Demand boosts uranium mining
GRAND JUNCTION — Western Colorado and eastern Utah, already a center of oil and gas exploration, is experiencing a rush to find uranium. Demand is rising from nuclear reactors around the world.
More than 8,500 mining-claim permits have been filed this year in eight uranium-rich Colorado and Utah counties. For years, claim activity was virtually zero.
Beach reopens after Dennis damage
PENSACOLA BEACH — One of the Florida Panhandle’s most popular beach areas is open again. Pensacola Beach reopened two weeks after Hurricane Dennis struck and created widespread damage.
Dennis made landfall July 10 with 120 mph winds. Only residents, business owners and contractors had been allowed on the beach.
New law requires pollution notification
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich, a Democrat, signed a bill that requires Illinois residents be notified if they live near polluted sites. It also gives state environmental regulators more power to order polluters to clean up the sites.
The law requires those responsible for the pollution to pay for both the cleanup of the sites and the cost of notifying residents that they live near polluted sites.
Ceremony salutes National Guardsmen
AUGUSTA — More than 500 members of the Maine National Guard’s 133rd Engineer Battalion were honored in a ceremony at the Augusta Civic Center.
The Freedom Salute Ceremony publicly supported the soldiers’ efforts while serving in Iraq. Three soldiers from the 133rd were killed during the deployment, the largest one by the Maine National Guard since World War II.
Missile site restored as marsh
GROSSE ILE TOWNSHIP — A project to restore about 1,190 feet of shoreline in Gibraltar Bay is nearing completion.
At the site of the Grosse Ile Nature Area, missiles once were stored at a Navy seaplane base to intercept Russian bombers. Marshland that was filled in with concrete and clay now teems with marsh plants, fish, mink, deer, insects, birds and bullfrogs.
Swimmer rescued from chilly currents
FALMOUTH — A man survived nearly five hours treading water in Buzzards Bay on Sunday morning wearing nothing but shorts and a tank top before being rescued by a passing boat, authorities said.
The man, identified as Richard Sanger, was on a houseboat in Great Harbor of Woods Hole, about a quarter-mile offshore, early Sunday morning when he decided to go for a swim.
Falmouth Fire Lt. Bruce Girouard said Mr. Sanger was swept away immediately by strong currents. Nearly five hours after he went into the 68-degree water and about 41/2 miles away, the pleasure boat Fanatic pulled him aboard, Lt. Girouard said.
Man arrested in Penn Station scare
NEW YORK — Police arrested a man after a bomb scare that emptied Penn Station and disrupted service on Amtrak, commuter trains and city subways for about an hour, and officers also halted a tour bus and searched its passengers.
The busy commuter hub was evacuated after a man reportedly threw a backpack at an Amtrak agent and said it was a bomb, said Marissa Baldeo, a spokeswoman for New York City Transit. The threat was a false alarm, and service on all lines soon was restored.
Police arrested Raul Claudio, 43, on Sunday, said Manhattan district attorney’s office spokeswoman Barbara Thompson. Mr. Claudio was awaiting arraignment on felony charges of making terrorists threats and falsely reporting an incident, Miss Thompson said. Each count carries a sentence of up to seven years in prison.
Employees reassigned to child welfare cases
CHARLOTTE — Mecklenburg County child welfare officials are reassigning nearly two dozen employees to help their beleaguered investigations unit.
The transfers will move 18 social workers and three supervisors into a unit that handles more than 1,000 child-abuse and neglect reports each month.
Teen calls police to report pot theft
SAN ANTONIO — A Texas teenager was arrested yesterday after calling police to complain about the theft of his marijuana, authorities said.
Stephen Knight, 17, said three men had broken into his apartment, hogtied him with Christmas lights and stole some marijuana, along with a plasma-screen TV, police said.
Police are looking for the suspects.
In the meantime, they arrested Mr. Knight after finding several marijuana plants growing under heat lamps in the apartment, 4 grams of harvested marijuana and a tablet of Ecstasy, Officer Chad Ripley said.
Mr. Knight said the men barged into his home early yesterday morning and demanded, “Where’s the weed?” San Antonio police said.
Mormons to become minority by 2030
SALT LAKE CITY — Membership rolls for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints indicate the faith soon could lose its majority population status.
Statisticians say in-state church rolls will dip to their lowest point within three years, and by 2030, Mormons no longer will be a majority. The numbers are based on 15 years of records, which the church provides to the state’s budget office.
Lottery wins deemed luck of the draw
MADISON — When Jeffrey Hintz won the state lottery’s second-chance drawing five weeks in a row, some people in state government got a little suspicious.
Turns out, Mr. Hintz just got lucky, an investigation has concluded. Investigators with Wisconsin’s Department of Revenue found no signs of fraud in his five-week winning streak in March and April.
Mr. Hintz and his wife, Lisa, have won almost $73,000 in cash prizes from the state lottery since 1999.
More than $65,000 came from drawings.
Mr. Hintz told auditors that he spent thousands of dollars on lottery tickets every week and countless hours stamping envelopes with the lottery’s address so he could enter losing tickets in the weekly drawings. He submitted entries in his wife’s name, too.
People are allowed to enter the drawings as often as they want, but each entry must include at least $5 worth of tickets.
That means Mr. Hintz was sending in at least $2,500 in tickets a week, and postage alone would have cost $185 a week.
From wire dispatches and staff reports