Indian Burial Site Protected From Flooding

CHICAGO--A federal judge in South Dakota yesterday ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers not to raise the level of a reservoir along the Missouri River before removing human skeletal remains scattered on the surface of a former Indian burial site.

But U.S. District Judge Lawrence L. Piersol ruled that after the bones on the surface are removed, possibly within days, the engineers may flood Lake Francis Case, about 100 miles southwest of Sioux Falls, and cover up more skeletal remains and coffins that were partially unearthed when the corps lowered the level of the reservoir last month.

He urged the corps to negotiate with the members of the Yankton Sioux Tribe in a "culturally sensitive way" to reach an agreement on a schedule for flooding the lake.

Tribal leaders, who sued the corps to prevent it from raising the lake level until they completed mapping and excavation of the burial site, said the ruling was a partial victory because it set a precedent for the protection of sacred Indian sites.

Tribal spokeswoman Tessa Lehto said corps officials and a tribal archaeologist will begin mapping the grave site Thursday so that when the reservoir level drops next fall the tribe can begin exhuming all of the bodies and rebury them according to tribal customs.

3 Chinese Stowaways Found Dead in Ship Cargo

SEATTLE--Three Chinese stowaways were found dead this week in a cargo container that arrived aboard a ship from Hong Kong--the first known deaths in what has suddenly become one of the most prevalent methods of smuggling immigrants into the United States.

Crammed into 40-foot, canvas-topped, corrugated metal boxes, the stowaways try to survive on bottled water and little food for the two-week voyage from China.

On Monday, federal officials boarded the Cape May, a Japanese-owned freighter that left Hong Kong for Seattle on Dec. 27, and found three dead Chinese and 15 others in threadbare clothes and bare feet. All required medical care; seven remained hospitalized.

Yesterday, 19 more immigrants, all in relatively good health, were found in a container from a ship that likewise docked in Hong Kong before arriving here.

Mother Who Abused Quads Draws 172-Year Sentence

PHOENIX--A Phoenix area mother, convicted of shaking her young quadruplets so violently that they sustained lasting injuries, was sentenced to 172 years and six months in an Arizona prison.

Elizabeth Shannon Whittle, 25, will spend the rest of her life in jail for 13 counts of child abuse inflicted on her premature babies--Anthony Jr., Megan, Robert and Damian. The children suffered skull fractures, broken bones and brain damage. Authorities have said Anthony Jr. remains blind and deaf. The other three have mostly recovered but suffer developmental disorders.

The babies' father, Anthony Perez Sr., 23, was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of probation for failing to protect the quadruplets or obtain swift medical attention. The children are in state care.