WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28,2006 THE HAYS DAII Y NFW.; A7 Explosion collapses part of motel in Georgia; 1 dead , Ga. (AP) — An explosion that was apparently caused by a gas leak rocked a motel Tuesday, killing at least one person and raising fears that two others were trapped in the rubble, authorities said. Thetolast rattled the 73-room motel shortly before 9 a.m., investigators said, collapsing the roof over a corner of rooms and dumping debris on cars parked below. Six to eight rooms were destroyed, with the damage centered on a laundry- mainteriattce room, said Bremen Fire Chief Glark Farr. Most of the motel's occupants had checked out, and only three or four people were Inside at the time, said Police Capt. Richard Harrison. A 44-year-old maintenance worker, Reese Helton, was missing and feared trapped in the collapsed corner of the building. The search for him, which began around 1 p.m., was hindered initially by lingering hot spots. The hot spots were eventually extinguished. Search dogs were aiding the effort. Two more men may be unaccounted for; they had no local personal contacts and may have been transients or day laborers, said Chief Alex Cohilas of the Clayton County Fire Department. After more than nine hours of searching, authorities said human remains were found on the first floor. "We continue to search. We have no positive identification, because the body is burned beyond recognition," Cohilas said. A fire inspection late last year found no violations at the motel, Farr said. Maria Eskew, 39, said she had been trying to catch up on some sleep in a first-floor room when she heard the blast. "I was scared to death," she said. "I knew something was wrong because the lights went out and the power went off. I went to the window and all I saw was debris and smoke.... It felt like it was on my floor. It was right above me." The explosion could be heard at least two miles up the road at a Holiday Inn Express, said its front desk clerk Lacey Bryant. Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine said the explosion's cause was under investigation. GENE BLYTHE / Associated Press Emergency workers check a partially collapsed section of a Bremen, Ga., motel after an explosion and fire Tuesday. Thousands evacuate flooding lake area BALTIMORE (AP) — The deluge of rain that caused flooding in the nation's capital and elsewhere in the East forced the evacuation of more than 2,200 people near a rising lake today and washed out part of a four- lane highway. At least six deaths were blamed on the stormy weather and three people were missing. More rain was forecast for the region this week. The evacuations were ordered in an area surrounding Lake Needwood on the north side of Rockville, which was approaching 25 feet above normal today, Montgomery County officials said. . . Engineers found weakened spots on the lake's earthen dam, with water seeping through in places, said Bruce Romer, chief administrative officer for Montgomery County. By this morning, police and rescue crews had evacuated residents of 500 apartments and 700 homes, Romer said. About 100 people refused to leave, he said. Engineers were inspecting the dam today to determine what could be done to strengthen it. New York state police reported Briefs Coast Guard cadet Students rush to refinance acquitted of rape charge loans before Saturday hike SOURCE: NOAA that two bridges on Interstate 88 "are down" about 35 miles northeast of Binghamton, and state emergency officials said two people were dead. "The report we have is a road washout," said Dennis Michalski of the State Emergency Management Office. He said he had no further details. Ten New York counties declared states of emergency, and Michalski said Gov. George Pata- Preclpitatlon, past seven .days, In Inches 6.1 and over •• 3.1 to 6.0 • 1.1 to 3.0 B ototocn Northeast flooding Torrential rain caused flooding that dosed top government departments in Washington, D.C., and washed out highways around the capital. AP ki activated the National Guard for evacuation support and engineering. Hundreds of people were evacuated from homes in the Binghamton area because of flooding on the Susquehanna, Chenango and other rivers. Along with 1-88, Interstate 81 also was closed in the Binghamton area. More evacuations were underway in Pennsylvania's Susquehanna County. NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP) A Coast Guard Academy cadet was acquitted of rape but convicted of several other crimes Tuesday in the first court-martial of a student in the school's 130- year history. After about eight hours of deliberations, a &m|in military jury found Webster M. Smith, 23, of Houston, guilty of indecent assault, extortion, sodomy, failure to obey an order and absent without leave. Smith was stoic as the verdict was read but wept afterward with his parents and lawyers by his side. One of his accusers quickly left the courtroom after the verdict was read, also crying. Smith faces up to 13H years in prison. "There is certainly a degree of disappointment, but most certainly we feel that the court was listening and clearly heard what we had to say," said defense attorney Merle Smith, who is not related to the cadet. Tennessee* Texas .execute convicted murderers -qatiig BC tlnim ."riaisyrf anal loci NASHVILLE,; T Tennessee carried out iis.secbhd,;.' execution in 45 years early today, and train-hopping serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz went to his death in Texas by asking his victims' families for forgiveness. The fate of another Tennessee inmate, was playing out in the courts. The state had scheduled back-to-back executions of convicted killers Sedley Alley and Paul Dennis Reid, but Reid received a stay. An appeal was before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which was scheduled to meet this morning. Reid's planned witnesses were asked to return to the prison by midday. If the stay was nofrlifted by midnight, the state Supreme Court would have to set a new execution date. Resendiz' execution Tuesday night was Texas' 13th of the year in the nation's most active death penalty state. Resendiz, who had told psychiatrists he couldn't be executed because was half-man and half-angel and didn't believe he could die, received lethal injection for the slaying of a physician in 1998. In Tennessee, Alley was pronounced dead at 2:12 a.m. CDT. He was put to death for killing 19-year-old Marine Suzanne Collins in 1985 while she jogged near a Navy base north of Memphis. Sensational Summer Specials! 14-Month CD 5.051, 5.14 785-628-1007 www.gpcu.org •Annual Percentage Yield. Minimum deposit of $500. CD Special open to all Members & Residents of Kansas. Non-Residents, call to see If you qualify. Rates subject to change. Federally Insured by the NCUA. INSM*' ATV's, SN EMPRISE BANK 4 i&m f M MIDWEST MUSIC INC, 20% off Subscribers of 3 months or more to The Hays Daily News are entitled to an Advantage Card as a subscriber benefit. To subscribe, call 785-628-1081 or toll free 1 -800417-6017 . THE VOICE OF THE Hian PLAINS - JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Thousands of college students and parents are clogging phone lines and rushing to Internet sites in a scramble to refinance college loans before a sharp interest rate increase this weekend. An almost 2 percentage point interest rate increase for federal student loans kicks in Saturday, and advisers say that not refinancing could cost thousands of additional dollars in interest in the decades after a student enters the work force. At the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, the nation's 12th largest student loan holder, calls are coming in at a clip of up to 15 a second, contributing to a tenfold increase in applications for student loan consolidations, said Raymond Bayer Jr., the agency's interim executive director. Other loan agencies also are experiencing high demand. For-profit Sallie Mae, the nation's largest student loan holder, is on pace to meet or exceed last year's lato crush of student loan consolidations, said I'al Scher schel, the company's vice president for loan consolidation. Man shot at Las Vegas airport checkpoint LAS VEGAS (AP) -Pol ice shot and wounded a man at the city's ' international airport Tuesday after he grabbed a 3-yoar-old boy at knifepoint and ran through a security area, authorities said. The child was unharmed and returned to his mother, who was at the airport, said Elaine Sanchez, spokeswoman for Mr- Carran International Airport. The man was taken to a hospital. "The system worked," Sanchez said. "As soon as the breach occurred, the police were in place and the system worked." After the 25-year-old man grabbed the boy, he ran through an exit lane intended for passengers leaving the gates, officials said. Three officers confronted him at the other side of the checkpoint, police said. One used a Taser gun to stun the man, police said. MORE! IT'S EASY! JUST GO TO: and click on the "Free Coupons" Banner. V'
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