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National news briefs — Compiled Oct. 7


Airship damaged

A $35 million lighter-than-air dirigible was damaged and leaked helium Monday when part of a hangar roof collapsed at a former military base, authorities said. The partial collapse was reported at one of the World War II-era blimp hangars on the grounds of the former Marine Corps Air Station, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority. “There’s a giant hole in the roof,” he said. Hazardous-material crews were called to stop the helium leak. The cause of the collapse was not known, but debris was believed to have fallen on the experimental airship, which is more than 200 feet long. The dirigible is a test model being developed by Worldwide Aeros, which says it will be capable of carrying 66 tons of cargo.


Donors help Head Start

The National Head Start Association says a pledge of up to $10 million from two Houston philanthropists will help keep Head Start programs running during the federal government shutdown. The association said it welcomed the pledge by Laura and John Arnold, adding it will help serve more than 7,000 at-risk children while the shutdown continues. Laura Arnold is an ex-oil company executive and John Arnold is an investor. They chair the Arnold Foundation, a philanthropic organization established in 2008. National Head Start Association Executive Director Yasmina Vinci called the donation selfless, but urged elected officials to find a permanent fiscal solution to protect the program.


Governor vetoes bill

Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed noncitizens who are legal residents to serve as jurors in California. “Jury service, like voting, is quintessentially a prerogative and responsibility of citizenship,” Brown said in an announcement Monday accompanying his veto. “This bill would permit lawful permanent residents who are not citizens to serve on a jury. I don’t think that’s right.” The bill by Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, was intended to expand the pool of prospective jurors. The bill passed the Legislature on a largely party-line vote, with Democrats supporting the idea. Republicans said the lack of available jurors in California courts is due to a shortage of funding, not due to an insufficient pool of jurors.

Compiled from wire reports.


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