National Correspondent
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Apr 25, 2013

Hundreds attend funeral for Texas firefighter killed in blast

WEST, Texas, April 24 (Reuters) – Hundreds of firefighters
and a drum and pipe band joined residents of a Texas town on
Wednesday to honor a firefighter who died one week ago in an
explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed 13 others and
injured some 200.

Authorities said on Wednesday they have not determined the
cause of the blast at the West Fertilizer Co in the town of
West, a Czech-American community between Austin and Dallas.

Apr 24, 2013

Many town residents support owner of exploded Texas plant

WEST, Texas, April 23 (Reuters) – When Texas farmer Donald
Adair bought the floundering West Fertilizer Co in 2004, his
neighbors in the rolling countryside near West were grateful he
had saved them from driving extra miles to Waco or Hillsboro to
buy fertilizer, feed and tools.

After the plant exploded last week, flattening homes,
damaging schools, killing 14 people and leaving some 200 others
with injuries including burns, lacerations and broken bones,
they still described the 83-year-old owner as honest and good.

Apr 23, 2013

Rail car with ammonium nitrate didn’t cause Texas blast: fire official

WEST, Texas (Reuters) – A rail car filled with extremely hazardous ammonium nitrate did not cause the fiery explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant, investigators said on Tuesday, in their first statement ruling out possible sources of the deadly blast six days ago.

Fourteen people died in the explosion at the West Fertilizer Co last Wednesday, and some 200 were injured.

Apr 23, 2013

Texas town holds no grudge against exploded fertilizer plant owner

WEST, Texas (Reuters) – When Texas farmer Donald Adair bought the floundering West Fertilizer Co in 2004, his neighbors in the rolling countryside near West were grateful he had saved them from driving extra miles to Waco or Hillsboro to buy fertilizer, feed and tools.

After the plant exploded last week, flattening homes, damaging schools, killing 14 people and leaving some 200 others with injuries including burns, lacerations and broken bones, they still described the 83-year-old owner as honest and good.

Apr 22, 2013

School resumes after Texas blast, but town’s frustration grows

WEST, Texas, April 22 (Reuters) – The only one of four
schools in a Texas town to escape damage from a deadly
fertilizer plant blast reopened on Monday with hugs for students
and parents, as some residents expressed frustration they had
not been allowed to return to damaged homes.

Fourteen people were killed and some 200 injured in the huge
explosions at the West Fertilizer Co. facility that supplied
agricultural chemicals and fertilizer to area farmers.

Apr 22, 2013

Officials identify firefighters killed in deadly Texas blast

WEST, Texas (Reuters) – Texas officials released the names of four volunteer firefighters on Sunday killed in a deadly blast in this close-knit Texas town, as authorities identified the center but not the cause of last week’s deadly fertilizer plant blast.

Among the dead named at a news conference outside city hall in West, Texas, were brothers Doug and Robert Snokhous, remembered by their family as “lifelong best friends” who lived half a mile from each other and worked together at an ironworks in nearby Waco.

Apr 21, 2013

Texas residents seek healing at church after deadly blast

WEST, Texas (Reuters) – Hundreds of residents of this close-knit Texas town sought healing at a church service on Sunday, as schools were readied to reopen and authorities investigated the cause of this week’s deadly fertilizer plant blast.

About 200 residents in the town of West, Texas – including farmers, veterans and migrant workers – packed into Church of the Assumption in the center of the town for Catholic mass early on Sunday.

Apr 17, 2013

Arizona border residents skeptical of Senate immigration plan

NACO, Arizona (Reuters) – A Senate immigration plan seeking billions of dollars to secure the porous Mexico border sparked some skepticism in southern Arizona, where wary residents of the border area said previous efforts to ramp up enforcement had failed to stop illegal crossings.

“They ain’t going to stop it unless they build that wall 50 feet high and … 50 feet deep,” said Jesus Morales, the fire district chief in Naco, a tiny community southeast of Tucson, which is separated from its namesake town in Mexico by a 10- to 13-foot-high (3- to 4-metre-high) steel fence.

Apr 9, 2013

French auction firm faces court test over sale of Hopi tribal masks

PHOENIX (Reuters) – A Paris auction house is facing a court hearing aimed at halting the controversial sale of a trove of antique tribal masks revered as sacred ritual artifacts by a Native American tribe in Arizona, an international tribal advocacy group said on Tuesday.

The Hopi Tribe, living in a dozen scattered villages on a northeastern Arizona reservation, wrote to auctioneer Neret-Minet Tessier & Sarrou last month asking it to cancel its planned sale of 70 objects including the sacred Katsinam masks, and asked for their return.

Apr 3, 2013

Arizona city becomes state’s first to allow same-sex civil unions

BISBEE, Arizona (Reuters) – A former Arizona copper mining town reborn as an artists’ community defied the threat of legal action on Tuesday and became the first city in the conservative southwestern state to allow civil unions between same-sex couples.

The city council in Bisbee, a city of 5,600 residents in southeast Arizona, voted five to two to pass a measure allowing any couple to join in a civil ceremony, regardless of their sex or sexual orientation.

    • About Tim

      "I cover immigration and southwest border issues for Reuters. I am based in Phoenix and have been in my current role since 2006. I previously covered northern Mexico and worked as a general news reporter in Central America."
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