Tea party goes official, but is it the real deal?
A group calling itself the Tea Party submitted an estimated 59,400 signatures to Michigan elections officials, well in excess of the 38,000 needed to qualify it as a minor political party eligible to run a slate of candidates in the November election. But leaders of tea party organizations in the state, along with state Republicans, denounced the creation of the Tea Party, headed by Mark Steffek of Richville. Veteran Michigan tea party activists said there are ties between Steffek, the United Auto Workers union, Democratic politicians and the firm hired to collect signatures for the petition drive, which has worked for the state Democratic Party.
Alleged spy was software tester
A Redmond, Wash., man who was deported to his native Russia on Tuesday as part of an investigation into a large spy ring didn't compromise company security in the nine months he worked for Microsoft as an entry-level software tester, Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos said Wednesday. Alexey Karetnikov's name surfaced last fall as part of the recently disclosed federal investigation into a large Russian spy network that operated for years in the United States.
Teleworking by fed workers promoted
Congress is looking for ways to get more federal workers to stay home. The House, in a 290-131 vote Wednesday, approved a bill that would create government-wide regulations for teleworking and instruct each federal agency to come up with policies to promote telecommuting. The Senate has passed similar legislation. The Office of Personnel Management said there were about 103,000 employees teleworking at least once a month in 2008, up from the previous year but down from 140,000 in 2004.
Range fire grows fast, tests crews
Gusting overnight winds at a federal laboratory whipped what started as a small southeastern Idaho desert fire Tuesday into a blaze that by Wednesday afternoon covered 170 square miles and had become the biggest wildfire burning in the nation. About 300 firefighters from the Idaho National Laboratory and the Bureau of Land Management were on the scene with 28 fire engines, a helicopter, nine bulldozers, and five air tankers.
Brothers collide in head-on crash
State police in Oregon say two brothers collided in a head-on crash that left one of the men critically injured and his wife dead. Lt. Pat Ashmore said a tow truck driven by 25-year-old John Arthur Harvey late Tuesday struck a Toyota Corolla driven by his brother, Westun Lee Harvey, 20. Westun Harvey was critically injured in the crash, and his wife, Rosario Harvey, 28, was killed. Ashmore said it appears both drivers crossed the center line.
Battle Creek, Mich.
Packaging blamed in Kellogg recall
Food maker Kellogg said higher-than-normal amounts of hydrocarbons, which are normally present in its package liners, caused the unusual smell and flavor that prompted a recall of 28 million boxes of its cereal in late June. Kellogg recalled Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks after about 20 people complained.