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Archive for Thursday, February 1, 2001

National briefs

February 1, 2001

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Alabama

Inmates escape from prison

Six convicts, including three murderers, escaped from a maximum-security prison by using a broom handle to slip under a 5,000-volt electric fence. Officers set up roadblocks and went house to house with tracking dogs Wednesday in a search for the men.

The men escaped from the St. Clair Correctional Facility after dark Tuesday. They got past a series of three fences: A 12-foot interior chain-link fence topped with razor wire, an electrified fence and another razor-topped fence, prison spokesman John Hamm said. They used a piece of wood apparently a broom handle to lift the electric fence so they could slide under it and then slipped under the exterior fence, Prison Commissioner Mike Haley said.

NEW YORK CITY

Children saved from icy pond

Five children slipped into an icy pond and struggled to stay afloat in the frigid water for 20 minutes before they were rescued. None of the children was seriously hurt.

The children were walking through a Queens park Tuesday when two of them, Johanna Morales, 12, and Marguerite Mutu, 14, set out across the frozen pond. The ice broke under the girls' weight. The girls tried to pull themselves up, but the ice continued cracking, widening the hole. Petagaye and the other two children, Johanna's brother, Raphael Morales, 11, and Andrea Nichols, 12, ran to grab them. They too fell in the water. A passer-by heard screams and called police.

Colorado

Skier sentenced in slope death

A skier was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail for a deadly collision four years ago on the slopes at Vail that prompted a crackdown on reckless skiing.

Nathan Hall, 21, who was convicted of negligent homicide, wept in court as he apologized to the family of Alan Cobb, the 33-year-old Denver man who was killed in the collision.

Hall, who had faced up to six years in prison, remained free on $15,000 bond. Hall also must perform 240 hours of public service about a month's worth of eight-hour days and is barred from recreational skiing and drinking alcohol as part of a probationary term.

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