Sources: Seals to BTW

Shea Seals is expected to be named boys basketball coach at Booker T. Washington.

Real-life grit
Keith Anderson became a star the old fashioned way — he earned it.

Annual spring musicals bring students together
Satellite D-1

Tulsa airports director talks about his job and more
Business E-1

Sports B-1

Spot 14



A PRIL 20, 2007

SINCE 1905

Coburn urges Gonzales to resign
He tells the AG ‘mistakes have consequences’
B Y J IM M YERS World Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn on Thursday called for the resignation of embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. “I believe the best way to put this behind us is your resignation,’’ the Oklahoma Republican told Gonzales during a much-anticipated hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning the firing of eight U.S. attorneys. Gonzales quickly rejected Coburn’s suggestion that he step down. ‘‘Senator, I don’t know whether or not that puts this behind us, quite frankly,’’ he said, again apologizing for any mistakes made in the way the prosecutors had been handled. ‘‘I am committed to working with you and trying to restore the faith and confidence.’’ In response, Coburn gave no ground. ‘‘Mr. Attorney General, you set the standard,’’ he said, reminding Gonzales of his comments on leadership and management skills. ‘‘They were sorely lacking in this instance.’’ Coburn went on to suggest the best path for the Bush administration would be to start with a new slate of leadership skills. ‘‘I like you as a man. I like you as an individual. I believe you are totally
SEE COBURN A-4 Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testifies Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
SUSAN WALSH / Associated Press

A day of remembrance
Survivors mark anniversary of OKC bombing
World Capitol Bureau

Lawsuit bill on its way to governor
Critics say a judge and jury should decide damages. Supporters say unrealistic awards need to be curbed.
B Y B ARBARA H OBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate on Thursday passed a controversial lawsuit reform bill that critics say will close the courtroom doors to many. Supporters of Senate Bill 507 say it is needed to curb the rising costs of health and malpractice insurance and to level the playing field for defendants in civil cases. Supporters also say the measure will make Oklahoma more business friendly. The measure, supported by The State Chamber and opposed by the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association, is on its way to Gov. Brad Henry’s desk. Henry said he has not had a chance to read the details of the lengthy, complex bill. “Equal access to the justice system is one of the most important and basic rights granted to our citizens under the U.S. Constitution and the Oklahoma Constitution,” the governor said. “It is critical that any reform measure preserve or strengthen that basic right as it attempts to reduce costs associated with the system.” The measure passed by a 25-23 vote with Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada, the lone Democratic supporter. Seventeen votes are needed in the Senate to sustain a veto. Critics say the bill allows courts to deduct from damages any insurance proceeds the plaintiff may have received. Such a move benefits the person who committed the wrong, they say. However, Sen. James A. Williamson, R-Tulsa, said a follow-up bill will provide new wording to allow a judge to inform a jury about the proceeds but not necessarily require the amount be deducted from the award. The Oklahoma Trial Lawyers AssoSEE REFORM A-4

Senate Bill 507 originally passed in the Senate and was amended in the House. When SB 507 returned to the Senate for consideration of House amendments, the Senate author could have rejected the amendments, effectively sending the measure to a conference committee for final drafting. Republicans were afraid the measure would die in committee, so the author accepted the amendments, meaning the Senate had to vote on the bill without making changes. SB 507 now goes to the governor.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Twelve years after the Oklahoma City bombing, survivors, family and friends of the 168 people killed continue to gather each April 19 as a kind of extended family, comforting and supporting each other through the lingering hurt and loss. “A lot of us are still helping each other,” said Martin Cash, a bombing survivor, who stood among the rows of empty chairs Thursday at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. “These families are my family,” he said. Hundreds of survivors, relatives and friends of victims gathered at the memorial, built on the grounds of the destroyed Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, to remember those who died 12 years ago Thursday. As people arrived at the memorial’s annual Remembrance Ceremony, a pianist played the piano on which John Lennon composed the song “Imagine” in 1971. The piano sat outdoors on a sidewalk beside the memorial’s reflecting pool. The ceremony began with 168 seconds of silence. The names of those killed also were read. Presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins each spoke during the ceremony. “This week it is hard not to note the fact that America has again been shaken by violence on an early morning in April,” Giuliani said. However, he added, Oklahoma’s demonstration of compassion and strength became a model for New York City through the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and will help those affected by the violence this week at Virginia Tech, Giuliani said. “With the dust and smoke still hanging in the air, the people of Oklahoma City came together as one,” he said.

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SUE OGROCKI / Associated Press

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins listens as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks Thursday in front of the reflecting pool of the Oklahoma City National Memorial during ceremonies on the 12th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

‘We’ve had some unusual gifts over the years, including about 10 cemetery lots in Oklahoma City which we turned down because we didn’t know how to get rid of them.’
Gary Casteel
Tulsa Habitat for Humanity executive director

Habitat for Humanity gets lottery windfall
World Religion Writer

Tulsa Habitat for Humanity hit the jackpot this week. An anonymous donor gave a winning $10,000 lottery ticket to the local charity, which builds houses for lowincome families. “This has never happened before,” said Gary Casteel, executive director of the Tulsa chapter.

“We’ve had some unusual gifts over the years, including about 10 cemetery lots in Oklahoma City which we turned down because we didn’t know how to get rid of them.” Some the unusual donations have proved valuable, Casteel said. “One of our prize donations was a farm tractor, which we needed at the time.” A donated forklift sat in a basement for five years before the organization

found time to fix it and put it into service. Someone once donated a 1972 Mercedes for a Habitat auction. After the agency spent $400 in repairs, the car brought $3,000 in the auction. Houston Hunt, spokesman for the Oklahoma Lottery, said this was the first time a nonprofit organization has claimed a lottery ticket in Oklahoma.

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