Archive for Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Nation Briefs

February 19, 2002


Washington, D.C.: Abraham Lincoln tops greatest president poll

Abraham Lincoln has moved to the top of the list of greatest presidents in an ABC News poll for Presidents Day that saw George W. Bush ease ahead of Ronald Reagan in the overall survey and among Republicans.

Lincoln was chosen by 20 percent, while the current president and John F. Kennedy were essentially tied for second  with Kennedy at 14 percent and Bush at 13 percent. Reagan, Bill Clinton and Franklin Roosevelt were tied for third at 8 percent apiece.

Kennedy and Lincoln were tied atop the list among Democrats this year, whereas Lincoln was the easy winner among independents.

The poll was conducted Feb. 13-17 among a sample of 1,025 adults and had an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Pennsylvania: Teen-agers charged for running speakeasy

Two 17-year-old boys were accused of operating a large-scale speakeasy and gambling hall in a barn, using money they saved from summer landscaping work to finance the start-up costs.

Township police raided the barn in December following a lengthy investigation, but the boys were not charged until Friday. Authorities did not release their names because they are minors.

Police Chief John DeMarco said officers seized more than 100 bottles of liquor, containers of beer including a keg, gambling devices and tobacco products.

Police found a fully operational wet bar with a sink and a price list displaying the cost of drinks, DeMarco said. The large gambling area had tables and chairs where multiple games could be played.

The hillside barn had been refurbished to make the it less conspicuous, police said.

Florida: Study: 2001 not record year for shark attacks

A study released Monday shows shark attacks for 2001 were actually down from the previous year, despite a spate of widely publicized attacks.

There were 76 unprovoked shark attacks around the world last year, compared to 85 in 2000, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File. Fatal attacks dropped to five from 12 the previous year.

Shark attacks in waters off the United States increased by one to 55; Florida, which leads the nation, had 37, one less than in 2000, said George Burgess, who leads the research center.

"Last year was anything but an average year, but that's because it was more like the summer of the media feeding frenzy," Burgess said.

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