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RUSH HOUR DRIVERS RISK LIVES TO GET BEANIE BABIES ROAD KILL

ATLANTA (AP) -- Talk about a rush on Beanie Babies!Some Atlanta motorists risked life and limb Thursday evening to grab the popular stuffed animals when they spilled onto I-285 during rush hour.

The ostrich Teenie Beanie Babies likely were headed for a McDonald's restaurant when they escaped their carrier, surmised Phil Taylor, a supervisor for the state's motorist assistance agency. The fast-food chain is featuring a series of "Teenie" versions of the toys, including "Stretchy the Ostrich," in its kids' meals these days.

Taylor said he saw at least six motorists leaning from their cars to scoop up the Beanie Babies with one hand while they kept rolling with the other hand on the wheel.

He and another officer removed about 30 stuffed animals from the freeway, two lanes of which were covered with Beanie Babies road kill.

ELECTRONIC BLOODHOUNDS GO AFTER RACIST STANFORD E-MAIL

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Stanford University has assigned its electronic bloodhounds to track the source of racist e-mail sent to 25,000 campus computer users over the weekend.

The one-paragraph message accused the university of giving preference in housing to non-whites, said Rachel Lotan, a professor in the School of Education who received the e-mail.

The message was so racist "it took my breath away," she said this week. "It must be someone very angry."

A housing shortage for students has been a problem at Stanford for some time. Last week, some 1,300 students were not selected in the lottery held for scarce campus housing. Last year, almost 900 missed out.

'CAPTAIN JUMP OFF' GETS LIFE IN PRISON FOR DRUG SMUGGLING

MIAMI (AP) -- A man dubbed "Captain Jump Off" because he would make smuggled illegal immigrants jump from his boat into the surf has been sentenced to life in prison for drug smuggling.

Richard Barker, 47, was arrested last fall in the Bahamas, a month after he escaped a high-seas shootout with U.S. Customs agents. He had been using a 35-foot speedboat to deliver 1,100 pounds of cocaine.

He pleaded guilty to drug trafficking in March as part of a plea bargain, and drug conspiracy charges were dropped. Federal prosecutor Ellen Cohen said Barker was sentenced to life Thursday because of the shootout, the large amount of drugs involved and Barker's criminal record.

In 1994, four Haitians drowned after they were forced off his boat near the Florida coast. Barker was convicted of negligent homicide and was paroled after spending less than four years in prison.

FEED THE CHILDREN IS CLOSING WAREHOUSE AMID CONTROVERSY

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- More than 200 aid agencies will be deprived of food as Feed the Children keeps its warehouse here closed amid allegations of employee theft, the organization's president said.

Larry Jones, who is also the founder of Feed the Children, said the warehouse will be closed indefinitely while the group looks into reports that Nashville workers took home goods meant for the needy.

The agency fired all 14 of its Nashville workers Tuesday after Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents found boxloads of donations in the homes of several upper-level employees.

CORONER IDENTIFIES REMAINS AS THOSE OF ROCK MUSICIAN

MALIBU, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles County coroner has identified remains found in a ravine as those of former Iron Butterfly bass player Philip "Taylor" Kramer, who disappeared four years ago.

The skeletal remains were positively identified Thursday using dental records, said Scott Carrier, a spokesman with the coroner's office. The cause of death had not yet been determined.

Hikers found the remains last Saturday inside a wrecked van in the bottom of a ravine. The van matched the description of the vehicle Kramer was driving when he disappeared on Feb. 12, 1995, while driving to the airport to pick up a friend.

Kramer was 42 when he disappeared.

NORTH STATES INDUSTRIES RECALLS 3,200 STAIR GATES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A possible problem with some stairway gates is forcing a safety recall.

North States Industries Inc. is recalling about 3,200 of the gates because the lock can fail when the gate is shaken and could result in children falling down stairs, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The Minneapolis-based company has received one report of the lock on the gate failing. No injuries were reported.