Waste, lax oversight found in KBR Iraq contract audit

WASHINGTON – KBR, the government contracting firm formerly under Halliburton, did not keep accurate records of gasoline distribution, put its employees in living spaces that may be larger than warranted and served meals costing $4.5 million more than necessary under a contract to perform work in Iraq, according to an audit by a government oversight agency.

The report, to be released today by the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, addresses a sliver of a $22.5 billion contract that KBR won to provide services for the U.S. military. The inspector general’s office focused on four services that KBR was paid to provide in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone: supplying gasoline, food services and housing and various morale and recreation services.

The inspector general and other audit agencies have pointed out previous shortcomings of KBR and the government in overseeing the logistics contract.

Ohio: Arrest in death of woman

A former classmate of a man suspected of murdering a pregnant woman was arrested Sunday on a related obstruction of justice charge, the FBI said in Canton. Myisha Ferrell was arrested hours after the body of 26-year-old Jessie Davis was found in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, still carrying her dead, nearly full-term fetus. Officials refused to provide details on the arrest Sunday. The Summit County medical examiner on Sunday confirmed the body was Davis’.

Illinois: Extradition in family’s death

Authorities said Sunday that they plan to bring a former Sammamish man accused of gunning down his wife and three children back to Illinois from Missouri as soon as possible to face murder charges. Christopher Vaughn, a 32-year-old computer consultant from Oswego, was arrested by Illinois State Police on Saturday morning at a funeral home in a suburb of St. Louis just before he was to attend a memorial service for his family. Investigators say Vaughn killed his children – ages 8, 11 and 12 – and his wife in their red sport utility vehicle. The family moved to the Chicago area about a year ago from Sammamish.

California: Gas averages $3 a gallon

The average price of gasoline across the country dropped about 11 cents over the last two weeks, according to a national survey released Sunday. Regular gasoline, which peaked at $3.18 in May, dropped to $3 a gallon, said oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of Camarillo. The lowest price was in Jackson, Miss., where a gallon of regular cost $2.75. The highest average price was in Chicago at $3.39.

Airport travelers get a dousing

Fire sprinklers at a Los Angeles International Airport terminal turned on Sunday after a water pipe broke, dousing hundreds of people, an airport official said. The terminal was temporarily evacuated, and the baggage claim and screening areas were slightly flooded, said airport spokesman Marshall Lowe.

Arkansas: Rainbow Family coming

Members of the Rainbow Family, whose annual gathering of thousands of people has worried the Forest Service in the past, are setting up camp in the Ozark National Forest this year. The mix of eccentrics, young people and hippie types from around the country has been meeting for decades each year in a national forest somewhere in the U.S. The gathering this year is scheduled for July 1-7, with the main day of prayer July 4.

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