TANKER SPILL CREATES HAZARD -- OR A REALLY BIG MARGARITA
OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) -- When a tanker truck loaded with tequila sprang a leak, it was considered a hazard, not an opportunity to break out shot glasses and salt shakers."Who's going to Winn Dixie (supermarket) to get the limes?" joked Trooper John Dayries of the State Police Hazardous Material Unit.
About 10 gallons were caught and disposed of safely between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.
"In bulk like this, it's a flammable liquid," Dayries said. "That's why we're taking all these precautions."
A long discussion of whether the tequila was ready to drink or still raw never reached a conclusion. Nobody tasted it.
FLORIDA WORKER IS DEMOTED FOR LETTING COINS ACCUMULATE
MIAMI (AP) -- A county employee who collected change from parking meters let the nickels, dimes and quarters pile up over four years, always putting off a visit to the bank until there was $150,000 sitting in a storefront office.
"One thing led to another," said Mayco Villafana, Miami-Dade County's communications director. "She was going to get to it, but she didn't."
Etta Jardine, a General Services Administration supervisor, told county officials she kept putting off depositing the money because of other duties and had no idea how much money was there.
Jardine, 42, has been demoted one administrative rank.
AT LEAST ONE PERSON IS DEAD AFTER TORNADO HITS S.D. TOWN
OGLALA, S.D. (AP) -- A tornado ripped through a small town on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, smashing homes and killing at least one person.
Three people were unaccounted for by Saturday afternoon. However, they may have been staying with friends or relatives, said Robert Ecoffey, superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs on the reservation.
The twister struck Oglala on Friday evening as violent thunderstorms rolled across the region of mostly open prairie in southwestern South Dakota.
MILITARY PERSONNEL TREATED IN U.S. AFTER ACCIDENT IN HAITI
MIAMI (AP) -- Thirteen U.S. service members injured in a truck crash in Haiti that killed two others were being treated at Florida hospitals for injuries such as concussions, sprains and cuts.
"The injuries are less severe than what we initially expected," said Col. Glenn Mitchell, command surgeon for the U.S. Southern Command in Miami.
Petty officers 3rd class Harleigh F. Lestrick and Scott R. Bryant, were killed in the accident Friday afternoon.
The 2 1/2-ton naval vehicle carrying the two men and other military personnel overturned after slamming into a dump truck about 8 miles from the Port-au-Prince airport near the town of Croix des Bouquets.
3 RETIRED COUPLES ARE KILLED IN VIOLENT FLORIDA CAR CRASH
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- Three retired couples were killed when their car was struck by another as they drove out of an adult condominium community.
Police said the six retirees, all from the New York area, set out for the airport to drop off one couple before dinner Friday. They were struck as they turned left at a traffic light at the community's entrance.
The impact sent both cars airborne, nearly splitting the retirees' car in half and throwing three passengers from the car. A third car was struck by the wreckage.
RUNNER-UP FOR MRS. ILLINOIS SAYS PAGEANT WAS NO BEAUTY
CHICAGO (AP) -- The runner-up for Mrs. Illinois says the wrong woman won the 1999 pageant.
Lisa Appleby says the wrong woman was awarded the crown, and with it the free trip to Hawaii, a piano, vacuum cleaner, 14-carat diamond necklace and luggage.
In her lawsuit, Appleby says pageant officials broke their own rules by awarding the crown to a contestant who had won the title seven years ago under another name. The pageant says the exception was valid because the winner surrendered her crown because she got a divorce.
Monica Skylling-Burke, 33, a flight attendant from Palatine, was named Mrs. Illinois in Elgin on April 10. In 1992, she took the crown as Monica Skylling-Kraus.
50 FORCED TO FLEE AS WILDFIRE THREATENS HOMES IN ALASKA
HOMER, Alaska (AP) -- More than 50 people were evacuated from their homes Friday as an out-of-control wildfire threatened to consume the structures.
The fire was burning among beetle-killed spruce trees east of Homer and destroyed one mobile home by Friday evening, according to Homer fire officials.
No injuries were reported, said Elaine Grabowski, the fire department's service coordinator.
Homer High School was opened as a shelter for people evacuated from the homes, officials said.
MAN DIES AFTER SETTING SELF ON FIRE OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE
WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) -- A man who had been ordered to stay away from certain county and city offices set himself on fire outside a courthouse and ran burning through a line of people waiting to pay traffic tickets, police and witnesses said.
Muhammad Akram Qureshi, 50, who suffered second- and third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body, died Saturday at University of California, Irvine Medical Center in Orange, police spokesman Lt. Phil Marshall, said.
Before Qureshi lit himself on fire, he appeared to be praying in front of the courthouse, said homicide Detective Rich Mize, one of about two dozen witnesses.
DRIVER IN FATAL I-80 BUS CRASH CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER
TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) -- The driver involved in a Sierra tour bus crash last year that killed two passengers and injured nearly three dozen others has been charged with misdemeanor manslaughter.
The Nevada County District Attorney's Office filed the charges against William Collier, 53, of Clearlake Oaks, Calif., in the Interstate 80 crash near Farad, 15 miles east of Truckee.
The Sept. 26 accident resulted in the deaths of a 59-year-old Vallejo woman and a 44-year-old Berkeley man. Thirty-five other passengers were injured, five of them critically.
The criminal complaint alleges Collier was driving a Coach USA bus from San Francisco to a Reno, Nev., casino when he lost control on a curve and allowed it to overturn.