Monthly Archives: April 2013

Rare 1913 nickel fetches more than $3.1M at auction

A rare century-old U.S. nickel that was once mistakenly declared a fake has sold at auction for more than $3.1 million. The 1913 Liberty Head nickel is one of only five known to exist. But it’s the coin’s back story that adds to its cachet: It was surreptitiously and illegally cast, discovered in a car wreck that killed its owner, declared a fake, forgotten in a closet for decades then declared the real deal. It was offered for sale by four Virginia siblings at a rare coin and currency auction in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg on Thursday, and sold for well over the expected $2.5 million. The winning bidders were two men from Lexington, Ky., and Panama City, Fla., who bought the coin in partnership. Continue Reading →

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Therapy dogs help Mont. students with test stress

At Montana State University, final exams stress is going to the dogs. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/11pDoHV) Intermountain Therapy Animals is bringing dogs to campus this week and next to help students take a break from the stress of studying for and taking semester exams. Jacqueline Frank is the Renne Library commons assistant who started the “Paws to de-Stress” program this semester. She says research shows that animals can help reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Frank says over a two-hour period on Thursday afternoon, 261 people stopped by to meet Ellie, a 6-year-old golden retriever and Sophie, a 4-year-old Maltese. Sophomore Rebecca Johnson from Ferndale, Wash., said: “This is the best idea ever.” Continue Reading →

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At least 10 hurt in western Pennsylvania bus-train crash

A rural transit bus carrying passengers to a program that offers services for people with developmental disabilities and a freight train crashed at an unmarked railroad crossing Friday morning, injuring at least 10 people. It was not immediately clear if the bus drove into the train, or vice versa, and police were investigating whether dense morning fog contributed to the crash. The crash occurred in Evans City, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, at about 8:10 a.m. Friday. Eleven people, including the driver, were on the bus, and at least 10 were being taken to hospitals, officials said. Three men and a woman were being treated in the Allegheny General Hospital emergency room in Pittsburgh, said hospital spokesman Dan Laurent. Continue Reading →

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Mining firm bets there's still gold in the hills that sparked 1849 rush

More than 150 years ago, John Sutter touched off the fabled Gold Rush when he found gold near his mill in 1849. But the prospectors who flocked to the Sierra foothills left plenty of gold in the ground. At least that’s what a mining company setting up shop in the same area southeast of Sacramento believes. Geologists for Sutter Gold Mining Co., estimate there are some 650,000 ounces remaining in the area that sparked an epidemic of gold fever. At today’s prices, that could amount to just shy of $1 billion. Continue Reading →

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US bars Castro's daugther from visiting Philadelphia

The daughter of Cuba President Raul Castro cannot visit Philadelphia to receive an award for her gay rights activism because the State Department has denied her permission to travel there, officials said Thursday. Mariela Castro had been expected to attend a conference next week on civil rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities sponsored by the Equality Forum, according to Malcolm Lazin, the advocacy group’s executive director. “We find it shocking that our State Department would deny freedom of speech, particularly at an international civil rights summit, to anyone, let alone the Cuban president’s daughter,” Lazin said. State Department spokesman Noel Clay said he could not comment on the case because visa records are confidential. Mariela Castro, the niece of retired leader Fidel Castro, is director of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education. Continue Reading →

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Senate passes bill to end FAA furloughs

With flight delays mounting, the Senate approved hurry-up legislation Thursday night to end air traffic controller furloughs blamed for inconveniencing large numbers of travelers. A House vote on the measure was expected as early as Friday, with lawmakers eager to embark on a weeklong vacation. Under the legislation, the Federal Aviation Administration would gain authority to transfer up to $253 million from accounts that are flush into other programs, to “prevent reduced operations and staffing” through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year. In addition to restoring full staffing by controllers, Senate officials said the available funds should be ample enough to prevent the closure of small airport towers around the country. Continue Reading →

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California man suspected in kidnapping back in US after being detained in Mexico

A phone tip and a Superman tattoo led to the Mexico arrest and return to the U.S. of a fugitive charged with abducting and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Los Angeles girl. Tobias Summers, 30, a fugitive for nearly a month, was arrested in a Mexican village where he had checked into a drug and alcohol treatment center, authorities said. Summers appeared in court in Los Angeles County court on Thursday, but his arraignment was postponed until May 2. He had been charged in his absence with kidnapping, burglary and nearly three dozen counts of sexual assault.

The FBI had received a phone tip Tuesday night that Summers was at the treatment center and alerted Mexican authorities, who identified him Wednesday by the Superman logo tattooed on his chest, FBI Special Agent in Charge Tim Delaney told a news conference. The girl’s family released a statement thanking and praising police and FBI agents. Continue Reading →

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