June 7, 2008 in Nation/World

Vegas-Disneyland train study funded

The Spokesman-Review
 

Plans for a levitating train from Las Vegas to Disneyland can move forward under a transportation bill signed by President Bush on Friday that frees up $45 million for the futuristic project.

Derided by critics as pie in the sky, the train would use magnetic levitation technology to carry passengers from Disneyland to Las Vegas in well under two hours, traveling at speeds of up to 300 mph. It would be the first mag-lev system in the U.S.

The money is the largest cash infusion in the project’s nearly 20-year history. It will pay for environmental studies for the first leg of the project.

Washington

Gates to name aide to head Air Force

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to recommend the nomination of Pentagon management chief Michael B. Donley to head the Air Force, part of an overhaul of the Air Force leadership designed to improve the service’s oversight of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and other matters, a senior defense official said Friday.

Donley, the Department of Defense’s director of administration and management since 2005, is Gates’ main staff assistant for organization and management planning.

Donley is no stranger to the Air Force, having served as assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management from 1989 to 1993, followed by a seven-month stint as acting Air Force secretary, according to his official biography.

Morgantown, W. Va.

WVU president stepping down

West Virginia University President Michael Garrison announced his resignation Friday, seeking to end a scandal stemming from the university’s awarding of an unearned degree to the governor’s daughter.

Garrison said he hoped his resignation, effective in September, would end the turmoil at the university, where in recent months faculty members have passed a resolution of no confidence in him, alumni have withdrawn millions of dollars in gifts, and students have expressed fear that their degrees have been devalued.

In April, a panel of independent investigators released a report saying that university officials showed “seriously flawed judgment” in retroactively granting an unearned executive master’s of business administration degree to Heather Bresch, the daughter of Gov. Joe Manchin.

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