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Nation news briefs
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HIKER FALLS TO DEATH AFTER MT. WHITNEY CLIMB: SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Park rangers have retrieved the body of a hiker who fell over a cliff to his death after climbing to the summit of California's Mount Whitney.

National Park officials say rangers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks recovered the body of 60-year-old Yukio Kato of Torrance from the bottom of the 200-foot cliff on the Mount Whitney Trail on Monday.

Kato fell a day earlier while on his way back to the trailhead after reaching the mountain's summit. He was at about 13,500 feet in elevation when he fell. Mount Whitney is the highest point in the United States outside of Alaska.

Officials say park law enforcement dispatched a helicopter and park medic to the scene, but did not have enough daylight hours to retrieve the body.

CA FIRE SMOKE CANCELS RENO PREPS AGAIN: RENO, Nev. (AP) — Lingering smoke from a big California wildfire has forced the cancellation of high school soccer and tennis matches in Reno and sent football practice indoors again due to concerns about unhealthy air quality.

State athletic officials canceled all outdoor events and practices Tuesday in Reno-Sparks, Carson City and surrounding areas when the air quality index exceeded the 100 level shortly after noon.

The 118 reading considered unhealthy for sensitive populations slipped back to a moderate reading of 97 after 2 p.m. It had shown significant improvement at times over the holiday weekend.

Football practice has been held indoors along most of the Sierra's eastern front since smoke from the fire at Yosemite National Park more than 100 miles away began to thicken on Aug. 22.

 OHIO MAN WHO THREATENED POLICE HOLDS 'IDIOT' SIGN: CLEVELAND (AP) — A man who threatened officers in Cleveland is making a court-ordered public apology by standing near a police station with a sign describing himself as an idiot.

A judge had ordered 58-year-old Richard Dameron to stand outside a local police station with a sign bearing an apology. He began the vigil Monday and must stand outside for three hours each day for the rest of the week.

Dameron was convicted of threatening officers in 911 calls.

His public shaming isn't the first of its kind in the city. The Cleveland judge who sentenced Dameron previously made a woman wear an "idiot" sign in public for driving around a school bus.

SURFBOARD PIERCES HONOLULU DRIVER'S WINDSHIELD: HONOLULU (AP) — A man was driving along a Honolulu freeway over the weekend when a surfboard crashed through the windshield just inches from his face, leaving him with only scratches on his face and arms.

Jerrin Ching was driving on the H-1 freeway Sunday morning when the red surfboard came out of nowhere and pierced through the glass.

Witnesses told police the surfboard fell off an overpass and bounced off a school bus. Ching said he was in the far left lane, driving east near the Punahou Street overpass, on his way to pick up a friend at the University of Hawaii, when "all of a sudden I see this red thing come out of nowhere and turns out it was a surfboard. And it just crashed through my windshield."

It's not known who the board belongs to, or where it came from. "Can you please claim your board, and I don't know, pay for the windshield or something?" he said. "Because you almost killed me."

UMASS STUDENTS FEAST ON 15,000-POUND FRUIT SALAD: AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — In what's become an annual tradition, the University of Massachusetts celebrated the start of the new academic year with a delicious, healthy, record-breaking dish.

About 500 students and staff at the Amherst campus on Monday sliced, diced, pitted and peeled 150 varieties of fruit to create a salad weighing more than 15,000 pounds. The salad was mixed in a 15-foot diameter swimming pool.

It included 20 varieties of apples weighing more than 3,600 pounds; 19 varieties of melon weighing more than 2,500 pounds; peaches; bananas; oranges; berries; and more exotic fruits including quince, passion fruit and rambutan.

A Guinness World Records representative certified the record.


LOST STUDENTS RESCUED FROM GATOR-INFESTED SWAMP: MACON, Ga. (AP) — Four college students were lost in a Georgia swamp populated by alligators and wild hogs for two hours at night before authorities came to the rescue.

The Mercer University students told rescuers they waded chest-deep in the water Monday night, trying to find a way out of the Ocmulgee River swamp in central Georgia.

Macon-Bibb County Fire Sgt. Mitch Scott says the two men and two women, who were wearing only bathing suits, had no idea what they had gotten themselves into.

He says "there are gators down there that would eat you whole."

The students had headed down the river on inflatable rafts before becoming lost.

MAYOR TAKES OFFENSE AT 'BLOW UP' DETROIT COMMENT: DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Mayor Dave Bing accused his Boston counterpart of insensitivity Tuesday after Thomas Menino told a magazine that if he ever visited the Motor City, he'd "blow up the place and start all over."

In a New York Times Magazine article that first appeared online last week, Menino said Detroit is a place he'd like to visit, then added the rest when asked what he'd do there.

"It is extremely regrettable that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino used such an unfortunate choice of words to describe what he would do if he came to Detroit," said Bing, who is not running for re-election after one term as mayor. "I would think the mayor of a city that recently experienced a deadly bombing attack would be more sensitive and not use the phrase 'blow up.'"

A spokeswoman for the Boston mayor said Menino "feels strongly about cities," cares about Detroit's problems and "would like to help in any way he can."

"The mayor is sorry that people have taken offense," Dot Joyce told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "It was never his intention."

She said that Menino's proposal to "blow up the place" meant to overhaul the broken systems that have helped bring down Detroit.