POKER RUN: Event benefits Randolph County Schools. 1B
May 20, 2010 126th year No. 140
PLUS SIDE: Agency sees first sales increase since last year. 2A
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OUT AGAIN: Vickers to miss All-Star race. 1D
PAY MORE? BY PAT KIMBROUGH ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT – Should the city implement a new fee to make up for a continued decline in revenue, or should additional costcutting measures be taken? That was one question City Council members debated dur-
ing a review of City Manager Strib Boynton’s proposed 201011 budget Wednesday. The draft spending plan holds the property tax rate steady, but it calls for utility-rate increases and includes a proposed $6 monthly fee for garbage collection that would kick in Jan. 1. “I’ve gotten a lot of calls from
50 Cents Daily $1.25 Sundays
City eyes fees to cover revenue shortfalls
senior citizens, and they cannot absorb that $6 fee,” said Councilman Mike Pugh. “The general public has taken pay cuts, they’re being laid off. I know pay cuts are not popular, but I think biting the bullet might be better than imposing fees on people that just can’t afford it.” Wednesday’s session also in-
cluded a review of proposed parks and recreation fee hikes that would take place at the Blair Park and Oak Hollow golf courses, the J. Brooks Reitzel Tennis Center and City Lake Swimming Pool, as well as boating and fishing charges at Oak
Tom Gettinger, president of the Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, is leaving Moses Cone Health System to become the chief operating officer of WakeMed, an 870-bed not-forprofit health system in Raleigh. Gettinger joined the Health System in 1992 as vice president of patient care management.
FIXING SCHOOLS: Stimulus money could help fund improvements. 1B
SONNY HEDGECOCK | HPE
Andy Stroud (left) and Billy Quick groom one of the baseball fields at Johnson Street Park for little league play tonight.
Funding bill filed for furniture market BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT – Area state representatives filed a bill this week to secure about $2 million for the High Point Market, a move that would maintain state support for the trade show at about its current level. Keeping to a pledge made before the 2010 N.C. General Assembly session began a week ago, the local House delegation submitted a bill Tuesday that basically holds the line on furniture market funding in a tough fiscal year. House Bill 1820 would secure $848,925 for the 2010-11 fiscal year to support promotion and marketing of the
world’s largest home furnishings trade show, which is the singlelargest economic event in North Carolina each year. Another $1.2 million would support transportation services for the 160,000 marketgoers who attend the trade show annually. The state’s new fiscal year begins July 1, and legislators and Gov. Beverly Perdue are trying to plug a shortfall estimated at $800 million to $1 billion in a $19 billion budget. The Senate gave initial approval Wednesday afternoon to its version of the state budget. The Senate version maintains the level of transportation services funding for the market, but cuts the promotion and marketing money by
5 percent from the current state budget as part of an across-theboard reduction of appropriations to balance the budget, according to the office of Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, D-Dare. The Senate version, once passed in full, will go to the House for consideration. The High Point Market Authority’s proposed 2010-11 fiscal year budget projects $2 million in revenues from state appropriations. The agency’s total revenues for the upcoming fiscal year are projected at $5 million. The furniture market bill’s primary cosponsors are Reps. Maggie Jeffus, D-Guilford, Alma Adams, D-Guilford, Laura Wiley, R-Guil-
ford, and Earl Jones, D-Guilford. House Bill 1820 references the market’s annual estimated economic impact of $1.2 billion to the state and its tie to 65,362 jobs in the Triad. Market Authority President Brian Casey said trade show supporters already have traveled to Raleigh twice to meet with legislators about the importance of market funding. “We are reinforcing the fact that support of this market is essential. We’re really at a turning point; so now is really an important time to continue that investment,” Casey said Wednesday.
Amanda Berger, 105 Veronica Marsh, 44 Mary Murchison, 78 Lois Peterson, 97 Onota Slate, 100 Mary Vance, 93 Dover Watts, 82 Obituaries, 2B
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Partly cloudy High 78, Low 56 6D
Council targets substandard dwellings BY PAT KIMBROUGH ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Fair, market get a boost ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT
Can you guess which editor prodded High Point to begin hosting “a regular country fair, and at the same time have the best furniture exhibition that could be given south of the Mason-Dixon line”? Find out by reading the special anniversary edition to be distributed on May 28.
HIGH POINT – City leaders have taken additional action to try to put a dent in High Point’s backlog of blighted properties. The High Point City Council this week adopted ordinances to demolish two dwellings and to close five others. Council members said both houses marked for demolition – 1105 E. Russell Ave. and 311 A & B Park St. – were on the city’s original master list of substandard properties that date back 10 years. Bob Bradley, the father of the owner of the Russell Avenue house, told the council that considerable investment had been made to improve the house, but vandals who break windows and write gang graffiti have been a continuous problem. “You need to clean up that neighborhood before you can have decent housing,” Bradley told the council. Council members pointed out that the property has numerous alleged minimum housing code violations, including no heating system, walls that were erected without proper permits and structural violations making it unsafe and virtually uninhabitable. “Gangs don’t write on houses that
SONNY HEDGECOCK | HPE
Tall grass, shrubs and trees all but obscure this house at 1105 E. Russell Ave. people live in,” said Councilwoman Bernita Sims. “This has been there for 10 years. It’s not fair to the people in that neighborhood.” City inspectors also found structural violations, inoperable heating equipment and other code violations at the Park Street property. Owner Johnny Mitchell said he would like time to fix, sell or donate the property, but wasn’t sure it was worth the investment. Council members said they believed he had already been given ample time to bring it up to code. The demolition ordinances
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gave both property owners 30 days to bring the houses up to code. Various other properties on Venable Court, Meredith Street, Ridgeway Place, Fairview Street and Putnam Street were ordered vacated or closed because of multiple code violations. Inspectors said the owners of some of the properties have completed repairs and are in the process of additional work that, if completed, could bring the sites up to code. firstname.lastname@example.org | 888-3531
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CAROLINAS 2A www.hpe.com THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2010 THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE
HPCVB sees first sales increase in more than a year increase also follows an 18 percent decline in January when sales fell from $72,689 in 2009 to $59,724 this HIGH POINT – The High Point year. The January report was anConvention and Visitor’s Bureau nounced at the monthly meeting reported its first monthly sales in- because the bureau’s April meetcrease in more than a year at its ing was canceled due to the High meeting Wednesday and passed Point Market. Greene also noted the HPCVB an unconventional event-booking spent about $32,206 in adminisincentive. The bureau collected $90,327 in trative costs in April, down from sales from the hotel room tax in $42,058 in the same month last year. February, up 5 percent from the The decrease in spending was atsame time last year when $86,071 tributed to two vacant positions at the bureau that weren’t filled. was collected. “We’ve really been tightening “This is the first time in many months that we haven’t had red our belts,” she said. A $10,000 event-booking incennumbers,” said HPCVB treasurer Chris Greene. “That is a great tive for the International Custom blessing to the HPCVB because we Rod Building Exposition, a fishing have had to juggle our monies the rod trade show held in High Point last year and a half to make ends for the last four years at Showplace, was approved by the bureau meet.” The positive news is backlit by after some debate. The incentive the fact that the bureau’s year-to- won’t require event organizers to date income for the fiscal year at sign contracts with local hotels. $899,794 is still down 14 percent The contracts usually guarantee from the same time last year. The that the show’s out-of-town attendBY PAM HAYNES ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
City official honored for service BY DIANNA BELL ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
ees will be staying in a High Point hotel. Karen Wall, director of events, sales and operations at Showplace, said the organizer of the group didn’t want to sign contracts with hotels next year because hotels this year had contacted him requesting payment for some rooms that weren’t filled during the show in February. “I’m afraid we’re going to lose (the show) to Charlotte if this isn’t passed,” Wall said about he incentive. The show was held in Charlotte for three years before coming to High Point. Charlotte Young, HPCVB president, said it was not standard practice to pass an incentive that didn’t include hotel contracts, but she also stressed the importance of the show, which brought 1,500 people to High Point this year with an economic impact of $440,805 on the city, according to HPCVB data. email@example.com | 888-3617
HIGH POINT – When High Point was struck by ice storms during the winter of 2002-03, Chris Thompson sprang into action. With downed trees and blocked roadways, Thompson, High Point’s public services director, quickly recruited members from other public services divisions, rallying crews to ensure roadways would be clear for emergency vehicles. Thompson was officially recognized for these and other efforts in the city by being honored as one of the 2010 Top 10 Public Works Leaders of the Year. Thompson received the award at the High Point City Council’s Monday meeting. The award, sponsored by the American Public Works Association, recognizes outstanding individuals in the
public works field across the U.S. and Canada. Both Gov. Bev Perdue and High Point Mayor Becky Smothers prepared proclamations in honor of Thompson’s award. The award coincides with the 50th anniversary of National Public Works Week, which began Sunday and runs through Saturday. The week is a time to recognize those in the community who operate public works systems. Smothers said Thompson is “thorough and concise,” and “has handled some difficult public issues with patience and respect for the public.” Thompson attributes a large part of the award to his staff. “One person doesn’t do all of the work alone,” he said. “The credit comes my way because I’m in charge, but credit’s due to everyone on my great staff.” firstname.lastname@example.org | 888-3537
Vacant positions FROM PAGE 1
Attorney killed Julia Phillips (right) is escorted from the York Police Department in York, S.C., on Tuesday. York police Chief Bill Mobley said Phillips was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder in the death of Melvin Roberts on Feb. 4. Mobley says Phillips has requested an attorney and she is being held until a bond hearing later this week.
ASHEBORO – The case of a young woman’s body found with partial clothing in a wooded Asheboro area has been ruled as a homicide. Police found the body of Shaunna Lyn Walley,
22, of Asheboro, Tuesday in some woods off Brewer Street in Asheboro. A preliminary autopsy report of the body led police to rule Walley’s death as a homicide after evidence of assault was discovered, WXII reported. A passerby discovered
the partially naked body on Tuesday just off a path in the woods across the street from a park. Police have not yet said if the assault was sexual in nature. It is also unknown how long the body had been there. Those interviewed
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in the case said they had seen Walley as early as last Friday, according to WXII. No suspects have been identified in the death. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 800-6727463.
The High Point Enterprise strives for accuracy. Readers who think a factual error has been made are encouraged to call the newsroom at 888-3500. When a factual error has been found a correction will be published.
Homeless man walks across field during game
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ALTOONA, Pa. (AP) – Authorities say a homeless man who said he was looking for the fastest route to a concession stand was arrested after walking onto the outfield during a minor league baseball game in Pennsylvania. Logan Township police say they’ll file crimi-
nal trespass, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness charges against 24-year-old Tyrone Squires over Tuesday night’s incident. Police say Squires is from Massachusetts but has no permanent address. Police say Squires lowered himself over a fence and onto the field
during the bottom of the ninth inning during an Altoona Curve game against the Akron Aeros. Ballpark security allowed him to walk slowly along the outfield warning track and grabbed him as he exited near the Curve bullpen along the right field line.
The winning numbers selected Tuesday in the North Carolina Lottery: MID-DAY Pick 3: 0-4-4
The winning numbers selected Tuesday in the South Carolina Lottery: DAY Pick 3: 1-7-8 Pick 4: 6-0-2-5
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holding other positions vacant through at least June 30, 2011. “Those include the police and fire departments, and if the economy turns around, we’re going to need to fund them,” Boynton said. “We need them filled right now, we just don’t have the cash paperwork.” He said city departments were coping with the freeze by shifting responsibilities among employees, changing job titles and other measures. “I would venture to say that every business in the city has had to cut pretty drastically the last two years,” said Councilman John Faircloth. “We need to make sure we’re recognizing in the public sector the problems that are happening in the private sector, because they’re the ones paying the bills.”
Police rule death of young woman as homicide ENTERPRISE STAFF REPORT
Hollow and City lakes and the Oak Hollow Family Campground. Boynton said a 2 or 3 percent pay cut for city employees is a possible alternative, but options are limited when revenue sources continue to shrink. “We’ve cut things pretty drastically,” he said. “In the end, if you can’t put it on property tax, and it’s not coming in on sales tax, it falls to fees.” Increasing the property tax rate of 63.3 cents per $100 valuation by 1.3 or 1.4 cents would provide the same amount of revenue as the garbage fee, officials said. Others pointed out that if sales tax revenues increase, such a measure might not be necessary. “It’s a worst-case scenario,” said Mayor Becky Smothers. The council also discussed the proposed elimination of 51 vacant city positions and
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CAROLINAS THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2010 www.hpe.com
Senate gives $19 billion budget tentative OK
High Point Police are seeking the following wanted persons: â€˘ Terrence Terrell Sparks, black male, 39, 5â€™9â€?, 230 lbs., Wanted for Failure to Appear for Felony Breaking and Entering a Motor Vehicle. â€˘ Randy Ray Meadows, Jr., white male, 38, 5â€™5â€?, 150 lbs., Wanted for Failure to Appear for Felony Larceny. â€˘ Henry Lee Williams, Jr., black male, 49, 5â€™6â€?, 160 lbs., Wanted for Felony Obtaining Property by False Pretense. â€˘ Charles Nathaniel Spivey, white male, 21, 5â€™9â€?, 165 lbs., Wanted for Felony Obtaining Property by False Pretense. â€˘ Rondreco Eugene Alston, black male, 32, 5â€™8â€?, 175 lbs., Wanted for Failure to Appear for Felony Obtaining Property by False Pretense. *May Be Armed* â€˘ Charles Michael Willard, white male, 46, 5â€™9â€?, 192 lbs., Wanted for Failure to Appear for Felony Financial Card Theft and Fraud. â€˘ Eric Germaine Robinson, black male, 32, 6â€™0â€?, 153 lbs., Wanted for 4 Counts of Breaking and Entering and Larceny and Probation Violation. *May Be Armed*
NC fisheries director: Net rules protect fishing
Anyone with information about the above wanted persons is asked to contact High Point Crimestoppers at 889-4000.
Explosion rocks house near Wilson MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE
WILSON â€“ Wilson County Sheriffâ€™s deputies and rescue personnel raced to a home on La Finca Road Tuesday night after neighbors reported an explosion. Major John Farmer said the 911 call was received shortly before 8 p.m. The home, located at 7716 La Finca Road, is owned by Christopher Brady Watson, according to Wilson County Tax records. The street was illuminated by the strobe lights from law enforcement, fire department trucks and Wilson Rescue vehicles while neighbors stood in their yards assessing the scene
said Sen. A.B. Swindell, D-Nash, one of the Senateâ€™s chief budgetwriters, but â€œI promise that we will all feel our stateâ€™s pain.â€? The Senate will give its final approval Thursday before sending
RALEIGH (AP) â€“ The state Senate gave tentative approval Wednesday to a nearly $19 billion plan to run North Carolina state government for the coming year that largely gave public education a break from the worst cuts at the expense of health care and other programs. The chamber voted 32-17 in favor of a plan that closes what Democratic leaders call a projected 4 percent revenue shortfall. All Democrats present joined three Republicans in support of the adjustments rolled out on the floor only a week after the Legislature convened this yearâ€™s session. Speakers used the word â€œpainâ€? several times during the nearly two-hour debate about a budget that would trim expenses in dozens of agencies and reduce spending in the Department of Health and Human Services by 9 percent compared to what had already been approved for the new year. Local school districts and the University of North Carolina system also would receive authority to furlough teachers and other employees to help avoid the potential loss of 1,600 jobs. â€œNo one wants to be furloughed,â€?
and trying to figure out what had happened. None of them wanted to be interviewed. The garage on the white, one-and-a-half story home, located at 7716 La Finca Road, was heavily damaged. Large sections of the garage door could be seen in the middle and at the end of the driveway. Broken glass littered the area. â€œOne person is injured and has been airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital for treatment,â€? Farmer said. He declined to release the name of the victim until all of the family was notified. It wasnâ€™t confirmed whether the person transported to Greenville was the homeowner.
MOREHEAD CITY (AP) â€“ The director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries says a settlement regarding the use of gill nets protects both gill net fishing and sea turtles. The Daily News of Jacksonville reported that division director Louis Daniels said at a news conference Tuesday that gill net fishing could have ended had the issue gone to court instead of being settled last week. The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center sued in February to protest the use of gill nets by coastal fishermen.
There would be no pay raises for teachers and other state employees for a second straight year. it to the House, whose leaders are aiming to get its version approved by June 3. It would give lawmakers roughly three weeks to negotiate a final plan and send it to Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue before the new fiscal year begins July 1. The budget would trim the second year of the two-year spending plan approved last summer by nearly $600 million and spend $187 million less than Perdueâ€™s budget offer last month. The changes are designed to narrow a projected budget gap of $800 million to $1 billion caused by flagging state revenues.
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â€œWe keep North Carolina sound fiscally,â€? said Sen. Linda Garrou, D-Forsyth, another budget-writer. But Republicans contend the budget actually increases government spending when compared to actual state spending for this year when up to 5 percent was held back by Perdue. It also fails to prepare the state for the loss of more than $1 billion in stimulus funds in 2011 by freezing spending at current levels, said Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham. â€œThey just put a Band-Aid on a bleeding artery,â€? said Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg. â€œYouâ€™re going to think this is Christmas time compared to what weâ€™ll be facing.â€? Still, GOP Sens. Fletcher Hartsell of Cabarrus County, Stan Bingham of Davidson County and Richard Stevens of Wake County voted for the budget bill. The three voted for the Senateâ€™s version of the budget last year, too. Overall, the public schools would see a 3 percent reduction, or about $219 million less to a budget of $7.1 billion. The Senate plan doesnâ€™t eliminate a requirement that school districts locate another $80 million in cuts.
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OFF THE SHELVES: Wal-Mart pulls entire jewelry line over cadmium. 6B
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6 killed by car bomb south of Baghdad BAGHDAD – A car bomb exploded in front of a restaurant killing six people south of Baghdad on Wednesday, Iraqi officials said, highlighting the fragile nature of Iraq’s security. The bomb in the mixed Sunni-Shiite town comes as the country enters its third month without a new government, raising concerns that violence will rise as political disputes spill out into the streets.
Diplomat: ’Obvious’ North Korea sank ship SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea is clearly responsible for the sinking of a South Korean navy ship and there is sufficient evidence to take the issue to the United Nations, South Korea’s top diplomat said Wednesday. Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan’s comments came a day before the release of a report on the incident and are the first by a South Korean official clearly saying North Korea was behind it. Asked later by reporters if North Korea sank the Cheonan, Yu replied, “I think it’s obvious.”
Passengers in cockpit before Kaczynski crash MOSCOW – At least two passengers visited the cockpit of Polish President Lech Kaczynski’s plane before it crashed last month, and others may have chatted on cell phones, possibly affecting navigation as the crew battled heavy fog over challenging terrain. Those were among the details revealed Wednesday by Russian and Polish officials investigating the April 10 crash that killed Kaczynski, his wife and 94 others outside the western Russian city of Smolensk.
Freedom appeals Mothers of 3 detained Americans arrive in Iran TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – The mothers of three jailed Americans brought appeals for their freedom to Iran Wednesday on a mission that could be complicated by diplomatic showdowns over Iran’s nuclear program. The women are scheduled to visit their children – who have been held since July when they were arrested along the Iraqi border – and seek meetings with Iranian officials. Iran’s state-run Press TV said weeklong visas had been granted on an “Islamic humanitarian basis.” Nora Shourd, Cindy Hickey and Laura Fattal wore long black headscarves as they left their flight from Dubai at Tehran’s main international airport south of the capital. They passed through routine customs and passport checks as well being fingerprinted – a requirement imposed on Americans in retaliation for U.S. immigration controls on Iranians.
Laura Fattal (right), mother of Josh Fattal, Nora Shourd (center), mother of Sarah Shourd and Cindy Hickey, mother of Shane Bauer, arrive at the Imam Khomeini airport outside Tehran, Iran, Wednesday. They were met by envoys from the Swiss Embassy, which represents U.S. interests in Iran, and taken in embassy vehicles from the airport.
Iran rejects UN sanctions resolution draft TEHRAN, Iran – Iran on Wednesday dismissed as “illegitimate” a draft U.N. Security Council resolution seeking to impose harsher sanctions against Tehran for its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. Mojtaba Hashemi Samareh, a top adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said the draft proposed by the U.S. was a reactionary response to a deal in which Iran agreed to ship much of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey.
Kyrgyzstan declares state of emergency BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – Several thousand people tried to storm a university in Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday in a burst of ethnic violence that left at least 2 people dead and more than 70 wounded, prompting the interim government to call a local state of emergency. Witnesses in the southern town of Jalal-Abad said thousands of ethnic Kyrgyz advanced on the private university that serves as the center of the minority Uzbek community.
An armored personnel carrier gets inside an anti-government protesters’ camp at Lumpini park in downtown Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday.
Bangkok in flames after army storms camp BANGKOK – Buildings blazed across central Bangkok early today, torched by rioters after army troops routed anti-government protesters to end a two-month siege. The government quelled most of the violence in Bangkok but not the underlying political divisions that caused it, and unrest spread to northern parts of Thailand. At least six people were killed in clashes that followed the army’s storming of the protest camp Wednesday.
Anger prompts Pakistan to block Facebook LAHORE, Pakistan – Pakistan’s government ordered Internet service providers to block Facebook on Wednesday amid anger over a page that encourages users to post images of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. The page on the social networking site has generated criticism in Pakistan and elsewhere because Islam prohibits any images of the prophet. The government took action after a group of Islamic lawyers won a court order Wednesday requiring officials to block Facebook until May 31.
1,500 Haitians to be evicted from property NASSAU, Bahamas – An estimated 1,500 Haitians are to be evicted from a cluster of overcrowded shacks on a Bahamian island east of Miami, leaving residents and the government to wonder where the community will settle next. Eviction notices were issued because a new owner took over the 5-acre property on Abaco Island that has housed the Haitian community for more than 30 years. ENTERPRISE NEWS SERVICE REPORTS
Taliban attack key base in Afghanistan KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Taliban insurgents armed with rockets, grenades and suicide vests stormed the giant U.S.run Bagram Air Field before dawn Wednesday, triggering an eight-hour firefight that killed an American contractor and at least 10 attackers and wounded nine U.S. service members. As troops and contractors huddled in secure bunkers, the militants fired their weapons over American defenses into the base, according to Maj. Virginia McCabe, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces at Bagram. White smoke could be seen rising from the garrison as
US, Cuba hold talks on oil spill HAVANA (AP) – U.S and Cuban officials are holding “working level” talks on how to respond to the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill that is believed to be dumping some 5,000 barrels of crude a day into the Gulf of Mexico, two State Department officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The talks add to signs of concern that strong currents could carry the slick far from the site of the spill, possibly threatening the Florida Keys and the pristine white beaches along Cuba’s northern coast. They are also a rare moment of cooperation between two countries locked in conflict for more than half a century. “I can confirm that they are ongoing and going on at the working level,” State Department Spokesman Gordon Duguid told reporters in Washington.
U.S. attack helicopters whirred overhead. It was the second major Taliban assault in the Kabul area in as many days, breaking a nearly three-month lull in insurgent attacks around the Afghan capital. Eighteen people, including five U.S. soldiers and a Canadian colonel, were killed Tuesday in a suicide car bombing in Kabul. Those brazen assaults underscore the militants’ ability to strike at the heart of the U.S.-led mission and appear part of a new Taliban offensive against NATO forces, foreign diplomats, contractors and Afghan government officials.
“We are here to visit our children that we haven’t seen for 10 months. We miss them very much,” said Shourd before bursting into tears.
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Thursday May 20, 2010
POLICE RAID: Shooting death raises questions about reality TV. 6B
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Small part of oil slick reaches powerful current ROBERT, La. (AP) â€“ Federal scientists said Wednesday that a small portion of the oil slick from the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico has reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists said they have detected light to very light sheens in the loop current, which circulates into the Gulf and takes water south to the Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream. The agency says that any oil would be â€œhighly weatheredâ€? and could evaporate before reaching Florida. And it might never reach the state at all. But scientists said diluted oil could appear in isolated locations if persistent winds push the
A burned-out school bus sits in the eastbound lanes of the 101 Freeway, Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Students escape bus that ignited on freeway
Auto dealer admits aiding al-Qaida KANSAS CITY, Mo. â€“ A Kansas City auto parts dealer who had sworn allegiance to al-Qaida pleaded guilty Wednesday to taking part in a conspiracy to provide financial support to the terrorist group. Khalid Ouazzani, 32, a Moroccan native who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2006, admitted that he sent $23,500 to al-Qaida between August 2007 and mid-2008.
He said the adults opened windows and the back door to let the smoke out before quickly deciding to leave. â€œKind of scared me because the driver was still up there, and I thought he was going to die,â€? the boy told KTLA-TV. The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the fire.
Highway 101 just before 9 a.m. and quickly erupted in flames. Fire spokesman Erik Scott said it took firefighters 11 minutes to extinguish the fire, which witnesses claim started in the front and gutted the bus. Third-grader Michael Daley described a chaotic scene of screaming children and heavy smoke.
Sestak, Toomey race will be about jobs, economy
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posite ends of the political spectrum. The fall campaign was set up by Sestakâ€™s victory over five-term U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday, as Democratic voters picked the candidate who had bucked party leaders to challenge the Republican-turned-Democrat. The vote also was a defeat for President Barack Obama, whose support Specter received when he abandoned the Republican Party last year.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) â€“ Joe Sestak had barely won the Democratic nod to run for U.S. Senate before he pledged to begin the next campaign within a matter of hours. Sestak, a second-term congressman from suburban Philadelphia and a former Navy admiral, will face off against Republican nominee Pat Toomey in a campaign expected to focus on wallets, pocketbooks and kitchen tables from op-
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Astronaut untangles cable on boom CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. â€“ A spacewalking astronaut freed a snagged cable on the inspection boom for shuttle Atlantis on Wednesday, accomplishing the job in a matter of minutes and earning a â€œsuperheroâ€? title. With that behind him, Stephen Bowen whipped through a slew of space station battery replacements. Bowen and his spacewalking partner, Michael Good, plugged in four new batteries at the International Space Station and even repaired a loose antenna.
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