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Big Apple readies for transit strike

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

New York New Yorkers and tourists were getting their holiday shopping out of the way Sunday in anticipation of a possible citywide bus and subway strike during the height of the holiday season.

The Transport Workers Union and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority resumed negotiations Sunday afternoon after reporting little progress earlier in the weekend. The union planned to ask a state labor board to rule that the MTA couldn’t use a disagreement over pension benefits as a sticking point in the negotiations.

The nation’s largest mass transit system carries nearly 7 million passengers a day.

The transit workers’ contract expired early Friday, but the two sides agreed to continue talking, and the union set a new strike deadline for 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

Two private bus lines in Queens could see an earlier strike, however. The 33,000-member union said it would begin a selective strike at 12:01 a.m. today against Jamaica Buses Inc. and Triboro Coach Corp., which employ about 750 union members and carry about 50,000 riders.

Sister accidentally shoots, kills brother

Riverdale, Ill. A 9-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed her 13-year-old brother while playing with a semiautomatic handgun that she found in her parents’ bedroom, according to police in this Chicago suburb.

The shooting was unintentional, but the parents might face charges for not having a trigger lock on the weapon, authorities said.

Authorities said the mother of the children had left the house for about a half-hour to visit a sick relative and the father was at work Friday when the children found the loaded, unlocked .38-caliber pistol on a bookshelf built into a headboard.

A short time later, while playing with her brother, the 4th-grade girl apparently pulled the trigger accidentally, striking him once in the chest. He died a short time later at a hospital.

Luce, ex-New Republic publisher, dies at 83

Boca Raton, Fla. Robert B. Luce, publisher of The New Republic in the turbulent 1960s, died at a Florida nursing home, his widow said Sunday. He was 83.

Luce died Nov. 29, five days after he was released from a hospital, Iris Luce said.

Robert Bonner Luce became publisher of The New Republic, an influential public affairs magazine, in 1963 after earlier publishing Changing Times magazine.

Young surge victims released from hospital

St. Louis Two children whose home was hit by the massive flood surge from a reservoir break were released from a hospital Sunday.

Three-year-old Tara Toops and her 7-month-old brother Tucker were discharged from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, hospital spokesman Bob Davidson said. Another sibling, 5-year-old Tanner, remains in critical condition at the hospital.

The injured youngsters are children of state park superintendent Jerry Toops and his wife, Lisa, whose Lesterville home was ripped from its foundation Wednesday after a 660-foot-wide, V-shaped section of wall around a mountaintop reservoir toppled and unleashed a torrent of water.

About a billion gallons of water rushed through the breach, but the Toops home was one of the few structures affected.

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