Quieter Finish Predicted

For Hurricane Season

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A team of Colorado State University forecasters predicted a much quieter finish to the Atlantic hurricane season.

Forecasters William Gray and Phil Klotzbach said the five named storms that affected Florida in August and September were unparalleled in history going back 130 years.

"It is not the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic basin that has been so unusual, but rather the rare combination of high hurricane activity and very favorable surrounding hurricane-steering conditions that drove so many storms from the deep tropics across Florida in such a short time period," Gray said on Friday. "This year has been a once-in-a-lifetime kind of year."

* STONEHAM, Mass. -- A car with an elderly man behind the wheel and a disabled-driver placard on the rearview mirror hopped a curb outside an elementary school as classes were dismissed, pinning children and adults against a concrete wall and injuring 12 people, at least four of them critically, authorities said.

* DES MOINES -- A suspicious powder that did not initially test positive for anthrax or ricin was found in an envelope at the Des Moines Register, forcing employees to evacuate for about four hours. The envelope, with a return address in West Virginia or Virginia, contained the message "To the Media: This is snail poison. We are no safer with Bush than before."

* SALT LAKE CITY -- Police found Lori Hacking's body in a landfill. Her husband, Mark, has been charged with murder.

* EAGLE, Colo. -- The woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape told investigators that the NBA star ignored her entreaties to stop and said there was no doubt he heard her "because every time I said 'No' he tightened his hold around me," according to documents from her interview with sheriff's investigators the day after the incident at a Vail area resort in June 2003. The woman said that she believed she led Bryant to think she wanted him to hug or kiss her, but that she did not intend to have sex with him. Bryant said the sex was consensual. The rape charge against him was dropped last month.

* MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- A state appeals court unanimously upheld former Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry's murder convictions and life sentences for a 1963 church bombing that killed four black girls in Birmingham. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Cherry's argument that the 37-year delay between the crime and his indictment in 2000 prejudiced his case. Cherry, 74, is serving four consecutive life sentences.

* CLEVELAND, Tex. -- Four teenagers carpooling to school were killed, along with the driver of a second car, as they tried to pass three 18-wheelers on a two-lane road. The students were Matthew Montemayor, 17; his sister Jennie, 15; Brenlin Russell Johnson, 18; and Gina Adana, 17. The fifth victim was Willard Bell, 32, police said.

* NEW YORK -- Abdallah Higazy, who was jailed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on suspicion of having an aviation radio in his hotel room, cannot collect damages from the hotel or from an FBI agent, a judge ruled. Higazy was freed after another hotel guest claimed ownership of the radio.

-- From News Services