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MONDAY, JUNE 11, 2007
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Nation In Brief

Found teenage girl returning to school

HARTFORD, Conn. — The 15-year-old girl who was missing for a year until police found her locked in a tiny storage room in a West Hartford home plans to return to school Monday to restore a sense of normalcy to her life, her parents said.

The girl, who was 14 when she ran away from her Bloomfield home last year, is excited to return to classes as a freshman, her mother told The Associated Press.

“She really needs to be a normal kid again. She’s all for it,” she said.

The school and town are not being disclosed. Some public schools in Connecticut have classes through June and alternative schools may run later.

Chicago boy finds blue-eyed cicada

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. — It was a one-in-a-million find. Literally.

Most of the 17-year cicadas that have emerged in recent weeks in parts of the Midwest have red eyes. But a 6-year-old boy in this Chicago suburb found a rare blue-eyed one in his backyard Friday.

Nicholas Wagner’s mother, Maria, said her son learned about the blue-eyed bugs in kindergarten, so he decided to go out and hunt for one himself.

“ ‘I found a blue-eyed cicada!’ ” he yelled upon the discovery, his mother recalled. “He’s been looking for a long time.”

While the boy’s find was rare, it’s not unheard of.

The blue eyes are caused by a genetic variation, said Gene Kritsky, author of “Periodical Cicadas: The Plague and the Puzzle.”

Riders stuck upside down on coaster

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — A dozen riders on a roller coaster spent half an hour hanging upside down — 150 feet above the ground — after a power outage shut down the attraction.

It took about 30 minutes for the city Fire Department to rescue the riders using a ladder truck Saturday evening, said Aundrea Crary, spokeswoman for the Springs & Crystal Falls amusement park.

Spectators cheered when the riders were brought to the ground from the highest point of a loop on the X-Coaster, but one passenger threw up after reaching safety.

The X-Coaster was one of several rides brought to a halt by the outage that originated somewhere near the park.

81-year-old cyclist to ride 2,000 miles

YUMA, Ariz. — An 81-year-old man has set off on a 2,000-mile bicycle ride around Arizona’s perimeter.

Bill Anderson of Yuma plans to complete the trip in 14 to 16 days. He is riding to raise money for Yuma’s Crossroads Mission, which provides shelter, meals, showers and clothing to the homeless.

Last year, Anderson rode from the Mexican border to the Canadian line and back again to raise money. In 2004, he made two trips for the mission: one from Canada to Mexico and another from San Diego to Jacksonville Beach, Fla.

Anderson left Yuma on Tuesday in his most recent ride. He planned to arrive in Page on Saturday before continuing the trip to Eagar, Safford and then along the Mexican border.

Russia open to talk of missile defense

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is encouraged by Russia’s willingness to discuss ways to defend against possible missile attacks from nations armed with nuclear weapons, White House press secretary Tony Snow said Sunday.

Yet he sidestepped a suggestion by the Russian foreign minister that the U.S. freeze plans for missile defense installations in eastern Europe during the negotiations.

The issue, which Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin focused on during their meeting last week at the Group of Eight summit, will come up again when Putin visits the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, on July 1-2.

compiled from wire reports

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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