Sewer Gas Kills 3 Members

Of Cruise Ship's Crew

LOS ANGELES -- Three members of a cruise ship's crew were killed by toxic sewer gas Friday as they repaired a waste pipe aboard the ship, which had just returned to the Port of Los Angeles.

No passengers were injured, but 19 other crew members from Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas were examined for possible exposure to the toxic gas, authorities said.

Passengers were leaving the ship at the time of the incident, the company said.

Officials first identified the gas as methane but later determined that it was hydrogen sulfide, which occurs in sewage, said Barbara Yu, a supervising hazardous-materials specialist for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The three crew members probably died within 30 seconds of encountering the gas, Yu said.

Judge Rejects New Charges Against

Former Connecticut Governor

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A state judge rejected an arrest warrant for imprisoned former governor John G. Rowland, ending a state ethics investigation and sparing the once-popular governor a new round of legal battles.

According to Chief State's Attorney Christopher Morano, the judge did not think Rowland broke any law when he signed on as a $5,000-a-month consultant for a construction company that was in a contract dispute with the University of Connecticut.

Rowland, who is serving a year-long federal prison sentence for corruption, had been under state scrutiny for months as prosecutors investigated whether he violated the "revolving door" statute, which prohibits officials from lobbying their former agencies.

Church Shooter Provided Clues

Before Rampage, Report Says

BROOKFIELD, Wis. -- A man who killed seven fellow churchgoers said weeks before his shooting rampage that he was angry with his church and that its meeting place was "going to be on the news," according to police records.

Terry Ratzmann made the comments three to four weeks earlier as he talked to a clerk at a hardware store, Sgt. Jason Pfeiffer said in a report among more than 800 pages of witness statements and other investigative records that describe the March shootings.

The records show that investigators did not find a specific reason Ratzmann was angry at the Living Church of God he attended. The group met at a Brookfield hotel. On March 12, Ratzmann walked into the back of the meeting room with a 9mm Beretta handgun about 20 minutes after a service began, and witnesses said he methodically shot people before killing himself.

* MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Maria has formed in the Atlantic but poses no threat to land, forecasters said. Maria, the 13th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, had top sustained winds of 50 mph and was about 1,125 miles southeast of Bermuda.

-- From News Services