tampabay.com

Concern for whales' health grows

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 28, 2007


SAN FRANCISCO

Veterinarians tracking two whales lost in the Sacramento River swabbed samples from raised blotches on their skin Sunday as efforts to prod the mother and calf back to the ocean dragged into a third week.

The humpbacks' long exposure to fresh water has led to serious skin damage, biologists said, making them vulnerable to germs they would not face in their saltwater habitat.

The humpbacks were in an offshoot of the Sacramento River near Rio Vista about 70 miles from the Pacific. The whales were first spotted in fresh water May 13 and drew large crowds to the Port of Sacramento before swimming about 20 miles downriver.

SPOTSWOOD, N.J.

Early morning fire leaves three dead

Fire tore through a home in the northern New Jersey town early Sunday, killing three people inside, police said.

Half of the two-story house was charred by the blaze, which was believed to have started accidentally in a recreation room.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

A neighbor said that two men rented the house and that a woman stayed there regularly.

MONTGOMERY, ALA.

State takes down Web site on terrorism

The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has taken down a Web site it operated that included gay rights and antiwar organizations in a list of groups that could include terrorists.

The Web site identified different types of terrorists and included a list of groups it believed could spawn terrorists. The list also included environmentalists, animal rights advocates and abortion opponents.

DAYTON, OHIO

Several children hurt on festival ride

Several children were injured Saturday night after an accident on an amusement park ride at an annual festival in downtown Dayton, according to the Dayton Fire Department.

The ride at the RiverBlast festival was for children shorter than 4 feet. According to several witnesses, as children were getting off the ride it started moving again, dragging some children under the vehicles.

CHICAGO

Police officer charged in beating of teenager

A police officer has been arrested in the off-duty beating of a 15-year-old high school student, the Chicago Police Department said Sunday.

Robert Gallegos was charged with aggravated battery with bail set at $100, 000.

The dispute is the latest in a series of alleged beatings by off-duty Chicago police officers.