August 7, 2005 in Nation/World

Hiker finds body of missing ranger

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review
 

Estes Park, Colo. A hiker found the body of a missing Rocky Mountain National Park ranger Saturday, eight days after the ranger apparently fell during a routine patrol, park officials said.

Jeff Christensen was found dead near Spectacle Lakes at roughly 13,000 feet, park officials said.

More than 200 searchers, some in helicopters and others with rescue dogs, had been searching the vast and rugged Mummy Range for the 31-year-old ranger for the past week.

He had told co-workers July 29 that he was planning a routine backcountry patrol to the Lawn Lake trailhead, and visitors told park officials they saw Christensen that afternoon near the summit of Mount Chiquita. But when Christensen didn’t show up for work the next day, search teams were sent out to find him.

The area he had been patrolling covers 26 square miles and has few designated trails. It’s peaks top 13,000 feet, and overnight temperatures dip into the 40s.

The body was found about 10 miles from town. It wasn’t immediately clear how long Christensen had been dead.

Amtrak train collides with dump truck

Somis, Calif. An Amtrak train collided with a dump truck crossing the tracks in southern California, injuring 20 people, two of them seriously, officials said.

It was the second collision between an Amtrak train and a dump truck in the country this week. On Tuesday, a train hit a truck crossing the tracks in North Carolina, killing two people.

The two occupants in the dump truck in the California crash Friday were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, said Joe Luna, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Eighteen of the Surfliner train’s 168 passengers and crew suffered minor injuries, said Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham. All were released from hospitals by Saturday morning.

Woman, paper reach deal over misleading ad

Lawrence, Kan. A newspaper has settled a complaint with a woman who came home to find her belongings being taken away because her address was mistakenly listed in a legal ad.

Readers of The Lawrence Journal-World were warned that items left in an apartment at 1319 Tennessee St. would be thrown out if they went unclaimed. The address, however, was supposed to be 1339 Tennessee St.

Kris Bryan, 22, returned home to find several people loading her belongings into their vehicle last month.

“I was freaking out,” Bryan told Kansas City, Mo., television station KMBC. “I told them, ‘That’s my apartment. There’s been some mistake.’ ”

Police Sgt. Dan Ward said Bryan confronted the people and they showed her the Journal-World ad.

Those people returned the items they had taken, but others had already made off with an estimated $3,300 worth of possessions – everything from a TV and a DVD player to video games and Bryan’s 7-week-old kitten.

ACLU sues for teens forced into breath test

Lansing, Mich. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of four teens who were forced by police to blow into a Breathalyzer at a party.

The ACLU says Michigan is the only state in the country where pedestrians under age 21 cannot refuse an alcohol test if police don’t have a search warrant.

Katie Platte was 19 last year when Thomas Township police directed her and some friends to take the test. She faced a $100 fine if she refused.

“I don’t think it’s fair for young people to have to choose between a $100 fine and an invasion of privacy,” said Platte, who said she was not drinking at the time. “With this, you’re guilty until proven innocent.”

The case will be heard by U.S. District Judge David Lawson, who in 2003 struck down a Bay City ordinance that was nearly identical to the state law.

The suit names local and state police and Gov. Jennifer Granholm as defendants.


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