- - Sunday, August 22, 2010


Park rangers on missing plane

ANCHORAGE | A small plane carrying four people including three park rangers is missing in southwest Alaska.

A Coast Guard HC-130 crew is among searchers looking for the de Havilland Beaver between Swikshak Bay and King Salmon, about 285 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The Coast Guard says the plane was carrying Katmai National Park rangers. It was reported missing after it did not arrive in King Salmon as expected. Coast Guard officials say the plane left Swikshak Bay at 2:45 p.m. Saturday for a flight that takes less than an hour.


Feinberg defends ‘no suing BP’ rule

NEW ORLEANS | The new administrator for damage claims from Gulf oil-spill victims said Sunday it was his idea, not BP’s, to require that anyone who receives a final settlement from the $20 billion compensation fund give up the right to sue the oil giant.

But Ken Feinberg told reporters that he has not yet decided whether the no-sue requirement will extend to other companies that may be responsible for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

He insisted that payouts from the claims facility he will run will be more generous than those from any court. Mr. Feinberg also ran the government compensation fund created after the 9/11 attacks, and there was a similar no-sue provision.

“It is not in your interest to tie up you and the courts in years of uncertain protracted litigation when there is an alternative that has been created,” he said, adding, “I take the position, if I don’t find you eligible, no court will find you eligible.”


City refusing to pay in wrongful conviction

LEE’S SUMMIT | A former Missouri man who was wrongfully convicted of molesting his 12-year-old stepdaughter is trying to get a Kansas City suburb to pay a multimillion-dollar court judgment against a former detective.

Ted White Jr. spent six years behind bars before he was released after an appeals court threw out his original conviction and a jury acquitted him. It turned out the detective who led the investigation was having an affair with Mr. White’s estranged wife.

Mr. White won a $16 million civil judgment against his ex-wife and the detective. The city says it can’t honor an earlier agreement to pay any judgment against the detective because a local ordinance bars it from indemnifying an employee who violates someone’s constitutional rights.


Grizzly attacks seen likely to rise

BILLINGS | Yellowstone’s grizzlies are going to be particularly hungry this fall, and that means more dangerous meetings with humans in a year that is already the area’s deadliest on record.

Scientists report that a favorite food of many bears, nuts from whitebark pine cones, is scarce. So as grizzlies look to put on weight for the long winter ahead, scientists say, they will look for meat and run into trouble along the way. Wildlife managers already report bears coming down off the mountains and into areas frequented by hunters, berry pickers and hikers.

“Pack your bear spray: There’s going to be run-ins,” said grizzly researcher Chuck Schwartz with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Two people have been fatally mauled by grizzlies so far this year in Wyoming and Montana. Experts said that’s the most in one year in at least a century for the Yellowstone region, which also includes parts of Idaho. The bears in both instances were later killed.


High-school athletes remain hospitalized

McMINNVILLE | Ten Oregon high school football players remain hospitalized as they’re treated for a rare soft-tissue condition that has school authorities puzzled.

Nineteen McMinnville High School athletes experienced “compartment syndrome,” which caused soreness and swelling in their triceps and high levels of creatine kinase, a protein that can harm the kidneys. Three players had surgery to relieve swelling.

Authorities said the cause was not yet known, but the condition can be the result of exercise or the use of certain medications. All but one of the players who became ill worked out last Sunday at the high school’s wrestling room, where one player says the temperature reached 120 degrees.

Two players were released by Saturday night from Willamette Valley Medical Center. Rosemari Davis, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said Sunday that the 10 boys still hospitalized were in good condition and would likely be released Monday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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