TENN. MAN QUITS JOB AFTER '666' STAMPED ON W-2: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee maintenance worker says he quit his job because his W-2 tax form was stamped with the number 666.
Walter Slonopas told said that accepting the number would have condemned his soul to hell. That number is considered the "mark of the beast" in the Bible's Book of Revelation describing the apocalypse.
The company that handles payroll for Contech Casting LLC says the number meant Slonopas' form was the 666th one mailed out.
The 52-year-old Slonopas says he had trouble with the number before. He was supposed to be assigned No. 668 to use when he clocked in. Because of a mix-up, he was assigned 666. He complained and got a new number.
A company spokesman says Contech would send a new W-2 and wants to rehire Slonopas. But Slonopas says "God is worth more than money."
NAZI SALUTE LANDS MAINE GIRLS IN HOT WATER: CUMBERLAND, Maine (AP) — Members of a Maine high school girls' basketball team have been disciplined after a picture surfaced online of team members giving a Nazi salute.
The principal and athletic director at Greely High School in Cumberland said in a letter to parents that two girls appear to be giving the Adolf Hitler-style salute while a third girls sits between them. They say one team member has been nicknamed Hitler. All three girls are wearing their basketball uniforms.
The letter says "whether done in ignorance or with hate," such behavior is "simply unacceptable."
The letter also said other "inappropriate and biased language" was used by team members.
Principal Dan McKeone says players have been disciplined, but he didn't disclose the exact nature of the punishment.
NRA CHIEF: GUN CONTROLS WON'T PASS CONGRESS: DENVER (AP) — The head of the National Rifle Association said Thursday he's confident that Congress won't approve an assault weapons ban or a limit on high-capacity ammunition magazines after mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut.
David Keene predicted failure for all congressional measures related to guns, including expanded background checks for gun purchases.
"I tell you what these things are. These are all feel-good proposals, because at the end of the day, what do they do to prevent" a mass shooter? asked Keene, the NRA's president.
Keene was in Denver to talk to Colorado's Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, and state lawmakers. He met with The Associated Press for an interview before sitting down with state officials. He talked about prospects for federal gun control measures under discussion in Congress and predicted political peril for Democrats who support such bills.
150-FOOT ASTEROID WILL BUZZ EARTH, NO NEED TO DUCK: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A 150-foot-wide asteroid will come remarkably close to Earth next week, even closer than high-flying communication and weather satellites. It will be the nearest known flyby for an object of this size.
But don't worry. Scientists promise the megarock will be at least 17,100 miles away when it zips past next Friday.
"No Earth impact is possible," Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object program at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said Thursday.
Even the chance of an asteroid-satellite run-in is extremely remote, Yeomans and other scientists noted. A few hundred satellites orbit at 22,300 miles, higher than the asteroid's path, although operators are being warned about the incoming object for tracking purposes.
Impossible to see with the naked eye, the asteroid is considered small as these things go. By contrast, the one that took out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was 6 miles wide.
NEB. MOTHER GETS MORE TIME FOR PROSTITUTING GIRLS: KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — A mother convicted of prostituting her 7- and 14-year-old daughters using online ads across south-central Nebraska is facing as many as 110 years in prison after she was sentenced again this week.
Last month, the 36-year-old woman pleaded no contest in Buffalo County to conspiracy to commit child sexual assault and two felony counts of child pornography possession and was sentenced to 80 to 90 years in prison.
This week, the same woman was sentenced in Furnas County District Court to 12 to 20 years for conspiracy to commit a felony..
The Nebraska State Patrol said the woman placed a personal ad online offering female companionship. She offered her 14-year-old daughter to an undercover police officer who posed as a man answering the ad on April 26.
The Nebraska State Patrol has said that in Buffalo County alone, the mother let at least seven men have sex with her 14-year-old at least 20 times and at least three men had sex with the 7-year-old.
BLIZZARD THREATENS NYC, NEW ENGLAND; 2 FEET FEARED: BOSTON (AP) — A blizzard of potentially historic proportions threatened to strike the Northeast with a vengeance Friday, with up to 2 feet of snow feared along the densely populated Interstate 95 corridor from the New York City area to Boston and beyond.
From Pennsylvania to Maine, people rushed to stock up on food, shovels and other supplies, and road crews readied salt and sand, halfway through what had been a merciful winter.
Before the first snowflake had even fallen, Boston, Providence, R.I., Hartford, Conn., and other New England cities canceled school Friday, and airlines scratched more than 1,700 flights, with the disruptions certain to ripple across the U.S.
NIKE THREATENED TO EXPAND OUTSIDE OF OREGON: PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A lawyer for Nike told Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber the company was looking to expand outside the state unless it promised tax certainty.
The statement was made in an email in early December that was released Wednesday in response to a public records request from The Oregonian .
The governor called lawmakers to Salem for a special session that promised to hold Nike Inc. taxes steady in return for an investment of at least $150 million and 500 jobs. That agreement was signed before the end of the year.
While footwear and clothing are manufactured outside the United States, the Nike headquarters near Beaverton is the site of management, research and marketing operations.