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Fire detroys empty hotel noted for its odd ship shape

SCHELLSBURG, Pa. (AP) -- Fire has destroyed one of Pennsylvania's quirkier roadside attractions and an icon of the historic Lincoln Highway.

The S.S. Grand View Point Hotel, also known as the Ship of the Alleghenies and Noah's Ark, burned Friday. All that remained of the closed hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, were melted and bent girders anchored in the mountain.

Firefighters were hampered by the hotel's position -- 2,464 feet on the side of a remote mountain about 75 miles east of Pittsburgh.

S.S. Grand View owner Jack Loya, who owns a home beneath the hotel, told firefighters he left on lights and a television to deter would-be squatters.

"This is a disaster," said Olga Herbert, executive director of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Park Corridor, which for years has been trying to buy and fix up the hotel.

The Lincoln Highway, now U.S. Route 30, was the country's first transcontinental highway, linking New York City and San Francisco in 1913.

Intel co-founder donates $600 million to Caltech

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Gordon Moore, co-founder of computer chipmaker Intel Corp., is donating $600 million to the California Institute of Technology, the largest gift ever made to a single American school.

The gift, which will be announced today, will be used for unspecified projects that Moore or his foundation must approve. The money will be donated over a 10-year period.

Caltech "has a history of making major scientific accomplishments," said Moore, 72. "I'd rather not do buildings. I'd rather supply the funds to do new things."

Moore's donation beats the record $400 million that Stanford University announced in May it will receive from a foundation started by the late high-tech pioneer William Hewlett, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Co.

Moore's donation is half the size of Caltech's current $1.2 billion endowment.

Moore received a doctorate in chemistry from Caltech in 1954. In 1968, he and Robert Noyce formed Intel Corp.

Louisiana political figure convicted of tax evasion

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A former aide to ex-Gov. Edwin Edwards has been convicted of tax evasion and six other charges.

Andrew Martin was accused of trying to dodge $188,000 in back payroll taxes on his businesses by concealing income and assets, including two houses and a houseboat, in a front company.

Jurors on Friday convicted him of one count of tax conspiracy, four counts of tax evasion and two counts of making false statements to the IRS.

Robert Guidry, former owner of the Treasure Chest Casino, testified that he gave Martin $33,000 a month, starting in early 1997, for help that Edwards' administration gave him in getting a gambling license. Guidry said the money was collected from a trash bin.

Martin said Guidry's story was not to be believed.

Martin, who worked for Edwards during the four-term governor's final two terms, from 1992 to 1996, will be sentenced Jan. 30.

It was the second federal conviction for Martin, who was found guilty along with Edwards in May 2000 in a scheme involving the awarding of riverboat casino licenses. Both men are appealing.

Philadelphia police told to quit smoking on the job

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Police have been told to stub out their cigarettes permanently after a newspaper photograph showed an officer smoking as he helped lift a man in a wheelchair outside a burning building.

Police Commissioner John F. Timoney issued a departmentwide ban on smoking while on duty or in uniform, saying smoking "may be perceived as unprofessional" and is potentially dangerous to both the officer and the public.

Under the new policy, an initial violation will likely draw a written reprimand, with more violations treated as "failure to obey orders and conduct unbecoming" an officer, a police spokesman said.

Both the New York City and Los Angeles Police departments have strict policies barring uniformed officers from smoking in public.

The officer shown in the Philadelphia Inquirer photograph said he was taking a cigarette break when he saw two men struggling to push the man in a wheelchair over a fire hose. Lt. John J. Thompson, 50, said he rushed to help with the cigarette still in his mouth.

Richard Costello, the city's Fraternal Order of Police head, said he agreed with a smoking ban but would have preferred an education program and voluntary compliance.

Student shot at high school as friend's gun hits ground

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- A 16-year-old high school student was wounded on campus when a friend's handgun accidentally fired as the friend's backpack tumbled off a ledge.

The student from Redondo Union High School was in stable condition at the University of California, Los Angeles Harbor Hospital. A bullet had entered his left side Friday and pierced a lung before exiting. He is expected to recover fully.

His friend, a senior, was arrested for investigation of possessing a firearm on school property and possession of a stolen firearm, a .38-caliber revolver. He was released to his parents.

Neither boy has a criminal record. Their names were withheld because they are juveniles.

The shooting happened outside about 10 a.m. Friday.

After some students reported a cherry bomb firecracker might have exploded, school officials ordered a lockdown and called police, who arrested the older student.

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