Nation briefs 1/15/07

Monday, January 15, 2007

Obama: Word of bid for president coming soon

CHICAGO -- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said Sunday that he'll announce a decision about whether to launch a presidential bid "fairly soon." Speaking from Chicago on CBS' "Face the Nation," Obama wouldn't say much else about a presidential campaign, saying only he's still debating whether to run. "I will have something to say about that fairly soon," he said. "And obviously, there's been a lot of talk. It's something that I've been considering." Obama is thought to be an early favorite for the Democratic nomination, even though he's been mum about his future prospects. The first-term senator has gained national attention since being sworn in to office in 2005. He has recently made appearances in key primary states and even garnered a paparazzi photo mention in People magazine. Obama has hired policy, research and press staff for a campaign to be run from Chicago, according to several Democrats. And a senior aide to the senator, Steve Hildebrand, recently told potential Iowa supporters that word of his plans could come early this week.

Man sets world record on stationary bike

BURR RIDGE, Ill. -- George Hood, who hoped to pedal his way into Guinness Book of World Records, got his wish Saturday night. The 49-year-old Aurora resident began riding a stationary bike at the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge at 4 a.m. Wednesday and surpassed the previous record of 82 hours by 8:28 p.m. Saturday. He stopped several minutes before midnight after completing his goal of 85 hours. "He's very grateful -- and very tired," said Matt Baron, a spokesman for Five Seasons. Baron said Hood was talking and thanking his supporters right up to the end, but was taken by paramedics to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital as a precaution after he got off the bike. "He'll be under observation for a while, and they're going to administer fluids," Baron said.

-- From wire reports

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