Nation briefs 11/27/06

Monday, November 27, 2006

Six families return home after explosion in Mass.

DANVERS, Mass. -- Six families moved back into their houses Sunday after a pre-dawn chemical plant explosion four days earlier drove them and hundreds of other residents from their homes. The families were allowed to return after inspectors checked their homes to make sure utility connections and chimneys were still intact and safe. Residents closer to the obliterated building that housed CAI Inc. and Arnel Co. will have to find temporary lodging for several weeks or months until more significant repairs are completed at their homes.

Honolulu cop injured during Bush's visit dies

HONOLULU -- A motorcycle officer injured last week while escorting President Bush in the islands died Sunday, police said. Steve Favela, 30, and two other officers crashed their cycles as the presidential motorcade was traveling across Hickam Air Force Base to meet troops for breakfast early Tuesday. The other officers were treated at The Queen's Medical Center and released. Favela had suffered internal injuries and had been in critical condition at the medical center. Bush said in a statement that he and the first lady were "deeply saddened" by the death and sent their condolences.

Colo. subdivision bans Christmas 'peace' wreath

DENVER --A homeowners association in southwestern Colorado has threatened to fine a resident $25 a day until she removes a Christmas wreath with a peace sign that some say is an anti-Iraq war protest or a symbol of Satan. Some residents who have complained have children serving in Iraq, said Bob Kearns, president of the Loma Linda Homeowners Association in Pagosa Springs. He said some residents have also believed it was a symbol of Satan. Three or four residents complained, he said.

Missing woman found dead behind bookcase

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- The body of a woman missing for two weeks was finally found wedged behind a bookcase, where she apparently suffocated after falling over trying to adjust a television plug. Mariesa Weber, 38, returned home Oct. 28 and greeted her mother, then wasn't seen again. Her family thought she had been kidnapped and contacted authorities. Family members scoured her room for clues but found nothing. Late one night Weber's sister went into her bedroom and looked behind a bookcase, where she saw the woman's foot. Using a flashlight the family saw Weber was wedged upside-down behind the unit. Her family believes Weber, who was 5-foot-3 and barely 100 pounds, may have fallen headfirst into the space. The local sheriff's office said Weber appeared to have died because she was unable to breathe in the position she was in.

-- From wire reports

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