Nation/World

In brief: No imminent debt crisis, Boehner says

WASHINGTON – The country does not face immediate debt crisis, House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday, but he argued that Congress and President Barack Obama must reform entitlements to avert one.

“We all know that we have one looming,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And we have one looming because we have entitlement programs that are not sustainable in their current form. They’re going to go bankrupt.” Boehner agreed with Obama’s statement in an interview last week that the debt doesn’t present “an immediate crisis.”

But Boehner took issue with Obama’s assertion that it doesn’t make sense to “chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.”

A budget proposal from House Republicans would balance the budget in 10 years, a priority Boehner said is important to the economy. “Balancing the budget will, in fact, help our economy,” Boehner said. “It’ll help create jobs in our country, get our economy going again, and put more people back to work.”

Officer charged in deadly collision

CHICAGO – A judge set bail at $500,000 on Sunday for a suburban Chicago police officer accused of causing a traffic accident that killed two people in a wrong-way collision on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive.

During the hearing, prosecutors said Terrell Garrett’s blood alcohol content after Friday’s wreck was measured at 0.184, which is more than twice the legal limit of 0.08. The North Chicago police officer is charged with two counts each of reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol.

Garrett, 35, was in serious condition at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and didn’t attend the hearing.

Witnesses said Garrett’s car was driving at least 60 mph as it sped in the wrong direction on the scenic highway, where the speed limit is 45 mph, according to prosecutors. The collision killed 25-year-old Joaquin Garcia and his friend Fabian Torres, 27.

Race crash victim was driver’s cousin

SAN FRANCISCO – A raceway crash killed a race car owner and the young cousin of the teenage driver whose vehicle careened off the track before it struck the two victims, authorities said Sunday.

Dale Wondergem Jr., 68, and Marcus Johnson, 14, were in the pit area when they were hit about 6 p.m. Saturday at the Marysville Raceway Park, about 40 miles north of Sacramento, according to the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department. Wondergem, of Grass Valley, was pronounced dead at the scene, and Johnson, of Santa Rosa, was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at a hospital, authorities said.

Marcus Johnson was identified as the cousin of 17-year-old driver Chase Johnson, who was not injured in the accident.

Wondergem owned one of the race cars at the track Saturday, but not the one involved in the crash, said Undersheriff Jerry Read.



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