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Small jet crashes, killing eight

A small jet crashed Thursday while preparing to land at a regional airport in Minnesota, killing eight people, including casino and construction executives.

The Raytheon Hawker 800 went down about 9:30 a.m. about 60 miles south of the Twin Cities.

Seven people were dead at the scene. One died later at a hospital.

Severe weather had been moving through southern Minnesota earlier Thursday, but witnesses and the National Weather Service said the storms were subsiding at the time of the crash.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigating team will look at a variety of factors, such as the plane structure and weather. A cockpit voice recorder and a flight management system were recovered and sent to be analyzed, the NTSB said.


Senate passes bill on lead in toys

The Senate on Thursday passed and sent to the White House legislation that bans lead from children’s toys and seeks to ensure that chemicals posing possible health problems will not end up on toys and articles that kids chew on and play with.

The Senate, stymied by partisan differences over the energy crisis, put aside those differences momentarily to vote 89-3 for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The House passed the bill Wednesday by 424-1, a reflection of the national outcry over a rash of recalls last years of toys and children’s products contaminated by lead and other dangerous elements.

The administration has objected to parts of the bill, but White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Thursday that President Bush would sign it.


Edibles replace turf outside City Hall

For generations, the lawn at Civic Center Plaza was a lush, quarter-acre welcome mat outside City Hall and a frequent staging ground for demonstrations.

But the grass has been torn out and replaced by tomato plants, spinach, beans and squash – an officially sanctioned and very organic protest against a culture of mediocre, unhealthy food.

The Victory Garden, as it is known, is the centerpiece of a food festival scheduled for Labor Day weekend that is intended to underscore the connection between planet and plate.

“Not everyone gets it yet,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “There have been some folks who criticize this as if we are building some farm out in City Hall,” he said.

To the mayor, the garden is a natural companion to his push for universal health care. “What we’re trying to do is move from access to investing in people’s health, not treating people when they are sick,” he said. “That’s what, to me, this whole movement is about.”

From wire reports


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