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Telling The Tri-County’s Story Since 1869
Discovery leaves space station forlast time, p8 Lady ’Cats earn district title, p6
Obituaries 2State/Local 3Politics 4Community 5Sports 6-7Announcements 8Classifieds 9TV 10
Mostly cloudyTuesdaywith highin low 50s.See page 2.
Nancy Spencer photo
Ronald McDonald urges students to read
Ronald McDonald visited Franklin Elementary School this morning to promotereading to students. Above: McDonald urges students to set aside time each day forreading with a song.
Eagles to hostblood drive
The Delphos EaglesLodge will host an AmericanRed Cross blood drivefrom 10:30 a.m. to 4:30p.m. on Thursday.Donors should be 17years of age, weigh atleast 110 pounds and bein general good health.Call 1-800-RED CROSSor visit redcrossblood.org toschedule an appointment.
Cemetery to beginspring cleanup
Walnut Grove Cemeterypersonnel will begincleanup of the grounds inpreparation for the mow-ing season on April 1.Decorations on theground around grave mark-ers need to be removed bythat date. Christmas decora-tions will be removed.
St. John’s selling tickets
Tickets for the St. John’svs. Minster boys districtsemi-finals game at 8 p.m.Tuesday at WapakonetaHigh School will be soldin the high school Officefrom 7-7:30 p.m. todayfor reserved season ticketholders; 7:30-7 p.m. forgeneral admission seasonticket holders; and from8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdayfor the general public.Tickets are $4 for studentsand $6 for adults. All tick-ets will be $6 at the door.St. John’s plays thesecond game in a split ses-sion. Parking is $2.
Jefferson ticket pre-sales
Jefferson boys Districtand girls Regional bas-ketball tickets will besold at the JeffersonAdministration Buildingduring regular hours and onTuesday evening (TBD).District tickets are $4for students, $6 for adults;tickets will be sold until 2p.m. Wednesday. All tick-ets at the door are $6.The boys play Ottawa-Glandorf at the ElidaFieldhouse Wednesday,starting at 6:15 p.m.Regional tickets are $6for both adults and studentsand $8 at the door and will besold until 2 p.m. Thursday.The girls play Arlington at theElida Fieldhouse Thursday,starting at 6:15 p.m.Both games aresplit sessions.
Warplanes strikerebels at oil port
By PAUL SCHEMMThe Associated Press
RAS LANOUF, Libya Libyan warplanes launchedfresh airstrikes on rebel posi-tions around a key oil port today,trying to block the oppositionfighters from advancing towardMoammar Gadhafi’s strongholdin the capital, Tripoli.Rebels in the area saidthey can take on Gadhafi’selite ground forces, but areoutgunned if he uses his airpower.“We don’t want a foreignmilitary intervention, but wedo want a no-fly zone,” saidrebel fighter Ali Suleiman. Headded that the rebels can takeon “the rockets and the tanks,but not Gadhafi’s air force.”Libya appears to be slid-ing toward a civil war thatcould drag out for weeks, oreven months, as rebels try tooust Gadhafi after 41 years.Resorting to heavy use of airattacks signaled the regime’sconcern that it needed to checkthe advance of the rebel forcetoward Sirte Gadhafi’shometown and stronghold.Anti-Gadhafi forces wouldget a massive morale boostif they captured Sirte, and itwould clear a major obstacleon the march toward the gatesof Tripoli.There were no casualtiestoday’s airstrike on Ras Lanouf,which came one day after pro-regime forces pounded oppo-sition fighters with helicoptergunships, artillery and rock-ets to stop the rebels’ rapidadvance toward Tripoli.Mohamad Samir, an armycolonel fighting with the rebels,said his forces are expectingreinforcements from the east.The uprising againstGadhafi, which began Feb. 15,is already longer and muchbloodier than the relativelyquick revolts that overthrewthe longtime authoritarian lead-ers of neighboring Egypt andTunisia.
Study: Mom’s blood testcan reveal Down syndrome
By MALCOLM RITTERThe Associated Press
NEW YORK Scientistsin Europe report they were ableto diagnose Down syndromeprenatally by giving a simpleblood test to pregnant women,an approach that might oneday help them avoid the moreextensive procedure used nowto detect the condition.The preliminary report pub-lished online Sunday in thejournal Nature Medicine is thelatest of several recent studiesthat suggest scientists can spotDown syndrome through fetalDNA that has been shed intothe mother’s bloodstream.Down syndrome, whichresults in cognitive delays, iscaused by having an extra copyof a particular chromosome.Currently, pregnant womenget blood tests and ultrasoundto find out if the fetus is atrisk for Down syndrome. Fora firm diagnosis, doctors takea sample of amniotic fluid orthe placenta.Those sampling proceduresinvolve a small risk of mis-carriage. A reliable diagnosticblood test also could give ananswer earlier than the stan-dard tests.Several research teamshave published studies sug-gesting that analyzing themother’s blood can detectDown syndrome in a fetus.There’s no commercial testavailable yet, but at least onecompany hopes to introduceone in the U.S. within abouta year.In the latest report, scien-tists in Cyprus, Greece andEngland said that in a blindtest, they correctly identified14 Down syndrome cases and26 normal fetuses.They said a bigger study isneeded to confirm the useful-ness of their approach.
Stacy Taff photo
AC Engineers name Franklin poster winners
Allen County Civil Engineers David Louth, left, and Don Meyer, right, visitedFranklin Elementary Wednesday afternoon to distribute first-, second- and third-place prizes to the winners of the Allen County Engineers poster contest. Winnerswere, from left, Riley Smith, third place; Calum Shanahan, second place; and KelseyLindeman, first place.
Oil jumps to near $107 amid Libya fighting between gov’t, rebels
By PABLO GORONDIThe Associated Press
Oil prices climbed tonear $106 a barrel todayas intense fighting betweenLibyan government forcesand rebels appeared to beturning into a civil war andraised the prospect of a pro-longed cut in crude exportsfrom the OPEC nation.By early afternoon inEurope, benchmark crudefor April delivery was up$2.25 to $106.67 a barrel,the highest since September2008, in electronic tradingon the New York MercantileExchange. The contract hadgained $2.51 to settle at$104.42 a barrel on Friday.In London, Brent crudefor April delivery was up$1.80 to $117.77 a barrel onthe ICE Futures exchange.Over the weekend, sup-porters and opponents of Libyan leader MoammarGadhafi fought in severalcities, heightening fears thatthe country is headed for aprotracted conflict. Libya’soil output has fallen by atleast 1 million barrels perday from 1.6 million sincethe uprising began lastmonth.Investors also are con-cerned violent protests andpolitical upheaval couldintensify in the Middle East,where Iran, Iraq, the UnitedArab Emirates, Kuwait,Bahrain, Qatar, Oman andSaudi Arabia have more than60 percent of the world’sproven oil reserves.“It is essentially thefear of the unrest spread-ing across the entire regionwhich is pushing oil pricesup,” said Commerzbank inFrankfurt. “Northern Africaand the Middle East pro-duce more than one-third of the global supply of crudeoil.”Citigroup said it raisedits 2011 average forecast forBrent crude to $105 from$90, but doesn’t expect theviolent protests in NorthAfrica and the Middle Eastto spread to Saudi Arabia,the world’s largest oilexporter.“We assume that outputdisruption is maintainedthrough the second quarter,”Citigroup said in a report.“Output disruption, or atleast the threat of, will sup-port a fear premium for therest of 2011.”Some analysts expect therecent jump in oil prices up 26 percent since Feb.15 will only have a neg-ligible impact on inflationand economic growth in theU.S., the world’s largest oilconsumer.“Oil above $100 willnot send the economy backinto a recession,” CapitalEconomics said in a report.“The oil price would haveto rise much further to seri-ously threaten the U.S.economy.”Nonetheless, PresidentBarack Obama’s chief of staff said Sunday that theadministration was eval-uating the possibility of tapping into the country’sstrategic oil reserves totaling 727 million bar-rels as a way of con-tending with rising gaso-line prices.While the fear of sup-ply disruptions was usuallymentioned as the key factorfor higher oil prices, ana-lysts said speculators alsowere playing a role.The large trading vol-umes tied to speculativeinvestments had helpedboost market transparencyand liquidity, Commerzbanksaid.“Things become critical,though, when speculatorsbecome the main drivingforce behind prices and, aswe see it, this is the case atthe moment on the energymarkets,” the German banksaid.In other Nymex trading inApril contracts, heating oilrose 3.6 cents to $3.1253 agallon, and gasoline gained3.74 cents to $3.0838 agallon. Natural gas futureswere down 7 cents at $3.74per 1,000 cubic feet.
“Things becomecritical, though, when specula-tors become themain driving forcebehind prices and, as we see it, thisis the case at themoment on theenergy markets.”