Little oil spilled in tanker mishap
A 575-foot tanker loaded with 4.9 million gallons of gasoline and other petroleum products broke free of its moorings in Cook Inlet and ran aground Thursday but apparently did not breach its hull, the Coast Guard said.
Less than 100 gallons of the ship’s cargo spilled, apparently from the pumping equipment that was being used to fill the hold, officials said.
Petty Officer Steve Harrison said the ship made a soft landing, running aground on silt rather than rocks. Tugboats later secured the ship.
Mine inspection going nationwide
West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin’s request for the state’s coal mining industry to “stand down” and review its safety procedures has blossomed into a national event.
Federal mine officials said Thursday they are calling on all mine operators across the United States to cease production for one hour Monday to have safety discussions with their employees and make changes if necessary.
Meanwhile, 70 state mine regulators fanned out across West Virginia on Thursday to begin inspections of each of the state’s 315 underground and 229 surface mines.
Manchin’s call for safety reviews came Wednesday afternoon, just hours after two mine workers were killed in separate incidents in Boone County, bringing the death toll this year in West Virginia to 16.
Funeral plans made for King
Coretta Scott King will be given a public viewing in the rotunda of the Georgia Capitol at the governor’s invitation, her family announced Thursday.
In a statement, the King family announced funeral plans for the widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that include a viewing at the Capitol on Saturday; another viewing on Monday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, King’s longtime pulpit; and a funeral in suburban Atlanta on Tuesday at the 10,000-seat New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, where the Kings’ youngest child, Bernice, is a minister.
King, 78, died Tuesday at an alternative medicine clinic in Mexico where she had sought treatment for ovarian cancer.
Patriot Act gets another extension
Congress sent President Bush a second five-week extension of the Patriot Act as Senate negotiators worked to close a deal with the White House on renewing the antiterrorism law with some new civil liberties protections.
Sixteen provisions of the 2001 law were to have expired last Dec. 31, but Congress extended them until Friday after Democrats and a handful of Senate Republicans insisted on an avenue of appeals when the FBI makes demands for people’s financial and private records.
The Senate voted 95-1 Thursday night to extend the current law unchanged through March 10 and give negotiators more time to reach a deal.
Yates leaves jail, awaits new trial
Andrea Yates left jail early Thursday for a state mental hospital where she will await her second capital murder trial for the drowning deaths of her young children.
Yates’ attorney posted her $200,000 bond, releasing her from incarceration for the first time since the five children were drowned in the family bathtub in June 2001.
Yates will return to the Harris County Jail when her new trial begins March 20. Yates faces capital murder charges for drowning three of the children and has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.
A jury rejected her original insanity defense in 2002 and sentenced her to life in prison. An appeals court last year overturned the convictions.