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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2001

National briefs

February 15, 2001

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WASHINGTON, D.C.

D.A.R.E. tests new school curriculum

One of the nation's best-known substance-abuse prevention programs will be testing a new school curriculum nationwide, thanks to a $13.7 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

D.A.R.E. America will work with students to help them develop better decision-making skills and to discuss conditions that can lead to destructive behavior. A total of 80 high schools and 176 middle schools will participate in the study, which will involve an estimated 50,000 students.

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Rail accident families comforted

Relatives arriving on the scene of a fatal train crash would find a government official prepared to answer their questions and a private group ready to offer support under legislation passed Wednesday by the House.

Modeled after a law designed to help relatives of plane crash victims, the bill approved by a 404-4 vote would require the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency that investigates accidents, to name some of its employees to serve as the relatives' point of contact in fatal train crashes. The bill now goes to the Senate.

Washington

Old dynamite cache prompts evacuation

Police closed a stretch of highway and evacuated neighbors Wednesday as they removed what they believed to be old, unstable dynamite and explosive drug-making chemicals from a storage unit.

Police said they received a tip that six cases of aging dynamite could be in the shed. A bomb-sniffing dog confirmed explosives were or had been stored there, Pierce County Sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer said. Bomb squad members also found components of a methamphetamine lab, he said.

Several hundred residents in a quarter-mile area were evacuated in the morning and an elementary school was closed for the day. The area is mixed retail, industrial and residential in suburban Tacoma.

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