- The Washington Times - Monday, October 4, 2004

LOUISIANA

Boat accident kills tourist

CROWN POINT — The Swamp King’s 16 passengers were all buckled into their seats Saturday afternoon when the airboat overturned in 3 feet of water south of New Orleans, killing one passenger and injuring 12 more, one critically.

A Coast Guard official wouldn’t comment yesterday on whether the captain was making quick maneuvers to thrill tourists aboard the flat-bottomed aluminum craft powered by a big fan at the rear.

Daniel Nanna, 31, of Newport Beach, Calif., died about seven hours after the accident.

UTAH

Two named to Mormon council

SALT LAKE CITY — An Idaho educator and a former German airline pilot were named Saturday to leadership positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

David Bednar, 52, president of Brigham Young University-Idaho, and Dieter Uchtdorf were chosen for the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the top leadership council after the three-member First Presidency. Mr. Uchtdorf, 63 most recently served as president of the Quorum of the Seventy, the church leadership council ranking just below the Quorum of the Twelve.

Church President Gordon B. Hinckley made the announcement as he opened the church’s semiannual General Conference.

CALIFORNIA

Authorities kill bear found at school

LOS OLIVOS — A 340-pound black bear was captured and killed after it ambled across a private school campus in Southern California just as students were arriving for breakfast.

The bear wandered onto the Dunn School campus about 7 a.m. Friday, prompting officials to usher about 100 high school students into the dining hall while authorities were called.

When state Fish and Game wardens arrived at the school 110 miles northwest of Los Angeles, they found the bear sitting in a tree 20 feet above the ground.

The animal was tranquilized, then taken to the forest and killed with a single gunshot to the head. Lt. Roland Takayama of the state Department of Fish and Game said the procedure was in keeping with state policy.

IDAHO

Cleanup workers dry nuclear waste basins

IDAHO FALLS — Four underwater nuclear waste storage basins used for more than 50 years at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory are dry.

The basins held nuclear waste, plus 770,000 gallons of contaminated water from storage of spent fuel from the Three Mile Island nuclear accident.

The waste is now in dry storage and the water was allowed to evaporate. An epoxy fixative prevents any remaining contaminants from becoming airborne, cleanup officials said.

ILLINOIS

Smoking increases risk of colic

CHICAGO — Mothers who smoke during or after pregnancy increase their babies’ risk of developing colic, those vexing, inconsolable crying spells that affect up to 20 percent of U.S. babies in their first few months of life, researchers say.

The culprit, based on studies in adults, is likely nicotine, which increases blood levels of a protein involved in digestion, said Brown University epidemiologist Edmond Shenassa. That may result in painful cramping that makes babies cry, he said.

Researchers reviewed several studies, including six that involved more than 12,000 babies.

The data suggest that compared with nonsmokers, mothers who smoke during pregnancy face about double the risk of having infants with colic, Mr. Shenassa said.

INDIANA

Tallest woman buying dream van

SHELBYVILLE — Sandy Allen now has enough money to buy her dream van — one big enough to accommodate the 7-foot-71/4-inch frame of the world’s tallest woman.

Less than a week after announcement of an effort to raise the $5,200 needed to buy the used van, donations have reached about $7,000, said Bonnie Shehan, a friend of Miss Allen, 49, who is wheelchair-bound.

“People from all over the country are sending money for Sandy,” Miss Shehan said Thursday.

Miss Shehan had been Miss Allen’s unofficial chauffeur, using her minivan to drive Miss Allen places, until the van was stolen. Although Miss Allen said she was glad to leave the nursing home where she lives from time to time, Miss Shehan’s van was cramped.

Miss Allen’s friends Linda and Larry Fox had seen a van in a used car lot in the city about 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis that they thought would be perfect for Miss Allen.

KANSAS

Federal grants to aid crime labs

TOPEKA — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation will get more than $521,000 in federal grants to help its crime labs, said Eric Melgren, the U.S. attorney for Kansas.

The state agency says the money will be used to identify and test backlogged DNA evidence. The KBI has labs in Topeka, Great Bend, Pittsburg and Kansas City, Kan.

MAINE

Minimum wage up a dime

AUGUSTA — An estimated 25,000 Mainers got a raise Friday when the state minimum wage went up a dime to $6.35 an hour.

Legislation enacted this spring also provides for the state minimum to go up again on Oct. 1, 2005, to $6.50. Maine is one of 12 states with a minimum higher than the $5.15 set by the federal government.

MISSISSIPPI

White supremacists cancel booth at fair

JACKSON — A white supremacist group has canceled plans to have a booth at the Mississippi State Fair after a reputed Ku Klux Klansman under investigation for the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers said he had no intention of stopping by it, a state official says.

Nationalist Movement leader Richard Barrett’s plans to be at the fair and his promotion of Edgar Ray Killen as the booth’s featured attraction triggered protests by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and local leaders. Some critics called for a boycott of the 12-day state fair, which begins Wednesday.

Mississippi State Fair Director Mike Brinkley told the Clarion Ledger that Mr. Barrett, after getting permission to have the booth, now has decided not to have one.

MONTANA

Gas drilling outlawed in mountain region

HELENA — The federal government no longer will consider letting companies drill for natural gas along Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) confirmed Saturday, quieting for now one of the state’s hottest environmental debates.

The Front, which stretches about 100 miles along the eastern crags of the Rockies south of Glacier National Park, is home to grizzly bears, elk, bighorn sheep and other wildlife.

“We feel that given the complexity of the issue and the enormous public interest in the Rocky Mountain Front, it would be better to take a step back and thoroughly evaluate all options,” said Celia Boddington, a BLM spokeswoman in Washington, D.C.

BLM suspended work on an environmental impact study for the Front’s Blackleaf area, where a Canadian company wanted to drill for gas.

TENNESSEE

Camera phone leads to arrest

NASHVILLE — Thanks to a quick-thinking robbery victim and his camera phone, police had a photo of his suspected assailant and tracked him down in 10 minutes, police said.

James Robert Barker was in custody on charges of aggravated robbery after reportedly holding up limousine driver Ismael Miranda early Friday at a carwash, police said.

“I don’t think camera phones were made with the intent of being crime-fighting tools, but they can certainly be just that,” police spokesman Don Aaron said.

WISCONSIN

Town will re-enact historic egg fight

EGG HARBOR — Plans to re-enact the egg battle that led to the naming of this town in 1825 were simply too true to be good, state officials have decided.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Saturday’s event must use plastic eggs, not the real thing, in depicting the historic egg-throwing battle between crews of two boats docked in the harbor on Lake Michigan’s Green Bay.

After organizer George Bisbee announced his plans for a true-to-life egg fight, shoreline property owners and others called the DNR to complain, said Tom Hansen, DNR warden supervisor in Green Bay. Mr. Hansen said eggs are breeding grounds for bacteria, and the invasive zebra mussels growing on the bottom of the bay would feast on the calcium shells.

The original egg fight among sailors was apparently a spur-of-the-moment release of tension, as recounted by Green Bay diarist Elizabeth Baird, who happened to be sailing by on another ship.

WYOMING

1988 fires causing trees to topple

CODY — Trees killed from wildfires in 1988 in the Shoshone National Forest are falling, blocking trails and creating danger for backcountry hikers and hunters. Since many of the trails are in the wilderness, no power tools are allowed — only crosscut saws and axes.

Thousands of trees have fallen since last winter, and some trails have been cleared more than once, officials said.

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