November 26, 2007 in Nation/World

River dioxin level may be a record

The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Rivera
(Full-size photo)

A find of dioxin at the bottom of the Saginaw River could be the highest level of such contamination ever discovered in the nation’s rivers and lakes, according to a federal scientist involved in cleanup efforts downstream from a Dow Chemical Co. plant.

A crew testing the Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers discovered the sample, which measured 1.6 million parts of dioxin per trillion of water, The Saginaw News and The Detroit News reported last week. That level is about 20 times higher than any other find recorded in the EPA archives.

“There may be more surprises out there,” said Milton Clark, a health and science expert for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “I’d be surprised if there’s not more surprises out there.”

State guidelines require corrective action on contamination above 1,000 parts per trillion.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico

Contestant’s gown pepper-sprayed

Beauty pageant organizers were investigating Sunday who doused a contestant’s evening gowns with pepper spray and spiked her makeup, causing her to break out in hives.

Beauty queen Ingrid Marie Rivera beat 29 rivals to become the island’s 2008 Miss Universe contestant, despite applying makeup and wearing evening gowns that had been coated with pepper spray, pageant spokesman Harold Rosario said.

Rivera was composed while appearing before cameras and judges throughout the competition. But once backstage, she had to strip off her clothes and apply ice bags to her face and body, which swelled and broke out in hives twice.

MALIBU, Calif.

California crews gain on wildfire

A day after a wind-whipped blaze destroyed 53 homes in Malibu and forced the evacuation of thousands of residents, fire officials were cautiously optimistic Sunday, reporting calmer winds and gains made overnight.

The fire was 70 percent contained late Sunday afternoon, with full containment expected as soon as late today, officials said.

From wire reports

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