Monday, January 22, 2007


Shelby Cobra sells for $5.5 million

SCOTTSDALE — An 800-horsepower Shelby Cobra, once the personal car of the racing veteran who developed the iconic sports car, has sold for $5.5 million at auction, a record for an American car.

The sale of the 1966 Shelby Cobra “Super Snake” brought a packed house to its feet Saturday at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction after a pair of bidders drove up the price.

Carroll Shelby, 84, who created the Cobra in the ‘60s using Ford engines and a British sport car chassis, said he built the Super Snake — with twin superchargers on a 427 cubic inch V-8 — and drove it for years.

Barrett-Jackson said the $5.5 million price tag for the Cobra was not an overall world record car price because others have sold at auction for more than $11 million. However, it is a record for American cars, said Steve Davis, Barrett-Jackson president.

The winning bidder was car collector Ron Pratt of suburban Chandler, Ariz.


More snow, wind blast state

DENVER — The latest in a series of winter storms battered Colorado yesterday, dumping several inches of snow and whipping up strong wind that created whiteout conditions on the state’s eastern plains.

Accidents caused by blowing snow and icy roads closed southbound Interstate 25 near Fort Collins for two hours yesterday morning. State Patrol Master Trooper Ron Watkins said no injuries were reported.

Wind up to 60 mph piled the snow into drifts as high as 3 feet in parts of the state, the National Weather Service said.

A blizzard warning was in effect for much of eastern and northeastern Colorado, and the State Patrol advised against unnecessary travel.


Shot duck survives 2 days in refrigerator

TALLAHASSEE — Neither gunfire nor two days in a refrigerator could slay this duck.

When the wife of the hunter who shot it opened the refrigerator door, the duck lifted its head, giving her a scare.

The man’s wife “was going to check on the refrigerator because it hadn’t been working right, and when she opened the door, it looked up at her,” said Laina Whipple, a receptionist at Killearn Animal Hospital. “She freaked out and told the daughter to take it to the hospital right then and there.”

The 1-pound female ring-neck ended up at Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, where it has been treated since Tuesday for wounds to its wing and leg.

Sanctuary veterinarian David Hale said it has about a 75 percent chance of survival, but probably won’t ever be well enough to be released back into the wild.


Postal worker checks get lost in mail

OWENSBORO — Postal workers apparently have no special clout when it comes to being told the check’s in the mail.

That is the case in this western Kentucky city, where post office employees are still waiting for their Jan. 12 paychecks.

They seem to have been lost in the mail, Postmaster Kristine Fox told the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.

Miss Fox said she called several postal centers to try to track down the missing checks but had no success. She said she waited to ask for new checks because she kept thinking the old ones would surface.

The biweekly checks come from Egan, Minn., she said, and are sorted several times along the way.


Housing authority seeks legal ban

NEW ORLEANS — The city’s public housing agency plans to ask a judge to bar anyone from entering a housing development without permission and will file claims against some who are trying to avert the buildings’ demolitions.

Attorneys for the Housing Authority of New Orleans e-mailed notice of their plans on Saturday to an attorney for tenants of the St. Bernard Housing Development. A few residents there joined hundreds of protesters for a Martin Luther King Day cleanup of the development.

The agency plans to file illegal entry and property damage claims and ask U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle to keep anyone from going into any of the city’s housing projects without approval, according to the notice.

Bill Quigley, an attorney for the tenants, said the cleanup has continued since last Monday.


Man survives fall from 17th floor

MINNEAPOLIS — A man crashed through a double-paned window in a hotel on Saturday and plummeted 16 floors — but survived when he was caught by a roof overhang.

Joshua S. Hanson, 29, of Blair, Wis., was taken to a hospital. Police and fire officials said he had multiple broken bones and internal injuries.

The man must have “an angel on his shoulder or something,” said police Lt. Dale Barsness. “He’s a lucky guy.”

According to a police report, Mr. Hanson and two friends returned from a night of drinking at about 1:30 a.m Saturday. When the elevator reached the 17th floor, Mr. Hanson ran down a short hallway toward a floor-to-ceiling window, Lt. Barsness said.

He apparently lost his balance and crashed through the glass, then fell 300 feet, landing on the roof overhang one floor up from the street.


Princeton holds tuition costs steady

TRENTON — Aided by one of the nation’s largest endowments, Princeton University decided yesterday not to raise tuition, something it hasn’t done in four decades.

Trustees chose to keep tuition, for both in-state and out-of-state students, at $33,000 for the 2007-08 school year. It’s the first time since the 1967-68 year that annual tuition hasn’t increased. Tuition at Princeton rose 4.9 percent, to $33,000, for the current year.

This time, trustees chose to dip more into the university’s endowment rather than pass on more costs to students, Princeton spokeswoman Cass Cliatt said. As of June, Princeton’s endowment stood at $13 billion, with an investment return of 19.5 percent for the year.

Despite the hold on Princeton’s tuition level, room and board costs are increasing. For an undergraduate living on campus with a full meal contract, the total cost of going to Princeton will be $43,980 next year. That is $1,780, or 4.2 percent, more than the current school year.


12th dolphin dies despite rescue try

EAST HAMPTON — Twelve dolphins have died off eastern Long Island, and boaters were searching for any others still trapped in the shallow waters, a rescue leader said yesterday.

Chuck Bowman, president of the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, said two of the animals died overnight and were discovered at dawn yesterday. Necropsies were being performed on the dead animals to learn why they died, he said.

Eight of the approximately 20 “common dolphins” swam to safety after they were first spotted about 11 days ago in a cove north of East Hampton. With 12 dead, there may be no others trapped, Mr. Bowman said.

Rescuers were searching the area yesterday to make sure, he said.


Passenger jet skids off runway

MILWAUKEE — A jet with 104 persons on board skidded off a runway in snowy weather yesterday after the Northwest Airlines crew aborted the flight as it began accelerating for takeoff, airline officials said.

No serious injuries were reported in the late-morning incident. One passenger on the DC-9 was treated for a sore back, airline officials said.

The crew of Flight 1726 bound for Detroit “opted to discontinue its takeoff due to an engine problem,” the airline said, and the plane came to a stop off the runway surface.

The plane skidded when the pilot applied the brakes, said Pat Rowe, spokeswoman for General Mitchell International Airport. The aircraft came to a stop on the grass by the runway.

About 2 inches of snow had fallen at the airport as of noon, according to the National Weather Service.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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