- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

CALIFORNIA

28,000 disinvited after campus error

LOS ANGELES | About 28,000 students were left heartbroken after the University of California at San Diego mistakenly informed them that they had won acceptance to the college.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that the college hopefuls were invited to attend a campus orientation on Monday in an e-mail that also congratulated them on their acceptance to the university.

About two hours after the invitations were sent, a second mass e-mail was sent, disinviting the students.

The university’s admissions chancellor, Mae Brown, told the Times that the initial invitation had been an “administrative error” sent to the entire applicant pool of more than 46,000 instead of the 18,000 who had been admitted.

“We accessed the wrong database,” Miss Brown told the Times. “We recognize the incredible pain receiving this false encouragement caused. It was not our intent.”

CONNECTICUT

Pet shop has 2-nosed bunny

MILFORD | It’s no April Fools’ joke. The baby bunny really does have two noses.

A Connecticut pet shop worker found the nosey bunny in a delivery of 6-week-old dwarf rabbits that arrived at the Milford store last week. Both noses have two nostrils.

The owner of the Purr-Fect Pets shop said he has never seen anything like it in his 25 years in the business. He said the bunny eats, drinks and hops like the rest of the litter.

Beardsley Zoo director Gregg Dancho said the deformity could be the result of too much inbreeding or the parents’ exposure to pesticides or poisons.

Store workers have begun a naming contest, with Cyrano de Bergerac and Deuce among the contenders.

FLORIDA

Everglades restoration land deal slashed

TALLAHASSEE | Gov. Charlie Crist’s celebrated $1.34 billion deal to buy 180,000 acres of U.S. Sugar Corp. land to help restore the Everglades is being scaled back by more than half because the state can’t afford the original deal, the governor announced Wednesday.

The reduction means the state will now buy 72,500 acres of land for $533 million and hold a 10-year option to buy the remaining land. The original deal, hailed by environmentalists, will be far less ambitious than planned.

“The economy has been what it has been and we have to deal with the parameters that we are given,” said Mr. Crist, a Republican.

U.S. Sugar, the nation’s largest cane sugar producer, owns a vast amount of land between Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. Environmentalists have long criticized the sugar industry for cutting off the natural flow to the River of Grass and contaminating it with fertilizer.

The goal of the land purchase is to convert farmland into conservation land, allowing water managers to create a system to clean and store water before sending it south into the Everglades.

In June, Mr. Crist announced a $1.75 billion deal that included U.S. Sugar’s assets, such as its mill, railroad and citrus processing plant. In November, the revised $1.34 billion deal that was announced did not include those assets.

MICHIGAN

ACLU challenges funeral protest law

LANSING | The American Civil Liberties Union says Michigan’s 2006 law restricting protests at funerals is unconstitutional.

The ACLU filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of a 64-year-old Army veteran and his late wife.

They were arrested in 2007 in Clare County while driving in the funeral procession of a friend who was killed in Iraq. They displayed signs in their van that were critical of President Bush.

The state law was enacted to stop demonstrations by an anti-gay church that has protested at funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The law bans any intentional disruption of funerals within 500 feet of the ceremony.

The ACLU says Michigan’s law violates free speech rights and is unconstitutionally vague.

NEW JERSEY

Oldest nuke plant’s license renewed

MOUNT LAUREL | Federal regulators have agreed to extend the license of the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant to 2029.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 3-1 on Wednesday to grant a new license to the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, N.J.

Oyster Creek’s design - a boiling water reactor - is considered obsolete by today’s standards.

The plant is located about 60 miles east of Philadelphia. It provides 9 percent of New Jersey’s electricity.

Oyster Creek and Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station in upstate New York both went online Dec. 1, 1969, but Oyster Creek is considered older because its initial license was granted first.

OHIO

Reputed Nazi asks to halt deportation

CLEVELAND | An Ohio man with a reputed Nazi past is asking the United States to block his deportation to Germany, citing humanitarian reasons. John Demjanjuk made the request in a document filed Wednesday with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Mr. Demjanjuk, who turns 89 on Friday, is charged in an arrest warrant in Germany with 29,000 counts of acting as an accessory to murder while working as a guard at a Nazi death camp during World War II.

In the statement dated Tuesday, Mr. Demjanjuk tells ICE he is in poor physical condition and that being sent to Germany would be inappropriate and degrading treatment.

John Demjanjuk Jr. said Wednesday that his father’s worsening health prompted the decision to contact U.S. immigration officials. He has said his father suffers from chronic kidney disease and other ailments.

“He doesn’t understand all the details,” Mr. Demjanjuk Jr. said. “He does understand that he’s been ordered deported. He understands that Germany is considering accepting him and that they’re saying they will arrest him and put him on trial again, like Israel did.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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