Arizona Board Renames Peak
To Honor Slain Servicewoman
PHOENIX -- After prodding from the governor, a state board decided yesterday to rename a mountain peak after an American Indian servicewoman killed in Iraq.
Some members of the Arizona Geographic and Historic Names Board had resisted Gov. Janet Napolitano's push to rename Squaw Peak in honor of Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa. They noted that federal policy requires that people be dead five years before their names can be used on geographic features.
But one critic resigned and Chairman Tim J. Norton -- whose resignation Napolitano had sought -- did not attend when the rest of the board voted 5 to 1 to rename the Phoenix landmark Piestewa Peak.
Piestewa, a Hopi from Tuba City, was the only U.S. servicewoman killed in the Iraq war. She was among nine members of the Army's 507th Maintenance Company who were killed when their unit made a wrong turn and drove into an ambush on March 23. Six members of the 507th were taken prisoner but were ultimately rescued.
In renaming Squaw Peak, Napolitano sought to honor Piestewa while removing a name many American Indians find offensive.
The board also gave its blessing to naming the Squaw Peak Freeway after Piestewa. The state's transportation board is set to decide the matter next month.
Murder Suspect Had Told
Judge About Death Threat
NEW ORLEANS -- One of the men accused of bursting into a high school and killing a student told a judge less than a week earlier that someone wanted him dead.
"A change out for me" were the words Steven R. Williams used to tell Judge Calvin Johnson that he believed there was a hit out on him. Williams appeared before Johnson to plead guilty to possessing a stolen car. The judge had planned to send him to a residential drug treatment center in Houston.
"We just didn't have time to get him there," Johnson said on Wednesday.
Williams, 19, and six other suspects are charged with murder in Monday's shooting death of Jonathan Williams, 15, in the gymnasium of John McDonogh High School. All the suspects range in age from 17 to 19.
* BATON ROUGE, La. -- The former stepfather of a U.S. soldier charged in a deadly grenade attack on his unit in Kuwait was indicted on federal firearms charges. A grand jury accused William Bilal, a convicted felon, of possessing four weapons. He was convicted of aggravated rape in 1970 and, under Louisiana law, cannot legally possess a firearm until 2011. Bilal, 55, was married for five years to the mother of Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who has been charged with murder in last month's attack at a command center that killed two officers and wounded 14 soldiers. Akbar, 32, is an American Muslim.
* BROWNSVILLE, Tex. -- A couple accused of killing and decapitating their three young children could face the death penalty if convicted. A grand jury indicted Maria Angela Camacho, 23, and her common-law husband, John Allen Rubio, 22, on three counts of capital murder.
-- From News Services