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Ozone in U.S. West linked to Asia

GRANTS PASS — A new study found that while U.S. controls on air pollution have been driving down a major ingredient of smog, ozone blowing over from Asia is raising background levels over California and other Western states.

Dan Jaffe, a professor of atmospheric chemistry at the University of Washington at Bothell who contributed data to the study, said it is the first time Asian pollution has been directly linked to ozone over the United States.

Lead author Owen Cooper, a research scientist at the University of Colorado, said the amounts are small, and have been traced only at middle altitudes.

But he said the amounts have been steadily rising since 1995, and probably longer, and could complicate U.S. efforts to lower ozone levels at home.


Report: Judge shouldn’t lose job

SAN ANTONIO — An embattled Texas judge who closed her court before a death-row inmate could file his final appeal should not lose her job or receive any further punishment beyond the “public humiliation” she has faced, a judge presiding over her ethics trial said in a report released Wednesday.

Judge Sharon Keller still faces five judicial misconduct charges for refusing to keep her court open past 5 p.m., and the state commission that will ultimately decide Judge Keller’s fate is not bound by the recommendations in Wednesday’s report.

But the report makes it clear that Judge Keller is not to blame for a twice-convicted killer being executed Sept. 25, 2007.

State district Judge David Berchelmann, who oversaw Judge Keller’s ethics trial, recommended that Judge Keller was also undeserving of “further reprimand beyond the public humiliation she has surely suffered.”


Highway rest stops to reopen

RICHMOND — The Commonwealth Transportation Board has voted to reopen 19 closed interstate rest stops in Virginia.

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