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Interior chief wants role in Ike memorial

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is taking a direct interest in helping resolve a dispute over the design of a national memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower, which could delay the project beyond the summer.

Salazar has expressed interest in viewing models of architect Frank Gehry's design with the key parties involved, an Interior Department spokesman said.

The Eisenhower Memorial Commission had hoped to get the go-ahead this summer so construction can begin along the National Mall.

Gehry has proposed a park with statues depicting Eisenhower as the 34th president and World War II general on the eve of D-Day. Large metal tapestries depicting Eisenhower's Kansas boyhood home would frame the park. The family welcomed changes in Gehry's design with the addition of the statues but said the use of the large metal scrims remained "controversial and divisive."


Captured U.S. soldier was disillusioned

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Emails an American soldier reportedly sent to his parents before he was captured by the Taliban three years ago suggest he was disillusioned and considering deserting.

Bowe Bergdahl told his parents he was "ashamed to even be American" and was disgusted with the U.S. mission in Afghanistan and with the Army, according to emails quoted in Rolling Stone magazine.

Bergdahl, 26, an Army sergeant from Hailey, Idaho, was taken prisoner June 30, 2009, in Afghanistan.

The military has never detailed circumstances of his disappearance or capture, and he is not classified as a deserter. He was initially listed as "duty status unknown" and is now considered "missing-captured." He is the only U.S. prisoner of war from the Afghanistan conflict, and U.S. officials say they are actively trying to free him.

The White House declined to comment on the emails or Bergdahl's possible motivation for leaving his base in eastern Afghanistan in 2009.

Bergdahl is the subject of a proposed prisoner swap in which he would be traded for five Taliban adherents imprisoned by the United States in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


Small plane crash kills parents, four children

LAKE WALES, Fla. (AP) -- A Kansas businessman, his wife and their four children were killed Thursday when their small plane crashed into a swampy area of central Florida, authorities said.

The single-turboprop, fixed-wing plane broke apart and went down at about 12:30 p.m. in the Tiger Creek Preserve, just south of Lake Wales, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. Ronald Bramlage, 45, was piloting the plane headed from the Bahamas to Junction City, Kan. The family had stopped for customs in Fort Pierce, Fla., and had taken off a half-hour before the crash.

The 2006 Pilatus PC-1 2/4 7 was at about 26,000 feet when it first began experiencing trouble, officials said. Deputies reached the area by helicopters, but it was clear there were no survivors, the Sheriff's Office said.

The cause wasn't immediately known.