House bill endorses moon, Mars missions
The House yesterday overwhelmingly endorsed President Bush’s vision to send man back to the moon and eventually to Mars by approving a bill to set NASA policy for the next two years.
The bill passed 383-15 after a collegial debate during which lawmakers stressed their commitment to not just Mr. Bush’s ambitious space exploration plans but also to traditional NASA programs such as science and aeronautics.
The bill is the first NASA policy measure — its budget is funded by a separate bill — to pass the House in five years.
Report shows agency broke privacy laws
The Transportation Security Administration violated privacy protections by secretly collecting personal information on at least 250,000 persons, congressional investigators said yesterday.
The Government Accountability Office sent a letter to Congress saying the collection violated the Privacy Act, which prohibits the government from compiling information on people without their knowledge.
The information was collected as the agency tested a program, now called Secure Flight, to conduct computerized checks of airline passengers against terrorist watch lists.
TSA had promised it would only use the limited information about passengers that it had obtained from airlines. Instead, the agency and its contractors compiled files on people using data from commercial brokers and then compared those files with the lists.
Pageant rigged, winner turns in crown
VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — A pageant queen at a local fair has had her crown and title stripped from her amid claims the contest was rigged by her aunt.
The Fountain County 4-H Council removed the title from Sarah Rice, 18, who was named queen July 16. Grievances filed with the council say runner-up Jordan Snoddy, 18, had more points. Irene Norman, who tabulated the judges’ scores, said the results she submitted to pageant officials put Miss Snoddy in first place. “It was blatantly rigged,” she said.
Before the results reached the announcer, they passed through several hands, including those of Nyanne Applegate, who is the pageant’s director and Miss Rice’s aunt. Mrs. Applegate was unable to be reached for comment Thursday by the Journal Review of Crawfordsville.
Loose moose caught on military base
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Soldiers captured an intruder in a secure area of a Colorado military base, but the intruder was no criminal — just a loose moose.
Soldiers and state wildlife officers managed to corral the 500-pound female moose, which had wandered into the part of Fort Carson reserved for equipment returning from Iraq.
Steve Cooley, a wildlife manager for the state, said the location was less than ideal for a moose. The animal was tranquilized and loaded into a trailer.
Sunday beer, liquor sales on tap for city
EMPORIA, Kan. — City commissioners approved an ordinance allowing the sale of beer and liquor on Sundays, months after Emporia voters rejected a similar proposal.
The ordinance takes effect Nov. 15 unless a petition protesting it is filed. One liquor store owner has been pushing for the change since January, saying Emporia needed Sunday sales to compete with nearby communities.
Agents save illegals trapped in burning car
CALEXICO, Calif. — U.S. Border Patrol agents rescued three illegal aliens who were trapped inside a burning vehicle following a chase in which the car they were riding crashed while attempting to flee back into Mexico.
Border Patrol spokesman Mario Villarreal said the driver of the vehicle and a passenger in the front seat fled after the crash, but the illegal aliens — who were laying on the floor of the rear seat — were stuck. He said agents at the scene pulled the three illegals from the burning vehicle.
The driver and passenger, who were both identified as alien smugglers, were apprehended after a short foot-chase.
From wire dispatches and staff reports