- - 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.

NEW YORK

8 U.S. soldiers face charges in comrade’s Afghanistan death

NEW YORK — Eight U.S. soldiers have been charged in the death of a fellow GI, a Chinese-American who apparently shot himself in Afghanistan after being subjected to what a community activist said were assaults and ethnic taunts from his comrades.

Pvt. Danny Chen, a 19-year-old from New York’s Chinatown neighborhood, was found in a guard tower in Kandahar province Oct. 3 with what the Army said appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Military officials gave no details on exactly what role the soldiers — charged with crimes ranging from dereliction of duty to negligent homicide and manslaughter — are alleged to have played. But a community activist raised the possibility that their bullying drove him to suicide.

WASHINGTON

Obesity rise prompts ferries to change maximum capacity

SEATTLE — The Washington state ferry service isn’t going to start turning away hefty passengers, but it has had to reduce the capacity of the nation’s largest ferry system because people have been packing on the pounds.

Coast Guard vessel stability rules that took effect nationwide Dec. 1 raised the estimated weight of the average adult passenger to 185 pounds from the previous 160 pounds, based on population information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and about one-third of American adults are now considered obese, according to the CDC.

The state ferry system complied with the new stability rules by simply reducing the listed capacity of its vessels.

PENNSYLVANIA

Clinics bracing for new state rules on abortions

HARRISBURG — Operators of women’s health clinics that perform abortions in Pennsylvania are bracing for new regulations that they say could mean expensive facility expansions and staff additions.

The requirements are in a bill that Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to sign this week.

Enforcement will fall to the state Department of Health. Depending on what the department decides, the regulations could require wider hallways and elevator shafts, bigger surgical rooms, more sinks, changes to the ventilation system and a full-time staff nurse, among other things, clinic operators said.

OHIO

White Castle chain eyes alcohol sales

COLUMBUS — White Castle, a 90-year-old hamburger chain known for its square “slider” burgers, is sipping on the idea of offering alcoholic beverages as it tests beer and wine sales at a restaurant in Indiana.

The food famously craved by stoners in the 2004 movie “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” can be had with a glass of wine or a domestic or seasonal beer at a Lafayette, Ind., restaurant that fuses a conventional White Castle with a new concept for the company called Blaze Modern BBQ.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

blog comments powered by Disqus

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide