Dept. of Agriculture trying to reduce its payroll

Saturday, September 24, 2005

WASHINGTON -- More than 30 percent of the nation's Farm Service Agency offices would close under a plan released Friday by the Agriculture Department. The agency also is trying to reduce its payroll by up to 655 jobs. The plan would close 713 of the 2,351 offices nationwide, according to a summary the department provided to the Senate Agriculture Committee. The biggest cuts -- 40 percent or more offices closed -- would come in Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia.

Police say crash on Vegas Strip no accident

LAS VEGAS -- A man accused of killing two tourists and injuring 12 others on the Las Vegas Strip told police he steered his car into the crowd on the sidewalk because they were staring at him like demons. Stephen M. Ressa, 27, also told police he saw people with their hands in their pockets and thought they might be armed with guns, according to an arrest report. Ressa, of Rialto, Calif., was arrested Wednesday shortly after the car barreled through the crowd and crashed into a cement barrier in front of Bally's hotel-casino. He was being held without bail on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

Feds promise to deliver fuel to Rita evacuees

WASHINGTON -- Federal authorities began counting down to Hurricane Rita's arrival with last-minute promises to deliver fuel to hundreds of thousands of evacuees fleeing the shifting storm that covered half of the Gulf of Mexico. Amid all the advance planning, state officials pleaded for gasoline to replenish dwindling supplies along evacuation routes.

-- From wire reports

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