7 Marines Are Feared Lost

In Helicopter Ocean Crash

SAN DIEGO--Seven Marines were feared lost at sea yesterday after a Marine Corps helicopter crashed while ferrying troops between ships 14 miles off Point Loma.

Of 18 Marines aboard the CH-46 Sea Knight, 11 were rescued from the water just minutes after the early afternoon crash, which occurred as the helicopter took off from the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard on its way to the oiler Pecos.

But rescue efforts by the Navy and Coast Guard failed to find any sign of the other seven Marines or the 23,000-pound helicopter. As night fell, rescue personnel continued their search with use of night goggles and infrared radar.

Near Branson, Mo., six people died when a twin-engine Cessna Citation crashed en route to the College of the Ozarks, authorities said.

A twin-engine Beech Baron 58 en route from Hanover County, Va., to Teterboro, N.J., crashed in a residential area in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., killing all four people on the plane and injuring four others on the ground, authorities said.

* CAPE CANAVERAL--Space shuttle Discovery's rescue mission to the Hubble Space Telescope has been delayed until late next week, at least, so workers can replace a dented fuel line. If Discovery lifts off Thursday on the 10-day mission, that would put the shuttle and its seven-man crew in orbit over Christmas, the first holiday mission since 1973.

* FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--Nine people were indicted in a $29 million mortgage fraud scheme that generated waves of foreclosures and evictions in some of Florida's poorest neighborhoods. Prosecutors alleged that James Christenson, 33, organized the scheme and laundered more than $21 million through bank accounts he controlled while failing to pay mortgages on the properties, collecting rents and then letting the buildings fall into foreclosure.

* BOSTON--Reputed New England mob boss Francis "Cadillac Frank" Salemme pleaded guilty to more than a dozen counts of racketeering, loansharking and extortion, but murder charges in the 1967 killings of mob associate Richard Grasso, rival bookmaker Edward "Wimpy" Bennett and his brothers William and Walter will be dismissed or suppressed, officials said. Salemme's former co-defendants, Steve "The Rifleman" Flemmi and James J. "Whitey" Bulger, informed on Salemme and other mob rivals, earlier testimony showed.

* NEWARK--Computer programmer David Smith, 31, pleaded guilty to disrupting public communications by infecting e-mail systems around the world last March with a computer virus he named "Melissa" after a stripper he knew. Federal prosecutors said the virus cost $80 million and infected a million computers.

* COLLEGE PARK, Ga.--A commission set up to develop a disposal site for low-level radioactive waste in the Southeast demanded that North Carolina return $80 million in startup money and pay a $10 million fine for not building the dump.

* WINNSBORO, S.C.--Pit bull owner Frank Paul Speagle, 22, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of John Mickle, 45, who was mauled Saturday by Speagle's two dogs while taking a walk in the middle of the night. Authorities said the dogs bit Mickle more than 1,000 times and crushed his windpipe.