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Crews monitor NM nuclear repository for radiation
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:09

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Officials checking the presence of airborne radiation at an underground site in southeastern New Mexico where the U.S. government seals away low-grade nuclear waste say surface tests have detected no contamination.

Samples were taken at several sites around the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant after an air monitor found radiation on the underground levels of the facility around 11:30 p.m. Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy said in a news release.

No workers were underground at the time and no injuries or damages have been reported. A fire at the site earlier this month prompted an evacuation.

"Monitors at the WIPP boundary have confirmed there is no danger to human health or the environment," the department said late Saturday night. "No contamination has been found on any equipment, personnel, or facilities."

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Plane with 18 people missing in Nepal's mountains
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, 16 February 2014 07:06

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A Nepal Airlines plane with 18 people on board flying in bad weather was missing Sunday and feared to have crashed in Nepal's mountainous west, officials said.

The plane left Sunday from the resort town of Pokhara after making an unscheduled fuel stop, but contact was lost a few minutes later, said Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal official Ram Hari Sharma.

Another aviation official, Dharmendra Pandey, said villagers in Argakhachi district reported that the plane had crashed in a remote mountain area. He said police were trying to reach the area.

The Twin Otter plane had 15 passengers and three crew members on board and was heading toward the town of Jumla, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of the capital, Katmandu.

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Death toll now five in Minneapolis duplex fire
Written by AMY FORLITI, Associated Press   
Saturday, 15 February 2014 06:51

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brandi Craig awoke before dawn Friday to a desperate scene as firefighters smashed their way into a duplex that was engulfed in flames across the street in her north Minneapolis neighborhood while tenants, including a family with seven young children, shouted for help.

"They were all screaming," Craig said, her face twisting with emotion. "Once they stopped screaming, it was over."

The fire killed five people, including at least three children, and injured several others, officials said. The cause of the blaze was being investigated, though fire officials say it appeared to have started on the second floor. The names of the dead were not immediately released.

Among those injured was Troy Lewis, according to neighbors and his landlord. Lewis was in satisfactory condition Friday night at Hennepin County Medical Center. Two of his daughters, Shaca and Electra Lewis, were in critical condition.

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Native American site leaves Miami in quandary
Written by CHRISTINE ARMARIO, Associated Press   
Saturday, 15 February 2014 06:56

MIAMI (AP) — In a vacant lot between gleaming hotels in downtown Miami, are a series of holes carved into the bedrock that form eight circles.

At first glance, the site seems like an eyesore, but it's here where archaeologists say they have uncovered a major prehistoric Native American village, one of the largest and earliest examples of urban planning ever uncovered in North America.

It's also where a movie theater, condos and 34-story hotel are expected to be built.

The discovery has pitted developers against archaeologists and historic preservationists. The dispute comes as an increasing number of Native American sites are being uncovered around the country with advances in technology and a greater understanding of the subtle markers left behind to look for. The discoveries pose difficult questions for cities such as Miami that must decide whether it is best to preserve the remains of an ancient society or, often times, destroy it in hopes of revitalizing a new one.

"Let's be honest with each other," said Eugene Stearns, the attorney representing MDM Development Group, which owns the property and is eager to move forward with construction. "Every great city is built on the shards of a former great city."

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Small quake in South Carolina felt hundreds of miles away
Written by JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press LISA J. ADAMS, Associated Press   
Saturday, 15 February 2014 06:49

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A small earthquake shook South Carolina and Georgia late Friday, shaking homes and rattling residents hundreds of miles away.

The quake happened at 10:23 p.m. EST and had a preliminary magnitude of 4.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey's website. It was centered 7 miles west of the town of Edgefield, S.C. , and was felt as far west as Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, N.C., each about 150 miles away.

"It's a large quake for that area," said USGS geophysicist Dale Grant. "It was felt all over the place."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported two nearby dams on the Savannah River appeared to be undamaged, but planned a thorough inspection Saturday morning, Edgefield County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Casey said.

Casey said the quake was centered in a sparsely populated part of Edgefield County where there are a lot more rabbits and deer than people. He was driving around and hadn't found any damage, but he expects some reports of minor damages to come in once the sun rises.

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