National roundup: Thousands in Colorado celebrate traditional pot holiday

April 20
COLORADO
Thousands celebrate annual pot holiday

Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state to legalize recreational marijuana.

The 4:20 p.m. smoke-out in the shadow of the Colorado capitol was the capstone of an Easter weekend dedicated to cannabis in states nationwide. Although it is still against the law to smoke marijuana publicly in Colorado, police reported only 130 citations or arrests during the two-day event, 92 for marijuana consumption.

At 4:20 p.m. local time, an enormous plume of marijuana smoke wafted into the sky above downtown Denver. The Civic Center Park event was the most visible sign of the pot holiday’s transformation. It started as a defiant gathering of marijuana activists, but this year the event has an official city permit and is organized by an events management company.

In Trenton, N.J., speakers urged a crowd of about 150 gathered at the statehouse to push state and federal lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize marijuana and called on Gov. Chris Christie (R) to do what he can to help medical marijuana patients.

In San Francisco, revelers gathered at Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill, which has become the go-to spot for the unsanctioned festival every year. City officials said they would crack down on illegal parking, camping, drug sales, underage drinking and open alcohol containers.

— Associated Press

SPACE EXPLORATION
Astronauts receive supplies by Dragon

The space station’s astronauts have received a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies.

The shipment arrived Sunday morning via a Dragon, instead of a bunny.

The SpaceX company’s cargo ship, Dragon, spent two days chasing the international space station following its launch from Cape Canaveral. Astronauts used a robot arm to capture the capsule 260 miles above Earth.

More than two tons of food, spacewalking gear and experiments fill the Dragon, including mating fruit flies, a little veggie hothouse and legs for the resident robot. NASA also packed family care packages for the six crew members.

On Wednesday, the stakes will be higher when the crew conducts a spacewalk to replace a dead computer. NASA wants a reliable backup in place as soon as possible. This one failed April 11.

— Associated Press

FOOD SAFETY
Kraft recalls wieners that may have cheese

Kraft Foods is recalling 96,000 pounds of its Oscar Mayer wieners because they may mistakenly contain cheese.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Sunday that Kraft’s Oscar Mayer Classic Wieners may instead contain the company’s Classic Cheese Dogs.

The agency said the product labels are incorrect and do not reflect the ingredients associated with the pasteurized cheese in the cheese dogs. Those products were made with milk, a known allergen, which is not declared on the label.

The products were made in early March and bear the number “Est. 537H” inside the USDA mark of inspection. People with questions about the recall are being asked to contact Kraft’s consumer relations department at 855-688-4386.

— Associated Press

Driver crashes car into Calif. home, kills teen girl:A 16-year-old Southern California girl asleep in her bed was killed when a driver accused of being drunk crashed his vehicle into her home, authorities said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that Roberto Rodriguez, 20, of Palmdale drove his Nissan Pathfinder into the corner of an apartment building at 3:50 a.m. Sunday. When deputies arrived, they found the SUV embedded in the building and the girl dead inside. Rodriguez was treated for minor injuries and was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter. He’s being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

N.Y. fire that killed two children accidental: A basement blaze that killed 4-year-old half siblings in New York was accidentally set by children playing with fire, authorities said Sunday. The twin of one of the children survived the blaze that was reported to authorities just before midnight Saturday in a two-story brick home in Queens. A boy and a girl were pronounced dead at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. Police identified the boy as Jai’Launi Tinglin and the girl as Ayini Tinglin. They shared the same father. Their sister — Jai’Launi’s twin — was hospitalized in stable condition at St. John’s.

— From news services

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