Idaho newspaper finds 8 men who claim sexual link to Craig

BOISE, Idaho - Eight men say they either had sex with Sen. Larry Craig or were targets of sexual advances by the Idaho lawmaker at various times during his political career, a newspaper reported yesterday.

One of the men is the former escort whose allegations disgraced the Rev. Ted Haggard, former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Idaho Statesman reported.

The newspaper identified four men and reported details of the encounters they say involved Craig. It also reported the accounts of four other men who did not agree to be identified but who described sexual advances or encounters involving the conservative Republican, who opposes same-sex marriage and has a strong record against gay rights.

Craig pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being accused by an undercover officer of soliciting sex at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and later called a news conference to deny that he is gay.

In a statement e-mailed to the AP, Craig said the newspaper's report was "completely false" and accused the paper of careless journalism.

Woman faces death sentence for burying Fla. retirees alive

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury has decided that a woman should be put to death for killing a retired Florida couple who were buried alive.

The jury deliberated for about 40 minutes on Thursday before reaching its decision on Tiffany Cole, 25, who was among four people charged in the slaying of Reggie and Carol Sumner, both 61.

The couple were found buried in a shallow grave in Georgia near the Florida state line in July 2005. Cole and the others used the Sumners' bank card and PIN number to withdraw money from their bank account, prosecutors said.

Cole met the Sumners in Ladson, S.C., where her stepfather was their neighbor. The Sumners had recently moved to Jacksonville.

Also convicted in the crime were: Cole's boyfriend, Michael Jackson, who has been sentenced to death; Alan Wade, for whom a jury has recommended the death penalty; and Bruce Kent Nixon, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping after leading police to the bodies.

Report: N.Y.-area airport delays

threaten economy and ecology

NEW YORK - Soaring flight delays at New York City-area airports will put the city's economy in a holding pattern and harm the environment unless the federal government acts quickly to ease congestion, a city comptroller report released yesterday said.

Airline on-time performance at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty airports has plummeted at a faster rate than other cities, and cancellation rates are among the nation's highest. The problems could discourage new industries from coming to New York and prompt existing firms to relocate, Comptroller William Thompson said.

"In 2007, passengers are spending 3.9 million extra hours a year waiting for their plane to take off after it has already left the gate" compared with waits 10 years ago, the report said. "Based on the median hourly amount, the additional time is costing travelers $187 million extra."

Thompson called on the Federal Aviation Administration to modernize the air traffic control system and boost the number of controllers to reduce delay and pollution-causing congestion. He also offered alternatives like a congestion pricing system that would charge airlines more to fly at peak travel times.

Chickens in a college town?

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - People who want fresh eggs should be able to keep their own hens around the house or yard, even in this college town, a city councilman said.

Stephen Kunselman said a number of business people and residents support the idea and said he plans to bring a resolution before the council.

Many communities allow chickens but not roosters, which can make a lot of noise at dawn, Kunselman said. He said regulations typically require a 25-foot setback from other homes to avoid disturbing neighbors.

Straight poop on energy source

CONNEAUTVILLE, Pa. - One of Crawford County's largest dairy farms is moving forward with plans to turn cow manure into electricity to power the operation. Don and Jack Bortnick's proposed system breaks down the carbon in manure into methane gas. The gas powers a generator to make electricity. *

- Daily News wire services