Winds cut off electricity to hundreds of thousands

Friday, November 14, 2003

Strong wind kicked up by a fast-moving cold front swept through the Midwest and Great Lakes and headed East on Thursday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands.

A motorist died in a flooded creek in West Virginia, and a 14-year-old girl was seriously injured after a tree fell on her as she waited for a school bus in Sterling, Va.

Near-blizzard conditions were forecast for parts of New York.

More than 830,000 customers lost power around the Midwest and East, including 330,000 in Michigan, where gusts of up to 74 mph knocked down trees and power lines. Scores of schools canceled classes, and a live power line fell across Interstate 94 near Detroit Metropolitan Airport, creating a monster traffic jam.

Convicted spy Pollard loses latest appeals

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge turned down convicted spy Jonathan Pollard's latest attempt to reduce the life sentence he received for selling military secrets to Israel while working as a Naval intelligence analyst.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan said Pollard waited too long to try to contest the 1987 sentence and did not make a convincing case that he got poor legal help from the high-powered stable of lawyers who have worked for him over the years.

Hogan also refused a request from Pollard's latest legal team to see secret documents the Reagan administration submitted to the judge who imposed the sentence 16 years ago. Pollard's attorneys say they need to see the material to rebut government arguments against any new appeal or against a request for presidential clemency.

Museum to move German submarine indoors

CHICAGO -- Bowing to the fact that Midwestern weather can be as destructive as warfare in the North Atlantic, the Museum of Science and Industry announced plans Thursday to move the captured German submarine U-505 inside.

The nearly 700-ton vessel, which was captured off the coast of Africa by the U.S. Navy two days before D-Day in 1944, is being moved as part of a $35 million restoration and relocation project.

The vessel will be installed in a climate-controlled indoor exhibition space, which museum officials said will open in 2005.

The U-505, which was launched in Hamburg, Germany, in May 1941, is one of only five German World II U-boats still in existence.

Inspiration for 'Waltons' home goes to auction

RICHMOND, Va. -- The youngest son in a family immortalized by "The Waltons" on television plans to leave the home where he has spent most of his life and sell the property at auction next month.

The Nelson County town of Schuyler and the Hamner family inspired the series about a large, close-knit family in Depression-era Virginia, which ran from 1972 to 1981. Writer Earl Hamner, the series' "John-Boy," based his books and TV show on his experiences growing up in Schuyler.

The 1,469-square-foot house, on a third of an acre in the center of town, is assessed at $56,900, according to county records.

-- From wire reports

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