- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 7, 2006

FEMA extends hotel program

NEW ORLEANS — Thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees staying in hotels at government expense might be able to extend their stays beyond a Feb. 7 deadline, federal officials said.

Those who want to stay must register and obtain an authorization code by the end of January. Otherwise, rooms will not be paid for beyond Feb. 7, said a spokesman with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Evacuees who register will be able to stay until Feb. 13 and possibly longer, depending on when they receive notification about eligibility for other FEMA housing assistance.

Lawmaker wants warm-beer sales

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A state senator wants to require Missouri stores to sell warm beer.

Under a bill by Sen. Bill Alter, grocery and convenience stores would risk losing their liquor licenses if they sold beer colder than 60 degrees. The intent is to cut down on drunken driving by making it less tempting to pop open a beer after leaving the store.

Report: Body armor could have saved lives

Most torso wounds that killed Marines in Iraq might have been prevented or reduced by improved body armor, a Pentagon study found.

The unreleased study last summer by the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner looked at 93 fatal wounds from the start of the war in March 2003 through June 2005. It concluded that 74 were bullet or shrapnel wounds to shoulders or areas of the torso not protected by ceramic armor plating.

“In response to the changing battlefield conditions and as new technologies emerge, the Army continues to develop improvements to soldier-protection equipment to enhance survivability and mobility,” Army spokesman Paul Boyce said.

Officer’s death linked to 9/11 cleanup

NEW YORK — A retired, 34-year-old New York City police detective who spent hundreds of hours searching for September 11 victims at ground zero has died of a respiratory disease related to the cleanup, union officials said.

James Zadroga is thought to be the first emergency responder to die as a result of exposure to World Trade Center dust and debris, said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association.

“Unfortunately, I do not think he is going to be the last,” Mr. Palladino said yesterday.

Mr. Zadroga died Thursday at his home in Little Egg Harbor, N.J., officials said. Results of an autopsy were pending.

Dog disease likely culprit in wolf decline

BILLINGS, Mont. — Most of the gray wolf pups born in Yellowstone National Park last year have died, possibly because of a dog disease, a federal wolf specialist said.

Only 22 of the 69 pups born last year are still alive, said Doug Smith, the park’s wolf-project leader. That’s the biggest drop in pup numbers since wolves were reintroduced to the park 11 years ago. The largest toll was on the park’s northern range, where only eight of the 49 pups born last spring survived.

During the next few weeks, Mr. Smith said, officials plan to catch Yellowstone wolf pups and take blood samples to see if his suspicions about the disease, parvovirus, are true.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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