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In the Nation

Bush joins vets on 3-day bike ride

FORT WORTH, Texas - Former President George W. Bush accompanied 20 wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on his second annual 100-kilometer (62-mile) mountain bike ride through Palo Duro Canyon State Park outside Amarillo, which concluded Saturday.

Retired Marine rifleman Eric Elrod, 29, said he had never met a president until the three-day Warrior 100K. "To meet any commander in chief is a big deal, but especially cool to meet your commander in chief who was in office at the time you served," Elrod said.

In 2004 in Iraq, Elrod's femur was shattered by gunfire. He retired as a corporal and returned to North Texas.

His invitation to the Warrior 100K came just a few weeks ago after his three-man team won an adventure race of mountain biking, kayaking, and land navigation. The event is part of the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative.

- McClatchy Newspapers

Freak windstorm rips beer garden

ST. LOUIS - Strong, sudden winds blew over a tent Saturday outside Busch Stadium, injuring about 100 people, at least four critically. One man who was under the tent suffered a heart attack and died, officials said.

"I thought a train fell off the track," said Art Randall, owner of Kilroy's Sports Bar. "We all ducked for cover. Everything was going sideways. I had metal chairs ripping across the beer garden."

The incident happened about 3:50 p.m. local time when sudden storms blew through the area, about one hour after the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game ended.

Witnesses said it lasted just several seconds, and estimated the wind to be 60 to 80 m.p.h. A sudden gust lifted the tent up, sending metal poles flying.

- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dolphin gets lost in Calif. wetlands

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - A wayward dolphin that had spent two days in a narrow wetlands channel along the Southern California coast was on its way out to the ocean Saturday when it suddenly turned tail and swam back to shallow waters.

Wildlife experts on paddleboards managed to coax the animal toward the open sea Saturday, but it was spooked by a pair of fellow dolphins. "He freaked out for some reason," said Peter Wallerstein of Marine Animal Rescue. "He split almost full speed back under the bridge where he had been."

Rescuers decided to let the healthy dolphin try to find its own way out, Wallerstein said. Any attempt to capture it could be dangerous to the animal and rescuers. The 6-foot-long common dolphin was spotted in a channel of the Bolsa Chica wetlands Friday. - AP


Using a hammer as a weapon, a "complete stranger" with no significant criminal history allegedly chose a family at random and attacked them in their home, killing a woman and her daughter. Bryan Clay, 22, was arrested Friday in the April 15 rape and bludgeoning deaths of Ignacia Martinez, 38, and daughter Karla, 10. He had no connection to the family of five, Lt. Ray Steiber said Saturday.