In brief: Obama signs FAA funding bill

SATURDAY, AUG. 6, 2011

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama signed a temporary funding extension for the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday, ending a two-week impasse that left the agency in a partial shutdown. The move allows roughly 4,000 FAA employees to return to work Monday.

The measure, passed by the Senate on Friday morning, also puts an estimated 70,000 construction workers back to work on a number of stalled airport projects, and reauthorizes the FAA to collect airline ticket taxes.

The bill, which extends funding for the FAA until Sept. 16, was passed quietly on a near-empty Senate floor through a procedural maneuver known as unanimous consent.

Officials uncover school attack plot

COVINGTON, La. – Authorities in suburban New Orleans said Friday they uncovered a plot by three high schoolers for “an incredible and devastating” attack during the first day of classes, with plans for two specific targets, indiscriminate shooting and suicide.

The 15-year-old boys, who called themselves Day Zero, identified a student and a faculty member whom they planned to kill, Sheriff Jack Strain said Friday. They also planned indiscriminate shooting, firing at any sheriff’s deputies or other officers, and “fully intended” to take their own lives, said Capt. George Bonnett, a spokesman for the sheriff.

Schools Superintendent Trey Folse said other students at Lakeshore High School told school officials about the plan on July 17, and the officials immediately notified him and the sheriff’s office.

Fleeing suspect drowns in river

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Amid heavy downpours, two women suspected of shoplifting at a Charlotte coat store Friday ran into a swollen, fast-moving stream, leaving one drowned and the other missing, authorities said.

Torrential rains caused flash flooding, swamped drivers and forced residents to evacuate neighborhoods. Crews rescued motorists and residents by boat and searched the stream for the missing suspect.

Gracie Nell Johnson, 43, and two others were at a Burlington Coat Factory when an employee called police to report shoplifting.

One of the trio was taken into custody, while Johnson and another woman ran. Johnson’s body was found after a search.

Horse control will use contraceptive

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Backing away from a plan to castrate wild stallions that has incensed environmental groups, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management on Friday announced it will instead use a birth-control drug on mares to reduce the growth of herds in southwestern Wyoming.

The agency earlier this week informed a federal judge in Washington, D.C., that it was dropping its plan to capture and castrate hundreds of wild stallions in response to a legal challenge from environmentalists.

In its modified decision, the BLM said it still plans to round up nearly 900 horses, although it’s planning to move the start of the roundup from mid-August to Sept. 1.

The agency plans to send nearly 700 of the horses to holding facilities. It would release the rest after the mares receive a birth-control drug.


Click here to comment on this story »



Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
Customer service:
(509) 747-4422
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Back to Spokesman Mobile