Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Nuclear plant fire shuts down reactor

SAN LUIS OBISPO | Authorities are investigating a fire at a California nuclear plant that forced a reactor to be shut down.

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant spokeswoman Sharon Gavin said Monday that there was no danger of a radiation leak after a fire the day before. The blaze was in a non-nuclear part of the plant.

Miss Gavin said one of two reactors was shut down as part of standard safety procedures. She did not know when it will be restarted.

The plant started supplying electricity in 1985 and generates power for about 3 million homes in northern and central California.


Escaped bison shot after blocking traffic

BRAIDWOOD | Four buffaloes have been killed after escaping from a farm and blocking morning traffic on a major highway, Illinois State Police said.

The animals shut down Interstate 55 in the area of Coal City and Braidwood, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.

State Police Sgt. Chris Paluch said the buffaloes were running back and forth across the highway Monday morning.

Police said the owners of the buffaloes eventually fatally shot the animals.


Sheriff picks up wrong man

MORGANTOWN | A Kentucky sheriff drove 4,100 miles to California to pick up a fugitive, then realized when he got back he had the wrong man.

Butler County Sheriff Joe Gaddie and a deputy took the trip to find a man named Joe Oros, who was wanted on charges of fleeing and evading police and drunken driving.

A man named Joe Oros was awaiting release from a prison in Tehachapi, Calif., when a check showed an outstanding warrant in Kentucky. Officials notified Sheriff Gaddie, who came and got him.

It turned out to be a case of stolen identity. Sheriff Gaddie said a check of mug shots and fingerprints showed the man wanted in Kentucky had stolen Joe Oros’ identity.

After finding the mistake, Butler County officials paid for Oros to fly back to California. Meanwhile, the real suspect they were searching for remained on the lam.


Judge blocks effort to oust mayor

DETROIT | The City Council’s effort to remove Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick at a trial-like hearing was blocked shortly before it would have begun Monday by a judge who ruled that the city charter does not give the council such power.

The ruling by Wayne County Circuit Judge Robert Ziolkowski is a rare legal win for Mr. Kilpatrick, who has been charged with perjury, misconduct, obstruction of justice and assault. He still could be removed from office through a Sept. 3 misconduct hearing that Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm is to preside over.

Mr. Kilpatrick faces 10 felony counts in two criminal cases, one in which he’s accused of lying about an affair under oath, another in which he’s accused of shoving a sheriff’s deputy.


Teens to be tried in immigrant’s death

POTTSVILLE | A judge has ordered three teenagers to stand trial on charges related to the beating death of a Mexican immigrant in a small eastern Pennsylvania town.

A judge in Pottsville said Monday that prosecutors have enough evidence to try Colin Walsh, 17, and Brandon Piekarsky, 16, on counts of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation.

Derrick Donchak, 18, has been ordered to stand trial on aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and other offenses.

Luis Ramirez was attacked July 12 when he crossed paths with a group of teens in the town of Shenandoah, about 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

All three defendants were football players at Shenandoah Valley High School.


$20 million deal in nightclub fire suits

PROVIDENCE | The state of Rhode Island and the town of West Warwick have each agreed to pay $10 million to those left behind after a nightclub fire that killed 100 people, according to court documents filed Monday.

The state and the town are the last major defendants to agree to settlement offers, now totaling nearly $175 million, after the fire on Feb. 20, 2003, at the Station nightclub in West Warwick. More than 300 survivors and victims’ relatives still must approve the settlements.

Gov. Donald L. Carcieri and Attorney General Patrick Lynch, whose office is representing the state, did not return calls seeking comment Monday. A lawyer for the town also did not return a phone message.

The blaze began when pyrotechnics used by the 1980s rock band Great White ignited foam used as soundproofing on the club’s walls and ceilings.


City official rescues woman

HOUSTON | A Houston councilwoman pulled a driver from a fiery car, just weeks after angering police by coming to the aid of a man she thought was being mistreated during an arrest.

Councilwoman Jolanda Jones and two other Good Samaritans pried a woman loose from her car after the vehicle careered off a highway around 1 a.m. Sunday. Miss Jones, a former track star at the University of Houston, said she ran toward the burning car after it went off the road.

Miss Jones carried the woman, who had a broken leg, to the curb and waited for police to arrive. She said an officer told her that the woman might have suffered internal injuries from the 100-foot fall.

There was no such heroic treatment after the last run-in that Miss Jones had with police.

Less than three weeks ago, Houston police accused her of interfering with an arrest when she expressed concerns that the suspect, wanted on charges of marijuana possession, was being mistreated.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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