- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 9, 2001

Energy regulators order refunds
Federal energy regulators have directed four energy companies to refund excessive charges for electricity sales in California and 10 other Western states in July.
The order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission does not include the amount of the refunds.
The commission's action was the first of its kind since its imposition in late June of a ceiling on wholesale power prices in Western states, an outgrowth of soaring prices in California.

Store owner kills burglar
SACRAMENTO, Calif. Sacramento police said a video store owner fatally shot a suspected burglar who dropped in through the store's ceiling early yesterday.
The owner was not arrested and the matter will be reviewed by the district attorney's office.
Police said the owner lives in the store and awoke to the sound of people on the roof about 4 a.m. The man grabbed a cell phone and called 911. He also armed himself with a handgun.

Mineta released from hospital
Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta was released from the hospital yesterday and is expected at work today, spokesman Chet Lunner said.
Mr. Mineta had been taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Friday with a nosebleed. Mr. Mineta instead spent the weekend in the hospital because of low blood pressure caused by the nosebleed.

Base schools produce high scores
Students at schools on military bases score higher on achievement tests than their counterparts at civilian schools, researchers say.
The Vanderbilt University study also said the gap between test scores of white and minority students at base schools was narrower than at public schools.
The study was commissioned after the 1998 National Assessment of Educational Progress reading and writing scores showed eighth-graders at base schools outperformed students in civilian schools.
Researchers found the base school system "comprehensively excellent."

Python swallows pit bull whole
MERCED, Calif. A Northern California man who used to have two pets a pit bull terrier and a Burmese python now has only one, a 200-pound python with a pit-bull-sized bulge.
Merced Police Department Cmdr. Tom Martin said the man called police Friday after the reptile escaped from its cage. The owner quickly located the snake under his house but then realized his 30-pound pit bull was also missing a mystery that was easily solved.
"In the middle of the snake, there was a big round bulge," Cmdr. Martin said.

Child with lighter destroys building
PENSACOLA, Fla. A 4-year-old boy playing with a lighter started a fire that destroyed an apartment building, leaving about 20 persons homeless and causing $450,000 in damage.
No one was injured in Sunday's blaze. Flames spread quickly from the child's bed to the rest of the eight-unit building.
"He's been crying ever since because he knows he did something wrong, and I've been going around just telling everybody, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry,'" said Olivia Williams, 24, the boy's mother.

Man threatens bus driver, passengers
CINCINNATI A man threatened to shoot a city bus driver and blow up the passengers yesterday but was arrested after allowing the driver to radio for help, police said.
No one was injured in the incident. Police said Gregory Haugabrook, 50, of Cincinnati did not have any weapons.
Mr. Haugabrook was charged with kidnapping, disrupting public services, inducing panic and possessing marijuana.

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