Accord Reached on Use

Of Great Lakes Water

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Negotiators for eight states and two Canadian provinces have reached an agreement aimed at preventing outsiders from raiding Great Lakes water.

The pact, reached after four years of talks, also seeks to encourage conservation of water by the states and provinces around the Great Lakes.

The agreement was motivated largely by fears that states in the booming -- and arid -- Southwest will try tapping into the lakes, which hold 90 percent of the nation's fresh surface water, as their populations and political clout grow.

The final version has been submitted to the region's governors and premiers, who are expected to sign it during a meeting Dec. 13 in Milwaukee. The state legislatures and Congress will be asked to approve a binding compact carrying out the accord.

* GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- A 37-year-old woman charged with child molestation after marrying her son's 15-year-old friend was released from jail Friday. Lisa Lynette Clark, who says she is pregnant with the boy's baby, posted $10,000 bond and told reporters she could not talk about the case. She is not allowed to have any contact with the teenager. Clark was arrested the day after she married the boy in the driveway of a retired probate judge's home Nov. 8. The two were wed under a Georgia law that allows a couple to marry without consent and regardless of age if the female is pregnant.

* TAMPA -- A high school senior was fatally shot outside a fast-food restaurant after fistfights broke out among youths who had gathered there after school, authorities said. An 18-year-old man was arrested. The shots were fired by a man in a white van after several fights between groups of youths in a crowded McDonald's parking lot across from King High School.

* APPLETON, Wis. -- A 75-year-old man was arrested at a group home and charged with murdering a night watchman during a robbery at a car dealership nearly 40 years ago. District Attorney Carrie Schneider said authorities decided to charge Robert D. Mitchell after he recently confirmed information that investigators had received from others. In court papers, authorities said Mitchell had confessed to involvement in the crime to a friend and a girlfriend. Mitchell, who spent the majority of his time since the 1968 murder in prison for other offenses, was arrested Thursday and appeared in court Friday in a wheelchair.

* MIAMI -- Tropical Storm Gamma -- the 24th named storm of the busiest hurricane season on record -- formed off the coast of Central America, and forecasters said it could threaten Florida by the beginning of next week. Tropical storm warnings were issued for the coast of Belize and the Bay Islands of Honduras. Mexico issued a tropical storm watch for the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, which was hit hard in October by Hurricane Wilma. The long-term track projected by the National Hurricane Center indicated that Gamma may take a path similar to Wilma's and head northeast toward Florida.

-- From News Services