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OREGON PANEL CONSIDERS NOISE REGULATIONS FOR HAND DRYERS: SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon lawmaker proposed legislation Monday creating uniform standards for hand dryers in public restrooms, citing the proliferation of powerful dryers that, while efficient, can sometimes trigger tinnitus or cause discomfort for people with development or sensory disabilities.

The measure would require all new or replacement dryers to operate at a noise level no louder than 84 decibels. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that is about as loud as a school cafeteria. It also wouldn’t allow hand dryers blowing air downwards to blow air faster than 115 mph, in case the hand-dryer manufacturer doesn’t label the decibel level.

Bill sponsor Democratic Sen. Chris Edwards told the Senate Committee on Business and Transportation that the new generation of hand dryers used to elicit episodes in his autistic son, who would cry and cover his ears when he heard them.

It’s not the hand-dryer motor that’s too loud, Edwards said, it’s the “air knife” against the hand that can cause a sharp, shrill sound.

High-speed, efficient new hand dryers, such as the Dyson Airblade or the Excel Xlerator, are fast replacing the old models, which often left hands still dripping wet.

POLICE: MAN STOLE PAL’S CAR TO AVOID MISSING COURT HEARING: RIVERDALE, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey man has been accused of stealing a friend’s car to avoid missing a court hearing on drug charges.

Twenty-one-year-old Jorge Ramirez-Sierra, of Riverdale, has been charged with unlawful taking of a means of conveyance and driving while suspended, among other counts.

Police tell the new charges came after a man reported his car missing Friday morning. Police say the man told officers Ramirez-Sierra had said the night before that he didn’t know how he would get to Paterson for the court hearing.

While officers were talking with the owner, Ramirez-Sierra called to say he was returning with the vehicle. He was taken into custody after arriving.


1923 MODEL T FORD CONVERTIBLE SKIDS OFF ROAD, KILLING COUPLE: MANHEIM, Pa. (AP) — A 1923 Model T Ford convertible skidded off the roadway and flipped over, killing a couple, police said Monday.

Ralph Cramer, 70, and his wife, 59-year-old Lynn, of Mount Joy, died of traumatic injuries in the wreck Sunday night.

Manheim Borough Police Chief Joseph Stauffer said the vehicle had been rebuilt or restored and contained new elements, possibly including a new engine, wheels and upholstery.

“You could tell it was an attempt to make it similar, but it still had unique characteristics,” Stauffer said.

He said the Model T had seatbelts, but investigators have not determined whether they were worn. The top was down at the time of the crash.

Stauffer said there is evidence the vehicle started to skid at a slight left turn, then went off the road and hit an embankment near a barn before it went airborne and flipped over.


MAN HELD AFTER ACCIDENTALLY CAUSING EXPLOSION IN HIS CAR: QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — A man police say set off an explosion in his car is held without bail after investigators found bomb-making materials inside the vehicle.

Police say they don’t suspect terrorism, and there didn’t appear to be any risk to others.

Thirty-six-year-old Joseph Brennan Jr. of Norwell pleaded not guilty Monday to possession of an incendiary device. Authorities say he faces more charges after they found explosives at his home.

Brennan was arraigned at a hospital where he’s being treated for injuries from the Saturday car explosion in Quincy. His defense attorney didn’t comment.

A police report says Brennan told a bystander after the explosion: “I’m an idiot. I lit a cigarette with the gunpowder in the front seat.”