BN freight train derails, scattering 12 cars, 2 engines

Associated Press

TOPPENISH — No injuries were reported Saturday after 12 cars in a 78-car Burlington Northern freight train derailed just east of here.

Two helper locomotives between the cars also derailed, said Gus Melonas, Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman. The derailed cars were about in the middle of the train.

The train was traveling on the Stampede Pass route from Pasco to Auburn, Melonas said.

Cause of the accident was not immediately known. Burlington Northern was investigating.

Melonas said the cars were put back on the rails or pushed to the side Saturday night in order to repair the track toSday.

The derailed cars were carrying frozen foods, sand, talc, particle board and scrap.

  • Youth shelter may fold: Facing a shortage of cash and threats to its volunteers, one of the city’s largest youth shelters has cut its service from four nights a week to two. The University Youth Shelter, an unlicensed center run entirely by volunteers, has found it increasingly difficult to deal with mental-health and drug-abuse problems among homeless youths. It closed for a month this fall after one young man told the shelter coordinator he was thinking about slamming her head into a metal door. When the center reopened, it cut back to two nights, and it is still facing a fragile future. "A lot of people are working very hard to ensure this is a time of growth, learning and progress," said Nicole Mauldin, president of the shelter’s 18-member board of directors. "But we can’t predict the future. There is a possibility that the program won’t survive."

  • College enrollment breaks record: A baby boom "echo" has pushed enrollment at state universities to an all-time high in Oregon, breaking a 20-year-old record. "It is a national phenomenon," said Bob Kieran, director of institutional research for the Oregon University System. "The number of college-age students is accelerating." The sons and daughters of the children born in the post-World War II baby boom have pushed fall enrollment at the seven Oregon campuses to 69,508, an increase of 2,160 students, or 3.2 percent, over the fall of 1999. Overall, campus growth is where it was expected to be over a two-year period, he said.

  • Who’s buying whom? A Portland-based technology company has sold itself for $40 million in stock as part of an unusual deal that will give its stockholders ownership of the acquiring company. Seedling Technology Ventures sold itself for $40 million in stock to a struggling New Jersey engineering company that does business mostly in China. Seedling stockholders now actually own the acquiring company, Brighton Technologies of Allendale, N.J., whose world headquarters is moving to Portland. The result will be a hybrid company called Seedling Technologies, which will continue to do information technology projects in Asia, provide consulting for emerging-growth companies in the United States and invest in Internet start-ups worldwide. Privately held Seedling Technology Ventures already is a hybrid of sorts. It invests in Internet companies and offers consulting for early stage companies that need financing. Since 1981, Brighton Technologies and its predecessor company have designed and installed computer networks and imported industrial equipment into China.

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