- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Jazz trumpeter Hubbard dies

LOS ANGELES | Freddie Hubbard, the Grammy-winning jazz musician whose style influenced a generation of trumpet players and who collaborated with such greats as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, died Monday, a month after suffering a heart attack. He was 70.

Mr. Hubbard died at Sherman Oaks Hospital, said his manager, fellow trumpeter David Weiss of the New Jazz Composers Octet. He had been hospitalized since suffering the heart attack a day before Thanksgiving.

A towering figure in jazz circles, Mr. Hubbard played on hundreds of recordings in a career dating to 1958, the year he arrived in New York from his hometown Indianapolis, where he had studied at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music and with the Indianapolis Symphony.

Soon he had hooked up with such jazz legends as Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderley and Mr. Coltrane. In his earliest recordings, which included “Open Sesame” and “Goin’ Up” for Blue Note in 1960, the influence of Mr. Davis and others is obvious, Mr. Weiss said. But within a couple of years, he would develop a style all his own, one that would influence generations of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis.

“We all listened to him,” Mr. Marsalis told the Associated Press earlier this year. “He has a big sound and a great sense of rhythm and time, and really the hallmark of his playing is an exuberance. His playing is exuberant.”

Mr. Hubbard played on more than 300 recordings, including his own albums. He won his Grammy in 1972 for best jazz performance by a group for the album “First Light.”


Electrical blast shuts Savannah

SAVANNAH | Crews were waiting for an area to cool off under the streets of downtown Savannah before they could investigate what caused an electrical explosion Monday that blew off manhole covers and knocked out power for hours to many stores, restaurants and homes.

By late Monday, almost all streets had reopened, as did stores and restaurants in the historic downtown district evacuated after the 8:49 a.m. blast, said police spokesman Gene Harley. Georgia Power crews had restored power to about 95 percent of the homes and businesses that had gone dark.

“I didn’t see it happen, but I heard an explosion and then black smoke started billowing out of the ground from the manhole covers,” said city spokesman Bret Bell, who was about a block away at City Hall.

The fire department sprayed foam to cool down the affected areas, but the blast site was still too hot late Monday for crews to access the underground electrical cable network to determine the cause, said Georgia Power spokeswoman Swann Seiler.

No injuries were reported and there was only minimal property damage, officials said.


Thousands still without power

DETROIT | Utilities in Michigan scrambled Monday to restore power knocked out by a gusty weekend storm as rain and melting snow caused flooding there and in other parts of the Midwest.

About 162,000 customers were without electricity in Michigan, down from more than 400,000 on Sunday, according to the state’s utilities. Some may remain without power until Wednesday because of Sunday’s storm, which carried winds gusting more than 60 mph.

Nearly 60,000 customers from central New York to Buffalo also lost power Sunday as wind gusts as high as 75 mph brought down trees and utility poles there. About 4,400 New York utility customers remained without power Monday.

Flood warnings were posted throughout the Midwest as temperatures rose after a week of heavy snowfall. Forecasters said flooding was possible in areas of Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and northwestern Ohio. In Michigan, roads in some Ottawa County subdivisions were under 2 to 3 feet of water, National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Walton said.


Ash spill may shut coal plant ponds

KINGSTON | The spill of more than a billion gallons of coal ash from a power plant in East Tennessee may change the way the nation’s largest government-owned utility stores coal waste.

Roane County officials are pushing the Tennessee Valley Authority to quit using large retention ponds filled with water and fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants.

One of the ponds burst Dec. 22 at a plant roughly 35 miles west of Knoxville, sending a flood of gray sludge over about 300 acres and destroying three homes.

Roane County Executive Mike Farmer said Monday that he doesn’t expect to see such holding ponds on the TVA property in the future.


Rare quake swarm hits Yellowstone

CHEYENNE | Scientists are closely monitoring more than 250 small earthquakes that have occurred in Yellowstone National Park since Friday.

Swarms of small earthquakes happen frequently in Yellowstone. But Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah, says it’s very unusual to have so many over several days. The largest tremor was Saturday and measured magnitude 3.8.

Mr. Smith says it’s hard to say what might be causing the tremors but notes that Yellowstone is very geologically active. An active volcano there last erupted 70,000 years ago.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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