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Friday, May 14, 2004


Here's a list of all stories that were posted online May 14, 2004

New pop-culture mag has entertainment edge
To our readers: Please welcome 7, our new weekly entertainment and popular culture magazine that debuts in today's Spokesman-Review.

Father, accused of killing wife as kids watched, to retain his parental rights
State case workers are recommending that four children whose mother was crushed under a van be placed with the accused killer's sister, sources said.

Rumsfeld calls abuse ‘body blow for all of us’
ABU GHRAIB, Iraq -- Hoping to contain a spreading scandal, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld went to the Abu Ghraib prison camp on Thursday and insisted the Pentagon did not try to cover up abuses there. A top general with him said he had given clear guidelines months ago on the humane way to question Iraqi prisoners. Related stories

House makes tax cut permanent
WASHINGTON – The House reminded voters Thursday that tax cuts have been fattening their paychecks, agreeing to cement the lower taxes that have been delivered by an expanded bottom bracket.

Marine mascot a ‘Killer’
Michael Keith has always had a soft spot for animals. So when his father, Eddie Keith of Coeur d'Alene, heard Michael was photographed in Iraq carrying a rescued puppy, he wasn't too surprised. Related stories

Bomb kills Spokane GI in Baghdad
A former Spokane and Newport, Wash., resident was killed by a roadside bomb Wednesday in Iraq, where he was serving with his Spokane-based National Guard unit. Related stories

World news

Ex-cult member's conviction upheld
Tokyo A Japanese court upheld the conviction and death sentence of former leading doomsday cult member Kiyohide Hayakawa on Friday for his role in four murders and for building a factory that made the nerve gas used in a 1995 attack on the Tokyo subways.

House committee backs Boeing tanker deal
WASHINGTON – Seeking to jump-start a flagging Air Force deal to acquire 100 air refueling tankers from the Boeing Co., the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday reasserted the need for the aging tanker fleet to be replaced as soon as possible.

Prisoner treatment at Guantanamo Bay criticized
WASHINGTON – The International Committee of the Red Cross this week delivered the latest in a series of critical reports on the treatment of prisoners held at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, officials at the State Department and Pentagon said Thursday. Related stories

FEC delays spending regulation
WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission stepped aside Thursday from regulating the unlimited contributions that have been flowing into the 2004 presidential race from the Democratic side, setting the stage for an outpouring of money from Republican donors who had up until now mostly remained on the sidelines.

Bishop vows to refuse sacrament
Catholics who vote for politicians who support abortion rights or gay marriage will be banned from Communion until they have “recanted their positions” and confessed their sin, a Colorado bishop warned.

S. Korean leader gets job back
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's maverick President Roh Moo Hyun won back his job today when the nation's constitutional court ruled that his impeachment by a conservative-dominated parliament on minor electioneering charges was unjustified.

India’s leader concedes defeat
NEW DELHI – She first claimed the spotlight as the prime minister's wife, then as his widow. Now Sonia Gandhi will try to forge a coalition that could thrust the Italian-born opposition leader into the office her slain husband once held.

Federal judge refuses to halt Massachusetts’ gay weddings
BOSTON – A federal judge Thursday rejected a last-minute bid by conservative groups to block the nation's first state-sanctioned gay marriages from taking place in Massachusetts on Monday.

Museum unveils T. rex skull
PITTSBURGH – Researchers at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on Thursday unveiled what they say is the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skull ever discovered.

Scientists may have extinction evidence
WASHINGTON – Millions of years before the dinosaurs vanished, an even bigger mass extinction wiped out more than 90 percent of the species on Earth. Now scientists think they may have evidence of an impact crater that contributed to the “Great Dying.”

Easy money comes with a price, study shows
ATLANTA – It's nicer when you actually earn it. Lottery winners, trust-fund babies and others who get their money without working for it do not get as much satisfaction from their cash as those who earn it, a study of the pleasure center in people's brains suggests.

Bright objects leave scientists guessing
MEXICO CITY – A series of brightly lit, rapidly moving objects filmed in the skies over Mexico could have been caused by a scientific phenomenon involving gases in the atmosphere, a scientist said Thursday.

Veggie spread will be headed for the stars
AMES, Iowa – Astronauts no longer have an excuse for not eating their vegetables.

Study: Pollution-altered DNA can be passed on
WASHINGTON – Sooty air pollution can cause genetic damage that can be passed along to offspring, Canadian researchers reported Thursday in a study on mice.

Assad disputes WMD charges
DAMASCUS, Syria -- A defiant President Bashar Assad said Thursday he wouldn't bow to U.S. demands to expel Palestinian militant groups and criticized new U.S. sanctions against Syria, disputing Bush administration charges that his country has weapons of mass destruction and is allowing foreign fighters to move across the border into Iraq.

Al-Zarqawi suspected in beheading
WASHINGTON -- Terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the masked man who beheaded an American civilian in Iraq, U.S. intelligence officials concluded Thursday, as other questions lingered about Nicholas Berg's final days and his contacts with U.S. and Iraqi authorities.

Wild Noodles eyes Spokane area
A Phoenix-based restaurant chain wants to open several locations in the Spokane area. Wild Noodles has four stores in Arizona and New Jersey and plans to develop 175 more in several states. The company just started looking at the Spokane market about a month ago and would like to open two corporate-owned locations and up to five franchises in the area in the next few years, said company President George Krotonsky.

Probe started in mad cow case
WASHINGTON -- Federal prosecutors are looking into possible criminal violations by commodities traders who may have received advance knowledge about the first U.S. case of mad cow disease and used it to reap profits in the cattle futures market.

He’s there when you’re in a fix
Steve Simmons says he was forced into a career 27 years ago. But don't feel bad for this mechanic. He has fine-tuned his livelihood into a job that affords him interesting work, a steady income and a flexible schedule. It has helped his pursuits and responsibilities as musician, disc golfer, dad and dog-lover, to name a few.

Mortgage rates climbing rapidly on inflation fears
WASHINGTON -- Rates on 30-year mortgages rose sharply this week as signs of a strong economy and concerns about inflation added to Wall Street's speculation that the Federal Reserve might act sooner than anticipated to raise interest rates.

Liberty Lake company handed $16.6 million
Purcell Systems, of Liberty Lake, which makes enclosures to protect batteries and equipment for cell phone towers, has raised $16.6 million in venture-capital funding.

Firms want clearance to sell cholesterol drugs
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. -- Some of the world's biggest drug companies are working behind the scenes to convince regulators to let older cholesterol-lowering drugs be sold without a prescription in low doses, as Britain has just done.

Investors shy away as inflation fears mount
NEW YORK -- Uncertainty gripped Wall Street yet again Thursday as investors, forsaking an early advance, gave in to inflation fears and sent stocks generally lower. Only the tech-focused Nasdaq composite index posted a marginal gain.

Business News

CdA casino finishes work
Worley, Idaho The Coeur d'Alene Casino has completed a $15 million expansion, and will celebrate with a grand reopening on Monday and Tuesday.

Oil prices now at record high
NEW YORK -- Oil prices soared to a record Thursday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crossing $41 a barrel and settling at the highest point in the 21-year-history of crude futures trading in New York. Related stories

House locks in tax cuts
WASHINGTON -- The House reminded voters Thursday that tax cuts have been fattening their paychecks, agreeing to cement the lower taxes that have been delivered by an expanded bottom bracket.

National News

Truck driver charged in bogus 9-11 claims
Newark, N.J. A truck driver was charged Thursday with making bogus claims to the Sept. 11 victims fund, seeking nearly $1.8 million for injuries he supposedly suffered at the World Trade Center.

World’s heaviest raccoon dies
PALMERTON, Pa. – The world's weightiest raccoon, famed for his junk-food jones, has died after tipping the scales at nearly 75 pounds.

New federal officers will take over UI probe
Citing conflicts, the U.S. Department of Justice has removed its Idaho office from the criminal review of the University of Idaho Foundation's multimillion dollar failed real estate venture to build a satellite campus and rental space in Boise.

River health warning canceled
A public health warning was lifted Thursday for areas of the Spokane River downstream from the Spokane Wastewater Treatment Plant. The warning was put in place following Monday's catastrophic tank failure that spilled thousands of gallons of partially treated sewage into the river and left one worker dead.

It was a water fight – with flying lead to boot
HUNTERS, Wash. -- Anyone who's ever watched a Western knows that water rights can stir almost as many fights as red-eye whiskey.

County gears up for Lilac Parade
It's time to stop and smell the lilacs. Spokane's 66-year-old annual tradition kicks off Saturday with a new car show, followed by the 2004 Lilac Parade and ending with a brand-new fireworks show.

Some things are better left unchanged
It was Seattle, the summer of 1992, and my first experience in the Pacific Northwest. I didn't think there were too many places outside my home state of Colorado where I'd like to reside until I spent that summer working as an intern in the sports department of a Seattle newspaper. Related stories

Accuracy watch

Corrected obituary in IN Life
Because of incorrect information provided to the newspaper, the Wednesday obituary for Ione Kellogg erroneously stated her second husband preceded her in death. A corrected obituary appears in today's IN Life section.

Health-care costs take toll on uninsured
Dennis Danielson can't remember the last time he could afford a routine teeth cleaning, much less a regular doctor's check up.

Money can buy happiness
For $60,000, Mike and Ronica Bishop bought screams, giggles, regular trips to the toy store, endless questions and the sincerest hugs and kisses they'll ever experience.

Casino plans massive garage sale
WORLEY, Idaho -- The Coeur d'Alene Casino will hold a garage sale this weekend in preparation for a “grand reopening” next week.

Teen gets 31 years in killing
A 15-year-old Spokane boy was sentenced Thursday to 31 years in prison for his part in the shooting death of a 22-year-old man during an alleged drug robbery.

School gunman attempts suicide
Six days after being sentenced for bringing a handgun to Lewis and Clark High School, 16-year-old Sean Fitzpatrick apparently attempted suicide Wednesday evening at his family's home near Freeman.

Pullman woman may face charges for false rape reports, police say
A Pullman woman may face charges after making false reports about an attempted home-invasion rape and burglary at her home.

Spokane Park Board votes to create tobacco-free zones at ‘high-kid areas’
The Spokane Park Board on Thursday voted unanimously to create permanent tobacco-free zones at city playgrounds, pools, gardens and shelters.

Regional news

Thursday's rainfall largest since February
It was barely enough to soak the city's drying lawns, but Thursday's rain over the Spokane area was the city's largest rainfall since Feb. 17.

Protection sought for frail land
RUPERT, Idaho -- Bill Babcock said he has not scratched the surface in his 50 years exploring the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, but he is glad a new federal proposal protects geology and other features of the volcanic plain.

U.S. soldier could face court-martial
FORT LEWIS, Wash. -- A U.S. soldier accused of trying to help al Qaeda should be court-martialed, the officer overseeing a hearing in his case said Thursday.

Central Valley revises grading system
Grades will look a little bit different in the Central Valley School District next year. The school board voted unanimously this week to revise the grading scale, creating a wider percentage range for each letter grade.

Sandpoint festival again offers diversity
With bluegrass, country, Cajun music, the “Star Wars” theme, and Lou Rawls singing Frank Sinatra tunes, the Festival at Sandpoint continues its 22-year tradition of bringing an eclectic group of musicians together under one roof, or rather, under the stars.

Help sought in finding missing woman
PRIEST RIVER, Idaho -- Police and family members are asking for help finding a 33-year-old woman who has not been seen since having an argument with her husband on March 25. Christine Lott was last seen at 11 that morning in front of Mitchell's IGA in Priest River, getting into a red 1990s Ford pickup truck with Washington plates, the Bonner County Sheriff's Office said.

Federal telemarketer registry will take over in state in July
NAMPA, Idaho -- Idaho residents who registered for the state's do not call list to ward off unwanted telemarketer calls will automatically be included on the national registry starting July 1.

Grazing decision questioned
BOISE-- An environmental group is claiming a state agency violated the law when it wrongly gave a grazing permit to a cattlemen's association.

Charter school panel named
BOISE -- Gov. Dirk Kempthorne on Thursday revealed his long-awaited appointments for the newly created charter school commission, winning praise from political adversaries who warned him not to pick “lightning rods” who have clashed with traditional public school supporters.

‘Air America’ show sinks to new lows
The United States “is on the slippery slope to theocratic fascism.” “The Catholic Church has been secretly encouraging oral sex for years.”

Panabaker, Currie the best candidates
Our View: These incumbents definitely qualified for commission seats.

Argentine journalist was brave
AUSTIN, Texas -- Jacobo Timerman, the Argentine journalist, was a great warrior for human rights.

Hagadone seeks marina permit
Hagadone Hospitality is asking the Idaho Department of Lands for a permit to build a 30-slip private marina on the east shore of the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course.

Four fatwas shown to jury
BOISE -- Four fatwas offering religious justification for suicide attacks were shown to jurors in the Sami Al-Hussayen trial on Thursday, over strenuous objections from the defense. Related stories

Revue tries, but fails to connect the dots
Some musical revues are better than the musical comedies they are drawn from. Separated from the need to advance plot and explain motivation, each song is freed to reveal itself as a self-contained work of art.

Healthy and accepted, Ray ready to perform
Pat Ray knows when he's not wanted. He just doesn't know why. For it's a rare track team that can't use a sprinter of his talents. The Mt. Spokane High School graduate has run the 100 meters 10.61 seconds, the 200 in 20.94 and the 400 in 47.95 -- range and speed unmatched among Northwest sprinters this spring, and making him a threat to bring home more than a few points for the University of Idaho Vandals at this weekend's Big West Conference championships in Irvine, Calif

Lady Luck shines best on Lakers
SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan threw the ball up, fell down and heard the cheers. From his hands and knees, he looked to the San Antonio bench with wide eyes and asked, “Did it go in?” Told that it did, he ran to the sideline and was mobbed by teammates.

Mead, U-Hi earn berths
What sets apart this Mead girls softball team that won the Greater Spokane League regular season title and is headed to regionals and recent Panther teams?

Lake City wins regionals
It was one of those scratch-your-head moments. Lake City High pitcher Adam Capaul struck out three of the first six Lewiston batters he faced Thursday, but found his team trailing 2-0.

Despite Derby showing, Lion Heart still underdog
BALTIMORE -- A bold performance by Lion Heart in the Kentucky Derby wasn't convincing enough to stir any doubt that Smarty Jones is the most esteemed horse in the Preakness.

Lack of offense leaves Mariners flustered, angry
MINNEAPOLIS -- The way they've been playing, it was inevitable someone with the Seattle Mariners was going to get angry. Related stories

Thursday’s games
Tigers 3, Athletics 1: Mike Maroth won again, pitching eight sharp innings as Detroit beat visiting Oakland. Maroth, who is 4-1, ended the Athletics' season-high three-game winning streak, allowing one run and five hits. He walked one and struck out four.

Amezaga denies malicious intent
Alfredo Amezaga found himself in the thick of a classic New York brouhaha over the throw that broke All-Star Jorge Posada's nose Wednesday night.

Nabokov, Sharks shut out Flames, close series deficit
CALGARY, Alberta -- Evgeni Nabokov finally got a victory over his former backup. He also got the San Jose Sharks back in the Western Conference finals.

National sports

Krystkowiak given reigns of Montana's basketball program
Former Montana Grizzly star Larry Krystkowiak, the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder, was named Montana's new head men's basketball coach at a news conference Thursday.

On the air
For Friday, May 14, 2004

Today’s menu

College: Saint Mary's vs. Gonzaga at Avista Stadium, 1 p.m.; Washington State at UCLA, 6.
Off-track betting

Elliot fined for filing incorrect application
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Jockey Stewart Elliott was fined $1,000 Thursday for submitting an inaccurate application for a license to ride in the Kentucky Derby, which he won aboard Smarty Jones.

Pair blisters two-mile record
The first day of District 8 track and field came to a quick end. At least the quickest 3,200 meters ever run at this meet.

Stress fracture knocks out Barnes
The first day of District 8 track and field was as conspicuous for who was not in an event as much as for who was.

Festival highlights Division II titles
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. -- Six Division II NCAA titles will be decided over the next few days in a national championship festival complete with opening and closing ceremonies and Olympic-style villages.

Richardson victorious
Idaho's Jereme Richardson won his second Big West Conference track and field decathlon championship Thursday and led a 1-3-4 finish for the Vandals during the second day of competition at Irvine, Calif.

Powerlifting not just for the young
A 61-year-old powerlifter? Not a likely combination. But for Pullman resident Bud Bower, powerlifting has been a part of his life for over 30 years.

CCS ends with sweep
Kate Sinnott and Stefani Hertz threw back-to-back three-hitters and Hannah Shelley hit her 18th homer Thursday as Community Colleges of Spokane closed out its regular softball season with a 5-0, 8-1 sweep of Big Bend CC (12-26, 9-19) at SFCC.

Hunting and fishing report
For Friday, May 14, 2004

Recreation calendar

Sign up: Stars fastpitch U-18 traveling team is seeking players for the 2004 season. Call Tom Thompson at 922-7077 or 370-1845.

Official records
For Friday, May 14, 2004

Leslie wins district championship
Craig Leslie made good on his first and only shot at the District 8 4A golf title, firing a one-under-par 71 at The Creek at Qualchan on Thursday.

Tigers earn state berth with rout of Springdale
Zach Gianukakis hit a walk-off grand slam in the fifth inning Thursday as Republic qualified for the State B baseball tournament with an 11-1 win over visiting Springdale in a District 7 sub-district.

LC girls live to play another day
Kristen Emmett and the four other seniors on Lake City's softball team faced the end of their high school careers Thursday.

Troubles in Spain may force Beckham to leave
MADRID, Spain -- It seemed like the perfect match: soccer's most celebrated star playing for the world's most glamorous club.

“I couldn't garden for two years,” Jude Cormer says with a note of frustration in her voice. “It was hard because I wanted to get out and do something.”

Simple act of puttering cleans home and soul
In “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” the 1990s best-selling guide to simple living and domestic tranquility, author Sara Ban Breathnach devotes a day -- May 20 to be exact -- to “The Art of Puttering.”

Expect winter’s damage to leave lasting impression
Better add another tool to the garden shed this spring: patience. Damage from last winter is beginning to show up.

Concern is dependence goes both ways
Carolyn: My 21-year-old daughter, Ellen, who's in college, has agreed to “help support” a younger woman (“Rachel,” 18) who is trying to stop drinking. Apparently the support entails trying to keep temptation away from Rachel, standing up to other friends who try to tempt Rachel into drinking and calling Rachel's boyfriend if Rachel succumbs.

Taking off sunglasses optional
Miss Manners:

Someday, Frasier might be back in the building again
“Frasier” may be over, but Kelsey Grammer isn't shutting the door on the idea of bringing back his long-running Frasier Crane character on another television series. Grammer said he had discussed the idea with Paramount, the company that produces “Frasier,” but there have been no definite plans.

Aries (March 21-April 19) •••• – Your high energy can and will work against you if you're not careful. Sometimes you might not understand just how bossy you seem to others. Focus on what you want and give others the space to tumble in whatever direction they would like.

Breaking out the vinyl
Ten years ago, it was not unusual for people building or remodeling a home to have wood windows on the front and vinyl windows on the sides and back. Vinyl windows just didn't look as good. Brother, you should see them now. Not only are many brands good-looking, but the technology that goes into making them is so advanced that most will look good longer with less maintenance than almost any other type of window.

If working, shelf clock worth plenty
Dear Collector: My mother just got this Welch mantle clock and would like to know its value before we have it repaired.

Don’t start remodeling without it
The thought of starting almost any remodeling project fills me with joy. Here is the chance to make everything better -- to fix the cracks and leaks and everything that had been MacGyvered together by the less-detail-oriented people who lived in our 1912 house before us.

Tom Brokaw to keep getting work from NBC
Tom Brokaw is leaving his anchor chair, but not NBC. He signed a 10-year contract Wednesday to remain at the network, largely to produce and narrate documentaries. He'll also be an analyst on major breaking news events.

Suds bubble up on ‘Hope & Faith’
The hourlong season finale of “Hope & Faith,” on ABC at 9, reunites Kelly Ripa with Susan Lucci, Rebecca Budig and many of her “All My Children” co-stars. It's a soap opera parody, complete with a musical number, secret identities, a serial killer revealed, “female fisticuffs” and much more.

L.M. Boyd Trivia
• More divorced women than divorced men tell pollsters they're happy about the breakup. Specifically in one survey, 85 percent of the women versus 58 percent of the men.

Musicfest Northwest announces award winners
Here are the results of Monday and Tuesday's Musicfest Northwest competition at Gonzaga University. CA denotes Certificate of Award


Tips may help you, pets come to understanding in the garden
The do's and don'ts for dog-friendly gardening:

• Leave a couple of feet unplanted near fences, to which dogs are naturally attracted.

Plants and pets
It's a problem that's long dogged garden-loving pet owners. How do you manage to maintain prized plants and a beloved pooch without either harming the other?

Your garden hose can say a lot about your personality
I just had my garden hose read, and the results are more revealing than a Myers-Briggs personality test.

New ‘Home’ book aimed at DIY-ers
The editors of Budget Living magazine believe style doesn't come from a store. It comes from within, and it doesn't have to carry a big price tag.

7: Get with it
The debut issue of 7 is finally here! We've spun the Weekend section into a weekly section that reflects the energy of our growing entertainment scene.

Nightlife, music scene heating up in Spokane
Spokane has no culture. No nightlife. No nothin'. I've heard it all before.

Hell’s Belles are AC/DC on estrogen
There are cover bands. And then there is the Hell's Belles.

Third Day’s Mark Lee
7 had a quick convo with Mark Lee, guitarist for Christian rock group Third Day. Here's what he had to say about subjects such as “The Passion of The Christ,” touring in Spokane, and Aquaman.

DJ Messiah defies musical classification
Jason Purdie, aka DJ Messiah, hates the term rave music. It's far too restricting for a musical genre with such universal appeal, he said.

Perfect Circle won’t come to Spokane
Last month when the sold-out concert for A Perfect Circle/Mars Volta was canceled I wasn't too upset.

Emcees battle in competition
This is the war of art: Two emcees square off, using nothing but their tongues as swords to verbally tear each other to shreds in front a bloodthirsty audience.

Get ready for the unexpected when WrestleMania hits town
When World Wrestling Entertainment's WrestleMania Revenge comes to the Arena on Saturday fans can expect the unexpected.

Save money by eating early
Using Happy Hour to leverage a great, cheap meal is not really a scam. Really, it's not. We prefer to think of it as a creative way to conserve cash and eat at some of the best restaurants in town. In other words, it fits perfectly into the Bargain Bites mission statement, which is to seek out great food at bargain prices.

Northwest treasures
Sometimes, you can't see the diamonds for the gravel. The Inland Northwest is sprinkled with Hidden Gems, some of them tucked away in obscure corners, others right underfoot (in the case of the Wine Cellar, literally underfoot).

Sometimes difficult to blend communities
I am often asked where I come from once someone learns I am not from Spokane. My answer is Boise; yet, I have lived in Spokane longer than I lived in Boise. So, am I of this city, this community, this culture? How is it determined where you are from and belong? How do you combine your loyalties and connections? How do you adjust?

Murray needs to run to catch Nethercutt
Gorgeous George vs. Patsy Patty? It's time for Democratic Sen. Patty Murray to lace up her trademark tennis shoes and get off the blocks if she wants to beat Republican challenger George Nethercutt to the finish line in November.

Greek pageantry
Women. We're trouble, aren't we? We make men do crazy things for love, like woo us away from our husbands and start wars that destroy entire nations.

Pitt’s just not rugged enough to play Achilles
Maybe he'll prove me wrong, but Brad Pitt doesn't seem the right choice to play Achilles in Wolfgang Petersen's “Troy.” The hunk they signed to play Hector, Eric Bana (“The Hulk”), is a much better choice.

Foxx, Union turn on the charm
Would you be in love enough to bite through your own skin to prove it? Didn't think so.

Make sure you’re prepared to party
Warm weather tends to unleash the party spirit. So it's helpful to have a stash of merrymaking basics on hand so you can spontaneously invite friends over after work.

Budget Travel magazine
What it is: Published 10 times a year, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel is a magazine that promises to help plan “vacations for real people.” Regular features such as “20 Tips From Those in the Know,” “Road Trip” and “True Stories” uncover secrets that allow wannabe vagabonds to explore the world without breaking the bank.

‘Steel Battalion’ a godsend for mech fans
There is nothing practical about “Steel Battalion: Line of Contact.” But that's what makes this game the most unique experience on Xbox Live.

‘Resident Evil Outbreak’ and ‘Painkiller’ full of hellish fun

“Resident Evil Outbreak”

Capcom for PlayStation 2, $49.99. Rating: M (Mature).

‘Scary’ selection on home video
Scary Movie 3 ••• OK, I'm a sucker for stupid humor. And with David (“Airplane!”) Zucker directing a script by Shawn and Marlon Wayans, who continue the franchise created by older brother Keenen Ivory Wayans in 2000, that's exactly what you get. The movie is a spoof of “The Ring,” “The Sixth Sense,” the “Scream” films, “Signs,” “The Matrix” and, of all things, “8 Mile

Should she stay or should she go?
Q: I've been dating this guy for about four months whom I'd dated before for almost a year. I ended it the first time because I felt he was not ready to commit and I was. He said he didn't think it would work financially because he does a lot for his three kids. He is 14 years older than I (he'll be 50 this summer), fairly successful in his work, and divorced. I'm a single mom with three kids. During the year we were apart, he was all I