In brief: Colorado mining accident kills 2, hurts 20
OURAY, Colo. – Authorities said the two miners killed in a mining accident Sunday in Colorado died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Twenty other workers were injured in the accident near the southwestern Colorado town of Ouray.
The Denver Post reports that officials said at a nighttime news conference that the source of the gas was under investigation.
They are looking at whether a small explosion in the mining process might have caused it.
Ouray County spokeswoman Marti Whitmore said 20 people were taken to area hospitals, and all but two have been treated and released.
The Montrose Daily Press reports that 10 of them went to Montrose Memorial Hospital, where officials say they were treated for carbon monoxide exposure.
Rory Williams, the operations manager for Denver-based Star Mine LLC, said all of the men are required to wear personal respirators and the two who died had them. He said that it doesn’t appear to be an equipment malfunction.
Cruiser hit by drone in mishap
LOS ANGELES – A Navy guided missile cruiser hit by a malfunctioning drone during a training exercise returned to San Diego, where investigators will assess the damage and determine what went wrong, a Navy official said Sunday.
Two sailors were treated for minor burns after the USS Chancellorsville was struck by the unmanned aircraft during radar testing Saturday afternoon, off Point Mugu in Southern California.
Lt. Lenaya Rotklein of the U.S. 3rd Fleet said the drone – which was 13 feet long, 1 foot in diameter and had a wingspan of nearly 6 feet – hit the ship’s left, or port, side.
She said investigators at Naval Base San Diego are assessing the damage and determining why the drone malfunctioned.
About 300 crew members were aboard the ship. The Navy could not say how the two sailors were injured.
Rotklein identified the aerial drone as a BQM-74 series, manufactured by Aerospace giant Northrop Grumman Corp. She said the Navy makes frequent use of the unmanned aircraft in testing for combat and weapons systems.
Rare coins fetch $23 million
NEW YORK – Nearly 2,000 rare American coins amassed over 90 years by a 102-year-old Missouri collector have sold for $23 million at a two-day New York City auction.
Heritage Auctions Co-Chairman Jim Halperin said Sunday that retired St. Louis lawyer Eric P. Newman began collecting in the 1930s, only paying about $7,500 for the 1,800 piece collection.
Halperin said a 1795 U.S. silver dollar in almost pristine condition sold for $910,625 and another one from 1799 sold for $822,500 in the online and in-person auction. He said a rare quarter-dollar from 1796, the first year the denomination was produced by the U.S. Mint, sold for $1,527,500.
Proceeds from the sale will go toward the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society in Missouri.
Children’s author Park, 66, dies
NEW YORK – Barbara Park, a former class clown who channeled her irreverence into the million-selling mishaps of grade-schooler Junie B. Jones, has died. She was 66.
Park died Friday after a long battle with ovarian cancer, according to a statement released Sunday by Random House Books for Young Readers. She was a longtime resident of Scottsdale, Ariz., where she lived with her husband, Richard, and raised two sons.
Starting in 1992, Park wrote more than 30 illustrated chapter books about the smart-mouthed girl with an ungrammatical opinion of everybody – her parents, her teachers, her friends and her classmate and enemy for life, May, who is so mean she won’t even acknowledge Junie’s middle initial (which stands for Beatrice: “Only I don’t like Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all,” Junie warned).
Park’s books sold more than 55 million copies just in North America, according to Random House, and the series was adapted into a popular musical theater production. Parents and educators occasionally objected to Jones’ personalized language and cheeky ways, worrying that she was a bad influence on her fans. The series has appeared on the American Library Association’s list of “challenged” books.