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Around the nation

- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 11, 2007

Eighth victim found in bridge collapse

MINNEAPOLIS — Divers removed another body from the wreckage of a freeway bridge yesterday, while Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters offered $50 million to help with recovery and rebuilding.

The known death toll from last week's collapse reached eight when Navy divers found the body of Sadiya Sahal, 23, of St. Paul about noontime. A body found Thursday was identified as her 2-year-old daughter, Hanah. Both were on the list of missing people.

Those identifications reduced the list of known missing and presumed dead to five.

During her visit, Mrs. Peters stood near a fallen section of the bridge as she announced the latest emergency aid. The funds are an advance on $250 million approved by Congress but not yet appropriated.

Third male held in killing of three

NEWARK, N.J. — A third suspect was charged yesterday in the execution-style killings of three college students.

Earlier in the day a man pleaded not guilty in the slayings.

The suspect was identified only as 15-year-old boy during a press conference held last night by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office. The specific charges the juvenile faced were not available.

The latest arrest was announced several hours after Jose Carranza, 28, pleaded not guilty to three charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and robbery.

A 15-year-old boy pleaded not guilty to the same charges Thursday and remains in custody, Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Thomas McTigue said.

The four victims, friends ranging in age from 18 to 20, were shot in a school yard not far from their homes last Saturday night. Authorities said robbery appeared to be the motive.

Damage found on space shuttle

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA discovered a gouge on Endeavour's belly soon after the shuttle docked with the International Space Station yesterday, possibly caused by ice that broke off the fuel tank a minute after liftoff.

The damage — about 3 inches square — was spotted in zoom photography done by the space station crew shortly before Endeavour delivered teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan and her six crewmates to the orbiting outpost.

"What does this mean? I don't know at this point," said John Shannon, chairman of the mission management team. If the gouge is deep enough, the shuttle astronauts may have to patch it during a spacewalk, he said.

Tomorrow, the astronauts will inspect the area, using Endeavour's 100-foot robot arm and extension beam.

Man bypasses airport security

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man bypassed security screening yesterday at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and likely made it onto a flight that departed before he could be found, officials said.

The man slipped past screeners shortly before 8 a.m., a Transportation Security Administration spokesman said. Officials searched about 15 planes on the ground and shut down a concourse without finding him, spokesman Jon Allen said.

Mr. Allen said 12 other flights left the airport before the search, and officials think the man is on one of those flights. Those passengers were to be screened when they landed, he said.

"It's too soon to say whether there was malicious intent or whether it was someone who was confused and passed the security screening," Mr. Allen said.

Mayor's comment about city criticized

NEW ORLEANS — Mayor C. Ray Nagin said he worries that slayings in the city make it seem dangerous, but news of such crimes "keeps the New Orleans brand out there."

In a city where the tourism industry is the lifeblood of a fragile economy after Hurricane Katrina, the wave of violence threatens to derail efforts to bring visitors — and former residents — back. Yet Mr. Nagin, at a bricklaying ceremony Thursday, told reporters it's a "two-edged sword."

"It's not good for us, but it also keeps the New Orleans brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back," he said. "Sure it hurts, but we have to keep working every day to make the city better."

Anti-violence activist Baty Landis called Mr. Nagin's remarks "stunningly insensitive."

The city has recorded at least 117 homicides this year.

"New Orleans is not a brand, it's a city," Miss Landis said.

A Nagin spokeswoman did not return a message yesterday.

From staff reports and wire dispatches