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Tahlequah Daily Press

Page 2 ... Tuesday, June 1, 2010

BP says so far, Gulf well plug isn’t working COVINGTON, La. (AP) — A risky procedure is failing to stop the oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, and BP said Saturday it is considering scrapping it in favor of yet another method to contain the worst oil spill in U.S. history. The comments from BP PLC chief operating officer Doug Suttles came amid increasing skepticism that the “top kill” operation — which involves pumping heavy drilling mud into a crippled well 5,000 feet underwater —

would halt the leak. It’s the latest in a series of proposed solutions BP has tried SALAZAR — including a gigantic box placed over the leak and a tube inserted to siphon the oil away. Both of those ultimately failed. The top kill began Wednesday, and “to date it hasn’t yet stopped the flow,” Suttles told reporters at Port

Fourchon. “What I don’t know is whether it ultimately will or not.” If the top kill fails, BP would cut off the damaged riser from which the oil is leaking and cap it with a containment valve that’s already resting on the seafloor. BP is already preparing for that operation, Suttles said. Since the top kill began Wednesday, BP has pumped huge amounts mud into the well at a rate of up to 2,700 gallons per minute, but it’s

unclear how much is staying there. A robotic camera on the seafloor appeared to show mud escaping at various times during the operation. On Saturday, the substance spewing from the well appeared to be oil, experts said. BP has also tried several times to shoot assorted junk into the well’s crippled blowout preventer to clog it up and force the mud down the well bore. That, too, has met with limited success.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, addressing reporters after he spoke at a high school graduation ceremony in Denver, echoed what Suttles said and said officials were evaluating the next step. He said the relief well was the ultimate solution, but said something was needed to stop the spill until then. “We’re doing everything with the best minds in the world to make sure that happens,” he said. The oil spill began after

the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in April, killing 11 people. It’s the worst spill in U.S. history — exceeding even the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989 off the Alaska coast — dumping between 18 million and 40 million gallons into the Gulf, according to government estimates. Experts and other observers were growing increasingly skeptical that BP would be able to plug the well.

Immigration law protesters march on Arizona Capitol PHOENIX (AP) — Thousands of people from around the country marched to the Arizona state Capitol on Saturday to protest the state’s tough new crackdown on illegal immigration. Opponents of the law suspended their boycott against Arizona and bused in protesters from around the country. Organizers said the demonstration could bring in as many as 50,000 people. Midtown Phoenix buzzed with protesters carrying signs and American flags. Dozens of police officers were on standby along the route of the five-mile march, and helicopters hovered overhead. Protesters braved temperatures that were forecast to reach 95 degrees by midafternoon. Some used umbrellas or cardboard signs to protect their faces from the sun. Volunteers handed out water bottles from the beds of pickup trucks, and organizers set up three water stations along the route. Supporters of the law expect to draw thousands to a rally of their own Saturday evening at a baseball stadium in suburban Tempe, encouraging like-minded Americans to “buycott” Arizona by planning vacations in the state. Critics of the law, set to take effect July 29, say it unfairly targets Hispanics and could lead to racial profiling. Its supporters say Arizona is trying to enforce immigration

Numbers come in and play bingo there.” William is a veteran who served in Korea and received two Purple Heart medals. “This isn’t about playing or gambling,” said William. “It’s about the camaraderie being in the same place with all of these people.” William said participants pledge allegiance to the U.S. flag each night of bingo. “And we mean it,” he said. “We pledge our allegiance to this country, and we’d go fight again if we had to.” Barbara said the friendships made during bingo are worth more than the prizes. “It’s just for the fun of it,” she said. “It’s not that we win a lot, but that we’re here with others.” Carr said the veterans organizations constantly invite the public to participate, “for patriotic reasons.” “If they want to come out and help support the veterans, I’m all for that in any way possible,” said Carr. “The camaraderie is what it’s

laws because the federal government has failed to do so. The law requires that police conducting traffic stops or questioning people about possible legal violations ask them about their immigration status if there is “reasonable suspicion” that they’re in the country illegally. Supporters of the law insist racial profiling will not be tolerated, but civil rights leaders worry that officers will still rely on assumptions that illegal immigrants are Hispanic. Luis Jimenez, a 33-yearold college professor who lives in South Hadley, Mass., said the law will force police officers to spend much of their time on immigration violations instead of patrolling neighborhoods or dealing with violent crime. The law also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally or to impede traffic while hiring day laborers, regardless of the worker’s immigration status. “You’re saying to the cop: ’Go pick up that day laborer. Don’t worry about that guy committing crimes,”’ said Jimenez, a naturalized citizen from Mexico who grew up in Phoenix. Alfonso Martinez, a 38year-old Phoenix carpenter and father of three children who are American citizens, said he’s been living illegally in the United States for 21 years while trying to get legal status.

Continued from page 1A all about. If you can’t come out and have fun with a veteran, who can you [have fun with]?” According to volunteer Earl Kinney, participating can cost almost as little or as much as a player wants to spend. Several packages and add-on bingo cards are available at different prices. For instance, one single pack can cost $27, or a double, $33. Games played during the Thursday night bingo include bingo and four-corners, sixpack, plus sign and two corners, letter “X,” odd or even, worst card in the house and more. A king or queen for the night is also selected. That person is the first single winner on a regular game. He or she will pick a number between one and 75, and each time that number is called during the regular game, the king or queen will receive a monetary amount. It is generally $5, though the payout can be changed based on lower attendance, officials said.

Honoring the fallen Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars No. 3707 met at Tahlequah’s cemetery Friday morning to place American flags on each veteran’s grave. Participating were Jerry Gay, left; Dennis Parrott, center; and Dan Garber, right. Also participating was Fred Glad. More than 500 flags were placed at the cemetery. Photo by Josh Newton

House votes on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Friday passed a defense bill that paves the way for gays to serve openly in the military for the first time, but advocates on both sides geared up for a fight in the Senate. Normally, defense bills pass by wider margins than Friday’s 229-186 vote, but many Republicans and a few conservative Democrats said they would vote against it because of the gay ban, which was added to the $700 billion bill in a 234-194 vote late Thursday. House approval of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal was a victory for President Barack Obama, who has pledged to change the policy, and for gay rights groups,

who have made it their top priority this year. The bill would give the GATES Pentagon the rest of the year to study the issue before the repeal would take effect. Defense Secretary Robert Gates appealed to the military Friday not to be distracted by the political debate over gays in uniform. In an unusual direct address to troops, Gates said he wanted to assure them that their views on the divisive question still matter. The Senate is expected to take up the defense bill this summer.

Supporters likely will need the votes of 60 of the 100 senators to prevent opponents from blocking it. And while supportive overall, the White House on Thursday issued a veto threat because the House version includes $485 million for an alternative engine for the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Gates has sought to eliminate the second engine program, saying it is wasteful. Supporters, in addition to protecting jobs in their districts, say that the competition will save money over the life cycle of the $100 billion project. The second engine would be built by General Electric Co. and Rolls-Royce in Ohio, Indiana and other states. The

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Flight ing all she could,” said Green. “They made sure I made the trip from Tahlequah to Oklahoma City, and then went on to Washington with me.” Green loves the time he spent as a pilot, and felt odd being a “passenger” on an airplane. “The flight was all right,” he said. “Of course, once you’ve done your own flying, it’s kind of different being somewhere else. They took real good care of us, though.” Green, who is spry and able-bodied at 90, said the trip was memorable, but admitted to being tired when he returned. “We went everywhere and got to see things I had never seen before,” said Green. “But I was glad to get back home and rest.” Although Green has

main F-35 engine is built in Connecticut by Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a chief backer of changing the law, said at a news conference Friday most senators support ending the gay ban. “I believe a majority of the Senate, just like a majority of the country ... favor changing this policy,” he said. “It is a discriminatory policy.” He predicted that it would be hard for opponents to filibuster the defense bill over the gay rights issue because “there’s so much in here for our troops.”

traveled the world, he prefers Oklahoma over any other place he’s been. “People here are friendly, and, well, it’s my home,” he said. According to The Honor Flight Network website, based on 2008 statistics, World War II veterans are dying at the rate of approximately 1,000 per day. It is the mission of the organization to provide trips to Washington, D.C., for all veterans who served in World War II to honor them. The inaugural flight took place in May 2005, and included 12 veterans and six small planes that flew out of Springfield, Ohio. The Honor Flight Network program was conceived by Earl Morse, a physician assistant and retired Air Force captain. Earl wanted

to honor the veterans he had taken care of for the past 27 years, and after retiring from the armed services in 1998, was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs to work in a small clinic in Springfield, Ohio. The World War II Memorial was completed in May 2004, and became a topic of discussion among Earl’s patients. He began asking these veterans if they would ever make the trip to see the memorial built for them, and many said they would eventually get there. Earl realized over the next several months that many of his veterans were either physically or financially unable to make the trip, which is when he decided to make it his mission to find a way to provide the trip.

Along with being a physician assistant, Earl was a private pilot and member of a large aero club based at Wright-Pattersn Air Force Base in Dayton. After making a speech to the 150-member organization about his idea for the Honor Flights, 11 pilots stepped up to volunteer, and the program was born. Today, over 40,000 veterans of the three million still alive have made the trip. According to the Honor Flight Network, eventually the focus will shift to providing veterans from the Korean Conflict and Vietnam with trips. Terry Clark, journalism professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, contributed to this report.

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the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in April, killing 11 people. It’s the worst spill in U.S. history — exceeding even the Exxon Val...