- - Wednesday, December 21, 2011

VIRGINIA

2 women share ‘1st kiss’ at U.S. Navy ship’s return

VIRGINIA BEACH — A Navy tradition caught up with the repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule on Wednesday when two female sailors became the first to share the coveted “first kiss” on the pier after one of them returned from 80 days at sea.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta of Placerville, Calif., descended from the USS Oak Hill amphibious landing ship and shared a quick kiss in the rain with her partner, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell of Los Angeles.

There was little to differentiate this kiss from countless others when a Navy ship pulls into its home port following a deployment. Neither the Navy nor the couple tried to draw special attention to what was happening and many onlookers waiting for their loved ones to come off the ship were busy talking among themselves.

UTAH

Lamborghini winner crashes car hours later

SALT LAKE CITY — A truck driver who won a $380,000 Lamborghini in a convenience store contest crashed the sports car six hours after he got it, and he now plans to sell the 640-horsepower convertible.

Mr. Dopp, a 34-year-old truck driver for Frito-Lay, spun out of control just a few hours after taking the keys to the Murcielago Roadster that he won in a “Joe Schmo to Lambo” contest sponsored by Maverik convenience stores.

Mr. Dopp said the damage “isn’t super bad” — a punctured oil pan and wheel and a few dents. The father of six said he couldn’t afford to pay taxes on the car or the insurance, which runs $3,500 every six months.

MICHIGAN

Obama administration removes gray wolf ‘endangered’ status

ATLANTA, Mich. — After devoting four decades and tens of millions of dollars to saving the gray wolf, the federal government wants to get out of the wolf-protection business, leaving it to individual states — and the wolves themselves — to determine the future of the legendary predator.

The Obama administration Wednesday declared more than 4,000 wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin have recovered from widespread extermination and will be removed from the endangered species list.

Coupled with an earlier move that lifted protections in five western states, the decision puts the gray wolf at a historical crossroads. Since being added to the federal endangered species list in 1974, the American wolf population has grown fivefold to about 6,200 animals wandering parts of 10 states outside Alaska.

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