Security fee may double


Airline ticket.Airline security fee may double — A fee charged to airline travelers to help pay for airport security would more than double under President Bush’s spending proposal for the Homeland Security Department. Bush’s plan calls for boosting the security fee from $2.50 to $5.50 for a one-way airline ticket and from a maximum of $5 to $8 for multiple legs. The hikes are expected to generate $1.5 billion.

Charges in LA wreck could bring death penalty — The man suspected of causing a fiery commuter-train wreck in an aborted suicide attempt could face the death penalty on multiple murder charges, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said Thursday. Authorities said Juan Manuel Alvarez, 25, abandoned his sport-utility vehicle on a railroad track in suburban Glendale early Wednesday after changing his mind about killing himself.

Montrose turf battle for Budget — It’s a win-lose situation so far for both parties in a civil case. Montrose County obtained the preliminary injunction it had sought to keep Budget Rent A Car from conducting business in the airport terminal, but the contention that Budget could not rent cars from within its own facility, also on airport grounds, didn’t quite wash with the courts.

Senators call for pilot uniform investigation — Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Governor Rod Blagojevich say the government needs to do more to prevent the easy purchase of airline pilots’ uniforms by civilians. The politicians’ comments come after an investigation found it’s easy to buy an airline pilot’s uniform on the Web, even if the consumer isn’t a pilot.

Mexico downplays U.S. travel warning — From Mexico City to the California border, Mexican authorities yesterday condemned a U.S. State Department warning Wednesday urging Americans to take precautions when visiting northern Mexico. Interior Minister Santiago Creel said in a nationally televised interview that the U.S. administration “went too far, without a doubt” in its alert stating that violence, murder and kidnapping placed U.S. visitors at risk.

50-foot wave jolts student cruise — A “floating campus” carrying 54 University of Colorado students was heading for Hawaii Thursday after briefly losing its guidance system during a storm. The 591-foot vessel Explorer was hit by a “monster wave” as students slept early Wednesday morning, said Paul Watson, enrollment director for Pittsburgh-based Semester at Sea. The program, affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, runs educational cruises.