Originally created 02/10/02

Across the Southeast



Teen says fantasy told him to kill man

LEESBURG, Va. -Police said a teen-ager with a history of mental illness confessed to the sword slaying of a prominent scientist, saying fantasy creatures gave him permission to kill the man in order to protect a friend.

Authorities made public Friday a statement in which Kyle Hulbert, 18, of Millersville, Md., said he believed biophysicist Robert M. Schwartz, 57, was trying to kill his own daughter - Mr. Hulbert's friend - by lacing lemons with sulfuric acid and poisoning her pork chops.

Mr. Hulbert, who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic and treated in psychiatric hospitals, said he was angered by 19-year-old Clara Jane Schwartz's accounts of her father's abuse.

Army helicopter crash leaves crewman dead

STARKE, Fla. -A Florida Army National Guard helicopter with a crew of two crashed Saturday, killing one aviator and injuring the other.

Officials said the AH-64A Apache helicopter crashed about 3:30 p.m. while on routine exercises in Camp Blanding's north training area.

"At this time the cause of the crash is not known," the Guard said in a statement. Military safety agencies were investigating.

The crew members' names were not released. They belonged to the 1st Battalion, 111th Attack Aviation Regiment, based at Craig Field in Jacksonville.

Recovery of the wreckage and the aviator's remains will begin this morning, officials said.

Commanding officer faces rape charge

NORFOLK, Va. -The commanding officer of a 300-member Navy flight squadron has been charged with raping a junior enlisted sailor.

Cmdr. William S. Petrie, a 23-year Navy veteran, also was accused of failing to obey a Navywide order not to fraternize with enlisted personnel and ignoring a specific order to return to a Navy base while stationed in Greece, according to military legal documents released Friday.

Cmdr. Petrie, 43, has led the "Rawhides" of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron VRC-40 at Norfolk Naval Station since July 2000. He has been temporarily reassigned to the Naval Air Force's Atlantic Fleet Command.

The alleged rape occurred Oct. 7. Cmdr. Petrie is to appear Tuesday at an Article 32 hearing, the equivalent of a preliminary hearing in civilian court.

Colleges' governors OK calendar change

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -Students at University of North Carolina campuses could spend fewer days in class each semester under a new academic calendar approved by the university's Board of Governors.

The new minimum requirements will allow universities to count the one-week exam period each semester as part of their instructional time, reversing a 1996 decree by former university President C.D. Spangler Jr.

Mr. Spangler had lengthened the academic year to 150 days, excluding exams, in response to criticism from the state Legislature.

The policy change lets campuses trim the academic year by two weeks.

Gretchen Bataille, the university system's senior vice president for academic affairs, said the new requirement will put the system more in line with the majority of U.S. universities.