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In brief: East Coast braces for massive storm

Sat., Dec. 19, 2009

Rescue crews work to clear New Leicester Highway in Asheville, N.C., after a five-car pile-up closed the road and sent one person to the hospital Friday.  (Associated Press)
Rescue crews work to clear New Leicester Highway in Asheville, N.C., after a five-car pile-up closed the road and sent one person to the hospital Friday. (Associated Press)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A major storm moving up the Atlantic Coast on the last shopping weekend before Christmas threatened to shut down much of the region as officials warned of up to 20 inches of snow and significant power outages.

People stocked up on groceries and other staples Friday after the National Weather Service issued winter storm warnings from the Carolinas to Rhode Island.

In Virginia, Gov. Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, placing the National Guard and other agencies on standby. Philadelphia officials also declared a state of emergency. Washington, D.C., declared a snow emergency.

The Federal Aviation Administration said departing flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport were delayed by as much as an hour Friday because of rain and wind. United Airlines said it had already canceled more than 140 flights today on the East Coast.

Forecasters expected up to 20 inches of snow through late today from the Washington metro area to West Virginia. They said it could be the most snow in the nation’s capital since a February 2003 storm dumped nearly 27 inches at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Up to a foot of snow was forecast in parts of Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In western North Carolina around Asheville, almost 60,000 customers of Progress Energy were without power by late Friday night. In northern Virginia, more than 1,500 customers had lost power from Dominion Virginia Power.

Company recalls car seat carriers

WASHINGTON – A baby product manufacturer recalled 447,000 of its infant car seat carriers Friday, including some branded with Eddie Bauer and Disney logos, after dozens of reports of the carrier’s handle coming loose.

There have been at least three injuries to babies, including bumps, bruises and a head injury. Dorel Juvenile Group Inc., of Columbus, Ind., received 77 reports of the child restraint handle fully or partially coming off the products.

In announcing the recall, the government said consumers should immediately stop using the seat’s carrying handle. The bolts that attach the handle to the seat can loosen, causing the handle to possibly separate and creating a fall hazard for babies.

The recall involves Safety 1st, Cosco, Eddie Bauer and Disney branded infant car seat carriers with certain model numbers. They were sold at department and children’s product stores nationwide from January 2008 through this month.

The traffic safety agency said consumers should not use the handle until a repair kit has been installed.

The repair kit includes new screws that consumers can attach to the seat carriers.

They can order these free repair kits by contacting Dorel at (866) 762-3316 or visiting www. djgusa.com/safety_notice.

Mother will face death penalty

ORLANDO, Fla. – Casey Anthony will face the death penalty.

A judge ruled Friday that he will not block the state attorney’s office from seeking the death penalty against the Orlando woman accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter in 2008.

Orange Circuit Judge Stan Strickland denied a motion by Anthony’s defense team that asked the judge to stop death penalty procedures against her.

Anthony’s attorneys argued that the state’s decision to seek the death penalty violated her constitutional rights. Strickland ruled that the state may continue and that the issue of whether Anthony should face the death penalty is an issue for a jury.

Anthony, 23, is charged with first-degree murder in the case.


 

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