- - Thursday, February 10, 2011

MASSACHUSETTS

Revolutionary War letter found after being lost

BOSTON | A letter announcing the victory at Fort Ticonderoga that went missing from the state archives six decades ago has been recovered after being spotted as part of a planned auction.

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said the 1775 letter from Joseph Warren was discovered in a Sotheby’s catalog of Revolutionary War manuscripts. The state negotiated the letter’s return.

At the time, Warren was a doctor and president of the Provincial Congress that sat in Watertown, Mass. In the letter, he said he had just learned that Col. Benedict Arnold had captured Fort Ticonderoga, N.Y., and forts at Crown Point and St. John’s in the Lake Champlain area, which reduced the threat of British attack from Canada.

Warren died the same year in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

MONTANA

Changing ‘Redskins’ mascot mulled by school board

RED LODGE | A southern Montana school district’s trustees will vote Tuesday on whether the district’s public high school should drop its Redskins mascot.

The Red Lodge School District board held a hearing on the topic Wednesday night. Comment was evenly divided between those supporting the 60-year tradition of the Redskins mascot and those who say it’s a derogatory term referring to American Indians.

Weighing heavily on the trustees was a letter from the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council asking them to change the mascot.

Trustees Steve Haman and John Elsberry said they felt compelled to make the change.

The vote is scheduled for Feb. 15. The school has not yet developed a list of alternative mascots.

Nearly 20 colleges with American Indian mascots have switched their logos in recent years, after the NCAA in 2005 determined the nicknames and images were “hostile and abusive.”

NEW YORK

1 World Trade Center courts Chinese interest

NEW YORK | The quest for tenants to fill the floors at a World Trade Center skyscraper has gone global — all the way to China.

A private real estate developer connected to the project at ground zero is heading to a conference of business leaders in China this weekend. Douglas Durst of the Durst Organization says 1 World Trade Center has generated “tremendous interest” among Chinese companies that are considering opening international offices.

The building was formerly known as the Freedom Tower. When it’s completed, it will be the tallest building in the country, with an antenna bringing it to 1,776 feet.

The first completed deal for a tenant in the tower has been with a Chinese real estate company. Vantone Industrial signed a lease in 2009 for about 200,000 square feet.

NORTH DAKOTA

iPhone-starved states welcome new gadget

FARGO | Apple devotees in states largely disregarded under a formerly exclusive deal to distribute the iPhone rushed to stores to snap up the gadget early Thursday as Verizon Wireless entered the fray.

Phil Toso, the manager of a Verizon store in Baxter, Minn., said dozens of people showed up when the business opened at 7 a.m. Thursday. The store normally opens at 10.

Previously excluded from the iPhone club because of AT&T’s at-best spotty coverage in this part of the country, cell-phone users in areas of the Dakotas, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming can now get the phone through the nation’s largest wireless carrier.

PENNSYLVANIA

3 dead, 2 missing in natural-gas explosion

ALLENTOWN | A natural gas explosion rocked a downtown neighborhood overnight Wednesday into Thursday, leveling two houses and spawning fires that burned for hours through an entire row of neighboring homes. Three people were killed, including an infant, and at least two others were unaccounted for Thursday.

The victims ranged in age from 4 months to 79 years old, fire Chief Robert Scheirer said, but city officials have not released the names of those killed or missing.

Chief Scheirer said 47 buildings were damaged, and eight were expected to be total losses.

The cause of the explosion was not clear. The state Public Utility Commission is investigating and looking for any violations of state or federal law, said agency spokeswoman Jennifer Kocher.

From wire dispatches and staff reports