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Archive for Tuesday, April 20, 2004

State briefs

April 20, 2004

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Washington, D.C.

Supreme Court declines Missouri River dispute

The Supreme Court refused Monday to intervene in a dispute over the Missouri River, passing up a chance to clarify when the government can order water shifts on the river to preserve fishing and recreation.

The Bush administration has faced multiple lawsuits over its management of the 2,400-mile river, which runs through seven states from Montana to Missouri. The suits stem from the government's response to a prolonged 2002 drought.

The Supreme Court was asked to use the case to interpret a 1944 flood control law that created a system of dams on the Missouri River. Justices declined, without comment.

An appeals court ruled last year that under the law, reservoirs are to be used to control flooding and maintain downstream navigation, with a lower priority given to recreation, fish and wildlife.

Missouri and Nebraska had urged the court not to take the case, while outlining their interest in water for farming, power production and other industries.

Topeka

Topekan shot in ambush in Kosovo recovering

A Topeka woman who was wounded during an ambush in Kosovo was helping a friend get out of their car when she was hit, her husband said Sunday.

Beth Mechler, 44, and the friend were among a group of United Nations police officers who were fired on Saturday by a Jordanian police officer. Mechler's friend and another U.N officer were killed before the shooter was killed in a gun battle. Ten American officers and an Austrian were wounded.

Mechler's husband, Randy Listrom, said his wife was hospitalized in Kosovo and was expected to survive.

The Jordanian police officer, Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali, opened fire on three U.N. vehicles carrying 21 U.S. officers, two Turkish officers and one Austrian. Listrom said his wife and both women who were killed were in the last of the three vehicles.

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