PITTSBURGH _ The 20 class-action lawsuits filed against Ashland Oil Inc. for a 1988 diesel fuel spill that disrupted water service in three states have been settled out of court for $30-million. U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith approved the settlement Friday and awarded $4.6-million in fees to 28 law firms. The agreement, which takes effect in 30 days, settles lawsuits filed after the collapse of a storage tank Jan. 2, 1988, at Ashland's Floreffe terminal south of Pittsburgh. About 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the Monongahela River, killing fish and birds and disrupting water systems in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.Barry to pick new treatment facility
WASHINGTON _ Top aides to Mayor Marion Barry visited a Florida substance-abuse clinic Sunday to select a new treatment facility for the mayor, advisers said. Barry is scheduled to complete a 28-day treatment cycle for alcoholism at the Hanley-Hazelden Clinic in West Palm Beach today and leave the facility Wednesday, officials said. His plans have not been formalized, they said. The mayor entered Hanley-Hazelden Jan. 22, four days after he was arrested on a cocaine charge. He was indicted last week on perjury and drug charges.
Marine's sex conviction reversed
WASHINGTON _ A military appeals court has overturned the conviction of a Marine corporal who served 226 days in the brig in 1988 for allegedly having sex with another woman, court documents show. In an unusual decision, the Court of Military Review found Thursday that two officers on the jury at Barbara Baum's court martial were biased and that the military judge had allowed uncorroborated testimony. Baum, 25, was the first of five women charged in a crackdown in 1988 on alleged lesbians at the Marine Corps' Parris Island, S.C., Recruit Depot.
Missing former Calif. official found
SAN DIEGO _ A top aide to former California Gov. Jerry Brown who disappeared the day the FBI disclosed he admitted laundering cash was found unconscious Saturday in a Las Vegas hotel room. Richard T. Silberman, 60, was hospitalized in serious but stable condition. San Diego police Sgt. Jim Clear said Silberman apparently was suffering a drug overdose. Silberman's wife notified authorities after her husband failed to return home Thursday night. Silberman _ chief of staff to Brown, who was governor from 1975 to 1982 _ faces trial with reputed San Diego mobster Chris Petti and three others on charges they laundered money that an FBI undercover agent presented to them as cocaine trafficking profits.