The Interior Department announced a major expansion of offshore oil and gas development Monday with proposed lease sales covering 48 million new acres off Alaska, in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and in the central Atlantic off Virginia.
The Democratic-controlled Congress has given no indication it is willing to lift a long-standing moratorium.
Despite concerns from many environmentalists, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said he was convinced the oil and gas development could proceed and still assure “the highest environmental standards” are met. He said no leases would be issued without further environmental review and that in some cases environmentally sensitive areas would be off limits.
Educator fired after 2 DUIs
The University of Mary Washington fired its president Monday after he was charged with drunken driving twice within two days.
The board of the 5,000-student public liberal arts school in Fredericksburg said in a brief news release that it was in the university’s best interest that William J. Frawley, 53, be terminated, effective immediately.
Frawley flipped his car in Fairfax on April 10 and left a hospital the next morning against medical advice, police said.
A warrant was issued charging him with drunken driving.
He was arrested in Fredericksburg the next day after a witness reported seeing him driving in a car missing the right front tire and police tried to pull him over. Frawley didn’t stop until he reached his home.
Threats keep college closed
A series of e-mails threatening violence against a community college led officials to close all five of its campuses Monday for a third day of classes.
Delaware County Community College received about a dozen e-mails Thursday threatening “violence against numerous persons,” according to police, who suspect the sender may be a student.
The campuses will remain shut today, college president Jerome S. Parker said Monday after a meeting between school representatives and law enforcement officials.
The college serves about 10,000 students in Delaware County, outside Philadelphia.
Call 811 before you dig
A new phone number will make it easier to “call before you dig” in your yard and avoid hitting electric, gas or cable lines.
Starting today, homeowners and professionals can dial 811 to arrange for utility companies to mark locations of underground lines before beginning projects ranging from tree planting to home additions.
The service will be available in at about 98 percent of the country at launch, according to Robert Kipp, president of the Common Ground Alliance, an industry coalition that the Federal Communications Commission has asked to publicize the number.
Dialing 811 will automatically route the caller to the geographically closest “Call Before You Dig” service.
From wire reports