MERCER— Authorities said a 7-year-old boy was shot to death when a gun accidentally went off as his father was getting into his truck outside a western Pennsylvania gun store. The boy was shot Saturday morning at Twigs Reloading Den in East Lackawannock Township, 60 miles north of Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the boy was shot when his father’s handgun went off as the man got into the truck while holding the gun. Police said 44-year-old Joseph V. Loughrey told them he had emptied the magazine but didn’t realize a bullet was still in the chamber. Seven-year-old Craig Allen Loughrey was shot in the chest and died at the scene. State Police are investigating the shooting as an accident. (AP)
US officials revise school lunch rules
The Agriculture Department is responding to criticism on new school lunch rules by allowing children to eat more grains and meat in lunchrooms. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will eliminate daily and weekly maximums of meats and grains. Several lawmakers have written the department since the new rules went into effect in September saying youths are not getting enough to eat. School administrators also complained, saying set maximums on grains and meats are too limiting as they try to plan daily meals. (AP)
Agencies fail to act on whale carcass
MALIBU — No government agency is taking action to remove the decaying carcass of a whale on a California beach, making it appear the job will be left to Mother Nature. The corpse of the huge fin whale created a spectacle on Friday as people wandered down the narrow Malibu beach to look at the remains — white bones, rolls of blubber, and the tail flukes trailing along the water’s edge. The homes of movie stars, celebrities, and others line the cliffs high above the slender California beach.
The 40-foot-long, 40,000-pound juvenile male washed ashore Monday near Point Dume, which marks the western end of Santa Monica Bay, west of Los Angeles. (AP)