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Nation briefs

MAINE: Ski lift was under repair

Ski area maintenance workers dispatched to realign a lift cable were unable to fix the problem and had restarted the lift in an attempt to offload riders when the cable derailed, sending skiers plummeting 25 to 30 feet, the resort said Wednesday. High winds had shut down the lift at Sugarloaf in the hours before Tuesday's accident, but it was cleared for operations and reopened just before 10 a.m. About 20 minutes later, the two maintenance workers saw the cable was out of place and were preparing to shut down the lift when the cable jumped its track.

FLORIDA: Families settle leader's burial flap

Capping a series of events straight out of a telenovela, the mistress of charismatic and controversial former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez agreed Wednesday to honor his estranged wife's wishes and allow his body to be buried in his homeland. Perez's longtime partner, Cecilia Matos, and the couple's two daughters had planned to bury him in South Florida after a Mass yesterday. But less than 24 hours before the ceremony, lawyers for wife Blanca Rodriguez de Perez went to court and convinced a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge to issue an order stopping it.

MISSISSIPPI: Released, but must donate organ

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has suspended the life sentences of two sisters convicted in 1994 for their roles in an armed robbery, but one sister's release is contingent on her giving a kidney to the other. Gladys and Jamie Scott were convicted of leading two men into an ambush in 1993. The Scott sisters are eligible for parole in 2014, but 38-year-old Jamie Scott "requires regular dialysis, and her sister has offered to donate one of her kidneys to her," Barbour said. Barbour said in a news release that 36-year-old Gladys Scott's release is conditioned on her donating one of her kidneys to her sister.

NATIONWIDE: Audit: $8M in equipment misplaced

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lost or misplaced more than $8 million in property in 2007, government auditors say. Agency officials said Wednesday they have corrected the lapses that led to that amount of waste. The report was released this week by the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, the parent agency of the CDC. Items lost or misplaced included a $1.8-million hard disk drive and a $978,000 video conferencing system.


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