Watercooler Stories

By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  May 3, 2002 at 1:00 AM
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A group of labor, consumer and environmental organizations says it's gone to court to try to stop a new White House initiative that would let thousands of Mexican trucks run on American highways. The suit was filed in a San Francisco court less than 48 hours before regulations on the travel of Mexican trucks on U.S. highways became final.

The suit -- filed jointly by the Teamsters, the Environmental Law Foundation and Public Citizen -- charges that not enough studies have been undertaken to prove the introduction of the "foreign" trucks will not have a detrimental effect on American roadways and the environment.

The New York Times says the head of the Teamsters says he is prepared to make sure that Mexican trucks follow the letter of the new regulations.


The fire dubbed by Arizona officials as the "Ryan fire" will be remembered as a major blaze. After consuming thousands of acres of ranchland in that state, "fire eaters" finally got it under control.

The Arizona Republic says Fort Huachuca was all but shut down at mid-week because of the blaze. Army officials say the damage to the military base was confined to the northwest sector. Power was out for more than 15 hours in the area.

More than 36,000 acres were burned, much of it in the Appleton-Whittel Audubon Research Ranch near the town of Elgin.


In most beauty pageants a statement is made that if the winner can't serve out her term, for one reason or another, the runner-up will serve. In light of this, it may seem odd after the disqualification of recently crowned Miss Memphis, that organizers of the group can't figure out what to do next.

The Commercial Appeal says that the Memphis Jaycees -- owners of the local pageant franchise -- have not made any decision about whom to send to the state contest.

The initial winner of this year's competition, Brandi Watkins, was stripped of her crown after a check of local utility bill records showed she had not lived in Memphis long enough to be eligible under current residency rules to participate.


To paraphrase the late newscaster Lowell Thomas: "He's done it! Lindbergh has landed in Paris." But, this time around, the Lindbergh was Erik, aviator Charles Lindbergh's grandson.

Published reports show the younger Lindbergh, also a flier, piloted his specially outfitted plane -- replete with modern-day instruments, and not just the sandwich the elder Lindbergh had on board -- in half the time of the original flight. He went from Farmingdale, N.Y., to Le Bourget Airport in Paris in just 17 hours.

What makes the risky flight an even more important achievement for Erik is that he had to overcome 15 years of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis to accomplish the feat. The younger Lindbergh is 37 and works as a flight instructor.

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