Mo. storm leaves at least two dead

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Authorities checking on a car stranded in a field yesterday morning found two people killed by a powerful storm that raked the state a day earlier with more than a dozen tornadoes.

The Friday storm destroyed several buildings and left at least four people injured in Stafford County, including one hospitalized in serious condition at a Wichita hospital.

Severe weather continued yesterday in northwestern Oklahoma, where a tornado touched down in a rural area west of Hennessey. Television footage showed a twister severely damaging barns. No injuries were reported.

About 100 people have died in U.S. twisters so far this year, the worst toll in a decade, according to the National Weather Service, and the danger has not passed yet. Tornado season typically peaks in the spring and early summer, then again in the late fall.

- AP

Bush urges pause in vets' memory

WASHINGTON - President Bush yesterday asked Americans to pay tribute to veterans by pausing on Memorial Day for "a moment of remembrance."

Bush had several suggestions for how to honor the sacrifices of those who have fought for the United States - place a flag at a veteran's grave, go to a battlefield, or say a prayer. The moment of remembrance is marked at 3 p.m. Philadelphia time.

"At that moment, Major League Baseball games will pause, the National Memorial Day parade will halt, Amtrak trains will blow their whistles, and buglers in military cemeteries will play Taps," he said in his weekly radio address.

- AP

Calmer winds aid Calif. firefighters

GILROY, Calif. - Firefighters took advantage of cooler temperatures and calmer winds yesterday as they continued to fight a persistent wildfire in the Santa Cruz Mountains that has chewed through acres of centuries-old redwoods, destroyed at least 17 homes, and displaced hundreds of people.

The fire was about 25 percent contained and expected to grow to more than six square miles before being brought under control, fire officials said. It has burned more than five square miles and destroyed 28 structures. An additional 500 buildings were threatened.

Almost 2,000 residents remained under evacuation orders - more than 450 of them mandatory - while more than 3,000 personnel were deployed, a state forestry officer said. One firefighter suffered minor heat-related injuries. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the area Friday and declared a state of emergency in Santa Cruz County.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Robbie "Kaptain" Knievel

last night jumped 24 delivery trucks at the site of one of his father's most famous stunts. Knievel soared to wild cheers at Kings Island near Cincinnati. Evel Knievel, who died of natural causes last year at age 69, jumped 14 buses there in 1975.