- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 17, 2006

Senator remains in critical condition

Sen. Tim Johnson’s condition remained critical yesterday, but he was stable while resting in recovery from emergency brain surgery three days earlier, a spokesman said.

The South Dakota Democrat was taken to George Washington University Hospital on Wednesday and had brain surgery to stop dangerous bleeding from a malformation he probably had since birth.

“Sen. Johnson remains in critical but stable condition, resting. At this point, no news is good news,” said Noah Pinegar, a spokesman for the senator.

Doctors have said Mr. Johnson will remain hospitalized until his brain swelling subsides, and he will need physical therapy for weakness on the right side of his body.

Thousands still without power

SEATTLE — Residents of the Pacific Northwest struggled to stay warm yesterday after the worst windstorm in more than a decade knocked out power to more than 1.5 million homes and businesses and killed at least six persons.

Nearly 700,000 customers in Washington and Oregon still had no power yesterday, and utility companies said some might have to wait days for their lights to go back on. Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire declared a state of emergency.

Two persons were killed in Washington in traffic accidents involving windblown trees, while one died after getting trapped in her flooded basement. A fourth person was killed in his sleep by a tree that fell on his home. On the Oregon coast, an elderly couple died in a fire caused by candles they were using for light.

Man kills five, then himself

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man killed five persons, including three of his children, before fatally shooting himself yesterday, and a fourth child has life-threatening wounds, police said.

The man killed one woman, apparently his cousin, then went to another home and shot his longtime girlfriend, their four children and himself, Capt. Rich Lockhart said.

Police did not immediately identify the shooter or the women. Relatives identified the shooter’s girlfriend as Shanika King, who was in her 30s.

The slain children were a girl, 14, and two boys, 1 and 11, police said. An 8-year-old boy was in critical condition.

Witnesses identified the first victim, a woman in her mid-30s, as the shooter’s cousin, Capt. Lockhart said.

NASA approves fourth spacewalk

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA approved conducting a fourth, unplanned spacewalk if astronauts were unable to get a stubborn solar array to fold up into a box properly yesterday.

The extra spacewalk, if carried out tomorrow, would delay Space Shuttle Discovery’s landing at the Kennedy Space Center by a day to Friday, and push back other activities such as undocking and a late inspection of the shuttle’s heat shield.

NASA managers made the decision as U.S. astronauts Robert Curbeam and Sunita “Suni” Williams were midway into a six-hour spacewalk.

The obstinate array has refused to fold properly despite repeated attempts by remote control since last Wednesday.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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