Falling gas prices might not be enough to entice people to travel this Labor Day weekend, with some keeping a wary eye on dangerous Hurricane Gustav, which is threatening the Gulf Coast.
About 34.4-million people are projected to travel at least 50 miles from home — a 1.1 percent decline from Labor Day 2007. Travel over Memorial weekend and Independence Day 2008 was also down compared with last year, according to auto club AAA.
Gasoline in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee and most of the United States remains about $1 per gallon higher than at this time last year even though retail prices have dropped since crude oil peaked in mid July, according to AAA. Regular gas was averaging about $3.68 a gallon nationwide.
Along with heavy gas prices, travelers are also getting hit with airline fees amid a struggling economy.
Hundreds remember late congresswoman
The late Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Ohio's first black congresswoman, was remembered Saturday as a pioneering spirit, loyal friend and dedicated public servant.
Tubbs Jones died Aug. 20 at age 58 of a brain hemorrhage. Hundreds of people, including family, friends and well-wishers, packed the memorial service in downtown Cleveland to remember her.
Former President Bill Clinton called Tubbs Jones one of his family's closest advocates and advisers, recalling how she tirelessly worked to help Hillary Rodham Clinton's failed presidential bid.
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said the loyalty Tubbs Jones showed to his chief rival for his party's nomination spoke to her character.
Tubbs Jones, who chaired the House Ethics Committee, strongly opposed the war in Iraq, voting in 2002 against authorizing the use of military force. Just as the war was starting in March 2003, she was one of only 11 House members to oppose a resolution supporting U.S. troops in Iraq.
ST. LOUIS: Two St. Louis-area hospital emergency rooms were on lockdown Saturday after the arrival of patients who appeared to have been exposed to chemicals. Authorities say three people arrived by car with health problems caused by chemical exposure. Details of their conditions were not immediately known. Authorities say the victims were exposed to a white powdery substance.
SALEM, Ore.: A fire broke out early Saturday at the Oregon state Capitol, leaving the building with smoke, water and fire damage, including to the governor's ceremonial office and the offices of some of his high-ranking staff members. The fire was reported about 12:30 a.m. Saturday and was put out in about 20 minutes. The blaze is being investigated as a possible arson, but a cause is not expected to be announced until after the holiday weekend.
PITTSBURGH: Medical officials in Pittsburgh say 11 staff members and patients at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital are getting preventive treatment for whooping cough after an outbreak was traced to several workers at an outpatient clinic. No patients have been found to be ill with the disease but some have been offered antibiotics.