Nation briefs 10/4/04

Monday, October 4, 2004

Florida schools hit by hurricanes set to reopen

MIAMI -- Thousands of Florida students have had, in some cases, more than a month off from school because of the devastating hurricanes that have hit in recent weeks. Schools in six of the hardest-hit counties -- Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Polk and St. Lucie -- reopen Monday. State officials said only two districts -- Escambia and Santa Rosa -- will remain closed this week but will reopen Oct. 11.

SpaceShipOne making second flight, history

MOJAVE, Calif. -- SpaceShipOne is one flight away from clinching the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million award for the first privately developed manned rocket to reach space twice within 14 days. SpaceShipOne was scheduled to be launched today in an attempt to reach an altitude of at least 328,000 feet, or just over 62 miles, for the second time since Sept. 29. The choice of pilot for the flight remained a secret on the eve of launch, as it did last week.

Two killed after Louisiana swamp tour boat flips

CROWN POINT, La. -- A man and a woman from California died after an airboat carrying 16 tourists overturned in a Louisiana swamp, authorities said Sunday. Three other passengers remained hospitalized. Daniel Nanna, 31, of Newport Beach, Calif., died just before midnight Saturday, about seven hours after the Louisiana Swamp Tours boat overturned in three feet of water. An autopsy is planned, Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Col. John Fortunato said Sunday.

Statue of Liberty cheered on eve of sculptor's death

NEW YORK -- Merci beaucoup, Frederic. The Statue of Liberty held a party Sunday honoring its creator, sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, for the 100th anniversary of his death. The ceremony commemorating France's most famous gift to the United States also was a celebration of Franco-American friendship, which degenerated into name-calling and "freedom fries" after France declined to support the war in Iraq.

-- From wire reports

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