NATION IN BRIEF: Tavern on the Green restaurant items for sale

Photo by Anonymous

Photo by Anonymous

Tavern on the Green restaurant items for sale

NEW YORK -- The chandeliers and Tiffany stained glass from New York City's landmark Tavern on the Green were being sold at an auction of just about everything in the bankrupt restaurant.

The three-day sale in its glitzy Crystal Room started Wednesday afternoon, with the elk-graced Central Park entrance sign first on the block. It fetched $5,000, surpassing the pre-auction estimate of $1,000 to $4,000.

Proceeds from the 20,000 items auctioned by Guernsey's are going toward the restaurant's $8 million debt.

Tavern on the Green served its last meal and closed its doors on New Year's Eve after 75 years, its faded magnificence buckling to the recession. Just three years ago, it was plating more than 700,000 meals a year, bringing in more than $38 million.

Passenger charged in diverted flight

DENVER -- A passenger on a diverted AirTran Airways flight accused of becoming unruly after he was refused more alcohol was charged Wednesday with interfering with a flight crew.

Muhammad Abu Tahir, 47, appeared in federal court with an interpreter.

Tahir did not officially enter a plea but said ''no'' after the interpreter repeated the allegations read by the judge.

More than 100 neglected animals found at Nev. farm

RENO, Nev. -- In one of the worst cases they can remember, Nevada agriculture officials have cited a woman for animal cruelty for neglecting more than 100 barnyard animals, including 35 starving horses and a goat that died from eating wool off a sheep carcass.

Jan Lemley of Battle Mountain faces 42 counts of animal cruelty. Each count carries a civil fine of $1,000, said Nevada Department of Agriculture spokesman Ed Foster.

Lemley did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press on Wednesday. She told The Battle Mountain Bugle, which first reported the incident, that her attorney had advised her not to comment.

SpaghettiOs creator dies at 83

DELRAN, N.J. -- The Campbell Soup Co. executive who was behind the enduring brands SpaghettiOs and Chunky Soup has died.

Donald Goerke was 83. A Campbell spokesman confirmed that Goerke died of heart failure Sunday at his home in Delran in southern New Jersey.

Goerke was marketing research director of Campbell's Franco-American line in the early 1960s when his group started dreaming up pasta in shapes that would appeal to kids. He chose the o's. They were marketed with the unforgettable tagline, ''Uh-oh, SpaghettiOs.''

State trooper shot, killed in northwestern Pa.

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- A state trooper responding to a domestic call at a rural home Wednesday was fatally shot as he got out of his cruiser, and a search was on for the gunman.

Trooper Paul G. Richey, a 16-year veteran assigned to the Franklin barracks, and another trooper arrived at the home at about 11:30 a.m. when a shot was fired from inside, killing Richey.

''Trooper Richey sacrificed his life rather than swerve from the path of duty,'' state Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said in a statement. ''We will not forget his service or his sacrifice.''

Richey, 40, is survived by a wife and two young children.

GM to halt Hummer production

JACKSON, Miss. -- General Motors Co. will halt Hummer production next week at its Louisiana plant until sale of the brand to a Chinese company is completed.

Hummer spokesman Nick Richards said Wednesday it was unclear whether jobs would be affected at the plant in Shreveport, La., which also builds Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks.

''It hasn't been determined what the impact will be but right now, but Hummer production is under a quarter of production'' at the plant, Richards said.

GM agreed last year to sell Hummer to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Corp. and expected the deal to close early in 2010 after approval by U.S. and Chinese regulators.