National Roundup

Nuclear plant unit reopens with cooler water

WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s nuclear power plant has returned to full service nearly two weeks after one of its two units was forced to shut down because seawater used to cool it down was too warm.
Millstone Power Station spokesman Ken Holt said Monday that Unit 2 returned to 100 percent power Saturday. It shuttered Aug. 12 after record heat contributed to overheated water from Long Island Sound.
Water is used to cool key components of the plant and is discharged back into the sound. The water’s temperature was 1.7 degrees above the 75-degree limit.
Holt says the temperature is now 72 degrees.

South Carolina
Former governor Sanford engaged

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he’s engaged to the Argentine woman he secretly left the state to visit under the cover story he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
When reached by The Associated Press on Sunday, Sanford confirmed the accuracy of a statement provided to CNN that announced his engagement to Maria Belen Chapur. He declined further comment.
Sanford was a rising Republican political star before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009 to visit his mistress. Reporters were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
The father of four admitted when he returned to South Carolina that he was instead in Argentina with Chapur, who he later called his soul mate.
The international affair destroyed his marriage, which ended in divorce from his wife, Jenny.

‘Multiple victims’ in small plane crash at Tahoe

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A small, single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the airport on Lake Tahoe’s south shore, and authorities say several people were killed.
The single-engine plane burst into flames upon impact late Saturday night in a wooded area near South Lake Tahoe, Calif., said El Dorado County sheriff’s Lt. Pete Van Arnum. The crash started a 1-acre fire that took more than 90 minutes to put out, he said.
The aircraft is registered to Francisco J. Delamora, of Fresno, Calif.
Delamora is owner of Jdm Transport Inc., a trucking company based in Fresno, said Jose Lopez, a company dispatcher. Delamora took a “personal trip” to Lake Tahoe for the day Saturday with his wife, Lorena, a 7-year-old daughter and two friends, and had planned to return the same day, Lopez said.
Much of the wreckage was destroyed by the fire, making identification of the plane and victims difficult, Arnum said.

Obama tells FEMA to closely monitor Isaac

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has told the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate closely with officials in states and localities in the path of tropical storm Isaac.
Obama also has told the governor of Florida that federal officials are prepared to help ensure the safety of visitors to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Obama was briefed Sunday by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate and Rick Knabb, director of the National Hurricane Center.
The White House said FEMA has already sent teams to Florida and Louisiana ahead of the storm to support state and local preparations. The agency is also consulting with officials in Alabama, Mississippi and other states that could be affected.
GOP officials have curtailed some convention events because of the storm.

Policy of sending prostitutes to prison rethought

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas may be forced to reconsider a state law that allows prosecutors to charge prostitutes with a felony and send them to prison after three misdemeanor convictions.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that more than 350 prostitutes currently occupy bunks in state prisons, and now some officials wonder whether that makes sense.
State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, says “it’s nuts” that Texas has so many prostitutes in prison. All the state is doing is “warehousing” people who would be better served getting treatment “so they can get out and stay out of this business,” he says.
The newspaper says it costs between $15,500 and $18,538 a year to house a convict in a state prison or lower-security jail. By contrast, community-based rehabilitation programs cost about $4,300 a year.

Injunction could delay Burbank Walmart store

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A proposed Walmart store in Burbank could be on hold following a court-ordered injunction that forces the city to suspend its approval of building permits issued to the retailer pending a trial.
The Los Angeles Times reports the injunction issued Thursday in LA County Superior Court could also force Burbank to prove that a Walmart wouldn’t cause significant harm to local roadways and businesses.
The newspaper says Judge Robert O’Brien’s ruling effectively stops all work on the project until the claims raised in a lawsuit filed by three Burbank residents earlier this year are settled.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Rachel Wall called the ruling “shortsighted.” City spokesman Drew Sugars told the Times the city was “extremely disappointed” with the injunction.

State to appeal over ‘none of above’ option

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada has given official notice that it will appeal a ruling that struck down the state’s decades-old voting option of “none of the above.”
The notice filed late Friday by the attorney general’s office says the state will appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco once a written order is issued by U.S. District Judge Robert Jones.
Jones struck down the ballot choice Wednesday. He says the voting option Nevadans have had since 1976 is unconstitutional because votes for “none” don’t count in election tallies and cannot win.
The Republican National Committee financed the lawsuit out of fears that votes for “none” could influence the outcomes of what are expected to be close presidential and U.S. Senate races in Nevada.