Big-city problem plagues Wyoming
Wyoming, famous for its crisp mountain air and breathtaking vistas, is looking a lot like smoggy Los Angeles these days because of a boom in natural gas drilling. Folks who live near the gas fields in the western part of the state are complaining of watery eyes, shortness of breath and bloody noses because of ozone levels that have exceeded what people in L.A. and other major cities wheeze through on their worst pollution days. In many ways, it's a haze of prosperity: Gas drilling is pumping up the Cowboy State's economy. Wyoming's unemployment rate is a low 6.4 percent, and lawmakers project a budget surplus of more than $1 billion in the coming year. Preliminary data show ozone levels on March 2 got as high as 124 parts per billion. The Environmental Protection Agency's maximum healthy limit is 75 parts per billion. On the worst day in Los Angeles all last year, it was 114 parts per billion. Ozone levels in Wyoming's Upper River Basin reached 116 on March 1 and 104 on Saturday.
Spider-Man debut comic worth $1.1M
A comic collector has been caught in Spider-Man's web, paying $1.1 million for a near-mint copy of Amazing Fantasy No. 15, above, that features the wall-crawler's debut. The issue, first published in 1962, was sold Monday by a private seller to a private buyer, ComicConnect.com chief executive Stephen Fishler said Tuesday. The comic book that fetched the highest price was a 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1 with Superman on the cover. It went for $1.5 million in March 2010. But Fishler said the price paid Monday is the most for a book from the Silver Age, the mid 1950s to about 1970. "The fact that a 1962 comic has sold for $1.1 million is a bit of a record-shattering event," he said. Usually, it has been comics from the Golden Age — typically from the late 1930s to the early 1950s — that draw seven-figure sums.
Female police chief seeks U.S. asylum
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in El Paso, Texas, said Tuesday that Marisol Valles Garcia, 20, who recently became police chief of the violence-plagued Mexican city of Praxedis G. Guerrero but was fired Monday for apparently abandoning her post, is in the United States seeking asylum because of death threats. She will be allowed to present her case to a U.S. immigration judge.