Archive for Sunday, December 9, 2001

Nation Briefs

December 9, 2001

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Massachusetts: Plot case prompts walkout, suspensions

New Bedford school officials have suspended about 100 students who walked out of class protesting a judge's decision that allowed a classmate who allegedly plotted a massacre to return home.

The students walked out Thursday, the day Eric McKeehan, 17, returned to his mother's apartment wearing an electronic bracelet. A judge has ruled that McKeehan should be confined to his home while awaiting trial.

McKeehan was allegedly the ringleader of a group of students accused of planning a Columbine-style killing spree at New Bedford High School. He has pleaded innocent to conspiracy to commit murder. His attorney says the teens never seriously considered putting the plot into action.

LOS ANGELES: Decorated WWI vet dies at age 104

Francis "Frank" Eichler, a World War I veteran who was awarded France's highest military honor in a 1999 ceremony in Los Angeles recognizing his war time service overseas, has died. He was 104.

Eichler died of respiratory complications while recovering from hip surgery Nov. 29 in a Los Angeles hospital.

Eichler, a former first sergeant who served with Company A of the 548th Engineers of the 5th Engineering Logistic Regiment, was a recipient of the Chevalier of the National Order of the Legion of Honor.

The medal was presented as part of French President Jacques Chirac's effort to recognize all surviving World War I veterans who fought in France.

BOSTON : Police to test drive ballyhooed scooters

Police in Boston and Manchester, N.H., say they will become the first departments in the country to test drive the Segway Human Transporter, the two-wheeled, battery-powered scooter unveiled amid much fanfare last week.

Boston won't pay for the machines valued at about $8,000 each during a trial phase that may last until next summer. Instead a company established by inventor Dean Kamen will follow the pilot project closely.

The Segway HT, unveiled Monday, can carry a single rider up to 250 pounds and a cargo of up to 75 pounds. It has a top speed of about 12 miles per hour and can go about 15 miles on a single battery charge.

In Manchester, N.H., where the machines are manufactured, police also will use about a half-dozen of the transporters.

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