Web Auction Benefits Tsunami Victims

1-11-05 - BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AP) Indonesia officials have opened a second airport near the hard-hit island of Sumatra to help deal with the crush of tsunami aid coming in.

More and more aid is pouring into Indonesia and officials say the lone landing strip at the Banda Aceh facility was being overused. They feared a crash.

The airport had been handling three flights a day prior to the disaster. Now, some 200 planes and helicopters bringing aid and dignitaries are using the facility.

Indonesia is also raising the number of victims in the tsunami to more than 105,000. That raises the overall number of dead to more than 152,000.

A Bells man is finding an unusual way to help. John Schmeidler is a website domain broker is auctioning off one of his domains on EBAY.

Schmeidler says www.98°.com could be a valuable site; especially since it is the same name as the popular boy band.

Schmeidler has been buying and selling domains since he was laid off from his job at Texas Instruments in October. He plans to donate 75% of the sale of his most valuable domain to the Tsunami relief effort; making the donation in the name of the highest bidder.

The father of a three year old son says he was inspired by the hardships he saw the Tsunami victims and their families endure on TV.

He has already been contacted by a producer for the band; 98° who may eventually buy the domain.

Bidding is open until January 19th.