- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 31, 2005

State aims to shame drunken drivers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new Tennessee law is enlisting the power of shame to discourage drunken driving.

Starting today, convicted drunken drivers are required to do 24 hours of roadside cleanup while wearing orange vests emblazoned with the phrase, “I am a Drunk Driver.” The new law is aimed at first-time offenders, says one of its sponsors, state Rep. Charles Curtiss.

“You cause them to go out and pick up trash in front of their friends and neighbors. The embarrassment is going to be such that they’re never going to want to go through that again,” Mr. Curtiss said.

Offenders will have to spend at least one day in jail, followed by three eight-hour cleanup shifts. The previous minimum sentence for driving under the influence was 48 hours in jail.

Unused flu shots sent to Pakistan

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A quarter-million doses of flu vaccine that were bought overseas but couldn’t be imported will be donated to earthquake victims in Pakistan, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said.

The 256,000 doses were purchased last year from British wholesaler Ecosse Hospital Products Ltd. during a predicted U.S. vaccine shortage. But the Food and Drug Administration barred the vaccine’s importation to Illinois, saying it couldn’t guarantee its safety.

Pakistan suffered the worst damage in the October quake, which killed about 87,000 people and left another 3.5 million homeless.

FEMA dumps donated drinking water

DALLAS — One million cans of drinking water donated for hurricane relief have been emptied and recycled because the water was never used at Texas and Louisiana hurricane shelters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said.

FEMA hauled the 400,000 liters of water, or 18 truckloads, to a scrap metal business in the Dallas area last month. The water was dumped into a sewer and the cans sent for recycling.

FEMA spokesman Don Jacks said the cans were given by Coca-Cola and other donors in response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. After the refugees left, the shelters gave the unused water to FEMA, which stored them at its Fort Worth regional distribution center.

“We didn’t need it anymore,” Mr. Jacks said.

Coal miner killed in shuttle-car accident

CUMBERLAND, Ky. — An eastern Kentucky coal miner was killed Friday in an underground accident in Harlan County.

David Morris Jr., 29, of Cumberland, a shuttle-car operator, died from injuries he received when he was struck by a car about 4,100 feet inside an H&D; Mining Inc. mine.

“He apparently was standing beside his car when he was struck by another car,” said Mark York, spokesman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Environmental and Public Protection.

Suzy Bohnert, spokeswoman for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, said the accident brings the total number of coal miners killed on the job in the United States this year to 22, a record low. The previous record low was 27 in 2002.

Two dead, three hurt in fire at bar

NEW CASTLE, Del. — A fire in a bar killed two men and injured three other persons, police said. One man was in critical condition, and at least two persons suffered from smoke inhalation, Lt. Joseph Aviola said.

More than 100 firefighters responded Friday to the blaze at Ron’s Place, said James Barlow, a spokesman for the Wilmington Manor Fire Company.

Bar patron Tom Cavanaugh said the fire apparently started near a Christmas tree after its lights were plugged in.

“Thirty seconds later, it just went up in smoke,” Mr. Cavanaugh said.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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