Kansas Bank Hostages Disarm

Woman After 8-Hour Standoff

OLATHE, Kan.--A hostage standoff that lasted nearly eight hours ended early yesterday when two of the people being held captive disarmed the woman who had entered the bank where they worked. SWAT team members arrested her.

Phouvanpheng Nicki Siriboury, 23, was charged in federal court in Kansas City, Kan., with one count of attempted bank robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm at the Bank of America branch in suburban Kansas City.

No one was injured during the standoff with Siriboury, who had said she was upset about losing her job and had no hope for the future.

Of the six hostages, four were released Friday evening. Five other Bank of America employees who hid were able to escape.

* Two children, their father and his parents were killed in a house fire in Sun River Terrace, Ill., about 50 miles south of Chicago. In Morrow, Ga., Tim Morgan, 36, his wife, Amy, 26, and her sister Rebecca Bradshaw, 30, died along with an unidentified man in another house fire.

* DES MOINES--Two prison guards were fired and a third was suspended for handcuffing an inmate in a stairwell last month so he could be spanked by other inmates at Fort Dodge Correctional Facility, apparently because it was his birthday, officials said. "It was horseplay, but as a practical matter it was inappropriate use of force," said W.L. "Kip" Kautzky, director of the Iowa Department of Corrections.

* READING, Pa.--A machine shop foreman shot and killed his wife and her three children, then called 911 to admit to the slayings before committing suicide, authorities said. The bodies of Henry Peffer, 47, and his wife, Kimberly, 27, were found in a breakfast nook in their modest brick home, and Kimberly Peffer's three children, ages 6, 7 and 12, were found in an upstairs bedroom, the coroner said.

* BEND, Ore.--Bonneville Power Administration crews have re-erected and returned to service a power line transmission tower toppled by vandals, the agency said. The tower supported lines that carry surplus electricity from the Pacific Northwest to California, but no loss of service occurred because a computer instantly switched the load to other lines.

* PHILADELPHIA--About 1,000 residents of the posh Dorchester apartment building on Rittenhouse Square were forced from their homes when a water pipe burst and caused a power failure as they were returning from New Year's Eve celebrations.

* EXTON, Pa.--A man accused with his wife of abandoning their disabled son at a Delaware hospital has been granted a three-month paid leave from the chemical company he runs. Richard Kelso, president and chief executive officer of PQ Corp., requested the leave Wednesday to deal with "family matters," said John Reed, a company spokesman. Kelso, 62, and his wife Dawn Kelso, 45, were charged Monday with misdemeanor counts of child abandonment and conspiracy for leaving 10-year-old Steven Kelso at a children's hospital with a note saying they could no longer care for the boy, who has cerebral palsy.

CAPTION: The Two Street string band performs in Philadelphia's Mummers Parade, the city's century-old New Year's Day masquerade tradition that evolved from old European mid-winter revels.