- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 9, 2005


Sea gulls attack restaurant workers

ANCHORAGE — Ask anybody working at the Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon about the hyper-looking sea gulls perched on the roof and light poles outside and they will tell you those birds are plumb batty.

Caw, screech, swoop — look out, here comes Psycho. That’s what the Lone Star folks call the leader of a bad brood.

All summer, Psycho, a large sea gull, and several of his buddies have divebombed and just plain bombed — yuck — the servers and cooks at the Anchorage restaurant. Gulls flying like kamikazes chase the workers inside or underneath the eaves when they get out of their cars for work, and hassle them when they step out back for a smoke break.

“Don’t worry, Anchorage, we don’t have an avian revolt on our hands. How hard would you fight for your kids? That’s all the gulls are doing — fighting to protect their eggs and chicks from any threat, be it a nest-raiding predator or a guy just out for a nice rib-eye,” Rick Ellis, an authority on the subject, told the Anchorage Daily News.


Nuclear station undergoing upgrade

PHOENIX — The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix is getting a $700 million upgrade that will allow it to generate more power.

The changes involve replacing steam generators and improving turbines for each of the three reactors. That will add nearly 3 percent in total energy output from Palo Verde, the country’s largest nuclear power plant.


Jackson jurors say they regret acquittal

LOS ANGELES — Two of the jurors who voted to acquit singer Michael Jackson of child molestation and other charges say they regret their decision.

Jurors Ray Hultman and Eleanor Cook, who both have pending book deals, planned to appear last night on the new MSNBC show “Rita Cosby: Live and Direct.”

In a preview shown yesterday on NBC’s “Today,” Miss Cosby asked Miss Cook whether the other jurors would be angry with her.

“They can be as angry as they want to. They ought to be ashamed. They’re the ones that let a pedophile go,” responded Miss Cook, 79.

Explaining the turnaround by Miss Cook and Mr. Hultman, Larry Garrison, who is working with both on their separate books and a combined television movie, said all the jurors “had an agreement [to be united] and then basically when they went on ‘Larry King Live,’ both Eleanor and Ray couldn’t tolerate what was going on anymore. They said, ‘Enough is enough.’”


Bull’s flip kills rodeo rider

GRACE — A bull flipped in a rodeo ring and landed on its rider, who died of his injuries a day later, officials said.

Daniel Dopps was the third contestant out of the gate in the bull riding event Saturday night at the Caribou County Fair and Rodeo, said sheriff’s Cpl. Rick Stokoe.

A few steps into the ring, the bull made a few small bucks and tripped, putting its head down and digging a horn into the ground and then flipping onto Mr. Dopps, Cpl. Stokoe said.


New school is first in half-century

JENNINGS — The Jefferson Davis Parish School Board showed off its first new school in a half-century, a 255,000-square-foot building on a 40-acre campus.

Jennings High School will accommodate about 1,250 students in grades seven through 12, with grades seven and eight in a separate wing, Superintendent Tommy Smith said.


Deliveryman finds python in his truck

O’FALLON — A UPS deliveryman found a surprise nestled among the packages in his truck.

Brian Adams, 41, first noticed the 9-foot albino python when he shifted some boxes after pulling into a parking lot last week.

Mr. Adams said he initially thought he was looking at a stuffed animal or rubber snake. But when he looked closer and noticed scales, he called his wife.

“Tina, you won’t believe this, but there’s a snake in the truck,” he said.

An O’Fallon animal-control officer was called, and the 31-pound snake was prodded into a cloth mailbag. The python was taken to a pet adoption center until the St. Louis Herpetological Society picks it up next week.

Mr. Adams doesn’t know how the snake got into his truck.


Yellowstone rangers report fewer threats

BILLINGS — Yellowstone National Park rangers faced fewer threats and assaults last year than they did in 2003 but still reported more such incidents than any other national park.

Figures compiled for the FBI show 12 threats and three assaults against Yellowstone rangers last year. That compares with two to four assaults in a typical year. In 2003, 20 threats and 12 assaults were reported against Yellowstone rangers.


Cooler weather helps firefighters

POMEROY — Cooler, damper weather gave an assist yesterday to crews battling a wildfire that had exploded in size and destroyed at least 35 cabins.

The blaze in forests and wheat fields in the fertile Palouse region of southeastern Washington had grown to 32,000 acres from 150 acres on Saturday. An additional 120 homes could be at risk and had been evacuated as crews concentrated on protecting them yesterday, officials said.

Evacuations also were ordered for homes near a small town threatened by a fire in northwestern Montana.

Nearly 600 firefighters near Pomeroy were aided by lower temperatures and rising humidity yesterday, but the wind was expected to kick up, said Don Ferguson, a spokesman for the Northwest Fire Coordination Center. Dense smoke grounded firefighting aircraft for a second day, he said.

The fire, about 10 miles south of Pomeroy, was 20 percent contained, Mr. Ferguson said. No injuries were reported and the cause had not been determined, Mr. Ferguson said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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