A HANDFUL of Alaskan coastal communities soiled by the Exxon Valdez oil spill settled cleanup claims against Exxon for less than $1 million. The communities, along with a half-dozen Alaskan Native groups, filed a $100 million suit against Exxon in state court for property damage, unpaid cleanup bills, and protection of archaeological sites.
The settlements, reached over the last two weeks, came as a federal jury in Anchorage continued deliberations that began July 12 in a separate class-action lawsuit filed by some 10,000 fishermen who seek nearly $900 million from Exxon. The federal jury already found Exxon and Valdez skipper Joseph Hazelwood guilty of recklessly causing the 1989 spill in Prince William Sound. Jurors have yet to determine punitive damages. Race tensions in Alabama town
A FIRE, apparently set, left a Wedowee, Ala., school in smoldering ruins Saturday and stoked tensions in a dispute over the principal who opposed interracial dates at the prom.
The fire gutted the Randolph County High School only hours before black marchers planned new protests targeting Principal Hulond Humphries.
Mr. Humphries' status has divided the rural community along racial lines since he told juniors and seniors in a Feb. 24 assembly that the prom would not be held because some interracial dates planned to attend. Humphries relented the next day. Humphries also faces a lawsuit from a student who says the principal told her that her white father and black mother made ``a mistake'' in having her. Judge strikes down anti-loitering law
IT'S unconstitutional to make sitting on the sidewalk illegal, a municipal judge in Santa Cruz, Calif., ruled. The ban, which the city put into effect in April, was overly broad and open to selective enforcement, Court Commissioner John Salazar said in overturning it Friday.
Business owners had praised the law for helping erase the image of the city's rebuilt downtown as a seedy, threatening place. Civil rights lawyers and advocates for homeless people argued it was directed at driving those deemed unsavory out of town.