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Bush to meet 'Quecreek 9' in Green Tree on Monday

Disney acquires rights to miners' story for ABC movie

Saturday, August 03, 2002

By Ann McFeatters and Rob Owen, Post-Gazette Staff Writers

WASHINGTON -- President Bush's visit to Pittsburgh on Monday will be the first of two trips he plans to make to Western Pennsylvania in the next month and a half, White House officials said yesterday.

Bush will meet Monday morning at the Green Tree Fire Department with the nine survivors of the Quecreek Mine accident and their rescuers. After that, Bush will headline a $1,000-a-plate fund-raising lunch at the Pittsburgh Hilton and Towers, Downtown, for GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Fisher.

He'll finish up his Pittsburgh visit on Monday by signing the "Born Alive Infants Protection Act of 2002," a measure that ensures that a live birth -- even if it occurs during an abortion procedure -- has certain rights under federal law. The measure was championed by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

In addition, Bush has planned a visit on Sept. 11 to the Somerset County field where the hijacked United Flight 93 crashed one year earlier. Bush's Sept. 11 plans also include trips to New York and the Pentagon, the other two sites hit by the terrorist attacks.

"On Sept. 11, America was attacked, and the president will be going to the three locations that were hit to continue to rally our nation and to mourn and to pay respects to the memory of those who lost their lives and to their families," White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said yesterday.

More than 3,000 people died when suicidal hijackers crashed jetliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and a third plane went down in Stonycreek Township, in rural Somerset, after passengers struggled with terrorists. The Pennsylvania crash site is not far from the flooded Quecreek coal mine where the nine miners were rescued last week.

In his meeting Monday with the miners, Bush plans to "herald the spirit of the miners and those who rescued them," Buchan said. "Clearly a great moment for them, and they represent sort of the spirit of America."

In another development regarding that rescue, the Walt Disney Co. has acquired the rights to the story of the nine miners and one rescue worker for a TV movie to air on ABC during the upcoming 2002-2003 television season.

Hyperion, Disney's book division, will get the book rights.

ABC executives would not comment on the deal or its cost, but last night's "Entertainment Tonight" reported that the rights, to be split among the 10, were sold for more than $1 million.

So far, no producer or stars are attached to the project.

Staff writer Karen MacPherson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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