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Archive for Thursday, June 3, 2004

Briefly

June 3, 2004

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Texas

Propane trucks stolen, raising terror fears

Two propane-delivery trucks were found Wednesday after being stolen from a gas company over the weekend, a theft that raised fears of what could happen if terrorists got hold of the explosive fuel.

The trucks were found on a highway just outside of Laredo, San Antonio Police spokeswoman Sandy Gutierrez said. She did not know whether the trucks were still carrying fuel.

An FBI spokesman in Laredo did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Police Chief Albert Ortiz said Tuesday that his department did not suspect that terrorism was behind the thefts. But officials said that since Sept. 11, such a possibility could not be ignored.

Texas

Teen siblings charged with incest, killing baby

A teenager impregnated his younger sister, who later killed the baby and hid the body in a duffel bag in her closet, Port Arthur authorities said.

Prosecutors said the girl, now 16, had a sexual relationship with her brother, 19, and conceived a baby boy born at home in November. She is accused of smothering the baby.

The girl has been charged in juvenile court with murder. Prosecutors are seeking to try her as an adult. The maximum sentence in juvenile court is 40 years, while in the adult system she could get life in prison.

The brother faces trial in September on incest charges and could get two to 10 years in prison. He is free on bail.

Prosecution investigator Steve Thrower said there was no evidence the brother forced the girl to have sex.

California

Private manned rocket will try to reach space

A privately developed manned rocket will attempt to reach space this month, its builders said Wednesday. It would be the first nongovernmental flight to leave Earth's atmosphere.

SpaceShipOne, created by aviation designer Burt Rutan and funded by billionaire Paul Allen, will attempt to reach an altitude of 62 miles on a suborbital flight over the Mojave Desert on June 21.

The rocket plane reached an altitude of about 40 miles during a test flight May 13.

Suborbital flights are essentially up and down. The craft does not reach speeds fast enough go into orbit around the Earth.

Nevada

Two convicted of taking Indian rocks etchings

Two men who removed 1,000-year-old Indian rock carvings from a national forest and used some of the stones as lawn ornaments were convicted Wednesday of theft of government property.

They were acquitted of violating archaeological protection law.

John Ligon of Reno and Carrol Mizell of Van Nuys, Calif., insisted they did not know they were breaking the law, in part because no signs marked the site near Reno. They said they wanted to protect the etchings of a bighorn sheep and an archer from encroaching development.

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