- The Washington Times - Friday, December 29, 2006

Bush seeks shelter after tornado warning

CRAWFORD, Texas — President Bush and first lady Laura Bush were moved to an armored vehicle on their ranch yesterday when a tornado warning was issued in central Texas, the White House said.

The vehicle was driven to a tornado shelter on the ranch, and the president, Mrs. Bush and their two Scottish terriers, Barney and Miss Beazley, sat inside until the weather cleared, deputy White House press secretary Scott Stanzel said. They were never moved into the shelter, he said. The shelter is a few hundred yards away from the president’s house on the ranch.

“He was in the vehicle for about 10 minutes and then he went back to the house,” Mr. Stanzel said, adding that other members of the staff at the ranch were sheltered.

Private service for James Brown

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — One day after thousands bade farewell to singer James Brown at the Apollo Theater in New York, friends and relatives gathered yesterday for a more humble memorial service near the place Mr. Brown called home.

The gold casket bearing Mr. Brown’s body was brought into the Carpentersville Baptist Church about 2:30 p.m. Boxing promoter Don King, wearing a red, white and blue tie, was right behind. The Rev. Al Sharpton, who had accompanied Mr. Brown’s body to New York and back, was also on hand, as was comedian Dick Gregory.

Mr. Brown died of heart failure Christmas morning at age 73.

Another public viewing of the singer’s body, followed by a public funeral service, will be held today at the James Brown Arena in Augusta, Ga.

Collision with father kills teenage son

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. — Neither father nor son saw each other until it was too late as they approached the crest of a hill on a rural gravel road.

Steven Roth, 41, in his pickup truck, collided with his 16-year-old son Samuel B. Roth, who was doing a wheelie on his dirt bike. The boy died before paramedics arrived.

“I don’t know that I could find either one of them at fault,” Sheriff John Montgomery said.

The crash took place Thursday near the family’s home, along a road just wide enough for two cars to pass each other.

“I can’t imagine what the family is going through,” the sheriff said.

Atlantic City delays vote on smoking ban

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantic City’s casinos aren’t stubbing out the cigarettes just yet.

The City Council in New Jersey’s gambling mecca put off a vote yesterday on banning smoking in casinos to give the nightspots more time to get ready.

A new, amended proposal will be voted on Jan. 24 and is expected to pass. It would go into effect April 15, whereas the previous measure would have taken effect in a month.

Anti-smoking groups and casino workers welcomed the ban, while the casino industry warned of legal action.

The ordinance would make Atlantic City the biggest gambling spot in the nation to bar smoking. Las Vegas; Biloxi, Miss.; and most Indian casinos allow smoking.

Extension cord likely sparked fatal fire

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — An extension cord overloaded with Christmas decorations may have sparked a fire that swept through four downtown row houses yesterday, killing five persons and injuring several others, officials said.

The holiday decorations had been plugged into a power strip joined to an extension cord, Allentown Fire Capt. Robert Scheirer said.

He said the early morning fire was ruled accidental, though investigators were still trying to determine if the wiring failed, a specific ornament shorted out or if something else was involved.

The three-story row home had no working smoke alarms. Five died inside, Capt. Scheirer said.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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