Copyright 2000 The Houston Chronicle Publishing Company
The Houston Chronicle
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June 17, 2000, Saturday 3 STAR EDITION
SECTION: A; Pg. 14
LENGTH: 615 words
HEADLINE: National briefs
SOURCE: Houston Chronicle News Services
Pot-advocate author dies
LOS ANGELES - Best-selling self-help author and medical marijuana advocate Peter McWilliams died at his Los Angeles home as he was awaiting sentencing on federal charges of growing the drug for sale, friends said Friday. He was 50.
McWilliams, author of "How to Survive the Loss of Love" and the "Life 101" series of self-help books, was found dead in his bathroom Wednesday, the friends said. No cause of death was listed but he suffered from AIDS and Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was scheduled for sentencing Aug. 15 and faced five years in federal prison.
Coin finder bankrupt
MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. - The Arkansas man who found the golden dollar coin that had a mistake - and may be worth up to $ 100,000 - had filed for bankruptcy only three weeks earlier.
Frank Wallis bought four rolls of Sacagawea $ 1 coins a couple of weeks ago. He opened one, expecting to see the American Indian guide's youthful face on the coins inside. But one bore a more familiar profile: George Washington, in a pose usually seen on quarters.
The mistake, believed to be the first of its kind in the 208-year history of the U.S. Mint, is known by collectors as a "double-denomination mule error" - two currencies stamped on different sides.
Wallis' coin bears the front of the Washington quarter and the back of the Sacagawea dollar.
It is not known whether other coins with the same error are in circulation; 500 million Sacagawea coins were minted. A spokesman for the U.S. Mint did not return a call seeking comment.
A dealer will auction the coin during the American Numismatic Association's convention in Philadelphia in August.
Tycoon found guilty NEW YORK - Real estate mogul Abe Hirschfeld, who once offered Paula Jones $ 1 million to drop her sexual harassment case against President Clinton, was found guilty of criminal solicitation Friday for trying to hire a hitman to kill his former business partner.
The 80-year-old Hirschfeld faces up to seven years in prison.
Hirschfeld, who made his fortune building parking garages in New York City, was accused of trying to arrange the murder of his longtime partner, Stanley Stahl.
Unabomber sells land
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Here's something you won't find on eBay.
Convicted Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski has sold his half share of the small plot of land in Montana where he planned his deadly spree of bombings, turning over his rights to the 1.4 acre property outside the town of Lincoln to a pen pal for $ 7,500.
"It is such a nice piece of land. I want to preserve it. This way, I can be sure it won't be logged or destroyed in some other way," Joy Richards, 47, said Friday.
Kaczynski, currently serving a life sentence for three murders during a 17-year bombing career, will not profit from the sale. The proceeds go to the clerk of the court in Sacramento to be applied to victim restitution.
Erving's son wanted gun SANFORD, Fla. - The troubled son of basketball star Julius "Dr. J" Erving tried to buy a gun to settle a score before he disappeared, the sheriff said Friday.
Cory Erving, 19, wanted to retaliate against a man with whom he had had a fight, Sheriff Don Eslinger said. Erving tried to buy a gun from an acquaintance but was unsuccessful, the sheriff said.
Eslinger said investigators were interviewing the man. The sheriff wouldn't say what the fight was about. During the fight, the man apparently threw a brick that broke the window of Erving's car.
Erving, who has had drug problems, was last seen by his family May 28.
A $ 50,000 reward has been offered for information leading to his return or whereabouts. GRAPHIC: Mugs: 1. Frank Wallis; 2. Abe Hirschfeld; 3. Cory Erving