Nation In Brief
Cable operators to raise box rates
PHILADELPHIA — Cable companies are planning to charge more for set-top boxes to help pay for new, more expensive versions mandated by the Federal Communications Commission.
They say the price increases are a result of the government’s push to spur competition for the boxes, which are required to receive digital programming and change channels. It’s not yet clear how much the charges will rise.
The FCC has been trying for nearly a decade to open up the set-top market so subscribers actually buy their own and then use a cable-company-provided card to decode their programming. The retail market for the boxes, however, has largely failed to materialize and millions of consumers still rent the boxes from their cable company.
Diner sings national anthem daily at noon
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — Customers at the Liberty Street Diner don’t sing for their supper. They sing for their country.
Every day at noon, customers join waitress Judy Hawkins in a sing-along with a local radio station’s broadcast of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Hawkins said she started singing the national anthem several months ago and it’s now a daily ritual.
“We just think it’s good to honor (“The Star-Spangled Banner”). The public enjoys it. They stop eating and join in,” she said. Hawkins said she and her co-workers like to have fun, but singing the national anthem is no joke. “We take `The Star-Spangled Banner’ very seriously,” she said.
Al Gore’s son, 24, faces drug charges
LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif. — Al Gore’s son was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs after deputies pulled him over for speeding, authorities said.
Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over at about 2:15 a.m., Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.
The deputies said they smelled marijuana and searched the car, Amormino said. They found less than an ounce of marijuana along with Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, which is used for attention deficit disorder, he said.
Slayings highlight DEA steriod probe
ATLANTA — Chris Benoit’s mother said she wonders whether her son would still be alive if federal agents had been more aggressive when they discovered the professional wrestler was buying large quantities of steroids.
The Drug Enforcement Administration acknowledged this week that Benoit’s name surfaced in an investigation before he killed his wife, son and himself. But Benoit wasn’t charged, and his supply continued until at least May, a month before the murder-suicide, according to a review of records by The Associated Press.
The case highlights the DEA’s focus on drug traffickers rather than individual users, even when those users are star athletes and celebrities. The targets of the BALCO investigation in San Francisco, for instance, weren’t the baseball players and runners who allegedly bought steroids but the distribution network that sold them. Building those types of cases can take years.
Violin stolen on NYC subway recovered
NEW YORK — A prized violin that was stolen while its owner snoozed on a hot subway train has been recovered.
“I’m of course overjoyed!” said Tom Chiu, a Juilliard School graduate and founder of the avant-garde Flux Quartet.
The Scarampella violin and his backpack were stolen June 27. Chiu, who calls his violin his “heart and soul for the last 13 years,”said the violin and the backpack and its contents were turned in to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s lost-and-found, and an MTA official contacted him late Tuesday.
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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