Scout Jamboree continues after four leaders die

BOWLING GREEN, Va. - They were deeply devoted to the Boy Scouts, traveling thousands of miles to the woods of northern Virginia

for 10 fun-filled days of fishing, archery and storytelling beside the campfire. One of their first tasks: Set up a large tent.

But the task went terribly awry when they lost control of a giant tent pole and it hit some nearby power lines, killing four Scout leaders as horrified youngsters looked on, said Bill Haines, a Scout executive in Alaska.

The Scouts spent Tuesday reviewing safety procedures and mourning the deaths of the four men, but said the event would begin today as planned with an evening speech by President Bush. A memorial service will be held during the opening ceremony of the Jamboree, which draws more than 40,000 Scouting enthusiasts from around the world.

Judge sentences ride manager to four years probation

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. - An amusement park manager convicted of reckless homicide in a passenger's fatal fall from a ride avoided jail Tuesday but will have to spend four years on probation and perform community service.

Charles Stan Martin, 57, manager of the defunct Rockin' Raceway in Pigeon Forge, could have received up to four years in prison, but Sevier County Circuit Court Judge Richard Vance gave him probation, 200 hours of community service and fined him $5,000 in the death last year of June Carol Alexander.

Alexander, 50, of Millersville was riding a swinging gondola-style ride with her teenage son, Cody, and her sister, Judy Sprinkles, when her harness came loose. She fell 60 feet as the ride reached its peak and turned over.

GOP presses Dems to agree on date for Roberts vote

WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans, determined to seat John Roberts in time for the Supreme Court's fall term, pressed Democrats on Tuesday to agree on a timetable for a vote amid political wrangling over how much of Roberts' past legal writings must be made available.

Sen. Arlen Specter, the Judiciary Committee's chairman, said that if he can't get an agreement for a final confirmation vote before Sept. 29, he may start hearings during the last week of August.

Retired Marine sentenced in plot to have wife killed

BOSTON - A retired Marine who authorities said offered his wife's $20,000 engagement ring to a man in exchange for killing her was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Harold Stonier, 45, of Concord, was convicted in March of trying to hire Frank ''Bruno'' Moniz to kill his wife, Jamie, in April 2003, offering him $50,000 in cash and the 3-carat diamond ring.

Jamie Stonier, who has not filed for divorce out of concern she'll lose her military benefits, asked the judge to sentence her husband to 15 to 20 years so their 5-year-old son can reach adulthood before Stonier is released from prison.

Man accused in Smart's kidnapping found incompetent

SALT LAKE CITY - The man charged in the kidnapping of Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart was declared mentally incompetent to stand trial Tuesday.

The decision by Judge Judith Atherton will send Brian David Mitchell to a state hospital until he is deemed capable of standing trial.

Mitchell, 51, is accused of kidnapping then 14-year-old Elizabeth from her bedroom in 2002, sexually assaulting her and keeping her as his second wife.

Republicans move to shield gun makers, dealers from lawsuits

WASHINGTON - The Senate on Tuesday put off until fall completing a $491 billion defense bill to act this week on the National Rifle Association's top priority: shielding gun manufacturers and dealers from liability suits stemming from gun crimes.

On a 66-32 test vote, the Senate indicated there's plenty of support for Republican leaders' determination to pass the gun bill before lawmakers leave at the end of this week for a monthlong vacation.

Hurricane Dennis insured damage expected at $900M

MIAMI - Insurers are expected to pay $900 million to cover damage caused by Hurricane Dennis in the U.S., much less than any of the four storms that pummeled the Southeast last year, a risk analysis company said Tuesday.

Florida should have $640 million in losses, according to a unit of ISO, based in Jersey City, N.J.

Alabama is expected to have $115 million in losses, followed by Georgia with $85 million and Mississippi with $60 million, ISO said.

- From wire reports