Just work, work, work. God will provide."