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Nation in brief: Wright mansion offered for sale

Sun., June 21, 2009

Los Angeles – Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis House, a hilltop masterpiece composed of patterned and smooth concrete blocks that has been threatened by man and Mother Nature, is being offered for sale at $15 million by the private foundation that has been restoring it.

Eric Lloyd Wright, the architect’s grandson and a member of the nonprofit Ennis House Foundation’s board, said that, given economic realities, private ownership would be the best way to save the house and honor his grandfather’s intentions.

Completed in 1924, the house was the last and largest of four homes that Wright designed in an experimental “textile block” style. It house has been featured in movies including “Blade Runner,” “House on Haunted Hill” and “Grand Canyon.” The house was severely damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Robbers kill Denny’s worker

Albuquerque, N.M. – A restaurant employee was killed Saturday after armed suspects attempted a takeover-style robbery at a packed Denny’s restaurant, police said.

Police spokeswoman Officer Nadine Hamby said “multiple” armed suspects rushed the restaurant at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. A female restaurant employee was shot and killed.

Two people were detained, but Hamby said it was unclear if they were robbery suspects. A police tactical team surrounded a home where other possible suspects were believed to have fled.

Spelling bee win took five decades

Cheyenne, Wyo. – It took Michael Petrina Jr. 51 years to finally win a national spelling bee.

The Arlington, Va., man bested 45 other spellers older than 50 to win the AARP’s annual National Spelling Bee Saturday in Cheyenne. The 64-year-old’s winning word was “woad,” a plant whose leaves yield a blue dye.

AARP spokeswoman Joanne Bowlby said Petrina won his state’s spelling bee when he was 13, but then lost at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

Petrina won $500, a trophy, and dictionary kit. In second place Saturday was 55-year-old Scott Firebaugh, of Knoxville, Tenn., and in third was 66-year-old Gil Couts, of Bigfork, Mont.


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