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Photos help locate site of stolen headstone

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- The original location of a 19th century headstone stolen more than 30 years ago was discovered Friday in a cemetery with the help of photographs dropped off by an unidentified person.

Historians pinpointed the original site of the marker for Mary A.L. Neville, who died in 1872 at age 33, in the Gold Hill Cemetery using photographs that the person dropped off last month.

The photos were dated 1974, which is believed to be the same year that a thief made off with the headstone as a souvenir, said Candace Wheeler, president of the nonprofit Comstock Cemetery Foundation.

The marker itself was abandoned outside the courthouse in nearby Virginia City in 1989 and had been in storage since the photos surfaced. The cemetery is about 25 miles southeast of Reno.

Wheeler said she believed the person was the latest in a long line of thieves who have returned stolen cemetery items because of guilty consciences.

"A woman from Oregon returned a headstone because she thought it was responsible for her divorce," she said. "Others felt it was responsible for some curse."


Space shuttle launch delayed for fourth time

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- NASA delayed the launch of space shuttle Discovery for a fourth time on Friday amid valve concerns, and managers are uncertain when the flight will take place.

Following a 13-hour meeting at Kennedy Space Center, shuttle managers decided against launching next week. The launch had been targeted for no sooner than next Friday; no new date was set.

Officials said they believe they have a realistic shot at launching Discovery to the international space station before mid-March. After that, the shuttle would have to get in line behind a Russian Soyuz launch with a new space station crew, and the next opportunity would be after April 6.

NASA originally hoped to send Discovery to the space station, with one final set of solar wings, on Feb. 12. But extra tests were ordered for the valves that control the flow of hydrogen gas into the external fuel tank during liftoff. One of those valves broke during the last shuttle launch in November.


Crash kills 6; most were foreign students

LOS ALAMOS, Calif. (AP) -- An SUV filled with foreign students swerved off a highway, slammed against a tree and burst into flames, killing six of the seven people aboard, California Highway Patrol officials said Friday.

All but one of those in the vehicle that crashed Thursday evening near Los Alamos, about 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles, were foreign students studying in San Francisco: four from France and one each from Russia and Turkey. The remaining passenger, a 30-year-old San Francisco man and U.S. citizen, was among the dead.

The group was headed to the Los Angeles area when the SUV drifted into the dirt median on Highway 101. The driver, Jeanne Ostrowski, 19, swerved to the right, CHP Sgt. Ben Ruth said. The SUV then veered off the road and slammed against a cottonwood tree. No other vehicles were involved.

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