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Camp opens

Niagara Falls officials consider daredevil stunt to boost tourism. Diversions, A4

Dallas Cowboys get started in San Antonio.

Sports, B1

Jupiter bound


Worth the risk?

Juno spacecraft to explore massive planet’s secrets.

The Eagle


July 29, 2011

Bryan-College Station, Texas ★

50 cents


Left to right: Construction worker Cleto Valenzuela cools off during a break in College Station on Thursday. Eagle photo by Stuart Villanueva

High 96, Low 77 40% of storms

What used to be a Welch Park boat ramp has turned into a cauldron of shallow water leading to a sand bar that boaters must breech if they choose to launch their vessels from there. Eagle photo by Dave McDermand

IN BRIEF Poll: Finances a big boomer worry The “golden years” may lose some luster for many baby boomers worried about the financial pressures that come with age. According to the poll, 43 percent of boomers polled said they were “very” or “extremely” worried about being able to pay for their medical costs, including longterm care. Almost the same number, 41 percent, said losing their financial independence was a big concern. — Business, A5

No reprieve from soaring heat Hydration key when outdoors

Lake Somerville likely to sink to lowest level soon By MICHELLE CASADY


A New York auto shop owner who survived 18 hours without a life jacket in Lake Huron after his small, two-seat Cessna crashed said Thursday that it was his desire to stay alive that pushed him to swim and tread water as 10-foot waves buffeted his body. — News, A5

CDC: Strokes on rise in new moms Strokes have spiked in the U.S. among pregnant women and new mothers, probably because more of them are obese and suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease, researchers report. — Nation, A5

Lake Somerville — one of 11 water supply reservoirs for the Brazos River — is expected to sink to its lowest recorded level within days. Dry, hot conditions across the Texas Task state this sum- Force 1 keeping mer have pushed a close eye on record-high tem- Tropical Storm peratures and Don as it record-low water nears the Texas levels in area coast/A7 lakes and rivers. The muddy Brazos River at Texas 21 in Bryan has a flood stage of 43 feet, but as of late Thursday it was at 7.7 feet. Meanwhile, the Navasota River at Normangee is doing even worse: It’s flood stage is 15 feet and it’s at 1.5 feet. At 9 p.m., Lake Somerville’s water level was recorded at 231.61 feet; the record, from October 1984, is 230.70 feet. Each day the man-made lake has been dropping by about one-tenth of a foot, said Emmitt Attaway, park ranger with the Army Corps of Engineers. That means, pending significant rainfall, the 1984 record will be broken in 10 days. “Right now, because of the low levels, we’ve got seven boat ramps closed, and just four open,” he said.

Whether learning to fight a fire, pouring concrete for a living or even just spending some time working outdoors, monitoring hydration is key to keeping cool for anyone laboring in the summer heat. College Station is on track to post its third hottest July of the summer, said John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas climatologist and professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M. The average temperature so far this month has been 99.7 degrees. The hottest July’s on record were in 1998 with an average of 101 degrees and 2009 with an average of 100.7 degrees.

Pilot tells tale of crashing into lake

See HEAT, Page A6




See LAKE, Page A6

On the Web

Fan drive’s last day is today/A7

Eagle photo by Dave McDermand Clam shells litter the dry shoreline around Welch Park at Lake Somerville during a hotter than usual summer that’s doing some damage to area rivers and lakes. Lake Somerville is expected to be at its lowest recorded level within 10 days.

To see more photos, go to

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“I’m having a baby.” MEGAN McMULLEN Snook

INDEX A5 C1 B6 B6 A4 A10 A4 A2 A4 A9 A8 B5

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Vol. 137, No. 210, 3 sections


12624 00050


GOP postpones House vote on debt limit Boehner tries to rally support for bill By DAVID ESPO Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The endgame at hand, House Republicans struggled Thursday to pass legislation to prevent a looming government default while slicing nearly $1 trillion from federal spending. Senate Democrats pledged to scuttle the bill — if it got to them — in hopes of forcing a final compromise. As afternoon debate headed toward evening, GOP leaders ordered an unexplained halt on the measure and Speaker John Boehner summoned a

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string of recalcitrant rankand-file Republicans to his office. Asked what he and Boehner had talked about, Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., said, “I think that’s rather obvious. .. There’s negotiations going on.” Another Republican, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, said he was unhappy Boehner had jettisoned a requirement contained in earlier legislation for Congress to pass a constitutional balanced-budget amendment and send it to the states for rati-

See DEBT, Page A3




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The Dow was up for most of the day Thursday following an unexpected decrease in new claims for unemployment benefits. But the index turned lower in the late afternoon as optimism about reaching a compromise on the debt limit faded. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 62.44 points, or 0.5 percent, to close at 12,240.11. The Dow has fallen every day since Friday.

U.S. Government Bonds The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged down to 2.95 percent from 2.97



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percent. The 10-year note is the main Treasury to watch; its yield is a benchmark for rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans throughout the economy. How will you know if big investors like China lose faith in the U.S. government? Bond yields will leap.

Gold Gold for August delivery fell $1.70 to settle at $1,613.40 an ounce. Gold prices have been rising when investors fear that a U.S. default might be near. Gold closed above $1,600 an ounce for the first time on July 18. At the beginning of the year, it was $1,422. Unlike many other metals, including silver and copper, there are few commercial uses for gold but it’s seen as an asset that is likely to hold its value. That makes it

difficult to gauge just how much it’s really worth.

Currencies On Thursday the dollar fell against the Japanese yen and touched another record low against the Swiss franc. The Canadian dollar, Scandinavian currencies and the Australian dollar also rose against the dollar. When money managers are concerned about the value of the U.S. dollar, they sometimes buy currencies issued by countries that have been more prudent with spending. The bet is that as the U.S. struggles to pay its debts, more investors will put money in these currencies, lifting their value. — Wire reports

To see an interactive on the debt debate, go to

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Latest in the debt standoff Here’s an overview of how various markets are reacting to the impasse in Washington over raising the U.S. borrowing limit.

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