Immigrants deported to Central America

About 40 Central American immigrants detained briefly in New Mexico were deported Monday, officials confirmed.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the immigrants were placed on a plane in Roswell and flown to Honduras, but the agency did not say when they arrived. The adults and their children previously were housed at a temporary detention center in Artesia, N.M., the agency said.

More immigrants being held in Artesia will soon be sent back to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in an effort to quickly remove immigrants who were part of a recent surge along the U.S.-Mexico border, authorities said.

The deported immigrants are part of the nearly 82,000 migrants from Central America who have already been returned this fiscal year, an ICE spokeswoman said. Last month, the Obama administration announced plans to convert the Artesia facility into one of several temporary sites being established to deal with the influx of women and children fleeing gang violence and poverty in Central America.

— Associated Press

LIRR talks break down, strike set

Talks to avert a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) strike broke down on Monday and the unions representing workers at the country’s largest commuter railroad said they were proceeding with plans to strike on Sunday.

“No further negotiations are scheduled,” union negotiator Anthony Simon said in a statement after announcing that talks with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had collapsed.

A “big gulf” between management and the unions representing 5,400 workers scuttled the talks, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast told a news conference.

A strike would leave some 300,000 daily commuters from New York’s suburbs on Long Island scrambling for alternative transportation.

— Reuters

Court approves ocean seismic blasts

A federal appeals court on Monday cleared the way for seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey that will blast the floor of the Atlantic Ocean with loud noises as part of a climate change research project.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit rejected New Jersey’s request to block the testing off Long Beach Island, which aims to use acoustic research to examine sediment dating back tens of millions of years. The barrier island stretches along the central New Jersey coast for about 18 miles.

Environmentalists, fishing groups and some elected officials oppose the work, saying it could harm or kill marine life, including dolphins, turtles and whales. The groups planning the research say they will do everything possible to minimize disruptions to marine life, including stopping the project when animals are seen nearby.

— Associated Press

Oregon fire destroys six homes: A Southern Oregon wildfire destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings, and dozens of additional blazes ignited after thousands of lightning strikes lashed the state. The destructive Moccasin Hill fire began Sunday near the ranching town of Sprague River, about 25 miles northeast of Klamath Falls, a fire spokeswoman said Monday. Many residents keep horses and cattle on plots of 3 to 5 acres, and neighbors have been stepping in to shelter both stock and pets, she said.

George W. Bush has knee partially replaced: Former president George W. Bush, 68, had his left knee partially replaced at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago on Saturday — seven weeks after having the same procedure on his right knee, spokesman Freddy Ford said Monday. Ford said the operation and the one on May 24 were both outpatient procedures performed by the same doctor.

Foul odor leads to evacuation: Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused a mysterious smell that led to a voluntary evacuation of about 150 homes in suburban Philadelphia, officials said Monday. The contaminated water got into the sump pumps of the town houses in Skippack and residents first reported the smell on Sunday evening.

— From news services