NATION: Obama says oil stopped, but job far from finished

Obama says oil stopped, but job far from finished

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — The first family dashed to the Florida Panhandle on Saturday so President Barack Obama could play pitchman — Gulf Coast beaches are clean and open for business — and assure residents his government won’t abandon them now that the busted well has stopped spewing oil.

He also said he ‘‘absolutely’’ would plunge into waters that absorbed 200 million gallons of oil. Expect the dip on Sunday, he told reporters accompanying him on the 27-hour excursion to the Sunshine State, whose tourism industry is reeling from the spill.

‘‘I’m here to tell you that our job is not finished, and we are not going anywhere until it is,’’ the president said in this Panhandle city after meeting with state officials, local leaders and business owners at a Coast Guard station. ‘‘I will not be satisfied until the environment has been restored, no matter how long it takes.’’

Jar removed from bear cub’s head

OCALA, Fla. — A black bear cub in Florida affectionately known as ‘‘jarhead’’ can finally enjoy a good meal.

A clear plastic container was removed from the 6-month-old cub’s head after being stuck for at least 10 days. The cub poked its head into the jar when digging through trash in a neighborhood in central Florida.

Biologists say the cub was days away from death because the jar made it impossible to eat or drink. The team had to tranquilize the mother bear and then grab the cub to remove the jar from the bear’s head.

Israeli stabbing suspect unlikely to return soon

DETROIT — Police in Michigan said Saturday they’ll use the time it takes to return a man suspected in a three-state stabbing spree that left five men dead to work out logistics and address concerns for his safety.

Elias Abuelazam is ‘‘not going to be brought back today, tomorrow or Monday,’’ Michigan State Police Lt. Stephen Sipes told The Associated Press. ‘‘We have 15 days to get him back. There is no hurry at the moment.’’

The 33-year-old waived extradition to Michigan during a Friday court hearing in Atlanta.

Abuelazam was arrested there Wednesday as he prepared to board a flight to Tel Aviv. He grew up nearby, in a small Arab Christian community in the Israeli town of Ramle.

Along with attacks in Michigan, he is a suspect in stabbings in Ohio and Virginia.

Michigan State Police and prosecutors said they’re working with their counterparts in those other states.

Sheriff: Human remains found in mine shaft

RENO, Nev. — Searchers have found human remains believed to be those of two missing miners at the bottom of a gold mine shaft in northern Nevada, authorities said Saturday.

Rescuers worked for more than 32 hours to safely access the area after a vertical pipe broke from a wall and struck a cage similar to an elevator lowering the two men into the shaft early Thursday, said Barrick Gold of North America spokesman Lou Schack. The pipe runs the length of the Meikle mine shaft, about 1,300 feet below the surface.

‘‘This is a tragic event and we remain focused on assisting these miners’ families,’’ said Greg Lang, president of Barrick’s North America Region.

It will take from three weeks to two months to identify the remains, said Elko County Sheriff Dale Lotspeich, who also is county coroner.

Anti-ground zero mosque TV ad planned in NY

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s Conservative Party is planning a television ad campaign to pressure a New York City utility to use its power to block a proposed mosque near ground zero.

The ad states ‘‘patriotic Americans’’ want ‘‘real answers’’ about the Islamic group planning the cultural center in lower Manhattan in a building partly owned by Consolidated Edison that would include a mosque.

The ad asks viewers to contact the utility.

Pastor spends 3 days 50 feet in air

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. — A South Florida pastor who spent nearly three days living on a mechanical lift 50 feet in the air has come down from his lofty perch.

Pastor T.J. McCormick, of Coastal Community Church, had pledged to stay on the lift until 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies were donated for kids in Collier City.

McCormick braved summer heat and rain storms until 1,000 backpacks were collected. Nonetheless, he says he’d do it again.