Recovery crews search for Appalachian victims

Sunday, May 5, 2002

KEYSTONE, W.Va. -- Streams began receding Saturday in the ravaged central Appalachians as rescue workers searched the hills and valleys for more victims of devastating floods that killed at least six people.

Amid light rain, recovery crews worked to reopen roads blocked by mud, boulders and washouts in the region that encompasses parts of southern West Virginia, western Virginia and eastern Kentucky.

"All we've got is water and mud now. That's it," Cathy Hall said in Hurley, Va., weeping softly as she stood in a foot of soupy mud outside the Grundy National Bank branch office where she worked.

New Jersey post office renamed for passenger

CRANBURY, N.J. -- As his tearful widow urged onlookers to remember the victims of terrorism, the Cranbury post office was renamed Saturday for Todd Beamer, who uttered the words "Let's roll" before he died on a hijacked flight Sept. 11.

The structure in Beamer's hometown is now known as the Todd Beamer Post Office Building.

"As you pass Todd's plaque, please realize that terrorism is a real enemy with real victims," Lisa Beamer said. "If it wasn't for terrorism, none of us would be here today. I would be at home, playing baseball with my children."

Firefighters battle fire at Boston Harbor

BOSTON -- Firefighters battled a nine-alarm fire that raged through a vacant building in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston Harbor Saturday.

Smoke poured from the quarter-mile-long building, but the fire never threatened the USS Constitution -- the oldest commissioned warship in the world -- which is berthed nearby.

The building was empty when the fire began about 3:30 p.m., Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said. The blaze was under control within 90 minutes.

The cause was not immediately known.

Lady Bird Johnson in fair condition after stroke

AUSTIN, Texas -- Lady Bird Johnson was in fair condition in a hospital after suffering a mild stroke that left her unable to speak, her doctor said.

The 89-year-old former first lady was upbeat and aware of her surroundings Friday, said Dr. Rodney Horton, Johnson's cardiologist.

"We are still not certain how permanent this is or how severe this is," Horton said. "At the present time, she is fully understanding of everything that is being said, can nod appropriately."

Johnson was taken Thursday to Seton Medical Center after she awoke from a nap at her home and had trouble speaking and swallowing medication. Her doctor said she appears to have suffered damage to a small area on the left side of her brain.

Gay flag desecration results in charges

LEWISTON, Idaho -- The former student body president at the University of Idaho has been charged with trying to burn a flag stolen from a gay campus club.

Kasey Swisher, 21, faces up to a year in jail and $1,000 fine on a charge of malicious injury to property filed Friday.

Court documents say Swisher told police he participated March 31 in the attempted burning of the Gay Straight Alliance flag, then jumped on the flame-retardent flag when it would not burn.

-- From wire reports

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