Archive for Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Nation briefs

December 20, 2000



Fire chief dies when his house burns down

The final act of heroism for a firefighter who spent more than 26 years rescuing people was saving the life of his own wife in a blaze at the couple's home. Ronald Haner, 61, the city of Portage's deputy fire chief, was unable to escape the flames that engulfed the house. He died Monday. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

His wife, Mary, 58, suffered first- and second-degree burns and was in fair condition Tuesday. Haner joined the fire department in 1974 and had planned to retire in May.


Clinton vetoes bankruptcy bill

President Clinton vetoed legislation Tuesday that proposed the most sweeping changes in the bankruptcy law in 20 years because he said it was unfair to ordinary debtors and working families who fall on hard times.

Supporters of the bill, including credit card companies, have pushed for three years to pass a bill to overhaul the nation's bankruptcy system. The president said the bill would allow debtors who own expensive homes to shield their mansions from creditors while debtors with moderate incomes, especially renters, must live frugally and comply with rigid payment plans for five to seven years.


Firefighter quits in hepatitis protest

A Fire Department paramedic who says she was infected with hepatitis C during an emergency call ended a two-week sit-in at city hall on Tuesday, saying she was too exhausted to continue. Lt. Mary Kohler had demanded that Mayor John Street approve a contract that would set aside millions of dollars for health costs and begin testing firefighters and paramedics for the potentially deadly virus. Kohler, 37, began her protest on Dec. 5 and left city hall having failed to achieve her goal.

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