Sunday, November 28, 2004

Tanker spills oil in Delaware River

PHILADELPHIA — A tanker spilled 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey on Friday and yesterday, Coast Guard officials said.

Private contractors were called in to skim oil from the surface of the water and place thousands of feet of boom to contain the floating slick.

A stretch of less than 10 miles of the busy river was closed to commercial and recreational traffic while the spill was being cleaned up.

“I would classify any spill in the water as significant,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer John Edwards. “We’re working very quickly and diligently to expedite the cleanup.”

It wasn’t clear what caused the spill, Officer Edwards said. He said the leak had stopped by late yesterday morning.

The tanker, the Athos I, registered in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus, was carrying 325,000 barrels of oil from Venezuela when it began leaking Friday night, said Jim Lawrence, a spokesman for the vessel’s owner, Greek shipping company Tsakos Shipping and Trading SA.

Police fatally shoot murder suspect

KENTWOOD, Mich. — Sheriff’s deputies fatally shot a man suspected of killing a pregnant woman and her toddler after the suspect carjacked two vehicles and led police on a high-speed chase through several counties.

The chase ended when Andrew Marcello Osura, 22, crashed a Jeep that he had stolen into a Kent County sheriff’s cruiser on Friday. He then got out and began charging toward officers with a knife, officials said. Three deputies fired on Mr. Osura.

State police were investigating the shooting.

The chase began Friday after a neighbor of the pregnant woman called 911 to report what sounded like a domestic disturbance in the woman’s apartment. When police responded, they discovered a 2-year-old girl stabbed to death and her 22-year-old mother critically wounded. She died later at a hospital.

Police saw a man fleeing the area and said he carjacked a car from the apartment complex parking lot. After a chase, he crashed, then jumped out and carjacked the Jeep, which was sitting in traffic.

Turnpike won’t waive tolls

HIGHSPIRE, Pa. — Pennsylvania Turnpike officials have opted against waiving tolls on Sunday as a way to cope with an ongoing strike sure to be made worse by heavy holiday travel.

Tolls were waived Wednesday, the first day of the strike by 1,823 toll collectors, maintenance employees and office workers.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving and today are historically the heaviest travel days of the year for the 531-mile turnpike system.

The turnpike’s 220 managers have been collecting tolls, working 12-hour shifts with the help of a few dozen workers from temporary-employment agencies.

Earthquake shakes Mount St. Helens

MOUNT ST. HELENS — A magnitude 3.1 earthquake shook the crater at Mount St. Helens yesterday, the strongest quake at the volcano since mid-October.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists said they did not think a major eruption was imminent — just a continuation of the minor ash and steam eruptions that have been occurring since the mountain reawakened this fall.

Yesterday’s earthquake appeared to be a larger version of the small earthquakes that scientists have registered about once a minute for the past several weeks, the USGS said in a press release. Scientists hoped good weather today and tomorrow would allow them to get a better look at the volcano.

Alabama executive, wife found slain

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A business executive and his wife were found slain in their home in a fashionable neighborhood near the state capital, and police said the killer might not have been a stranger.

Police found the bodies of Winston “Brent” Springford, 62, and Charlotte Springford, 60, on Friday morning, said police Lt. Huey Thornton.

Lt. Thornton said based on evidence found at the scene, police think the Springfords were killed by someone they knew. He would not elaborate.

“It does not appear to be a random incident,” he said.

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