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American Scene

- - Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cronkite burial to be in Missouri

NEW YORK — Walter Cronkite's final resting place will be next to his late wife in Missouri, where the two first met, his chief of staff said Saturday.

The 92-year-old former CBS anchorman died Friday at his Manhattan home of cerebrovascular disease, according to Marlene Adler, his longtime chief of staff.

A private funeral service was scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue. Ms. Adler said the Rev. William Tully will preside over the Episcopal service at the church the Cronkites attended for many years.

A memorial will be held within the next month in Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, she said.

Mr. Cronkite is to be cremated and his remains buried at a later date next to his wife, Betsy, in the family plot at a cemetery in Kansas City, Mo.

Six slain in Tennessee

FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. — Five people were found slain in two homes in southern Tennessee on Saturday, some of whom were related, and a sixth person at a Huntsville, Ala., business, said authorities, who have a suspect in custody.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Kristin Helm said in an e-mail that Jacob Shaffer, 30, of Huntsville, was being questioned but that no charges had been filed. She said he was sitting on the front porch of one of the homes in Lincoln County when deputies arrived and that he was being held by local authorities.

Ms. Helm said some of the Tennessee victims were related and that the killings happened Friday night or early Saturday.

Fayetteville is a town of 7,000 people about 90 miles south of Nashville near the Tennessee-Alabama state line. Huntsville is the largest city in northern Alabama with more than 170,000 people and is about 30 miles south of Fayetteville.

Interrogation team considered

U.S. officials are looking into organizing a team of interrogators from several government agencies to specialize in questioning high-value terrorist suspects, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The small team would likely also be tasked with drawing up new interrogation methods, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with a proposal that will be submitted to the White House.

The team would not be run by the CIA — as were interrogation efforts under the administration of former President George W. Bush — but the newspaper said it was unclear who would be in charge. The White House did not immediately return calls for comment.

Light-rail line opens in Seattle

SEATTLE — A new light-rail line opened Saturday in Seattle.

The 13.9-mile Link route between downtown Seattle and the south Seattle suburb of Tukwila inaugurated the service with free rides for its first two days of operation.

Sound Transit officials planned for as many as 50,000 riders Saturday, with police, transit staff and volunteers working on crowd control and communications.

A dozen two-car trains were ready to run at 7½-minute intervals. Two more trains were in reserve, along with seven other rail cars that also could be used on the line.

Two killed in plane crash

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Authorities say two people were killed in the crash of an experimental airplane in northern Los Angeles County.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the single-engine Lancair crashed Saturday in a farming community in Santa Clarita.

Both people on board were killed. Their identities were not immediately known.

It was unclear where the plane's flight originated or where it was headed.

Mr. Gregor said the home-built aircraft is registered to an Encino resident. Officials wouldn't release the plane's tail number until family members were notified.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.

From wire dispatches and staff reports