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Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - September 29, 2005, Syracuse, New York CNY READS Meet the author of the next book. CNY, PAGE E-1 DEFENSIVE DRINKING Date-rape drugs put women on guard. GOT MILK? What kind should you drink? 419 FUN THINGS TO DO WEEKEND, INSIDE Affiliated with THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2005 FINAI EDITION O 2005 The Post-Standard SYRACUSE, N.Y. 50 CENTS GOOD MORNING COOLER A fast-moving cold front will bring plenty of rain into Central New York today. Temperatures will be cool until the front is re- placed by a high-pressure sys- tem Friday that will bring back sunshine. Complete forecast, D-10 HIGH: 62 LOW: 40 Index How Tom Delay's Indictment Affects the GOP, U.S. House McClatchy News Service Washington House Ma- jority Leader Tom DeLay was forced to step down from his leadership post Wednesday after a Texas grand jury indicted him on a charge of conspiring to vio- late campaign finance laws. His at-least-temporary ab- sence from the No. 2 role in the House of Representatives could f 3 Delay gress and are weaken Presi- dent Bush's agenda, while the criminal case against DeLay, how- ever tenuous, adds to the lia- bilities of Re- publicans who control Con- looking to next year's midterm elections. DeLay, 58, nicknamed "The Hammer" for the power he wields in Washington, predicted he would be exonerated. The charge carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. Delay called the charge, stemming from elections in 2002 in which he helped Republicans regain control of the Texas House for the first time since Reconstruction, "an act of bla- tant political partisanship" and 'one of the weakest, most base- less indictments in American history." Democrats, meanwhile, wasted no time in painting the majority party with a broad brush. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, of California, called DeLay's indictment "the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the ex- pense of the American people." The Travis County grand jury's action rocked Capitol Hill as word went out early in the afternoon. House Speaker Dennis Hastert moved to put an interim majority leader in place, as required by House Republican rules. But he DtUY, PAGE A-8 Dakota Gelling Dana Gelling Amber alert issued for Pennellville girl A 6-year-old Pennellville girl was abducted by her father, who threatened to harm her and com- mit suicide, said state police, who issued an Amber Alert for her Wednesday. LOOK, PAGE B-l Yankees lead Red Sox, again, by one game The Yankees outscored Balti- more Wednesday night, 2-1; while the Red Sox fell to Toron- to, 7-2. The Yankees are ahead of Boston by one game in the American League East. STORY, PAGE D-l Two Fort Drum soldiers killed in Iraq Two Fort Drum soldiers were killed in Iraq Monday while on patrol near Rustimayah. Fort Drum officials said Mas- ter Sgt. Tulsa Tuliau and Sgt. 1st Class Casey E. Howe were part of a convoy headed to join an Iraqi contingent when their pa- trol hit an explosive device. Tuliau, 33, was a San Francis- co native who grew up in Ameri- can Samoa. Tuliau, who lived in Water- town, is survived by his wife and two children, and his mother. Howe, 32, is survived by his wife, four children and parents all of Smiths Creek, Mich. MORE ON IRAQ, PAGE A-4 Gas prices putting a crimp in credit card payments The percentage of credit card payments that were past due shot up to a record high in the second quarter as surging gasoline prices strained budgets. BUSINESS, PAGE C-l Corrections Hurricane fundraiser at Tog- genberg Ski Horse riding Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Bunn at 470-2240 to dis- cuss a correction on a news story. Subscription questions? Call 470-NEWS Should Pledge of Allegiance be banned? By Debra Groom Staff writer An institution as American as apple pie and baseball might be heading to the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal judge in Califor- nia ruled Sept. 14 that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitu- tional. The ruling has no im- pact in Central New York, but experts expect the case to be appealed to the circuit court and then to the Supreme Court. A Supreme Court ruling would affect schools in New York. U.S. District Judge Law- rence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one na- tion "under God" violates schoolchildren's right to be "free from a coercive require- ment to affirm God." Syracuse lawyer Raymond Dague said this is ridiculous. "The Constitution states that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establish- ment of religion, or prohib- iting the free exercise he said. The pledge, including the words "under does not establish a religion, he said. And the free exercise of reli- gion point is not applicable to INTERPRETATIONS, PAGE A-t INSIDE Pupils: Six fourth-graders tell us what the pledge means to them. The community: A minis- ter, student, veteran and teacher on the court ruling. Plus: What's the law? What area man wrote the pledge? How has it changed? PAGE A-6 FBI asks molester about Gosek By Catie O'Toole and Douglass Dowty Staff writers Federal investigators this week questioned child molester John P. Ermini in connection with former Oswego Mayor John Gosek's child-sex case. The FBI and state police questioned Ermini for about a half-hour Tuesday at his home in Oswego, Ermini and his lawyer. Salvatore Lanza, said Wednesday. Lanza said his client is a "material wit- ness" in Go- sek's case. Ermini C.W. Staff photographer PUPILS RECITE the Pledge of Allegiance in Heidi Hakanson's third-grade class at H.W. Smith Elementary School on Salt Springs Road, Syracuse, last week. They are (from left) Gabriel Fauvelle, Ke'ara Allen (behind, center) and Eilen Martines. Hakanson is in background. Business...........C-l Bridge...............F-9 Classified.........6-1 CNY...................E-1 Crossword.... Edtoriok.......A-12 Entertainment. E-5 Letters...........A-13 Local news.......1-1 Lottery..............A-2 Movies...............E-6 New York......A-10 Obituaries........B-4 Sports...............D-l Stocks Sudoku Technology......F-l Television..........E-7 Weather. C-3 E-9 D-10 THE POST-STANDARD President Bush: We must use less gas Here are some ways to do it: In the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, President Bush this week asked Americans to try to conserve gas during their daily routine. Here are tips from AAA Western and Central New York and Tend to your tires: Underinflated tires produce extra rolling resistance, so they not only wear out faster, but reduce mileage. Choose a better route: Traffic doesn't just eat up your time, it eats up fuel. With a map or GPS system, pick a direct route. Change driving attitudes: Make fuel conservation a priority and consolidate trips. Change your driving style: Slow down, maintain steady speeds, avoid rapid accel- eration and sudden stops. Don't pursue fuel savings that are counter-productive: Topping off a nearly full gas tank or joining gas lines in a panic will contribute to the possibility of fuel shortages. Shop for the lowest gas price, but don't drive excessive miles hoping to save a few cents. Buy the right grade of gas. Practice good vehi- cle maintenance: Make certain the air fil- ter is clean, the engine and chassis are properly lubricated and spark plugs are in good condi- tion. Also: Consider car pooling, pub) transportation, telecommuting or teleconferencing. President Bush has directed fed- eral employees to cut their agency fuel use. He also directed that his motorcade be scaled back. Those vehicles can add up quickly: His 1999 Ford F450 pickup: 13 mpg city, 17 highway. Cadillac DTS sedan: 18 city, 27 highway, not counting limo length, bulletproof glass, heavy armor. 2005 K1SOO Suburbans: 15 city, 19 highway. Each 31-gallon tank costs more than to fill. Air Force One: an hour at 5 gallons to the mile. The Post-Standard "When you get a visit by somebody from the FBI, it's time to be afraid, very Lanza said. "It's apparent to me he must know something. The FBI doesn't just go to your house for a social call." FBI agents say Gosek used a cell phone, paid for by the city of Oswego, to persuade, induce, entice and coerce minors to en- gage in sexual activity. The for- mer mayor was arrested Sept. 16 after paying a woman to ar- range a liaison for him with two 15-year-old girls, according to the FBI and state police. The en- counter never took place; when Gosek showed up at the Salina motel, authorities were waiting and arrested him. He resigned as may or Sept. 21. When the FBI and state police LAWYER, PAGE A-6 Inside: State Comptroller Alan Hevesi will investigate former Oswego Mayor John Gosek's use of city 'MY LITTLE CHICKADEE' THE CREW from the British TV program "Dead Famous" comes to Georgetown, Madi- son County, looking for the spirit of the late seductress Mae ;