Nation briefs 11/28

Sunday, November 28, 2004

St. Helens has largest earthquake since October

MOUNT ST. HELENS -- A 3.1-magnitude earthquake shook the crater at Mount St. Helens on Saturday, the strongest quake at the volcano since mid-October. U.S. Geological Survey scientists said they did not believe a major eruption was imminent -- just a continuation of the minor ash and steam eruptions that have been occurring since the mountain reawakened this fall. Saturday's earthquake appeared to be a larger version of the small earthquakes scientists have registered about once a minute for the past several weeks, the USGS said in a news release. Scientists hoped good weather today and Monday would allow them to get a better look at the volcano.

Passengers grounded by snow at Reno airport

RENO, Nev. -- Thousands of passengers were grounded Saturday during a snowstorm at Reno-Tahoe International Airport on its busiest weekend of the year. At nearby Lake Tahoe and elsewhere in the Sierra Nevada, the storm dumped up to 18 inches of snow and delayed thousands of Thanksgiving holiday motorists heading over mountain passes. Sixty-nine flights at the airport were canceled or delayed during a seven-hour period Saturday after a malfunction in equipment used to guide pilots when visibility is poor, spokesman Brian Kulpin said.

-- From wire reports

Armed man steals Salvation Army kettle

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- A gun-wielding robber swiped a red Salvation Army kettle from a collector in front of a supermarket, police said. Volunteer Jerlene Howard said she was ringing her bell to solicit donations from shoppers Friday night when a man wearing a scarf over his face got out of a car and demanded the kettle. He "had a gun and he told me not to say anything," she said. The man then got back into the car, which was driven by an accomplice, police said. Howard was not injured. Howard said her kettle was "kind of heavy," but she didn't know how much money was inside. She has collected up to $135 a day in the past. The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle fund-raising drive helps buy food for the homeless and toys for poor children.

-- From wire reports

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