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Captain says he would have stayed on "Exxon Valdez' bridge

An Exxon supertanker captain said Tuesday that if he had been in command of the Exxon Valdez last March instead of Joseph Hazelwood, he would have stayed on the ship's bridge through the entire voyage out of Prince William Sound. "I probably would have been on the bridge. I would not have left the third mate by himself," William Deppe, an Exxon captain from Walnut Creek, Calif., testified as Hazelwood's criminal trial entered its fourth week. Hazelwood left the bridge about 15 minutes before the supertanker slammed into a reef and spewed more than 10-million gallons of crude oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound.Teams search lake for bodies

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. _ Boats and helicopters crisscrossed Convict Lake on Tuesday, searching for the bodies of three teen-agers and four would-be rescuers who fell through thin ice. Some of the victims struggled to stay afloat in the icy water for 15 minutes before disappearing Monday, witnesses said. The hole they fell through froze over within hours. Divers on Tuesday recovered the body of U.S. Forest Service ranger Clayton Cutter, 31.

Barry going to S.C. hospital

WASHINGTON _ D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who was indicted last week on cocaine possession and perjury charges, will move from a Florida substance-abuse clinic to a South Carolina hospital, officials said Tuesday. The mayor, who has been receiving treatment for what an aide described as an alcohol problem, will enter the Fenwick Hall Hospital near Charleston, S.C., today, sources said. Barry decided to enter the new program at the urging of his wife, Effi, according to one city official. Meanwhile, Barry's arraignment, scheduled for today, was postponed until Feb. 28.

15 arrested in Panama killings

WASHINGTON _ The FBI said Tuesday that Panamanian authorities had arrested 15 suspects in the kidnapping and killing of an American citizen and a Panamanian employed by the U.S. Embassy. The agency said that most of those arrested are former members of the defunct Panamanian Defense Forces. During the U.S. military invasion of Panama in December, the bodies of Raymond Dragseth, a U.S. citizen living in Panama, and Fernando Brathwaite, a Panamanian employed by the embassy, were found in a Panama City suburb. Both had been shot several times. The FBI opened an investigation with the help of the Panamanian police and the U.S. Embassy.

Quadriplegic issues plea today

A quadriplegic who received court permission to turn off the machine that keeps him alive plans to ask the Georgia Senate today to take steps to help people in his situation. Larry McAfee, 34, who since has abandoned plans to take his own life, has said he plans to ask the lawmakers "to review their policies of keeping people like myself cooped away in nursing homes." He said he also will talk about his general dislike of nursing homes, which he said cause patients to lose control of decisions about their everyday lives.

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