Sunday, May 30, 2004

Tire problem grounds flight from Hawaii

HONOLULU — A Hawaiian Airlines flight bound for American Samoa had to return to Honolulu International Airport after a problem was spotted on one of its tires, officials said.

Flight 465 landed safely at 5:22 p.m. Friday, about an hour after leaving the gate, Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa said. No injuries were reported and the 155 passengers were placed on another flight that left 90 minutes later, said Patrick Dugan, a spokesman for Hawaiian.

At takeoff, airline officials in the control tower noticed information that indicated there might be a tire problem, Mr. Dugan said. Tower officials contacted the pilot, and a decision to return was made. Airline officials later determined that some tire tread came loose from a tire on the right-side landing gear during takeoff.

Mayor, police chief netted in raid

MAPLE PARK, Ill. — A village mayor and police chief were arrested during a raid of a bar that state authorities said was a cover for an illegal gambling operation.

Mayor Mark Delaney and Police Chief Chester Morris were arrested Friday night at D.J.’s Tavern, the Attorney General’s Office said. Also arrested were the owner of the bar, its manager and six bartenders.

Chief Morris was charged with one count of official misconduct, while Mr. Delaney and the others were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit gambling.

Mr. Delaney’s wife, Marianne, said her husband frequents the bar “a few times a week” but said she could not comment on the charges because she knew little about what was being alleged.

Illegal video slot machines, gambling paraphernalia and various records and proceeds from the reputed gambling operation were seized in the raid, the police department said.

Search continues for Oregon woman

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Amid new expressions of optimism by police, volunteers renewed the search yesterday for a 19-year-old college student who was last seen at her sister’s apartment complex and was feared kidnapped.

Brooke Wilberger, a student at Brigham Young University in Utah, vanished Monday, leaving behind a pair of sandals and her car parked in the parking lot. Her purse, keys and other belongings had been left in her sister’s apartment.

About 130 volunteers gathered yesterday morning to be briefed and sent to search an overgrown Christmas tree farm west of Corvallis, said Peggy Peirson, emergency services coordinator with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities also expanded the search, asking volunteers to drive the back roads of five surrounding counties during the weekend to look for abandoned vehicles, pieces of clothing or anything else suspicious, Miss Peirson said.

Searchers were told to pay particular attention to routes from Corvallis to the home of Miss Wilberger’s parents in Veneta, outside Eugene.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

Scientologists settle suit in member’s death

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Church of Scientology settled a lawsuit that accused staff members of allowing a member of the church to become severely dehydrated and die.

Lisa McPherson, 36, died in 1995 after 17 days of care by Scientology staffers. The lawsuit, filed by her family, spawned a number of related legal actions as Miss McPherson’s death became a rallying point for an anti-Scientology movement.

The church said Miss McPherson died from a pulmonary embolism, the result of a minor traffic accident she had the day before she was taken to the church spiritual headquarters in Clearwater.

Police had taken her to a hospital after the accident, but she left with Scientology officials, who wanted her to avoid psychiatric treatment because it went against church teachings. Doctors had said Miss McPherson was battling a severe mental breakdown.

Terms of the settlement were not released.

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