In the Nation

Posted: June 06, 2012

Primary winner has skinhead link

A northeastern Pennsylvania man with long-standing ties to white supremacist groups entered a polling place on primary election day and wrote in his name for a low-level position with the local Republican Party committee.

Steve Smith wound up getting elected with a single vote - his own - and now presents a headache for a GOP that doesn't want him but might not be able to get rid of him. Smith, 41, of Pittston, announced his election on a website called White News Now, posting a photo of his election certificate.

Pennsylvania Democrats spread word last week of his April election, linking to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center that described Smith's associations with "an extraordinary array of white nationalist, skinhead, and neo-Nazi groups," including a group formerly known as the Keystone State Skinheads.

The Luzerne County Republican Committee and the state GOP denounced Smith's election to a four-year committee post representing Pittston's Fourth Ward, saying his views in no way represent their own.

- AP

Mo. tornado kills 3 in mobile home

ST. LOUIS - A 70-year-old man and his two adult sons died when a tornado obliterated a mobile home in southeast Missouri, officials said Tuesday. The twister was part of a storm that struck Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky late Monday but hit hardest in the village of Diehlstadt, in Scott County, where the three men were killed.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said the mobile home was smashed beyond recognition. "The frame was probably 100 yards away from where it was sitting," Walter said. "It was just debris everywhere. It just obliterated it."

The National Weather Service determined the EF-2 tornado was 75 yards wide and had peak winds of 115 m.p.h. Witnesses told Walter they saw a tornado dip down and strike the trailer, then bounce back up and dip down again elsewhere. Also, an 11-year-old St. Louis County girl suffered minor head and arm injuries after being pelted by huge chunks of hail.

- AP

Sub repair is put at $400 million

KITTERY, Maine - An early estimate from the Navy puts the price tag for repairs of a fire-damaged submarine in the range of $400 million, a figure that suggests the nuclear-powered USS Miami will be repaired instead of scrapped, Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Maine) said Tuesday.

Pingree, a member of the Housed Armed Services Committee, released the estimate a day after becoming the first member of Congress to see the damage inside the Miami, which was in dry dock at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard for an overhaul when the fire broke out May 23.

The $400 million estimate could change, "but I think it's a workable figure and I'm optimistic that this means the boat is repairable, that the work can be done at Kittery, and the Navy will be able to come up with the money for the repair," the congresswoman said in a statement. The Navy intends to provide a formal cost estimate for repairing the 22-year-old submarine in a few weeks.

- AP

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