EPA: More than half of streams in 'poor' shape Cruise death investigated Golden Gate goes digital Bomber on hunger strike Condemned inmate won't get hip Manson phone intercepted
WASHINGTON -- More than half of the country's rivers and streams are in poor biological health, unable to support healthy populations of aquatic insects and other creatures, according to a new nationwide survey released Tuesday.
The Environmental Protection Agency sampled nearly 2,000 locations in 2008 and 2009 -- from rivers as large as the Mississippi River to streams small enough for wading. The study found more than 55 percent of them in poor condition, 23 percent in fair shape, and 21 percent in good biological health.
The most widespread problem was high levels of nutrient pollution, caused by phosphorus and nitrogen washing into rivers and streams from farms, cities, and sewers. High levels of phosphorus -- a common ingredient in detergents and fertilizers -- were found in 40 percent of rivers and streams. Another problem detected was development.
Conditions are worse in the East, the report found. More than 70 percent of streams and rivers from the Texas coast to the New Jersey coast are in poor shape.
BALTIMORE -- An FBI spokesman said a death aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship has been ruled suspicious.
The FBI is investigating the death of a 62-year-old Virginia woman who traveled on the Enchantment of the Seas. Royal Caribbean said the woman's husband found her body Sunday inside her cabin.
FBI Baltimore field office spokesman Rich Wolf said agents boarded the ship Monday after it returned to Baltimore as scheduled. He said an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause and manner of death, and agents are interviewing the unidentified woman's husband.
The Enchantment of the Seas sailed to Florida and the Bahamas on a seven-night trip.
SAN FRANCISCO -- When their final shifts ended Tuesday at the Golden Gate Bridge, several toll collectors forced their mouths into smiles, hugged each other tightly and cried as they left their small booths for the last time.
Today, bridge managers planned to replace the humans with technology to save money and speed traffic across the historic span, which opened in 1937.
The new system allows drivers to pay using digital transponders that deduct money from a prepaid account or credit card, or through license plate scans that generate bills sent to drivers. Under both methods, cash will no longer be an option.
Many drivers have already switched to the FasTrak devices that attach to windshields and have been allowing motorists to speed by the toll booths for a dollar less than people who pay cash.
The switchover is expected to save about $16 million over eight years.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A lawyer for Eric Rudolph says the imprisoned Olympics bomber claims to be on a hunger strike to protest his treatment behind bars.
Birmingham attorney Bill Bowen said Tuesday he received a letter from Rudolph last week saying he's stopped eating and is refusing medical treatment at the federal prison in Florence, Colo.
A letter by Rudolph posted on an anti-abortion website claims he is being mistreated because he recently published a book and other writings from inside prison. Relatives and supporters take his messages and spread them.
Rudolph pleaded guilty to bombing the 1996 Olympics park in Atlanta and a Birmingham abortion clinic.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Two Kentucky hospitals have rejected requests to perform a $56,000 hip replacement surgery on a death row inmate whose execution date could come this year.
After more than a year of efforts to find a facility to perform the surgery on 56-year-old Robert Foley, the University of Louisville Hospital and the University of Kentucky Medical Center turned down the state's request.
Foley is one of two Kentucky death row inmates whose executions are waiting to be scheduled.
Foley was convicted of killing six people in eastern Kentucky in 1989 and 1991.
CORCORAN, Calif. -- A follower of Charles Manson has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle a cellphone inside a California prison where the mass murderer is housed.
California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton says 63-year-old Craig Carlisle Hammond was arrested Sunday for investigation of conspiracy, possession of an illegal communication device and attempting to bring a cellphone into a prison. Hammond was taken to jail and is scheduled to be in court next month.
Authorities say Hammond had a wrist watch cellphone that was found by a correctional officer at Corcoran State Prison.
Manson is serving a life sentence .