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Much of East Coast still mired in icy slush

Roads were a slushy, slippery mess at the start of the work week Monday along parts of the East Coast and thousands of families and businesses still had no electricity after a deadly snow and ice storm.

At least 17 deaths had been blamed on the storm along its path across the southern Plains and South and up the East Coast. Schools were closed or opened late from North Carolina to Maine.

Millions of chickens in Arkansas and Texas died or were left in the cold when the roofs of more than 500 chicken barns collapsed under the weight of as much of a foot of snow and ice last week. An industry official said Monday that the losses could crimp the nation's poultry supply and lead to higher prices.

GIRL'S BODY FOUND: A diver in Great Barrington, Mass., has found the body of a 5-year-old girl who was playing on an ice-covered river last week and fell into the water when the ice gave way.

The girl's body was found Monday under 18 inches of ice, about 600 yards downstream from where she fell in, said police Officer Paul Montgomery.

Shirley Palmer fell into the Housatonic River during a snow storm on Jan. 25. She had been playing on the ice with her 9-year-old brother, Richard, who also fell into the water but managed to cling to the ice. Rescuers saved him with a sled.

Coal train was speeding

before fatal crash

BLOOMINGTON, Md. _ A CSX coal train was running downhill at more than twice the recommended speed when it derailed and crashed into a house at about 55 mph, killing a 15-year-old boy, a federal investigator said Monday.

Investigators will interview crew members and use computer simulation to determine why the 80-car train was going so fast Sunday and what caused the derailment, said Russell Quimby, a rail safety engineer with the National Transportation Safety Board.

Bishops' elevation may

widen Episcopal divide

NEW YORK _ The irregular elevation of two conservative American priests to the rank of bishop in the Episcopal Church was denounced Monday by church leaders who apparently fear the move will worsen a right-left split.

Homosexuality is the most divisive issue in the worldwide Anglican Communion and its U.S. branch, the Episcopal Church.

Defying church procedure and protocol, six bishops joined to consecrate the two Americans on Saturday in Singapore. Participants included the archbishops who lead the Anglican branches in Southeast Asia and Rwanda and two retired American bishops.

The newly elevated U.S. bishops are the Rev. Charles H. Murphy III, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pawleys Island, S.C., and the Very Rev. John H. Rodgers Jr., dean emeritus of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa.

Murphy is a leader in the First Promise organization and Rodgers in the Association of Anglican Congregations on Mission. Both oppose liberal trends in the Episcopal Church and have appealed to overseas Anglicans for help.

Three repo men charged

after van with kids towed

HALTOM CITY, Texas _ Three men attempting to repossess a minivan were arrested for towing it away with two children still buckled inside.

The youngsters' father jumped onto the side of the moving tow truck and flagged down a police officer Friday.

The father, his 2-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter were unharmed. Their names were not released.

Ricky Carl Stephens, owner of Roadrunner Auto Recovery, was charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault. Ryan Wade Beene and Jonathan Russell Williams were charged with aggravated kidnapping.

Also . . .

MEDICAL POT IDs: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors put its stamp of approval Monday on a plan to issue identification cards to medical marijuana users.

The city ordinance is designed to allow qualified cardholders to obtain high-grade marijuana from several dispensaries without fear of being arrested. It was approved 10-1, but still must be considered by Mayor Willie Brown.

FRATERNITY SHUT FOR HAZINGS: A University of Michigan fraternity was ordered closed Monday by its national organization for hazings that included a pledge being shot in the groin with a BB gun.

With the school's blessings, Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity Inc.'s national board voted to suspend the Ann Arbor chapter's charter and revoke its recognition, thereby disbanding the roughly 70-man group and closing operations dating at the school to 1948.

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