- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2001

Three firefighters killed in New York blaze
NEW YORK A five-alarm fire and explosions in a hardware store yesterday toppled the buildings roof and brick facade, killing three firefighters and injuring more than 50 other people, authorities said.
The building crumpled onto firefighters, burying many and tossing others across the street. Firefighters, police officers and other rescue personnel were among the injured. Two civilians suffered minor injuries.
Two victims, Harry Ford, 50, and John Downing, 40, were buried beneath the rubble. The third firefighter, Brian Fahey, 46, fell into the basement, where he was trapped for hours. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Boy drowns at rockers home
MALIBU, Calif. The death of a 4-year-old boy in a swimming pool at the home of rock musician Tommy Lee was ruled an accidental drowning, authorities said yesterday.
The victim was identified as Daniel Karven Veres, son of television producer James Veres and actress Ursula Karven. He was among several school friends attending a birthday party on Saturday for one of Mr. Lees two sons.
"It was a birthday party like a million other birthday parties and obviously there wasnt enough help at the pool," said Mr. Veres, who didnt attend the party. "Its inexcusable and just amazing to me."
The boy was found floating facedown in the pool at the former Motley Crue drummers Malibu home. Two adults pulled the boy from the water and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation while Mr. Lee called 911, authorities said.

Winfrey to buy $50 million estate
LOS ANGELES Television talk show host and media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey has agreed to buy a mansion near Santa Barbara for $50 million in one of the most expensive residential property deals in California, the Los Angeles Times said yesterday.
The 42-acre estate in Montecito includes a 23,000-square-foot Georgian-style house, a swimming pool and tennis court, a barn, an orchard, two ponds and a lake, the Times reported.
The previous owners had bought the property, about 90 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles and looking out across the Pacific Ocean, for $14 million in 1998 before renovating it, the newspaper said.

Governor may commute killers sentence
Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating is considering whether to commute the death sentence of Mexican convicted killer Gerardo Valdez on the grounds that his right to communicate with his countrys diplomats was violated, spokesman Phil Bacharach said yesterday.
Mr. Keating on Saturday announced a 30-day stay of execution for Valdez, who had been scheduled to die tomorrow, after speaking with Mexican President Vicente Fox, Mr. Bacharach said. The states parole board has recommended commuting Valdezs sentence.
"It is solely a question if the governor wants to grant mercy," Mr. Bacharach told the Agence France-Presse news agency. "He can decide anytime during the 30-day period." If commuted, Valdezs sentence most likely would become life without parole.
Valdez, who has admitted his guilt, was sentenced to die for the April 1989 killing of Juan Barron, who Valdez said had made homosexual advances toward him.

Jet plane crash kills newlywed
LA CROSSE, Wis. A woman who was given a ride in a jet plane as a wedding present was killed along with the planes pilot when the twin-engine aircraft crashed while participating in an air show.
Spectators at the Deke Slayton Airfest watched as the plane lost a large piece and plunged to the ground, bursting into flames.
The Saturday morning crash killed Sara Hanson of Holmen, who had been married the previous Saturday, and pilot Roger Simpson of Northville, Mich. No one else was hurt.
Representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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