Monday, April 30, 2007

National and State News-Monday, April 30th

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A San Francisco Bay-area highway that melted and collapsed after a fiery crash could mean a traffic meltdown for commuters this morning. Transportation officials say it could take months to repair the damage and urge motorists to use public transportation in and out of San Francisco.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Police in Kansas City, Missouri, shot and killed a gunman who opened fire in a parking lot and shopping mall. Police say the man killed two people and wounded three others yesterday, including a police officer. The gunman was driving the
car of an elderly woman found dead earlier.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Investigators say the continuing violence in Iraq along with corruption and poor maintenance is preventing an effective reconstruction effort. The latest audit by a special inspector general concludes Iraq will not be able to manage its own reconstruction anytime soon.

ATLANTA (AP) - Delta Air Lines is set to emerge today from more than a year and a half in bankruptcy with a major facelift in place and plans to do even more to remake its image. And the airline could also consider jettisoning Comair, a subsidiary that provides regional service.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Trans-fat is no longer on the menu at K-F-C. The chain says all 55-hundred of its U-S restaurants have stopped frying chicken in artery-clogging trans fat. The company says it has switched to a new soybean oil believed to be less likely to cause heart disease.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Classes are canceled today at all campuses of Delaware County Community College in response to a threat. College President Jerome Parker says there won't be any decision about reopening the school until police assure college officials that it's safe.
The threat was recieved Thursday via e-mail. There's an unrelated threat at another suburban Philadelphia campus. Somebody spray-painted a bomb threat on a bathroom wall more than a week ago at Penn State-Abington. The threat said a bomb would go off there today. They're planning hold classes as scheduled, but with a heavy police presence.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The state lawmaker who introduced a gun-registration bill is now pushing a new version. Representative Angel Cruz says he wants to make it so only Philadelphia residents will need to register their guns. He plans to give details to reporters today at a news conference in North Philadephia. A previous version of the bill would have mandated gun
registration statewide and would require gun owners to pay a ten-dollar-per-gun annual fee. That generated intense opposition from the state's gun owners.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center have figured out how to remove brain tumors without cutting open patients' faces. Using slender instruments, they're able to remove tumors through the nose. Entry through the nose isn't feasible for brain tumors in some locations, but it works in many. Doctors at U-P-M-C first reached the spinal cord through the nose about two years ago. Many questions remain about the approach of using the body's natural openings, such as the the mouth, vagina or rectum. But doctors say it holds the promise of providing a faster recovery with less pain and no visible scars. And in the brain, it can avoid a need for manipulating tissue that could disturb brain and eye

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Just six months ago, millionaire businessman Tom Knox was barely a blip on the political radar. Now polls show him as the frontrunner in the Democratic primary for
Philadelphia mayor. The former health-care executive used a surge of self-funded T-V ads to build his image as an outsider who grew up poor. He portrays himself as a politically debt-free outsider ready to put the kibosh on corruption and crime. Now comes the hard part. Opponents have stepped up attacks on Knox's self-funded campaign, his past business practices and ties
to the political establishment. Among other things, Knox is being attacked for his involvement with a bank that engaged in "payday lending" -- short-term, high-interest loans.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia judge running for state Supreme Court operates a real estate business from his chambers. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that neighbors complain that Judge Willis Berry's properties are dilapidated eyesores. Berry's daughter lives in a building of his with fresh paint and pansies out front. But former tenants of other properties said they paid 400- or 500-dollars a month for cold, rat-infested apartments. A "For Rent" sign on three of his buildings rings into the judge's chambers. The newspaper found that Berry's secretary helps collect rent, while a judicial aide sometimes helps with maintenance work.

NEWTOWN, Pa. (AP) - State authorities are now investigating the death of a woman who was struck and killed after an argument with her boyfriend, a former prosecutor. Lawyer Richard Patton of New Hope previously worked as an assistant Bucks County prosecutor and in the state Attorney General's Office. The 51-year-old Patton was driving the car that struck 34-year-old Heather Demou after the two argued outside a Newtown restaurant. According to police, Patton says Demou stepped in front of the car to stop him from leaving. Toxicology and other tests are pending, and he has not been charged. The state A-G's office has taken over the case from local authorities. Officials say that office can handle the probe because Patton worked there under a different administration.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Former Governor Tom Ridge told graduating students at the University of Pittsburgh that the world's political, social, economic and security issues cannot be shaped
from the land of one superpower. Ridge, the nation's first director of Homeland Security, also
congratulated the graduates for not allowing their differences on the war in Iraq to become a cause of division. He applauded the graduates on their tolerance, saying they have embraced patriotism by doing so. About six-thousand students on Pitt's main campus received their
degrees yesterday, which were marked at the Petersen Events Center. Another one-thousand Pitt students who received degrees from satellite campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown and Titusville received their degrees in separate ceremonies.


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