Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Briefs

Article excerpt

NATION

MONTANA

Quick Wildfire Sweeps Custer National Forest A fast-moving wildfire raced across thousands of acres of the Custer National Forest in Montana, burning as many as 20 summer homes, injuring two firefighters and prompting an appeal for reinforcements. The wind was responsible for fueling the fire at the forest, in south-central Montana, allowing it to grow in two days from 650 acres to 8,000 acres. Elsewhere in the West, the nation's worst fire season in 39 years seemed to slacken Thursday under cooler weather. In Oregon, fire bosses were able to send home 100 firefighters. Eleven fires totaling more than 212,000 acres were burning Thursday in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, California and Colorado. A week ago, the West had 52 fires burning almost half a million acres. AP ***** SOUTH CAROLINA Mechanical Failure Called Likely In Lake Drownings A man whose truck plunged into the lake near Union, S.C., where Susan Smith killed her sons, was sober at the time, Sheriff Howard Wells said. Mechanical failure is the most likely explanation for the seven drownings, he said. Tim Phillips had no drugs in his system and a blood-alcohol level of 0.017, the equivalent of half a beer, Sheriff Howard Wells said Wednesday. There was also no evidence of a heart attack or seizure, Wells said. "The case is beginning to lean more and more toward vehicular problems," he said. Phillips' truck rolled down a grassy bank into John D. Long Lake on Saturday night while his family and friends were visiting the memorial to Smith's two sons, who drowned in 1994. Phillips died along with his wife, Angie; their three children, ages 4 months to 4 years; Carl Sidney White, 29; and Austin Dakota Roodvoets, 3. AP ***** WASHINGTON `Bill Emerson' Food Bill Unanimously Clears House The House unanimously passed and sent to the White House on Thursday a bill to protect food donors from legal liability for their donations. President Bill Clinton is expected to sign it. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Pat Danner, D-Mo., who named it the "Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act," in honor of the late congressman from Cape Girardeau, Mo. …

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