Originally created 09/15/03

Across the southeast



Isabel will hit East hard, forecasters say

MIAMI -Hurricane Isabel weakened slightly Sunday but was still a powerful Category 4 storm as it plowed across the Atlantic Ocean on a course that could slam it into the central East Coast late this week.

"It's looking more and more likely that this is going to be a big event for the eastern United States," National Hurricane Center meteorologist Eric Blake said Sunday.

"Little or no significant weakening is expected to occur until after landfall occurs," hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said.

On Sunday afternoon, the storm was centered about 900 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.

Commemorative items honor First Flight

RALEIGH, N.C. -Custom engraved rifles, solid-gold watches, embroidered teddy bears and a 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon.

They are some of the hundreds of commemorative items being sold to mark this year's 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight near Kitty Hawk.

Fund-raisers trying to help finance December's six-day anniversary celebration at Wright Brothers Memorial Park are relying on a cut from the sales of the products emblazoned with the First Flight logo.

So far, the First Flight Centennial Foundation, one of several agencies helping pay for the celebration, has reaped $225,000 in royalties. That doesn't include the proceeds from 1.5 million official First Flight coins issued by the U.S. Mint, which goes directly to the federal park at Kill Devil Hills.

Study finds teens able to get tobacco online

It's easy for underage teenagers to buy cigarettes over the Internet using credit cards or money orders because almost none of the vendors verify a buyer's age, new research has found.

Kurt Ribisl, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Public Health, announced the results last week. They are in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Four teens in Mr. Ribisl's study made 83 attempts to buy cigarettes and succeeded in 76 instances.

Most of the vendors warned on their Web pages that they would not sell to minors, but only four blocked sales when the teens failed to provide a copy of a driver's license showing that they were 18 or older.