Archive for Sunday, July 27, 2003

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July 27, 2003

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Montana

Wildfires char property, cost lives of workers

Firefighters bulldozed an old road Saturday in an effort to protect the town and the Glacier National Park headquarters complex from a spreading wildfire.

West Glacier will be evacuated if the fire moves to within three miles of town, fire information officer Andy Williams said.

The fire had about a mile to go before reaching that trigger point, Williams said.

In Idaho, scores of firefighters attended a memorial service Saturday for Jeff Allen, 24, who was overrun by flames after he and a co-worker rappelled to the ground from a helicopter to fight a blaze in the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

On Friday, a helicopter pilot was killed when his aircraft crashed while fighting a wildfire in northeastern Washington state. Randall Harmon, 44, of Grants Pass, Ore., was the only occupant of the helicopter.

New York

Bush campaign manager predicts tough 2004

Republicans worried that bad news in the economy and Iraq might take a toll on President Bush's solid poll numbers should get to work wooing new voters to help ensure his re-election in a tough battle with the Democrats, Bush's campaign manager told party activists Saturday.

"Our numbers look good today," Ken Mehlman, above, told Republican National Committee members at the end of a four-day meeting. Still, he said, there's no room for complacency about 2004.

"These numbers will come down," Mehlman said. "We must prepare for an election every bit as close as the 2000 election."

Colorado

Suspect in 14 attacks convicted of sex assault

A man suspected of a string of attacks on women and children in four western states was found guilty of sexual assault and burglary in Colorado.

James Allen Selby, 36, was convicted Friday in a July 25, 2002, attack on a 55-year-old woman and faces up to life in prison at his sentencing Sept. 15.

Selby is a suspect in attacks on 14 women and children between September 1999 and May 2002 in Tucson, Ariz.; San Diego; Sparks, Nev.; and Norman, Okla.

At his Colorado trial, Selby testified he and the woman developed a romantic relationship and had consensual sex. The woman, testifying Thursday, denied the assertion.

Hawaii

Helicopter crash victims identified as vacationers

They saw a glimpse of paradise -- a heavenly world of waterfalls and lush, tropical greenery -- before their lives ended in the twisted wreckage of a sightseeing helicopter at one of Hawaii's most spectacular spots.

On Friday, the last of five victims of the crash in Kauai's towering Waialeale Crater was pulled from the mangled aircraft, and all were identified.

Jeffrey and Monica Peterson, both 33, of Denver, and Edward J. Wadiak, 55, and his wife, Teresa M. Wadiak, 53, of Manassas, Va., died in the accident Wednesday, Kauai County officials said.

Their pilot, 44-year-old Mark Lundgren of Puhi, also was killed.

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