- The Washington Times - Monday, July 6, 2009


One killed in crash at Magic Kingdom

LAKE BUENA VISTA | Two monorail trains crashed early Sunday morning in the Magic Kingdom section of Walt Disney World, killing one train’s operator, emergency officials said.

The transit system, which shuttles thousands of visitors around the sprawling resort each day, was shut down while authorities investigated the holiday weekend wreck.

The monorail operator died at the scene of the crash, which happened about 2 a.m., said Bo Jones, deputy chief for Reedy Creek Fire Department. The other train operator was uninjured, but was taken to a hospital because he was emotionally shaken. Mr. Jones said five park guests were treated at the scene, though the Orange County Sheriff’s office said six were treated.

Disney Vice President of Communications Michael Griffin identified the dead driver as 21-year-old Austin Wuennenberg. Mr. Griffin would not discuss how long Mr. Wuennenberg had been with Disney or the circumstances surrounding the crash. Disney officials also refused to talk about how the monorail system operates.


Chrysler names new directors

AUBURN HILLS | Chrysler Group LLC on Sunday announced the remaining members of its new board of directors, a group that includes a former CEO of Northwest Airlines, investment bankers and top officials of the Italian automaker Fiat Group SpA.

Chrysler, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy June 11 under a new partnership with Fiat, said it expects to hold the first meeting of the nine-member board July 29.

Serving as directors will be Douglas Steenland, who served as Northwest’s CEO from 2004 until it was bought out by Delta Air Lines in 2008; George Gosbee, CEO of Tristone Capital Inc.; Scott Stuart, founding partner of Sageview Capital LLC; Ronald Thompson, board chairman of the trustees for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA); and Stephen Wolf, chairman of R.R. Donnelly & Sons Co.

The automaker had already disclosed that former Borden Chemical and Duracell Chairman C. Robert Kidder will serve as chairman. The United Auto Workers union, which has a large stake in the new Chrysler, previously named former Michigan Gov. James J. Blanchard to the board.

Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Fiat and the revamped Chrysler, also is on the board, along with Alfredo Altavilla, head of Fiat’s powertrain technologies unit and a senior vice president in Fiat’s autos division.

Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy protection after just 42 days, cleansed of much of its debt and labor costs. But with sales down 46 percent from the first half of last year - a year in which Chrysler lost $8 billion - the company faces a huge challenge to make money again under its new Italian owner.


One dead, nine hurt in bus crash

LAKE GEORGE | A bus rolled onto its side and plowed into a rock ledge early Sunday on a highway in the Adirondacks in northeastern New York, killing a woman pinned underneath and hurting nine others, authorities said.

Police were investigating what caused the wreck about 3:15 a.m. on the Adirondack Northway in the town of Lake George, about 60 miles north of Albany.

The bus tipped onto its side, slid and veered into the rock a quarter-mile south of the highway’s Exit 21, Queensbury Fire Chief Joseph DuPrey told the Glens Falls Post-Star.

The impact tore down at least 50 yards of guide rails and left the highway strewn with food wrappers and other items, including fliers about services for prisoners’ families, according to the Post-Star. The newspaper reported officials said the bus was taking people to visit a northern New York prison.

State police said the bus was operated by a private company, which they didn’t name.


Fireworks accidents kill 4 workers

OCRACOKE | Four people working on July Fourth fireworks shows were killed by explosions, three of them by a single blast that rocked this remote village on the Outer Banks islands.

In addition, a pedestrian bridge collapsed in Indiana as fans were leaving a fireworks show, injuring 25 people. Authorities said Sunday the crowd had overloaded the bridge.

Pennsylvania State Police fire marshals were investigating the death of a worker Saturday at the start of the grand finale of fireworks at Quakertown’s Memorial Park.

The blast at Ocracoke came as workers were unloading fireworks Saturday from a truck at the Anchorage Marina, shaking homes and businesses across the southern end of Ocracoke Island and rattling residents and tourists.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the island off the North Carolina coast Sunday investigating the blast.


Teen says father chained him>strpmg?

TEXAS CITY | Authorities in Texas have accused a man of wrapping a 20-foot chain around his teenage son’s neck and spraying him in the face with Mace.

Texas City police arrested 48-year-old Ira Danner on Saturday and charged him with assault to a family member.

Police Capt. Brian Goetschius said Mr. Danner’s 15-year-old son ran to a neighbor’s house Saturday morning with a towing chain around his neck. There was a combination lock on the chain. And the teenager told police his father also sprayed Mace in his face twice.

Police said Mr. Danner told them he was frustrated because his son was misbehaving and being physically dominant over him.

Online records did not show an attorney who could speak for Mr. Danner, who had been released on bail.


Diocese properties face liens

BURLINGTON | A judge has put liens on four church-owned rest homes and part of the Vermont Roman Catholic diocese’s investments in order to cover jury awards in two priest sex-abuse cases.

The two cases resulted in $12.3 million damage awards following separate trials last year. To ensure payment, liens were placed on the diocese’s headquarters in Burlington, but a drop in the value of church property has led to new liens on other property.

The Burlington Free Press reports liens have been placed on the St. Joseph’s Home for the Aged in Burlington, rest homes in Derby and Rutland, the now-closed Camp Holy Cross site in Colchester and $1.8 million of the diocese’s $8.5 million financial portfolio.

The diocese is appealing both verdicts.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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