- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 22, 2007

President has polyps removed

CAMP DAVID — Doctors removed five small polyps from President Bush’s colon yesterday after he temporarily transferred the powers of his office for two hours to Vice President Dick Cheney.

The polyps were found during a routine colon-cancer scan. They all measured less than a centimeter and none “appeared worrisome,” White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

The colonoscopy, performed at the Camp David presidential retreat, lasted 31 minutes. The polyps have been sent for microscopic examination to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Results are expected within 72 hours.

Mr. Bush invoked the disability clause of the Constitution at 7:16 a.m. and transferred his authority to Mr. Cheney, who was at his home on the Chesapeake Bay. Mr. Bush reclaimed presidential powers at 9:21 a.m.

“The president was in good humor and will resume his normal activities at Camp David,” Mr. Stanzel said.

Ambulance crash kills 5 in Ohio

VAN WERT, Ohio — An ambulance headed to a hospital was broadsided by a car at an intersection and caught fire Friday night, killing three emergency medical technicians and two patients, the State Highway Patrol said.

The patients were being treated for injuries from an earlier car wreck when their ambulance was struck in Crane Township, about 65 miles southwest of Toledo.

A fourth Antwerp Emergency Medical Services worker and the driver of the other vehicle were taken to a hospital for treatment, the patrol said. Their conditions were not available.

Senators unable to reach budget deal

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Unable to persuade Republicans to support the state budget, the Senate Democratic leader allowed bleary-eyed legislators to leave the Capitol yesterday morning after locking them in the chamber overnight.

Senate President Don Perata ordered the rare legislative lockdown in a standoff over whether to cut a tiny fraction of the proposed $145 billion state budget.

Mr. Perata told his Republican counterpart to come up with his own version of the budget so the Senate could reconvene Wednesday.

Republicans had rejected a spending plan passed by the Assembly that reduces the state’s operating deficit to about $700 million, about one half of 1 percent of the overall budget.

Overnight, lawmakers needed permission to exit the chamber. Some slept at their desks, listened to IPods or read. Others huddled on the Capitol balcony drinking wine and beer from plastic cups.

Blast injures four at Colorado plant

BERTHOUD, Colo. — A chlorine explosion at a water-treatment plant injured four persons Friday and heavily damaged the facility, authorities said.

No water-quality problems are expected because other plants in the system were still operating, said Judy Dahl, business manager for the Little Thompson Water District.

A truck was unloading chemicals at the Carter Lake Filtration Plant, about 40 miles north of Denver, when the explosion happened, Miss Dahl said. Chlorine is used to disinfect water, but is toxic as a gas and poses a risk of fire and explosion.

Berthoud Fire spokeswoman Chloe McKinley said the explosion was caused because chemicals being unloaded at the plant were not compatible with other chemicals.

Woman burns self playing with lighter

LA PLATA, N.M. — A 19-year-old woman caught fire while she was fiddling with a cigarette lighter as she pumped gas, authorities said.

Brianna Sanchez was at a Sun Dial gas station with her boyfriend Friday night when the incident occurred, said Sgt. Jackie Budd, a spokesman with the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office.

He said witnesses reported the woman was pumping gas and that she had a lighter in her hand. Then, flames shot out of the gas tank.

The woman and the immediate area caught fire. A person at the scene put out the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

Miss Sanchez was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center with burns to her face and upper torso. Sgt. Budd didn’t know the extent of her injuries.

Man spreads fire with hay wagon

HART TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A panicking man left a blazing trail behind him as he dashed across the countryside looking for a hose to put out his burning hay wagon, authorities said.

The man had trouble with the brakes on the hay-filled wagon being towed by his truck Thursday afternoon in Hart Township, about 190 miles northwest of Detroit.

The malfunctioning brakes apparently set the hay on fire, Hart Fire Chief Ken Klotz said. The man was unable to unhook the trailer as the fire grew.

“The whole thing was on fire — the back of his pickup truck and the trailer,” Chief Klotz said. “One guy saw him driving by and said he saw 30-foot flames coming out of the hay as he was going down the road.”

Falling hay started numerous fires along the route.

The fires were extinguished, and the man was not cited.

Woman charged in storefront crash

WILMETTE, Ill. — A 94-year-old woman who crashed her car into the glass front of a restaurant in this Chicago suburb, sending nine persons to hospitals, is charged with negligent driving.

Ruth Rose of Wilmette also is charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and driving on a sidewalk, according to Wilmette police. All three charges carry a maximum fine of $500.

Mrs. Rose’s Mercury Grand Marquis plowed into a Panera Bread restaurant Thursday as she was attempting to park in front of the eatery, police said. The car struck eight persons, all of whom were treated at area hospitals and released. Mrs. Rose’s husband was a passenger in the car and was hospitalized for chest pains.

From staff reports and wire dispatches