1 Girl Scout Killed, 21 Hurt in Ride
EUREKA, Mo.--A wagon carrying 72 Girl Scouts on a hayride careened down a hill and overturned Friday night, killing 12-year-old Rachel McManemy and injuring 21 other girls from the St. Raphael School in St. Louis.
The driver of the wagon at the Rocking J Ranch, about 10 miles north of Eureka in eastern Missouri, told investigators that the tractor pulling the wagon went out of gear. Authorities were checking other potential causes, including whether the brakes were faulty.
NAACP to Boycott South Carolina
LINTHICUM, Md.--The NAACP's national board unanimously approved yesterday a tourism boycott of South Carolina that will remain in effect until the state stops flying the Confederate flag from its Capitol. It also called on the Justice Department to investigate whether the official display of the symbol infringes on the civil rights of blacks.
Beginning Jan. 1, the group will use the full force of its 500,000 members in 2,200 branches to pressure the state legislature to lower the flag or risk losing the estimated $280 million that black travelers spend there each year.
The South Carolina branch first sought the boycott in July. The controversy already has prompted 42 state and national organizations to cancel gatherings there, NAACP officials said.
Flag supporters say the symbol represents Southern heritage and honors those who died in the Civil War. South Carolina, the only state to fly the flag over its statehouse, raised it in 1962 to commemorate the war's centennial. Legislators have quashed past attempts to remove the symbol, including a lawsuit by business leaders.
Calif. Brush Fire Prompts Evacuation
BELLA VISTA, Calif.--Residents living near this rural Northern California town were hastily evacuated because of a fast-moving brush fire that grew from 3,000 to 15,000 acres in a single afternoon.
Fifty to 70 homes and other structures were consumed by the blaze, which broke out about 4:15 a.m. in an area that experienced a similar brush fire just weeks ago.
"We have nothing left in this town," said California Department of Forestry spokeswoman Rose Wyckoff.
Residents of the towns of Millville, Jones Valley and Palo Cedro were also evacuated. The fire was consuming heavy timber in some areas and grassy brush in others.
More than 500 firefighters were working the blaze, which was intensified by warm temperatures and 25-mph winds. The cause of the fire was not known.
"We're praying for rain," Wyckoff said.
N.C. School to Raffle Off 5 Guns
HALIFAX, N.C.--A private school plans to raffle off guns, provoking criticism that the fund-raiser shows insensitivity to acts of school violence.
John Hardison, headmaster of the Hobgood Academy, said the raffle will go on despite the complaints, adding that the prizes--five hunting rifles and shotguns--reflect the important place hunting occupies in the community's culture and heritage.
The academy, a kindergarten-through-12th-grade institution, said it bought the guns from a reputable dealer and will require winners to meet legal requirements. The money raised will be used to support the Future Farmers of America class.
Columbine Shooter's Parents to Sue
DENVER--The parents of Columbine gunman Dylan Klebold alleged Friday that Jefferson County authorities are partly responsible for the school shooting rampage that left 15 people dead.
An attorney for Thomas and Susan Klebold served notice of their intent to sue Sheriff John Stone and two other sheriff's officials for negligence. They alleged that the officials failed to inform them about the potentially violent tendencies of Eric Harris, 18, and his relationship with their 17-year-old son.
Klebold and Harris hurled bombs and fired shots in Columbine High School on April 20, killing 12 students and a teacher before committing suicide.
The families of the 13 victims also have filed notices of plans to sue the county and school district.