USPS Plans Additional

Postage Price Increase

Gasoline prices that have millions of Americans digging deeper into their pockets are spurring thoughts by U.S. Postal Service officials that an increase in mail rates may be needed in 2007, after one already planned for next year.

The fact that it costs the mail agency $8 million for every penny increase in gasoline prices for its 212,000 vehicles is a major factor in a postal rate increase expected in 2007, after one next year, Postmaster General John E. Potter said.

A 2-cent increase in stamp prices scheduled to take place in 2006 will merely cover the cost of legally required escrow payments, so growing costs overall will force a second boost a year later, Potter said in an interview with the Associated Press.

* NORMAN, Okla. -- One person was killed in an explosion near a packed football stadium at the University of Oklahoma Saturday night in what authorities said appeared to be a suicide. The blast, in a traffic circle about 100 yards from Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, could be heard by some in the crowd of 84,000, but David L. Boren, president of the university, said no one was ever in danger. There was no information about the person who was killed, and no reports of injuries. A police bomb squad detonated explosives found at the site of the blast. The blast occurred shortly before 8 p.m., at about halftime of the Sooners' game against Kansas State. The game continued, with Oklahoma winning, 43 to 21.

* AURORA, Ill. -- A man being questioned in the deaths of four family members whose bodies were found in an upscale suburban Chicago home is the son of two of the victims and the sibling of another, Wisconsin authorities said. Eric C. Hanson, 28, was arrested on an Illinois warrant for intimidation and was being held in a Wisconsin jail, said Sheriff Steven R. Rowe of Columbia County, Wis. He was picked up Friday near Portage, Wis., about 175 miles from his home in Naperville, Ill., authorities said.

* KINGSTON, N.Y. -- An 800-pound moose thought to be looking for its mate on the New York Thruway was killed when it collided with a tractor-trailer instead. Moose, which can grow to 1,200 pounds, usually survive vehicular contests. In 20 years, eight moose were reported by the state conservation department to have been involved in collisions, and all were "reported leaving the scene of a collision."

* NEW YORK -- A Queens man was charged with murdering his live-in girlfriend, the latest twist in a week-long mystery that began when the slain woman's 4-year-old daughter was found wandering barefoot on a city street. Cesar Ascarrunz, 32, was arrested on murder charges two days after he was picked up by investigators, police said. Authorities were still searching Saturday for the remains of Monica Lozada-Rivaineira, 26. Police were led to Ascarrunz by a dozen tips that came in from the public after Valery Lozada appeared on television Thursday. The child remained in foster care Saturday.

* MADISON, Wis. -- The University of Wisconsin at Madison will house the nation's first bank of embryonic stem cells, according to Gov. Jim Doyle (D). The National Institutes of Health chose the school as the site for the National Stem Cell Bank, which will house all lines of embryonic stem cells available for federally funded research and will distribute the lines to researchers around the world, Doyle's office said.

-- From News Services