Engine problems sideline icebreaker
ANCHORAGE | Engine problems will keep the Coast Guard’s only functioning heavy icebreaker in port for the rest of the year.
Inspections of the 399-foot Polar Sea’s main diesel engines revealed premature excessive wear in 33 cylinder assemblies. An analysis to determine the cause is expected by August.
The Polar Sea was scheduled to support operations off Alaska’s coast, including oil spill recovery exercises and standby search and rescue, starting in August. The Coast Guard says the vessel likely will be unavailable until at least January.
The Coast Guard’s other large polar icebreaker, the Polar Star, is being reactivated but will not be ready until 2013.
Toyota driver’s retrial challenged
ST. PAUL | Prosecutors say they’re opposing a retrial for a Minnesota man imprisoned for the crash of a Toyota that killed three people, saying there’s no evidence he’s innocent.
Koua Fong Lee is serving an eight-year sentence for criminal vehicular homicide. The 32-year-old St. Paul man has maintained that he tried to stop his 1996 Camry before the 2006 crash.
But Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner said Wednesday that neither a recent reinspection of the wreckage nor information from Lee’s attorney are enough to overturn his conviction.
Lee’s attorney began trying to reopen the case earlier this year after Toyota began large-scale recalls of some models because of sudden unintended acceleration.
A judge will decide whether a retrial is warranted.
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