Border crossing getting overhaul

SAN DIEGO - The federal government has begun replacing the nation's busiest border crossing, promising shorter waits into California for tens of thousands of people who enter daily from Tijuana, Mexico.

The $577 million blueprint unveiled yesterday calls for increasing the number of lanes into San Diego from 24 to 30 and equipping each lane with two inspection booths instead of one. Six existing lanes into Tijuana will be moved slightly to the west.

Construction is scheduled to finish in September 2015, though the date hinges on money. Congress has funded about half, $293 million.

Waiting times for the 50,000 vehicles that enter San Diego daily often reach two hours. - AP

Utah in deal on depleted uranium

SALT LAKE CITY - The Energy Department said yesterday that it had struck a deal with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert that would prohibit thousands of drums of low-level radioactive waste from South Carolina from being permanently buried in Utah until stricter state guidelines are put in place.

Energy Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said the deal was reached yesterday, two days after Herbert called on the department to stop a train loaded with depleted uranium from leaving the Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C.

State regulators say they need more time to determine whether depleted uranium can safely be disposed of at EnergySolutions Inc.'s site about 70 miles west of Salt Lake City. Depleted uranium differs from other waste disposed there because it becomes more radioactive over time, for up to 1 million years.

The first train, with more than 4,000 55-gallon drums of waste, won't be stopped or turned around, Stutsman said. But the Energy Department agreed to place its waste in temporary storage once it arrives in Utah. - AP

Traficant: Might run for seat again

CLEVELAND - Former Ohio Rep. James Traficant, recently released from prison after serving seven years for corruption, said yesterday that he was "proud of being an ex-con" and might try to return to Congress.

Traficant, a Democrat who was elected to nine terms from Youngstown before he was kicked out of the House, said he would circulate nominating petitions in three House districts. The three districts closest to his hometown are all held by Democrats.

Traficant, 68, deflected a question on whether he would run next year as a Democrat, Republican, or independent. He said he would decide on his political plans next month. - AP

Elsewhere:

A Vermont woman, Jeanne Sevigny, 59, fatally shot her Alzheimer's disease-suffering mother three years ago, burned the body, and then had her son bury the remains - which she had put in a suitcase - before filing a missing-person report, said authorities. Sevigny killed Mary Wilcox, 78, because she had become "a drag," prosecutors said as they announced her arrest on a charge of second-degree murder. Sevigny's son, Greg, 30, was charged with unlawful disposal of a body.