NASA scraps landing for space shuttle again

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Thunderstorms prevented space shuttle Atlantis from returning to its home base Saturday for the second day in a row, and kept the astronauts circling Earth after a successful repair job at the Hubble Space Telescope.

The offshore storms, which later moved in, prompted NASA to skip both morning landing attempts at Kennedy Space Center. Despite an equally dismal forecast for today, Mission Control opted to wait out the bad weather rather than take a detour to California.

As Atlantis soared overhead, right around what would have been landing time, commander Scott Altman called down that he saw 'a pretty solid mass of clouds.'

3-year-old's body found in river; girl, 7, rescued

PORTLAND, Ore. - The body of a 3-year-old boy was pulled from the Willamette River hours before daybreak Saturday, and an injured 7-year-old girl was rescued nearby after residents heard screams on the water.

As police continued to search the broad river that runs through Portland, officials were releasing few details about what they were finding in their investigation.

Police said the boy's death was suspicious, but did not say how he died. Police didn't identify the children or provide information on the girl's condition.

Wood-fueled pickup headed to Maine

LEWISTON, Maine - A pickup truck that was modified in Alabama to burn wood chips for fuel is headed to Maine with its new owners behind the wheel of the vehicle they call 'Termite.'

Auburn, Maine, businessman Ford Reiche and his son George left Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday. The Lewiston Sun Journal said a device in the bed of the truck roasts chips to form a wood gas, which is cooled, filtered and fed into the engine.

Reiche's blog said the truck has a gasoline-powered backup system.

The truck burns one pound of wood for each mile driven, or about 5,000 miles per cord.

San Diego to blast seals with noise from dogs

SAN DIEGO - Officials in San Diego who want to prevent seals from taking over a popular beach are hoping that a dog's bark is worse than its bite.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported Saturday that the city will seek court approval next week for a plan to use recordings of barking dogs at Children's Pool beach in La Jolla.

The city hopes the recordings will disperse about 200 seals. The plan will cost nearly $700,000 a year.

Pest company owner charged with cruelty

HAZLET, N.J. - The owner of a New Jersey pest control company has been charged with animal cruelty after a squirrel was found dead in a rooftop trap.

The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals charged Kathleen Buck, owner of Critter Ridder, on Friday.

Chief Buddy Amato said a professional complex hired Critter Ridder to help get rid of the squirrel. He said a trap was set Wednesday for the animal, and no one returned to check on it.

Amato said the squirrel was found 'cooked to death on the hot roof' Thursday afternoon.

Buck faces four counts of animal cruelty, including one that cites her for not providing the squirrel with adequate food, water and shelter.

Decorated pilot, 3 kids killed in plane crash

RENO, Nev. - A small plane crashed while approaching an airport in the town of Fallon, killing a naval air station officer and his three daughters, authorities said Saturday.

Cmdr. Luther H. Hook III, 44, died when his twin-engine Cessna 320 crashed and burst into flames Friday night about a mile from the runway after a flight from Fresno, Calif., base spokesman Zip Upham said.

Also killed were his three daughters from a previous marriage: Kaitlyn Hook, 15; Rachel Hook, 12; and Mackenzie Hook, 9.

Woman with MS climbs world's tallest mountains

BAYFIELD, Wis. - A retired school teacher with multiple sclerosis has now climbed the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents.

A dispatch from the expedition company Alpine Ascents International reported that Lori Schneider reached the 29,035-foot-high peak of Mount Everest at about 7:30 p.m. Friday Central time.

The 52-year-old from Wisconsin climbed the six other peaks after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999.