National Monuments Proposed

Federal land along Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona would receive new protection under proposals made yesterday by the Interior Department to create three new national monuments and expand a fourth.

At a White House ceremony, President Clinton said he would make a decision early next year on the recommendations. Clinton also proposed buying 18 sites of historical or natural significance under his "lands legacy" initiative. The sites included land surrounding the first home of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta and habitat for sea turtles and manatees on Florida's Pelican Island.

The proposal for national monuments, announced by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, would create a 1 million-acre Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument to protect the watershed on the north rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona; a 71,000-acre national monument protecting prehistoric rock inscriptions and ancient ruins north of Phoenix; and another monument covering thousands of small islands, rocks and reefs off the California coast that serve as habitat for wildlife such as sea otters and birds. The proposal would also expand by 8,000 acres the Pinnacles National Monument south of San Jose, Calif.

Although the land covered by the proposals already is owned by the U.S. government, a national monument designation would put it off-limits to mining and other forms of development as designated by Clinton.

ATF Chief: Suspect May Be Dead

The departing director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms says he believes suspected serial bomber Eric Rudolph is dead. The task force leading the manhunt, however, said the search will continue.

"My gut instinct is that he is still there, in a cave, and he's dead," ATF Director John Magaw told USA Today on Monday. "There hasn't been any missing food. There haven't been any missing shoes. No cabins have been broken into. Life isn't sustainable over this period of time if he stayed in there."

Rudolph, 33, is charged in six bombings, including the fatal attacks during the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and at a Birmingham, Ala., abortion clinic in 1998.

Nursing Home Penalties Broadened

The Clinton administration is broadening the category of nursing home violations for which state inspectors must impose immediate penalties including fines of up to $10,000.

The change expands the instant-penalty violations to include nursing homes that are found in two or more consecutive inspections to have caused harm, through abuse or neglect, to even a single resident. Violations would include excessive weight loss or severe bedsores.

Previously, immediate penalties were mandatory only for nursing homes that showed a pattern of harm and involved multiple residents.