September 18, 2011 in Nation/World

In brief: Former Sen. Percy dead at age 91

 

CHICAGO – Former Sen. Charles H. Percy, a former Foreign Relations Committee chairman whose moderate Republican views put him at odds with conservatives including former President Richard Nixon, died Saturday in Washington. He was 91.

Percy’s daughter, Sharon Rockefeller, announced in March 2009 that he had Alzheimer’s disease. His death was announced by the office of his son-in-law, West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Elected to the first of his three Senate terms in 1966, Percy was mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.

But the silver-haired senator, a supporter of the GOP’s Nelson Rockefeller wing, came to power when moderate Republicans were becoming unfashionable on Capitol Hill. He ended up backing former President Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976.

After that his chances seemed to fade. He won one more term in 1978 but was narrowly defeated for re-election in 1984 by Democrat Rep. Paul Simon.

Police find gators during pot bust

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Atlantic City police made an unexpected discovery when they raided the home of a suspected drug dealer.

Two small alligators were found inside the Pennsylvania Avenue residence on Friday, along with a pound of marijuana and more than $2,600 in cash.

The alligators – each about 1  1/2 to 2 feet long – will be turned over to state wildlife officials, who will try to return them to their natural habitat.

Thirty-eight-year-old Kemyatta Johnson, who lives at the home, faces numerous drug and weapons charges.

Workers make gains in GM talks

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers union won $5,000 signing bonuses and the possibility of sweeter profit-sharing checks as part of a new four-year contract with General Motors Co., two people briefed on the talks said Saturday.

The deal, which was reached late Friday, also includes a $2- to $3-per-hour pay raise for entry-level workers over the life of the contract and guarantees more union jobs, the people said.

The GM deal will serve as a template for contracts that still must be negotiated with Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co. It would set the pay and benefits for 112,500 U.S. auto workers. It also sets the bar for pay and benefits at nonunion auto companies and other industries.

The contract is the first since GM and Chrysler received government bailouts to make it through bankruptcy protection in 2009. GM earned $4.7 billion last year.

Workers have to approve the deal before it can take effect. A vote is expected within 10 days.

Thief mistakenly swipes kid with car

NEW YORK – A New York City couple got a scare when a thief drove off in their SUV with their 2-year-old son still in the back seat.

The theft happened in the Bronx on Saturday morning. Police say the child’s mother was loading groceries into the vehicle outside a supermarket when a man jumped into the driver’s seat and hit the gas.

Police say the thief apparently realized what happened right away, stopped the car, took the boy out of his car seat and left him in the street.

The boy’s father ran up the block to retrieve him as the SUV sped off.


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