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American Scene: Head-on highway crash kills 5, leaves 4 injured

THERMOPOLIS — Five people were killed and four others were injured when a vehicle returning to Colorado from a Boy Scout camp in northwest Wyoming veered into oncoming traffic and slammed head-on into a motor home, according to the Wyoming Highway Patrol.

A 3-year-old passenger in the motor home and all four people in the other vehicle were killed in the crash on Highway 120 in north-central Wyoming on Saturday morning.

The Honda Element was one of three vehicles taking a group of Boy Scouts back to the Colorado Springs area. The two other vehicles transporting the Scouts were not involved in the crash.

The Highway Patrol declined to release any other information Sunday, including the names of the victims and the extent of the survivors’ injuries.

Hot Springs County Sheriff Lou Falgoust told the Billings (Mont.) Gazette that the troop members were working toward their Eagle Scout badges and had been camping around an area known as Pahaska Teepee, near Yellowstone National Park.

Investigators are still trying to determine why the Honda crossed the center line.

ALASKA

Hoax prompts free tacos in remote town

ANCHORAGE — Residents of Bethel know from cable-TV ads what the major fast-food chains offer: chicken at KFC, burgers at McDonald’s and tacos at Taco Bell.

They just haven’t been able to get any of it.

The city of 6,200 people is about 40 miles inland from the Bering Sea in far western Alaska, and the closest fast food other than a Subway sandwich shop is in Anchorage, 400 miles and a $500 round-trip plane ticket away.

So they were elated to learn that Taco Bell was soon going to open a restaurant.

The joy, however, turned into disappointment. The fliers announcing the chain’s arrival were a hoax - the result, police say, of a feud between two residents.

But all was not lost.

Taco Bell executives learned of the mix-up and arranged an enormous free feast for Sunday. They flew enough ingredients in from Anchorage to make 10,000 tacos.

The chain is accustomed to feeding large groups of people in far-flung places.

“If we can feed people in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can feed people in Bethel,” company CEO Greg Creed said, declining to discuss the cost of the feast.

NEW YORK

Students suspended in bus monitor bullying

NEW YORK — Four seventh-grade students from upstate New York who were caught on video mercilessly taunting a 68-year-old bus monitor have received their punishment.

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