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Prices up sharply near Parks’ crypt

Sun., March 5, 2006

The price to get a spot in Detroit’s Woodlawn cemetery has jumped thousands of dollars since civil rights icon Rosa Parks was entombed there last fall, angering some relatives who say it cheapens her legacy.

The spaces in the Rosa L. Parks Freedom Chapel were priced at $17,000 before the cemetery gave spots, for free, to Parks, her husband and her mother. Now, the spaces cost $24,275, and possibly as much as $65,000 for the slots nearest to Parks’ crypt.

Some of her relatives worry the prices might cheapen the legacy of the woman who began the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. Parks died in October.

Parks’ closest living relative, nephew William McCauley, said her burial was a “private matter, not a spectacle.”

Woodlawn officials denied that they are exploiting Parks.

Omaha, Neb.

Warren Buffett’s successor chosen

Warren Buffett, the folksy multibillionaire whose business holdings range from Geico insurance to Dairy Queen restaurants, announced Saturday that his successor has been chosen.

He just won’t say who it is.

Buffett, 75, said in his annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., his Omaha-based holding company, that he and his fellow directors had considered three Berkshire executives to take over if he “should die tonight.” He said one of the three was chosen unanimously to succeed him as chief executive.

After 41 years as chief executive of Berkshire, Buffett gave no hint of plans to retire or scale back his duties as a manager or investor, two pursuits that have made him the world’s second-richest person, after only his friend Bill Gates of Microsoft Corp. “I feel terrific,” said Buffett.

Moundsville, W. Va.

Three lifted from smokestack fire

A fire broke out in a 1,000-foot-tall smokestack under construction at a coal-fired power plant Saturday, trapping four contract workers, officials said.

Three workers were plucked off the stack by a helicopter about 10 p.m., after being trapped for about two hours above the flames, said American Electric Power spokeswoman Carmen Prati-Miller. A fourth was missing.

“When the fire occurred (the rescued) individuals were in the stack,” Prati-Miller said. “They were able to make their way to the top of the stack.”

The three rescued workers were being treated for injuries, but their conditions were not known, Prati-Miller said.

The fire broke out at AEP’s Kammer-Mitchell plant south of Moundsville, about 68 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.

The workers were employed by Pullman Power, which has a contract to install a fiberglass lining in the stack, Prati-Miller said. The cause wasn’t immediately known, she said.


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