Water filling 2,500 homes in Minot as river rises

Posted June 24, 2011, at 8:35 p.m.

MINOT, N.D. — The Souris River’s full weight hit Minot on Friday, swamping an estimated 2,500 homes as it rose nearly 4 feet in less than a day and overwhelmed the city’s levees. City officials said they expected more than 4,000 homes to be flooded by day’s end.

More than a quarter of the city’s 40,000 residents evacuated earlier this week, packing any belongings they hoped to save into cars, trucks and trailers.

Fed by heavy rains upstream and dam releases that have accelerated in recent days, the Souris surged past a 130-year-old record Friday and kept going. The river was nearly 5 feet above major flood stage Friday afternoon and expected to crest over the weekend after reaching more than 8½ feet beyond major flood stage.

NM professors accused of running prostitution site for respectable men  

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two aging professors accused of running a sophisticated prostitution website appeared to have one goal: Police say they wanted to create a place where respected men like themselves could go for sex without having to worry about getting caught up in street stings.

The Southwest Companions website based in the Albuquerque-Santa Fe area, with 1,400 members, was invitation-only, and new members were vetted as they worked their way up through three tiers. The first level was “probation,” Albuquerque police Lt. William Roseman said, where the new clients secured prostitutes through the site.

After they hooked up, the prostitute would tell a moderator what she did and how much she was paid. As the members progressed through the “verified” and “trusted” tiers, they gained access to more information about undercover officers and the hookers.

The site featured “weather reports” about police vice stings; physical descriptions and cell phone numbers of undercover police to help members avoid arrest; and detailed information on the prostitutes themselves, including prices and star performance rankings from other members.

The prostitutes were paid in cash, with prices ranging from $200 for a single act to as much as $1,000 for an hour of time. Police found no evidence students were recruited, or that the site was a university network.

PBS website hacked for second time; some data taken

WASHINGTON — PBS said Friday its website has been hacked for at least the second time in a month, the latest in a string of intrusions into such sites as Sony, Lockheed Martin, Nintendo and others.

PBS spokeswoman Anne Bentley said one section of a website in the Public Broadcasting Service’s collection of sites was defaced Friday. The affected website was for the program “Becoming American.” Bentley said a “very small number” of administrative user names and encrypted passwords were stolen.

Robot, drone fail on Japan nuclear-plant missions

TOKYO — Two high-tech machines intended to help workers at Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear plant malfunctioned Friday, including a long-awaited Japanese robot making its first attempt to take important measurements in areas too dangerous for humans.

The other machine that failed was a drone helicopter that made an emergency landing on a reactor roof at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. is trying to cool down three molten reactor cores and stop radiation leaks to end a crisis set off when the March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant. The job is expected to take several more months, and is complicated by massive amounts of radioactive water that could soon leak into the sea.

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