National briefs: Competing bids for Dell

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Dell Inc. received proposals from Blackstone Group LP and billionaire Carl Icahn that would rival the $24.4 billion leveraged buyout offer from founder Michael Dell and allow shareholders to keep a stake in the company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Blackstone outlined an offer valued in excess of $14.25 a share in cash, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified. The private-equity firm is working with Morgan Stanley, which is confident it can raise debt to finance the deal, according to the person. Mr. Icahn said he'd pay $15 a share in cash for 58 percent of Dell, the person said.

Two primary complaints of shareholders about the offer from Michael Dell, who is working with buyout firm Silver Lake Management LLC, are that the $13.65-a-share price is too low, and that they can't remain invested in the computer company to profit if its fortunes rebound. By responding to those criticisms, Blackstone and Mr. Icahn may be able to break up a deal that looked unstoppable when it was announced on Feb. 15.

Powerball winner in N.J.

TRENTON, N.J. -- Officials on Sunday said that the winning ticket for a $338.3 million Powerball drawing was sold in New Jersey.

New Jersey Lottery officials said information on the ticket would be released at a news conference today.

Lottery officials said 13 tickets worth $1 million apiece -- matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball -- were sold in Arizona, Florida (2), Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina and Virginia.

Slain Marine from Miss.

CORINTH, Miss. -- A Marine who was shot to death at a Virginia base was described as a warm-hearted country boy from the South who grew up in the Pentecostal church.

Jacob Wooley, 23, of Mississippi, was killed on Thursday by Sgt. Eusebio Lopez at the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia, military officials said. Sgt. Lopez also shot Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, to death before he killed himself.

Officials have not released their relationship or a motive for the shooting.

Tiffany Wood said she met Mr. Wooley when they were teens.

Before joining the Marines, he had preached a few times at Central Pentecostal Church, she said. "He just had a real big heart. He would help anybody that he could."

Icelandic skydivers killed

MIAMI -- Two Icelandic skydivers who died during weekend jumps at a popular southwest Florida camp did not deploy their main parachutes, the co-owner of the facility said Sunday.

Deputies found the bodies Saturday after the two didn't return from a jump with a group. Pasco County sheriff's authorities identified the victims as 41-year-old Orvar Arnarson and 25-year-old Andrimar Pordarson of Iceland.

The fact that the men didn't deploy their main parachutes could mean that they lost altitude awareness and didn't know where they were during the dive, which is unusual, said T.K. Hayes, co-owner of Skydive City.

Endangered giraffe born

GREENWICH, Conn. -- A rare, nearly 6-foot-tall giraffe listed as an endangered subspecies has been born in a Connecticut conservation center.

The Greenwich Time reports that Petal, a 6-year-old Rothschild giraffe gave birth on Friday to a female calf. When fully grown, the newborn could reach 18 feet in height.

The calf is the first born at the off-exhibit conservation center.



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