- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 26, 2011


New details emerge on pipeline’s prior leak

SAN FRANCISCO — A California utility under fire for a deadly pipeline explosion has revealed that its employees dispute key information the company gave federal investigators about past problems on the gas line that ruptured.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. quietly released a document in May, more than eight months after the explosion killed eight people and torched a San Francisco suburb, showing that the same transmission line had sprung a leak a few miles away more than a decade earlier.

But the company revealed this week that its own workers’ accounts challenge the accuracy of that document given to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The conflicting accounts about the 1988 leak is just the latest development in a long string of concerns about the company’s haphazard record-keeping in the wake of the September blast in San Bruno.


Garbage Museum operators may close without funds

STRATFORD — Operators of a Connecticut museum devoted to trash say it might have to close if they can’t raise $100,000 in donations or other funding within the next week.

The 16-year-old Garbage Museum in Stratford had almost 31,000 visitors and program participants last year to learn about recycling, view its massive dinosaur built of trash and visit other exhibits.

The museum’s operator, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, says it only has about $60,000 of the approximately $300,000 needed to keep it open for another year.

A spokesman for CRRA says funding for the Garbage Museum plummeted when several municipalities pulled out of a committee that sent recycling materials to the regional facility. The museum established a $2 entry fee, but that has not been enough to guarantee it will remain afloat.


Former player to serve week for assault

IOWA CITY — A judge sentenced a once-promising Iowa football player Friday to one week in jail for a 2007 assault on a female student-athlete, saying he should be ashamed of his actions in a case that caused a university-wide scandal.

District Judge Paul Miller ordered Cedric Everson to serve the seven-day sentence at the Johnson County Jail. He gave Mr. Everson until July 15 to report so that he can finish summer classes at a community college in Detroit as he seeks to return to college athletics.

Jurors convicted Mr. Everson, who turns 22 next week, of simple misdemeanor assault in January after finding him innocent of charges that could have brought lengthy prison terms.


Former mayor to be released from prison

DETROIT — The Michigan parole board voted Friday to release former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick from prison after more than a year behind bars for violating probation in a criminal case that forced him out of office in 2008.

Kilpatrick will be freed no earlier than July 24, said Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Kilpatrick’s parole request had been on hold since late May when the board chairman said he wanted more time to review the federal corruption charges pending against the ex-mayor. People charged with felonies typically aren’t granted parole.

There was no comment from the Wayne County prosecutor who had urged the parole board to keep Kilpatrick in prison.

Kilpatrick pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in 2008 in a case that was tied to his cover-up of an extramarital affair with his chief of staff.

He was sent to prison in 2010 after a judge said he had misled authorities and failed to turn over certain assets toward his $1 million restitution to Detroit.


Truck company in train crash had citations

SPARKS — A Nevada trucking company under scrutiny for a fatal crash with an Amtrak train has been cited repeatedly by state authorities for crashes, unsafe driving and operating a truck with tires so bald the vehicle was ordered off the road.

A driver working for John Davis Trucking of Battle Mountain smashed through crossing gates and into two double-decker cars of an Amtrak train Friday, killing six.

Federal records reviews by The Associated Press show the Nevada Department of Public Safety cited the company for two crashes in the last two years, including one in February 2010 that injured a person in Washoe County.

In a January inspection, authorities found tires on one company tractor-trailer so bald they deemed the rig an imminent hazard to public safety.


Couple gets 90 days in jail for mistreatment

OREGON CITY — An Oregon couple has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after being convicted of criminal mistreatment for failing to seek medical care for their infant daughter for a growth that could have left her blind in one eye.

Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, of Oregon City, are members of the Followers of Christ Church, which practices faith healing and rejects doctors. They are the fourth and fifth members of the church to be convicted in the past two years of crimes involving medical neglect of children. Another case is pending.

Clackamas County Circuit Judge Jeffrey S. Jones also sentenced the Wylands to three years of probation and required them to provide medical care for their daughter, Alayna, now 18 months old.

The judge staggered their sentences, ordering Timothy Wyland into custody immediately. When he is released, Rebecca Wyland will start her term.

A restitution hearing is set for Aug. 29.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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