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Nation in brief: Search yields no sign of Fossett

Hundreds of rescuers in trucks, airplanes and helicopters searched for adventurer Steve Fossett in the Nevada desert Wednesday but came up with only false sightings, authorities said.

Fossett, 63, took off in a small plane from a private airstrip about 70 miles southeast of Reno on Monday morning and did not return as scheduled that afternoon.

Although he wore a watch with an electronic location transmitter on it, no one has picked up any signal from Fossett or his aircraft.

Rescuers are searching a 600-square-mile area of mountains and desert “looking for a needle in a haystack,” said Maj. Cynthia Ryan, a Civil Air Patrol spokeswoman. Fossett had not filed a flight plan.

When he disappeared Monday, Fossett was scouting for a dry lake bed where he hoped to break the land speed record of 766.6 mph next year. He took off in a single-engine fixed-wing plane, a Bellanca Citabria, from the Flying M Ranch owned by Hilton Hotels magnate Barron Hilton.


Congressman found dead in home

Rep. Paul Gillmor, R-Ohio, a quiet, back-bench conservative in his 20th year in the House, was found dead Wednesday morning in his Arlington, Va. townhouse, police and House Republican leaders said. He was 68.

Arlington police are investigating the lawmaker’s death, but police spokesman John Lisle said it appeared to be from natural causes.

“It does not appear there was anything suspicious at this time,” Lisle said.

Gillmor, who had stents implanted to prevent heart attacks, had not been feeling well recently, a source familiar with the investigation said.

The congressman flew in from Ohio last night and failed to show up for a 10:30 a.m. hearing on Capitol Hill, Lisle said. Two aides went to his home between 11 and 11:30 a.m. They found Gillmor’s body lying near the steps leading to the second floor, he said.

It was unclear whether an autopsy would be performed.

Gillmor’s northern Ohio district is considered safely Republican.


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