In Washington Bush to nominate former astronaut as NASA...

NATIONAL DIGEST

January 31, 2002

In Washington

Bush to nominate former astronaut as NASA deputy chief

President Bush intends to nominate Charles F. Bolden to be deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the White House said late yesterday.

Bolden, a 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, is the commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in San Diego.

In 1980, NASA selected Bolden as an astronaut candidate, and he qualified in 1981 as a space shuttle pilot. He went on to fly four missions. From 1992 to 1994, he was NASA's assistant deputy administrator. He was the Naval Academy's deputy commandant in 1994-1995.

$131 million more sought for USDA safety, prevention

The Bush administration is proposing $131 million in new spending next year on programs to improve food safety and prevent agricultural diseases.

The increase would include a 50 percent boost in spending, or an additional $49 million, for faster testing of livestock for diseases such as foot-and-mouth. The money will be included in President Bush's proposed 2003 budget for the Agriculture Department, officials said yesterday.

Transportation secretary to have hip replacement

Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta will be hospitalized for two to three weeks while a hip is replaced. Mineta was scheduled to go into Walter Reed Army Medical Center last night.

Mineta, 70, was hospitalized for four days in October because of a nosebleed and resulting low blood pressure.

In the Nation

Motorist wins settlement in assault by N.J. trooper

TRENTON, N.J. -- A black woman who said she was assaulted by a white state trooper during a traffic stop has reached an $800,000 settlement with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Kindra Wright was arrested in 1998 by Trooper John Ioia, who handcuffed her, lifted her by the hair and pushed her face first into the ground, according to her lawsuit. Wright said she suffered a fractured jaw, several broken teeth and cuts to her face.

State police spokesman John Hagerty said Ioia was involved in "several incidents" that led to disciplinary hearings and a 14-month suspension.

Reno taken to hospital after she collapses

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno collapsed during a speech late yesterday at the University of Rochester, shocking an audience of more than 700 as she tumbled to the floor.

Reno, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination to be Florida governor, was addressing a crowd of students when her speech began to slow noticeably and she then collapsed.

Reno was conscious when emergency crews reached her. She was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, where she was being evaluated late last night. Hospital officials said she was in good condition.

Idaho lawmakers vote to repeal term limits

BOISE, Idaho -- The Legislature became the first in the nation to vote to repeal term limits yesterday, with Republicans leading the charge to undo a measure they had championed during the GOP's resurgence in 1994.

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has promised to veto the measure, but the 27-8 Senate vote yesterday and last week's 50-20 vote in the House showed there is enough support to override a veto.

The Idaho Republican Party leaders said that local elected officials were never supposed to be the target and that term limits take away critical experience from government, especially in sparsely populated rural areas.

Five Mexicans found dead in railroad coal car in Ariz.

WILLCOX, Ariz. -- Five Mexicans who had apparently stowed away in a railroad coal car were found dead yesterday when the coal was dumped onto a conveyor belt at an Arizona power plant.

Investigators have not determined whether the men were illegal immigrants, sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas.

The bodies were discovered at the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative after the car dumped its 100-ton load. The men apparently asphyxiated in the coal, said Miguel Escobar Valdez, the Mexican consul in Douglas.

Wis. college student dies after giving birth at dorm

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- A college student died after giving birth in a dormitory bathroom as other students came and went, telling those who asked that she was OK, school officials said yesterday.

Karen Marie Hubbard, 19, was not breathing when a resident assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire found her in a bathroom stall Tuesday night, said Charles Major, director of housing. She was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The full-term baby was in critical condition. Paramedics found the newborn when they removed Hubbard from the stall. She weighed between 5 pounds and 7 pounds, Major said.

Medallions made with steel from WTC called `ghoulish'

NEW YORK -- A Georgia company is selling commemorative medallions made with recycled steel from the World Trade Center, angering some relatives of Sept. 11 victims.

The medallions are offered on the Internet and at collectible stores for $29.95 from International Agile Manufacturing, a foundry in Statesboro, Ga.

Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son, Christian, was killed on Sept. 11, termed the medallions "ghoulish." She said, "The last thing I need to look at is a memento that represents the building that killed my son."

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