State Budget Deadlock

Closes Minnesota Offices

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Some state offices closed and about 9,000 state employees were jobless Friday after parts of Minnesota's government shut down for the first time in state history, leaving most rest stops closed for the Independence Day weekend.

The shutdown came at midnight after lawmakers failed late Thursday to pass even a stopgap plan to keep the government up and running while negotiators keep working. On Friday morning, legislative leaders said they hoped to make another try at quickly getting the government back in operation.

Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said Democrats wanted a government shutdown to embarrass him in the run-up to his 2006 reelection campaign.

'Rude' 911 Dispatcher

In Colorado Resigns

AURORA, Colo. -- A 911 dispatcher resigned after saying "That's not my problem" during a call from a woman reporting an apartment fire.

Fire chief Casey Jones said Tuesday that the dispatcher, whose name was not released, did not give a reason for resigning.

The dispatcher's comments became public as Jones addressed complaints that firefighters did not respond quickly enough to a June 10 fire, even though a fire station was only a few blocks away.

Jones called the dispatcher "rude" and said the calls were mishandled.

* BOCA GRANDE, Fla. -- A shark bit an Austrian tourist on the ankle Friday as the man stood in chest-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico. The attack came days after sharks killed one tourist and seriously injured another elsewhere in the state. Armin Projer, 19, was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, Fla., where he was reported to be in good condition.

* FARMINGTON, N.M. -- A 15-year-old Boy Scout on an overnight camping trip died after he was thrown from a raft and swept away by a harsh undertow, authorities said. Chase Hathenbruck was pulled from the Animas River nearly five miles downstream from where he fell in Thursday and was pronounced dead at the scene, state police Lt. Jimmy Glascock said. The teenager had been sitting on the edge of the raft before he fell.

* HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from a white man convicted in 2002 of murdering a black woman during racial unrest more than 30 years earlier. The court offered no comment in the one-sentence statement issued Wednesday in the case of Robert N. Messersmith, 56, who is serving a sentence of nine to 19 years for second-degree murder in the 1969 death of Lillie Belle Allen.

* SACRAMENTO -- California entered its new fiscal year Friday without a budget for the fifth time in a row after a deadlock that centered on whether the state could afford nearly $1 billion for health care and education programs.

-- From News Services