March 22, 2012
Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park     Photo: sysrq/Flickr

Hazmat Team Called to Joshua Tree

Park employees sick; package investigated

Eleven people working in the mail room at Joshua Tree National Park in California were decontaminated on Wednesday after several mail-room employees became ill. A hazmat team and local fire officials responded to park headquarters on Wednesday afternoon after park workers reported symptoms ranging from skin irritation to trouble breathing. Officials have isolated a package that they believe cause the reaction but have not yet identified any dangerous substances. No park visitors were exposed.

Read more at The Los Angeles Times


Cyclist Jeannie Longo

Cyclist Jeannie Longo     Photo: Ludo29880/Flickr

Longo Added to French Olympic Team

Husband's doping arrest overlooked

The French Cycling Federation (FFC) has preliminarily selected 53-year-old Jeannie Longo, who is fighting allegations of performance enhancing drug use, for the 2012 London Olympics. In November, the FFC cleared Longo of doping violations after she missed three out-of-competition drug tests. Three months later, French police arrested Longo's husband, Patrice Ciprelli, for buying the blood booster EPO. FFC spokeswoman Isabelle Gautheron said on Tuesday that Ciprelli's arrest should not affect his wife's selection. "Her husband was indicted for the purchase of drugs, for personal use from what I read in the press," Gautheron said. "[Longo] needs to try to go the Olympics. She is a competitor and will fight." Longo has won nine world championship titles and an Olympic gold medal. She is the most decorated cyclist in French history.

Read more at Cycling News


Julian Dean

Julian Dean     Photo: Petit Brun/Flickr

39 Riders Quit Tour of Catalunya

Organizers shorten stage 3 in wind, snow

Race officials at the Tour of Catalunya shortened stage three On Thursday as high winds and snow made conditions perilous and forced 39 riders to abandon the race. Veteran Australian cyclist Julian Dean, who was riding in his first race since breaking his shoulder last year, was hospitalized with a fractured leg. Several top riders, including Andy Schleck and Alejandro Valverde, withdrew before the start. "That was the hardest day of my life,” said stage winner Janez Brajkovic. “From the second climb, it was a matter of just surviving."



Supreme Court

Supreme Court building in Washington, DC     Photo: Mark Fischer/Flickr

Landowners Can Challenge EPA Orders

Supreme Court decision unanimous

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday gave landowners the right to challenge EPA orders before actually violating them. Previously, a landowners could not contest an EPA land-use restriction without having broken the restriction, often while incurring hefty fees. The old law was challenged by an Idaho couple who faced fines of up $75,000 per day for disturbing a wetland while building a vacation home. The couple argued that the wetland had never existed.

Read more at Reuters