- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 23, 2006

No injuries reported in Bay Area quake

BERKELEY, Calif. — A third small earthquake in four days rattled the San Francisco Bay Area yesterday, but there were no immediate reports of injury or damage.

The temblor that struck at 9:21 a.m. had a preliminary magnitude of 3.5 and a depth of about 6.1 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The epicenter was about 2 miles from Berkeley and 3 miles from Emeryville, across the Bay from San Francisco.

Residents throughout the Bay Area reported feeling the jolt, but police said there were no reports of injuries.

The latest earthquake was similar in magnitude and location to those that struck Wednesday and Friday. The three quakes erupted along the Hayward Fault, which geologists think is due for a quake in the potentially lethal 6.7 to 7.0 range.

Web site uses Santa to make fun of mayor

HAZLETON, Pa. — A satirical new Web site pokes fun at Mayor Lou Barletta by claiming he has banned Santa Claus, “the nation’s most prominent undocumented worker,” from the city.

Playing off the mayor’s recent crackdown on illegal aliens, the Web site says Mr. Barletta has started a campaign against the jolly old elf, who is “not an American, nor is he legally recognized for residency or occupational purposes in this country.”

Mr. Barletta attracted national attention earlier this year when he pushed through a tough, first-of-its-kind law targeting illegal aliens, who the mayor says have committed crimes and drained tax dollars in the northeastern Pennsylvania city of 31,000 persons.

Mr. Barletta wasn’t amused when he learned about the Web site last week.

“Santa Claus is welcome in Hazleton as he’s welcome everywhere,” Mr. Barletta told Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes” show. “Whoever created the Web site obviously has too much time on their hands.”

The Web site was registered in October to an Emeryville, Calif., group calling itself “No Santa For Hazleton.”

Carp shoot leaves fisherman titleless

PITTSBURGH — Dennis Russian has a great fish story to tell, but no state record to show for it.

While bow fishing on Presque Isle Bay in May, Mr. Russian shot a 54-pound, 4-ounce carp.

That much is true. But the full truth is, he shot a grass carp — and the state Fish and Boat Commission said its carp record was only intended to recognize the common carp.

“There is no doubt that Mr. Russian’s fish is impressive and it’s especially remarkable that he was able to take it by bow and arrow,” Doug Austen, executive director of the state Fish and Boat Commission, said Thursday.

“However … there was simply no way a grass carp no matter how large could qualify as a recreational fishing record,” he said.

The state record for the largest common carp is 52 pounds. It was taken in 1962 from the Juniata River.

Judge says students should be reinstated

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. — Making a movie in which evil teddy bears attack a teacher got two budding filmmakers expelled from their high school, but a federal judge says it was the school that was wrong.

However, the judge said the boys should apologize.

Cody Overbay and Isaac Imel, both sophomores, must be allowed to return to Knightstown High School for the second semester, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker said Friday in Indianapolis in granting a preliminary injunction. She also ordered the school to allow the students to make up any work they had missed since their expulsions in October.

The boys worked on the movie “The Teddy Bear Master” from fall 2005 through summer 2006. It depicts a “teddy bear master” ordering stuffed animals to kill a teacher who had embarrassed him, but students battle the toy beasts, according to documents filed in court.

Overtime nets guards six-figure pay

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — About 6,000 California corrections officers earned more than $100,000 in the last fiscal year thanks to overtime work in the strained prison system, and one brought in more than a quarter of a million.

Overtime added $220 million to the $453 million base pay for those prison workers, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday. More than 900 of them earned $50,000 or more in overtime alone.

Overtime costs have soared since the officers’ current labor contract took effect five years ago, rising 24 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the same point last year, the newspaper reported.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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