Archive for Monday, January 29, 2001

Nation Briefs

January 29, 2001


Atheist's remains located

Investigators unearthed a metal artificial hip and three skulls Sunday at a ranch near Camp Wood, and strongly believe they have solved the disappearance of atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair and her family.

Investigators believe O'Hair, her son Jon Garth Murray and the granddaughter she had adopted, Robin Murray O'Hair, were killed, dismembered and dumped on the private, 5-000 acre ranch in 1995.

O'Hair had a hip replacement operation several years before her disappearance in 1995. When she disappeared she had about $500,000 in gold coins taken from one of her atheist organizations.

O'Hair, 77 when she disappeared, enjoyed calling herself the most hated woman in America. She was involved in successful court battles in the 1960s to ban prayer and Bible-reading in public schools.

New York City
Stock fractions phased out

Fractions are no longer welcome on the New York Stock Exchange.

Starting today, the exchange will trade all its stocks in decimals, the last step in a government-mandated move that's been planned for three years.

Exchange officials aren't too nervous they've had some practice, with 159 issues already trading in decimals as part of a pilot program that began last summer.

The same change is scheduled today on the smaller American Stock Exchange, which also launched a pilot program last summer.

The Nasdaq Stock Market plans to start converting its trading to decimals in March and finish by April 9, the deadline set by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Powerball jackpot rises

None of the tickets sold for the Powerball game Saturday night matched all six numbers drawn in Des Moines to win the $36.8 million jackpot. The prize goes to an estimated $42 million for Wednesday.

There also was no winner Saturday in the Kansas Cash drawing in Topeka, worth an estimated $1 million. Today's drawing will be worth an estimated $1.1 million.

Nerve gas bomblet detonated

Army workers detonated a Cold War-era bomblet Sunday and began neutralizing the deadly sarin nerve gas it contained.

In coming weeks, the Army will detonate five more sarin bomblets found during efforts to convert the former Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Commerce City to a wildlife refuge.

The Army and state officials agreed detonating the bomblets in a steel chamber and neutralizing the gas with a caustic solution would safely prevent environmental contamination or health threats.

Sarin kills by attacking the nervous system, paralyzing vital organs. Each bomblet holds 1.3 pounds of gas and is capable of killing people within 900 feet.

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