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Authorities arrest 9 environmentalists



Published: Sat, July 7, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Authorities arrest9 environmentalists

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Developers began to clear land for an apartment complex Friday as police arrested environmentalists who had climbed into trees in March to protest the project.

The 50-acre wooded site is being cleared for a 208-unit, low-income apartment complex. Tree-climbing environmentalists had occupied the land since March 22, arguing the wooded site dotted with sinkholes is not suited to high-density residential development.

Early Friday, bulldozers and heavy equipment cleared a roadway and knocked down trees, and more than 60 police officers removed the protesters. Authorities used a hydraulic lift to pluck three people from trees. Each was later charged with trespassing, as was a woman who later tried to cross police lines.

The crude plywood platforms that had been installed in the trees were dismantled with chain saws, sending wood, propane tanks, tarps and toilet paper tumbling to the ground.

Police set up a line around the site and ordered the protesters to leave the property. As of Friday evening, nine people who did not comply had been arrested. Nearly all were charged with trespassing.

Hospital swampedwith surgery requests

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The hospital that put the world's first self-contained artificial heart into a patient is being swamped with calls from others who want to undergo the procedure.

"It's a new hope," said Linda McGinity Jackson, spokeswoman with Jewish Hospital. "This is experimental and is the first in the world."

The hospital said Friday that it has no estimate of the number of calls. But Jackson said they are coming from family members of people stricken with heart conditions.

Callers were told to talk to the patients' cardiologists or Jewish Hospital's clinical coordinator.

On Monday, Drs. Laman Gray Jr. and Robert Dowling implanted the wireless, tubeless artificial heart into a terminally ill man as part of an experiment to test the effectiveness of the device.

The man, described only as a diabetic in his 50s with a history of heart attacks, was awake Friday, Jackson said. Earlier this week, he was able to talk to family members.

Cousin of Elvis Presleydies in Miss. shootout

TUPELO, Miss. -- A sheriff who was a cousin of Elvis Presley was killed in a shootout early Friday that also left a suspect dead.

The gun battle began after a man fled from a police roadblock and pushed a woman, nude and bound with tape, from his car, authorities said. The man wrecked his car, and was later cornered in a shed at a home.

Lee County Sheriff Harold Ray Presley, 52, shoved a deputy out of the way and was apparently shot several times but returned fire, killing Billy Ray Stone, 53, authorities said.

The sheriff "almost certainly saved the deputy from injury or death," said Highway Patrol spokesman Warren Strain.

Harold Presley's father was the brother of Elvis Presley's grandfather, making them first cousins once removed. The late King of Rock 'n' Roll was born in Tupelo in 1935.

Hotel to be built at siteof Hitler's retreat

MUNICH, Germany -- Plans to build a luxury hotel on the site of Adolf Hitler's retreat in the Bavarian Alps were officially launched Friday, despite complaints from Germany's Jewish community.

Hitler's haunt above the town of Berchtesgaden served as a part-time seat of government where he and other Nazi leaders often met to plan Germany's assault on Europe and the Holocaust. The U.S. military used the area as a resort after World War II, before handing it back to Germany in 1996.

In the hotel project for the Obersalzberg mountaintop, the state of Bavaria kept ownership of the land and set the condition that the hotel be designed for affluent tourists -- precautions designed to help keep out neo-Nazis.

But Michel Friedman, a leader in Germany's Jewish community, insisted Friday that the swank hotel, about 95 miles southeast of Munich, was clouding the place's dark past.

"The Central Council of Jews is concerned about the rededication of historic places," he told The Associated Press. Friedman said his group would have preferred an international center where youths could meet and confront Germany's grim past.




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