Civilian in Space Exults

CAPE CANAVERAL -- A rich entrepreneur scientist who bought his own ticket to the international space station said from orbit Tuesday that it was worth the millions he paid.

"This is a dream come true," Gregory Olsen said at a news conference broadcast from the space station. "Just to look out and see the Earth from about 230 miles up is just great."

As for the reported $20 million he paid for the 10-day trip, "It's like the price-and-value argument. This is something I wanted to do, I love doing, so to me, yes, it's worth the money."

With his launch aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket Saturday from Kazakhstan, Olsen, 60, became the world's third paying space tourist. He made his fortune with Sensors Unlimited Inc. of Princeton, N.J., a company that makes devices for fiber-optic communications and infrared imaging.

Boat Capacity Rules Studied

LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. -- Days before a tour boat capsized in the Adirondack Mountains, killing 20 elderly people, the Coast Guard began rethinking its passenger-weight calculations to take into account fatter Americans.

At the time it flipped over, the 38-foot Ethan Allen was just under its capacity of 48 passengers -- a figure that was arrived at by using a 1960 Coast Guard standard that assumes a 140-pound average for each man, woman and child, authorities said.

Investigators have said that too much weight may have been a factor and suggested the Coast Guard standard might have to be revised.

Police said the boat's operator, Shoreline Cruises, could face a fine of $25 to $100 for failing to have a second crew member on board to aid the captain, Richard Paris, 74. A state inspector determined in May the boat needed two crew members.

* SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal appeals court upheld a deal between city and Mormon church leaders that gave the church control over a downtown plaza. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit said traditional public forums can be sold to private groups. The American Civil Liberties Union wanted the deal overturned, arguing it was illegal to give the church police power in a public area.

* FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency asked more than 7,600 Floridians in 60 counties to return $30.3 million in emergency aid dispensed last year when a record four hurricanes slammed the state. Most of the payments FEMA wants back duplicated insurance settlements.

* SAN FRANCISCO -- Nine people were charged with bilking the Red Cross of at least $25,000 donated for Hurricane Katrina victims, the FBI said. Four suspects were contract workers at a Red Cross national call center in Bakersfield, said U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott. The other five allegedly picked up checks to which they were not entitled.

* ATLANTA -- A sixth immigrant farmworker died and two men were arrested after robberies and beatings last week at trailer parks. Police said Stacy Bernard Sims, 19, and Jamie Underwood, 22, are accused of shooting and beating a Hispanic man at a Norman Park trailer park and then raping his wife.

-- From News Services