- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 25, 2011

CALIFORNIA

Evacuees return home after blast threat ends

LINCOLN | Thousands of evacuees began returning home early Thursday after fire crews allowed a burning propane rail tanker to burn itself out, ending the threat of a major explosion, authorities said.

The blaze in the tanker burned out before midnight, but then crews reignited it to allow vapors caught in the tank to also burn away, Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt said.

But he told the Associated Press that the threat of a major explosion no longer existed and an evacuation order for Lincoln was lifted around midnight.

Between 4,000 and 5,000 homes in the Northern California city of 40,000 people had been evacuated, and more than 6,000 students missed their first days of classes after the tanker caught fire Tuesday.

FLORIDA

Casey Anthony sees probation officer

TALLAHASSEE | A reportedly polite and cooperative Casey Anthony is telling authorities she will do well on her one-year probation for check fraud.

Miss Anthony, who has remained hidden since a jury acquitted her of killing her daughter, met with her probation officer for more than an hour Wednesday evening at an undisclosed location. But citing death threats against her, state officials said Thursday they will not reveal her location, including the county where she will serve her probation for the unrelated charge.

Miss Anthony, 25, has been in hiding since being freed last month after a jury found her not guilty of murder in the 2008 death of 2-year-old Caylee.

A Florida appeals court on Tuesday denied a request that would have stopped her from having to start the probation by the end of the week.

GEORGIA

Teen vaccinations lagging against cervical cancer

ATLANTA | Only about half of the teenage girls in the U.S. have rolled up their sleeves for a controversial vaccine against cervical cancer, a rate well below those for two other vaccinations aimed at adolescents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that 49 percent of girls had gotten at least the first dose in the three-shot vaccination series against human papilloma virus, or HPV. The sexually transmitted bug can cause cervical cancer and genital warts.

The reason for the low rate? Some experts think parents are uneasy with the sexual issues attached to the vaccination.

In contrast, the CDC said about two-thirds of teens have gotten shots for bacterial meningitis and tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough.

MASSACHUSETTS

Church releases list of accused priests

BOSTON | Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Thursday released a long-awaited list of priests accused of child sex abuse in Boston in the past 60 years, but he opted not to include certain priests, including ones who died without being publicly charged.

In a letter, Cardinal O’Malley said 248 of Boston’s priests and two deacons have been accused of child sex abuse since 1950. But he decided against releasing 91 of the names, including the deceased priests who weren’t publicly accused; those working in Boston under religious orders or other dioceses; and priests named in unsubstantiated accusations that never became public.

Each of the 159 names published Thursday has been made public previously, though not necessarily by the archdiocese. They include still-active priests who were cleared of abuse after being publicly accused.

OREGON

Man arrested in mosque fire case

PORTLAND | DNA found on a flashlight helped lead to the arrest of a 24-year-old man on hate crime charges in the November firebombing of a Corvallis mosque where the suspect in a Portland bomb plot once worshipped, according to a federal law enforcement official and court documents.

Cody Crawford, who lived a block from the mosque, was arrested Wednesday night. FBI agents and police searched his home shortly after the Nov. 28 firebombing.

Court documents say Mr. Crawford is a “potential major contributor” of DNA on a blue Maglite flashlight found near the mosque the morning of the firebombing. The documents also show that during a later contact with police, Mr. Crawford described himself as a Christian warrior, ranted against Muslims and told an officer he looked like President Obama.

Mr. Crawford is accused of torching the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis two days after the arrest in Portland of Mohamed Osman Mohamud in an FBI sting. Mr. Mohamud is charged with attempting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony attended by thousands in a downtown square.

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