November 17, 2009 in Nation/World

Nation in brief: Agency plans rules for safer buses

From Wire Reports
 

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration said Monday it will propose long-sought safety requirements for long-distance buses, including seat belts and stronger roof standards.

A motorcoach safety plan released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calls for developing performance requirements for bus roofs before the end of this year and issuing a rule by early next year on installation of seat belts. Motorcoaches are buses with elevated passenger decks over a baggage compartment.

The plan would also prohibit drivers from texting and would limit their use of cell phones while behind the wheel.

Plane wreck found; pilot still missing

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The U.S. Navy said Monday that wreckage of a training plane has been found off the Texas coast nearly three weeks after it went missing.

But Lt. Brett Dawson said officials won’t know whether the body of Lt. John Joseph Houston is on the aircraft until diving conditions improve.

Poor conditions prevented officials from raising the wreckage after it was found Sunday about 1.5 miles off the coast of Matagorda Island.

The plane went missing Oct. 28. The body of a second pilot was recovered Oct. 30.

School board chief found fatally shot

CHICAGO – Chicago’s school board president apparently shot himself in the head near the Chicago River before dawn Monday, officials said, and his death was met with disbelief by civic leaders and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Chicago Board of Education President Michael Scott said in August that he had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury investigating allegations of politically influenced admissions to top schools, but authorities did not immediately make a connection between the legal case and his death.

Police said Scott’s body and a .380-caliber handgun were found about 3:15 a.m. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide.

Scott, 60, also drew questions last summer about his service on the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee when he disclosed involvement with a group developing city- owned lots near the site of a proposed Olympic venue.

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