clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

National news briefs

Is vessel that sank in 1952 leaking fuel?

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An increase in oil sheens near Juneau, Alaska, has the Coast Guard investigating a possible historic source — the Princess Kathleen, a passenger liner that sank in 1952.

Lt. j.g. Andrea Manuel says a remotely operated vehicle examined the shipwreck Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She says the Coast Guard is assessing whether any fuel needs to be removed from the 369-foot vessel.

The Princess Kathleen was built in 1925. It ran aground and then sank off Lena Point in 1952 with no loss of life.

The sunken vessel rests on a slope in 80 to 140 feet of water. The vessel's fuel tanks could hold 155,000 gallons.

Police investigating Wyoming explosion

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — An investigation is under way into an explosion that leveled a Wyoming home, leaving an apparently suicidal man dead and three police officers injured.

Police received a call Saturday morning about a suicidal person in a house who had disconnected the gas lines.

Officers evacuated the neighborhood and set up roadblocks shortly before the blast occurred, just after noon.

Fire crews found 44-year-old Michael Lesher in the basement of the collapsed home still breathing at about 6 p.m. He was transported to Wyoming Medical Center, where he died a few hours later.

Police Lt. Mark Trimble says three officers were nearing the front porch when the house exploded. They were treated at the hospital for abrasions and bruises and released.

2 charged in burning of Texas churches

TYLER, Texas (AP) — Federal authorities say two men have been charged with setting an east Texas church on fire and are suspected in a string of similar blazes this year.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokesman Tom Crowley says 19-year-old Jason Robert Bourque and 21-year-old Daniel George McAllister were charged Sunday with felony arson in connection with a fire last month at a church in Smith County in east Texas.

Crowley says the men are suspected of intentionally setting other fires in east Texas, where 10 churches have burned since Jan. 1. Authorities suspect a fire at a church in the central Texas town of Temple was also arson.

Bond for each suspect was set at $10 million.

Gas prices go down as demand slows

LOS ANGELES (Bloomberg) — The average price of regular gasoline at U.S. filling stations declined to $2.63 a gallon as the recession reduced demand.

Gasoline lost 3.29 cents in the two weeks ended Feb. 19, according to a survey ended on the same day of 5,000 filling stations nationwide by Trilby Lundberg, an independent gasoline analyst in Camarillo, Calif. It has dropped 10.5 cents since Jan. 8, she said.

"The weak economy is the dominant force in the gasoline market today," Lundberg said in an interview. "It's why capacity use is less than 80 percent. It's why plants are being converted to storage and permanently closed."

U.S. gasoline use at the pump plunged to the lowest level in 16 months last week as record snowstorms kept drivers off the roads from Texas to New England, MasterCard Inc. said Feb. 17 in its SpendingPulse report. Consumption fell 2.5 percent from the prior week and has dropped 6.1 percent in two weeks.