Opinion

The news stories that made 2008

LIKE IT IS

Throughout the year, I clip news stories that appealed to me for various reasons and pass the best of them along to you as my favorites of 2008.

SON TAY, VIETNAM — A rare Vietnamese turtle, one of just four believed left in the world, was swept away by a flood from its home in Dong Mo Lake near Hanoi, captured by a fisherman and nearly ended up in a soup pot. Instead, the 150-pound animal was purchased from the fisherman by conservationists who were looking for it, for $200 and two new fishing nets. Only three other members of the species are known to exist, two in Chinese zoos and another in a lake in downtown Hanoi.

LAS VEGAS — A weary and beaten-looking O.J. Simpson was put away Dec. 3 for at least nine to 33 years for an armed robbery in a hotel room, bringing joy to the many who believed the football star got away with murder more than a decade ago. The 61-year-old Hall of Famer choked back tears in a five-minute plea for leniency after the judge said several times her sentence had nothing to do with the 1995 acquittal in the slaying of his ex-wife Nicole and a male friend, Ronald Goldman. Goldman’s father and sister said they were “delighted.”

MONROE — A husband and wife turned the tables on an armed intruder July 24 by severely beating the man with a baseball bat after he broke into their home. At about 3 a.m., a man burst into Roger and Donna Angevine’s bedroom with a flashlight and screamed at them to get on the floor. He had a gun in one hand and a baseball bat in the other. When the man said he was alone, Angevine lunged at him, telling his wife to grab the bat and start hitting him. She did until he was subdued enough for one of them to call the sheriff. The 24-year-old intruder was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

SPOKANE — Two-year-old Maltese Zeus disappeared from the backyard of the Jana Erickson home in Spokane Valley last winter. The family scoured the neighborhood, but there was no sign of the white, silky-haired dog until a SpokAnimal employee called them this October. Zeus had been picked up by an animal control officer about 6 miles from the Erickson home Sept. 29. Matted fur covered his eyes, but in cleaning him up, attendants found a microchip embedded in his skin and were able to located the owners.

LIBERTY, Penn. — A Pennsylvania man is accused of attempted bank robbery, and if poor planning were a crime, he might be charged with that too. Police say a man arrived at the Citizens and Northern Bank in Liberty on Thursday, March 13 and waited in his car for about 20 minutes. Shortly after noon, he tried to enter the bank wearing a ski mask and carrying a rifle. But the bank’s Liberty branch closes at noon Thursdays, foiling his plans. The 28-year-old suspect was jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.

WYCKOFF, N.J. — A 15-pound cocker spaniel mix named Pawnee scared off a mother bear and her two cubs after they strayed into his owners’ backyard. His barking drove the cubs up a tree. They soon came back down and retreated into the woods with their mother.

BREMERTON — Todd Francis Krache, who died Nov. 30 at 21, loved his family and friends and taught them all about unconditional love. He was born with tuberous sclerosis and lived his life going through rounds of doctors, medications, surgeries, always calm and with grace. Although Todd couldn’t speak, he always got his thoughts across. He loved the outdoors, walks, swimming, camping, boating, car rides and going to school. He had a way with people — you just loved Todd.

He had a support group that extended far and beyond his family, teachers, his brother’s friends. He has made an unforgettable impact on all who loved him and will be missed beyond words.

Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, WA 98340.

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