State starts hotline to report washed-up tsunami debris

Oregon is creating an easy way to report Japanese tsunami debris that washes up on the Pacific coast.

The state is asking residents and visitors to call 211 to report their findings, Gov. John Kitzhaber announced Thursday. Beginning today, the hotline will be staffed during business hours and will take recorded messages at other times.

Brig. Gen. Mike Caldwell, deputy director of the Oregon National Guard and interim director of the state’s Office of Emergency Management, will coordinate the response and cleanup efforts among state agencies.

It’s important to quickly collect and throw away tsunami debris to keep beaches clean and prevent the introduction of invasive species, Caldwell said.


Former astronauts, scientists plan asteroid-alert system

Who will protect us from a killer asteroid? Former NASA astronauts and scientists think it’s up to them.

In a plan unveiled Thursday, the the B612 Foundation said it wants to launch its own space telescope to spot and track small and midsized space rocks capable of wiping out a city or continent. With that information, they could sound early warnings if a rogue asteroid appeared headed toward our planet.

Behind the nonprofit are a space shuttle astronaut, Apollo 9 astronaut, former Mars czar, deep space mission manager and some non-NASA types.


Woman arrest for failing to return library book, DVDs

A New Mexico woman was arrested and spent a night in jail for not returning the book “Twilight” and two-DVD set “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” to the library on time.

The Albuquerque Journal reported Lori Teel was handcuffed at her Portales home in front of her five small children earlier this month for the $36 worth of library materials not returned since 2010.

Her attorney said arrest warrants were mailed last year to an address at which Teel hadn’t lived since childhood, but Teal was arrested by officers investigating a disturbance.

Her charges were dismissed.

— From news service reports