4 MILLION GALLONS OF SEWAGE SPILLS IN L.A. PLANT'S Y2K TEST
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A water reclamation plant spilled 4 million gallons of sewage into a San Fernando Valley park during a Y2K test this week.The sewage welled up out of a manhole near the plant in Van Nuys on Wednesday night and flowed about 100 yards into the park, said Linda Aparicio, a spokeswoman for the city Public Works Department
Crews worked to vacuum up the spill, but health officials recommended a portion of the park remain closed for two days.
The spill happened while the plant was testing a Year 2000 scenario in which the power failed. The emergency generator kicked in as expected, but a gate failed to reopen, Aparicio said.
84 MARINE JETS GROUNDED DURING PROBE OF 2 CRASHES
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- The Marine Corps has grounded about half of its AV-8B Harrier jump jets while it investigates two crashes in the past two weeks.
The 84 planes have the same Rolls-Royce engine model as the aircraft involved in the crashes, a Marine spokeswoman told The Virginian-Pilot. However, the engine has not been identified as being at fault in either crash, she said.
There was no estimate on how long the planes might be out of service.
The crashes involved Harriers based at Kadena Air Base in Japan and the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Ariz. The pilots in both cases ejected safely.
200 EVACUATED IN YOSEMITE AMID FEARS OF MORE SLIDES
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) -- About 200 tourists were evacuated from their cabins amid fear of more rock slides like the one that killed a climber last weekend.
After studying the area from a helicopter and on foot, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist determined there were additional fractures on the side of the cliff where the first boulders broke loose Sunday.
"He felt it was ready to go," Yosemite spokesman Scott Gediman said Wednesday. "It could be in the next few hours or the next few weeks. Predicting rock slides is not an exact science."
About 80 wood and tent cabins used by visitors were evacuated Wednesday evening. Seventy-six park employee cabins were emptied Sunday night.
FATAL FIRE BLAMED ON BOYS WITH LIGHTER, GAS-FILLED RIVER
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) -- Two boys playing with a lighter ignited a stream filled with gasoline, touching off last week's gigantic fireball that killed them and a fisherman last week, police said.
An estimated 277,000 gallons of gasoline gushed from a leaking underground pipeline owned by Olympic Pipe Line Co. on June 10.
It ran down Whatcom Creek, which runs through residential neighborhoods and the downtown of this northwest Washington city of 60,000.
The fuel caused several explosions, sent a black cloud six miles into the air and touched off a fireball that raced down the stream for a mile and a half.
TEEN GIRL CHARGED IN KILLING AFTER BODY'S FOUND UNDER BED
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- A 17-year-old girl has been charged with killing a man whose body was found stuffed under a motel room bed after two tourists spent the night on it.
The identity of the girl from New York was not released because she is a juvenile. She got into an argument with Saul Hernandez, 64, in his room at the Burgundy Motor Inn on June 8 and stabbed him to death, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz said Thursday.
The two had just met, Blitz said. He would not say what the argument was about.
KILLER WHOSE TRIAL WAS CALLED RACIALLY TINGED IS EXECUTED
ATMORE, Ala. (AP) -- A black man whose death sentence was blamed by activists on a racially tinged trial was executed in the electric chair today for the kidnapping, torture and killing of a 16-year-old girl.
Brian K. Baldwin, 40, was pronounced dead at 12:29 a.m.
He and Edward Horsley, who was executed in 1996, were convicted of killing Naomi Rolon after they escaped from a North Carolina prison camp.
Rolon was on the way to visit her father in a hospital in March 1977 when she was abducted. She was choked, stabbed and sexually assaulted before being driven to Alabama, and she was eventually killed with a hatchet.
Prosecutors said Baldwin admitted striking the fatal blow but later said Horsley wielded the hatchet.
Defense attorneys, along with former President Jimmy Carter, Coretta Scott King and members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Baldwin was a victim of racism in the judicial system.
Among other things, they said, he was convicted by an all-white jury from which potential black jurors were eliminated by prosecutors and that he was beaten into confessing in a county and state dominated by white law officers.
MAN KILLS HIS 2 CHILDREN, SELF AFTER ASPHYXIATING HIS WIFE
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A man despondent after accidentally suffocating his wife spent at least a day in his home, first killing their two young children and then himself, police said.
Jennifer Gilbert, 25, apparently allowed her husband, Michael, 27, to asphyxiate her, but he did not mean to kill her, Lt. Craig Van Schyndle said Thursday.
"It appears activities between them were consensual to her death," Van Schyndle said.
Authorities would not elaborate, citing the "sensitivity of these deaths." They declined to comment when asked whether Jennifer Gilbert's death was sex-related.
Authorities believe she died Sunday. Gilbert, upset after his wife's death, killed 1-year-old Evangeline and 2-month-old Ivan and then himself on Monday, Van Schyndle said.
The family's bodies were found Tuesday. The woman and the children died of asphyxiation, medical examiner Joe Grantham said.
Gilbert apparently tried to commit suicide several ways in the 24 hours after killing his family. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning, drugs or alcohol or some combination, Van Schyndle said.
JACK CAMPBELL, EX-GOVERNOR OF N.M., DIES AT HOME AT 82
SANTA FE, N.M. (N.Y. Times) -- Jack M. Campbell, a former governor of New Mexico, died Monday in a retirement home here. He was 82.
Campbell, a Democrat, served two terms as governor from 1963 to 1967 and four terms in the State House of Representatives, including two years as speaker.
Remembered for improving services for the mentally ill and reducing partisan politics in filling state jobs, Campbell also appointed the state's first science adviser, reflecting his interest in science and technology.
ACTRESS HEDY LAMARR SUES WINERY OVER USE OF HER IMAGE
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Reclusive actress Hedy Lamarr has sued winemaker E&J Gallo, saying it used unauthorized footage of her in a television commercial.
Lamarr, 85, filed the lawsuit here Wednesday in federal court. She is seeking unspecified damages and an order to stop the company from further use of her image.
The sultry star of such hits as the 1949 film "Samson and Delilah" said the advertisement for the company's Gossamer Bay Wines violates her privacy and deceives the public about her connection to the winery.