- The Washington Times - Monday, February 1, 2010

ALASKA

Natural gas pipeline could cost $41 billion

JUNEAU | The companies proposing a major pipeline to move natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 estimate the project will cost from $20 billion to as much as $41 billion, depending on the route.

The Alaska Pipeline Project details came Friday in a filing with federal regulators. The filing is a first step toward an open season, when the companies behind the project will try to ink shipping deals with North Slope gas producers.

TransCanada Corp. is working with Exxon Mobil Corp. to advance the pipeline. The state of Alaska has promised to reimburse TransCanada up to $500 million of the cost.

Early cost estimates from a few years ago were about $26 billion.

CALIFORNIA

Worldwide trip hits electric snag

MARINA DEL REY | A 16-year-old Southern California girl on a mission to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone says she is taking a pit stop in Mexico to deal with an electricity problem.

On her blog, Abby Sunderland of Thousand Oaks wrote Saturday she’s headed for Cabo San Lucas to add a “new battery or two” because solar panels and wind generators aren’t keeping up with her energy needs.

Abby says she’ll restart the solo sail in her 40-foot craft called Wild Eyes as soon as possible.

CONNECTICUT

Haiti sex suspect to deny charges

NEW HAVEN | A Colorado man is expected to plead not guilty to new charges that he sexually abused boys at a school he founded in Haiti.

Douglas Perlitz is scheduled to appear Tuesday in federal court in New Haven.

Mr. Perlitz was charged last year with sexually abusing nine boys. Prosecutors doubled the number of alleged victims to 18 with a new indictment announced Thursday.

Mr. Perlitz pleaded not guilty last year to the original charges. His attorney, William Dow III, said Thursday that he would also plead not guilty to the new counts.

Authorities accuse the 39-year-old Mr. Perlitz of enticing children at the Project Pierre Toussaint school in Cap-Haitien into sex acts by promising them food, shelter, cash, cell phones, electronics and shoes.

FLORIDA

U.S. resumes flights to bring in Haitians

MIAMI | The White House says the U.S. military will resume bringing Haitian earthquake victims to the United States on its planes for medical treatment, ending a suspension that lasted several days.

The military had brought hundreds of critically injured Haitians to the United States aboard its planes before halting the flights on Wednesday. Since then, at least a handful of patients were flown on civilian aircraft, and other flights continued to carry U.S. citizens and other mostly uninjured patients.

Late Sunday, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said the military flights were on track to resume by early Monday, and patients were being identified for the flights.

MASSACHUSETTS

State offers ambitious energy efficiency plan

BOSTON | The state of Massachusetts has announced ambitious energy efficiency plans for utilities that aim to triple the electricity savings of previous plans and halt the annual growth in power usage.

State officials say the proposals would make Massachusetts the state with the nation’s highest per capita savings through energy efficiency.

The plan calls for an annual reduction of 2.4 percent in electricity use and 1.15 percent in natural gas use by 2012.

It says utilities will invest about $2.2 billion in efficiency steps in the next three years, including improved home energy assessments and incentives for homeowners to install insulation or high-efficiency appliances.

The utilities will partly recover costs from customers, but the state said ratepayers will ultimately save $6 billion on their utility bills.

NEW MEXICO

Car-crash scene becomes pot bust

TUCUMCARI | Tracks in the snow leading from a crashed car to the nearby bridge overpass on New Mexico’s I-40 just didn’t look right to officers.

State police say that officers patrolling the stretch near Tucumcari on Saturday found that 40-year-old Henry Alan Lowe of El Paso, Texas, had lost control of his sedan and crashed into a snow pile.

Then, the officers noticed tracks leading back and forth from the trunk to the bridge. They charge that partially hidden under the overpass were large plastic wrapped bundles and inside was about 238 pounds of raw marijuana with an estimated street value of more than $642,000.

Police say Mr. Lowe was arrested after being treated for a gash to his head.

OREGON

Rabbi assault earns 8-year term

TOMS RIVER | A man who savagely beat a New Jersey rabbi with a baseball bat during an unprovoked attack has been sentenced to eight years in state prison.

Lee Tucker must serve 85 percent of the term imposed Friday before becoming eligible for parole. He also must pay $9,500 in restitution to the unnamed rabbi, who has suffered seizures since the October 2007 attack in Lakewood.

Tucker, who has a history of mental illness, pleaded guilty in December to aggravated assault. He repeatedly struck the rabbi on the head with an aluminum baseball bat as the victim was walking to synagogue to pray.

The rabbi suffered skull, nose and eye-socket fractures as well as a brain hemorrhage.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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