Monthly Archives: May 2013

Survivor, rescuer reunite at Maine B-52 crash site

After surviving a deadly B-52 bomber crash and a night on a frozen mountainside, Gerald Adler, injured and frostbitten, could recall only the red handlebar mustache of his rescuer. For the first time in 50 years, the retired Air Force captain came face-to-face with the mustachioed medic, Eugene Slabinski, who dropped from a helicopter to rescue him and the only other survivor after a night in 5 feet of snow in the wilderness of northern Maine. The two gripped each other in a bear hug Saturday. “He doesn’t have the red moustache anymore,” Adler joked, pointing out Slabinski’s snow white hair. The long-delayed meeting was a bright spot in a somber observance as 75 people joined Adler, 81, and Slabinski, 83, on Memorial Day weekend to remember the Cold War tragedy that occurred when their B-52 bomber encountered turbulence strong enough to snap off the vertical stabilizer, causing it to crash onto the side of Elephant Mountain on Jan. Continue Reading →

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Authorities search for Iowa teen amid rain, wind

Authorities on Saturday searched amid rainy and windy conditions for an Iowa teenager who was abducted Monday. It was the sixth day searchers scoured various areas in central Iowa for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard, who was kidnapped along with a 12-year-old friend from a school bus stop. Police have said Michael Klunder, 42, abducted the girls in Dayton, a small town about 60 miles north of Des Moines, after asking if they wanted to make money mowing lawns. Investigators said he took them to a hog confinement building where he worked. The 12-year-old girl was able to escape when Klunder took Kathlynn to another part of the property. Continue Reading →

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Giffords, husband address graduates at Bard

Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says the futures of today’s college graduates “shines bright.” Giffords spoke only briefly Saturday at the Bard College commencement but urged the graduates to create, lead and innovate. Giffords was among 13 people wounded in a January 2011 shooting outside a Tucson, Ariz., supermarket that left six others dead. The Democrat resigned from Congress a year later. In her one minute, 20 second speech, the former congresswoman told the graduates they can start changing the world tomorrow. Continue Reading →

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Missouri highway buckles after rail cars hit overpass

A highway overpass in southeast Missouri collapsed early Saturday when rail cars slammed into one of the bridge’s pillars after a cargo train collision, authorities said. Seven people were injured, though none seriously. The bridge collapsed after a Union Pacific train hit the side of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train at a rail intersection. Derailed rail cars then hit columns supporting the Highway M overpass, causing it to buckle and partially collapse. The National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the cause of the cargo train collision, which happened about 2:30 a.m. near Chaffee, a town of about 3,000 southwest of Cape Girardeau. Continue Reading →

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Oregon teen accused of planning to attack school

An Oregon high school student is being charged with attempted murder after the authorities say he planned to attack his high school with bombs. The student, 17-year-old Grant Acord, was taken to a juvenile jail Thursday night after police received a tip that the youth was making a bomb to blow up West Albany High School. Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson said late Saturday that authorities found six bombs in a secret compartment in the boy’s bedroom. Haroldson said Acord had written plans and checklists, and his intent was “forged and inspired by the model of the Columbine shootings.” Haroldson said the teen is being charged as an adult.

Police found no bombs during a search of West Albany High, which about 75 miles south of Portland. Continue Reading →

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Actor Tyler Perry donates $100K to Ohio schools

Filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry has surprised middle school students in Ohio by showing up at a musical concert and donating $100,000 to help student athletes in the city’s South-Western schools. The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/13Qe0uR ) reports that Perry was drawn to Finland Middle School on Friday after seeing a TV report about teacher Mary Mulvany starting a foundation to raise scholarship money to cover fees. South-Western schools earned national attention when athletics and extra-curricular activities were eliminated after a failed levy in 2009. The ballot request was later approved by voters, and sports, clubs and other activities were resurrected for a fee. Perry says he wants to sponsor as many children as possible and wants part of the money to go toward Finland and some to the foundation. Continue Reading →

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Jury foreman says life or death decision unfair

They were 12 ordinary citizens who didn’t oppose the death penalty. But unlike spectators outside the courthouse who followed the case like a daytime soap opera and jumped to demand Jodi Arias’ execution, the jurors faced a decision that was wrenching and real, with implications that could haunt them forever. In an interview Friday, jury foreman William Zervakos provided a glimpse into the private deliberations, describing four women and eight men who struggled with the question: How heinous of a killing deserves a similar fate? “The system we think is flawed in that sense because this was not a case of a Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson,” Zervakos told The Associated Press. “It was a brutal no-win situation. Continue Reading →

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State report shows downed bridge had gouges, impact damage

Officials in Washington state performed a special inspection six months ago on the Interstate 5 bridge that collapsed because there were indications it had been struck by a different vehicle. An inspection report released Friday by the state Department of Transportation says inspectors brought in a bucket truck to examine the structure and identified tears, deformations and gouges on the northbound side of the bridge. In that Nov. 29, 2012, impact, an overheight truck struck a metal overhead truss on the bridge, DOT spokeswoman Broch Bender said. An inspection crew determined the bridge to be safe, with only minor repairs required. Continue Reading →

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Citizen heroes: Restoring life to Hurricane Sandy victims

Seven months after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the New Jersey Shore, destroying homes and dramatically upending lives, the tourist towns dotting the coast have ramped up repairs which are nearly complete as the summer tourist begins. But for many of the residents in surrounding areas, still embroiled in a morass of loss and red tape, it has been their neighbors and ordinary citizens who have stepped in to provide vital help and support. From a “bucket brigade” offering food from repurposed shipping containers to an operation that returns treasured photos blown away by the storm to a movement to overturn last year’s Flood Insurance Reform Act, people have stepped up to help each other as well as themselves. Some were not even living in New Jersey when Sandy ripped through October 29. Cassandra Vitale, 26, who had lived along the Jersey Shore as a child, was at her home in Melbourne, Fla. Continue Reading →

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