Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Nation Briefs

June 6, 2001


OKLAHOMA CITY: OKC bomb conspirator's court hearing delayed

A state court hearing for Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols has been postponed again as authorities await delivery of recently discovered FBI files.

District Judge Ray Dean Linder put off the hearing, scheduled for today, indefinitely to allow more time for federal authorities to deliver more than 4,400 documents involving the bombing investigation.

Nichols' May 21 preliminary hearing was postponed after the FBI revealed that it had failed to deliver the documents to prosecutors in the federal trials of Nichols and convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh.

Nichols is charged with 160 state counts of first-degree murder for the April 19, 1995, federal building bombing that killed 168 people and injured more than 500. State prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty.

California: Conservation drops power usage by 11%

Californians sliced their electricity use in May by 11 percent compared to the same month last year, the California Energy Commission said.

Residents and businesses reduced electricity demand despite an unusually high number of 100-degree days. Energy use during peak demand hours dropped about 10 percent in May over the same period last year, the commission said.

Conservation is helping cut the state's daily cost for electricity substantially below the $50 million it had been paying, Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for Gov. Gray Davis, said Tuesday.

Still, Davis asked legislators Monday to approve another half-billion dollars for power buys, bringing to $8.2 billion the amount the state is prepared to pay for electricity on behalf of three financially strapped utilities trapped between soaring power prices and restrictions on consumer rates.

Illinois: Police kill suspect after 14-hour standoff

A 14-hour standoff between police and a man suspected of shooting two state troopers at a grocery store in a Chicago suburb ended Tuesday with police shooting and killing the suspect.

The suspect was shot to death after he opened fire on police who had entered the store to confront him, investigators said. The suspect was identified as Eric Hanson, 27.

The standoff began Monday after a gunman wounded two undercover officers, ordered customers out of the store and then barricaded himself inside.

State police spokesman Ken Hall said the confrontation between Hanson and police began when officers, aware his gun permit had expired, went to his home to arrest him on a misdemeanor gun charge. They gave chase when Hanson drove off as they tried to arrest him. Hanson led police to the parking lot of the grocery store, where he opened fire, wounding the two officers, Hall said.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Swing set recalled for safety hazard

A Pennsylvania company is recalling about 190,000 of its backyard swings to repair seats that can fall off. Hedstrom Corp., of Bedford, Pa., has received 291 reports of seats separating, including 19 cases of children suffering cuts, scrapes and bruises, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday.

The recalled Star Cruiser and Rocket Rider swings have screws that can fall out, releasing the seats. The swings, which come with separate pieces for the seat and handle bars, were sold with Hedstrom metal and wood gym sets, wood kits and as accessories.

The safety commission advises consumers to stop using the swings immediately and detach them from the gym set. To order a free repair kit, consumers should call Hedstrom toll-free at (800) 642-9193 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday.

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