9,000 Acre NW Wisconsin Wildfire Biggest in 33 Years

TOWN OF GORDON, Wis. (AP) — Firefighters battling a 9,000-acre in northwestern Wisconsin have contained the massive blaze.  

Department of Natural Resources spokesman Robert Manwell said Thursday the fire in Douglas and Bayfield counties is 100 percent contained. Manwell says fire crews will be handling small brush fires and reworking the lines that contain the wildfire. Authorities opened all roads in the area overnight and some residents headed back to their homes. Continue Reading

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Texas Tornadoes Kill at Least 6, Injure More Than 3 Dozen

GRANBURY, Texas (AP) — The sheriff in Hood County, Texas, says seven people are still unaccounted for after last night’s tornadoes, which left at least six people dead.  

Sheriff Roger Deeds says authorities hope the missing are all staying with family or friends. He says 37 injured people were treated at hospitals. The tornadoes blew windows from homes, threw trailers into cars and scattered bodies. The mayor tells ABC that the top priority now is to get the survivors into shelters. Continue Reading

Police shoot car theft suspect at Fla. airport

Police shot a teenager and arrested another suspect while investigating a car theft inside a rental car return area at Jacksonville International Airport in Florida. The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon. Police tried to stop the vehicle after tracking it to the parking garage at the airport. When they tried to stop it, the driver rammed two police vehicles and another car. The Florida Times-Union (http://bit.ly/17xj5Pi ) reports an officer shot at the car as it drove away. Continue Reading

Jury resumes talks in Ohio case hinging on blinks

Jurors began a third day of deliberations in a Cincinnati murder trial revolving around whether a dying, paralyzed man identified his shooter by blinking his eyes. The jury in the trial of 35-year-old Ricardo Woods, of Cincinnati, began discussions Tuesday afternoon and didn’t reach a verdict Wednesday. Jurors reconvened Thursday morning. Woods is accused of shooting David Chandler in 2010. Chandler was left paralyzed from the neck down and unable to speak before his death about two weeks later. Continue Reading

Fire burns 3,000 acres in Calif. national forest

Cooler temperatures and lighter winds are helping hundreds of firefighters combat a 3,000-acre wildfire that has blackened rugged terrain in the Los Padres National Forest. The fire that broke out Wednesday quickly charred 3,000 acres of dry, thick trees, despite a heavy aerial effort to beat back flames in the largely unpopulated area. The blaze was 10 percent contained early Thursday. No structures were threatened although a high school has been evacuated as a precaution. No injuries have been reported. Continue Reading

2 Michigan teens can't show pregnant bellies in yearbook pictures

Two Michigan students have been banned from showing their baby bumps in the school yearbook. Deonna Harris says she was pulled aside this week by a yearbook staff member and told her photo would have to be re-taken because the previous shot displayed Harris’ pregnant belly. Kimberly Haney also is pregnant and not permitted to show her midsection in the White Cloud High School yearbook. Haney tells WOOD-TV she “went to the bathroom and cried” when she received the news. Both girls say they’re being discriminated against. Continue Reading

Wash. state woman spots stolen car in drive-thru

A Washington woman whose car was stolen from her apartment complex saw the stolen SUV hours later — in the drive-thru of the McDonald’s restaurant where she works. The Tri-City Herald reports (http://bit.ly/11H2tDS ) Virginia Maiden called police Tuesday after seeing her SUV in the drive-thru. Officers arrested the driver, a 22-year-old Kennewick woman, at the restaurant. Police found clothes in the car that had been stolen from department stores. ___ Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com Via: Fox News Continue Reading

Morrison, IL Seeks Historic Status for Downtown

MORRISON, Ill. (AP) — The city of Morrison in northwestern Illinois wants to have its downtown business district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

The Daily Gazette in Sterling reports that the Whiteside County city will use grant money to pay a Springfield historic preservation consultant to prepare its application for the register. The city received a $14,000 federal grant for the effort. City officials say getting National Historic District designation would bring economic benefits to the town. Continue Reading

ISU Engineers Work to Design Concrete Turbine Towers

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Engineers at Iowa State University are working on a way to make wind turbine towers taller by building them from concrete instead of the steel currently used.  

Increasing tower height to about 328 feet from the current 260 feet would mean steadier less turbulent wind conditions and longer turbine blades. ISU Professor Sri Sritharan says those changes could increase energy production by 15 percent. He says the work he’s done with engineering graduate student Grant Schmitz and other engineers at Iowa State shows towers made of precast concrete panels and columns withstand necessary stresses. He says the concrete towers would last longer than steel towers and would be easier to transport. Continue Reading