Volunteer Fireman Convicted of Setting Them First

 BOONE, Iowa (AP) _ A volunteer firefighter in central Iowa faces up to 10 years
in prison when he is sentenced next month for arson.  
 A court filing on Thursday said Brett Graham, of Kelley, was convicted of
second-degree arson in Boone County. Authorities say Graham admitted starting
four fires in Story and Boone counties over several months. A dozen horses died
in one of the Boone County fires.  
     The 19-year-old was a volunteer firefighter for the Kelley Fire Department. Continue Reading

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P-E-D-V: Remember Those Letters if You Raise Pigs

Tests have confirmed a “devastating” virus has struck swine herds in eight states, including Iowa and Illinois. The National Pork Producers Council is committing 410-thousand dollars to research aimed at combatting the disease. The virus — known as P-E-D-V — is not transmitted to humans and is not considered a threat to food safety, but the vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration it causes can kill up to 90 percent of baby pigs in a herd. This is the first time PEDV has been idenfied in the western hemisphere, although it exists in Europe and Asia.  Diagnostic labs at Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota have confirmed 103 cases of the virus. Besides Iowa and Illinois, tests have confirmed the virus is present in swine herds in Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Oklahoma and Colorado. Continue Reading

8 injured, two critical in vehicle pileup on I-64 bridge in West Virginia

Eight people have been hurt, two critically, after more than three dozen vehicles were involved in an early-evening pileup on an Interstate 64 bridge. Amy Shuler Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, said the wrecks occurred Thursday evening on a bridge crossing the Kanawha River at St. Albans, near Charleston. She said eight people were taken to area hospitals. While authorities were still trying to determine the cause, a sudden rain squall had hit the area at the time of the accident. Continue Reading

Self-help New York radio couple commits suicide, cops say

On a radio show they hosted called “The Pursuit of Happiness,” John Littig and Lynne Rosen urged listeners to embrace spontaneity. “So much about life is about impulse,” Littig said on a broadcast this year on an FM station in New York, WBAI. “It’s about doing it right now.” A shocking decision the couple made together appeared more methodical: Police say they killed themselves side by side as part of a suicide pact. Autopsies found that both Littig, 47, and Rosen, 45, died from asphyxiation after inhaling helium, a spokeswoman for medical examiner’s office said Thursday. Continue Reading

Somali piracy, murder trial gets underway in Va.

Defense attorneys for three Somalis charged with the murders of four Americans aboard their pirated yacht say there’s no evidence proving their clients fired the fatal shots. The comments were made during opening statements in federal court in Norfolk on Thursday. The yacht’s owners, Jean and Scott Adam of Marina del Rey, Calif., and their friends, Bob Riggle and Phyllis Macay of Seattle, were shot to death in February 2011 after they were taken hostage at sea several hundred miles south of Oman. The 19 people who boarded their yacht intended to ransom the Americans. That plan fell apart when the U.S. Navy began shadowing the yacht. Continue Reading

Texas teacher accused of taping student to chair

A suburban San Antonio school district said it’s reviewing training guidelines after a teacher allegedly duct taped an 8-year-old student to a chair — a year after another teacher was accused of ordering kindergartners to take turns hitting a classmate. Judson Independent School District spokesman Steve Linscomb said Thursday that school officials would review training guidelines to make sure “there isn’t something we are missing.” He promised appropriate changes will be made. Linscomb said a teacher at Woodlake Elementary School taped an 8-year-old boy to a chair in May because the child was too rowdy and couldn’t be controlled. The teacher and a teacher’s aide resigned soon after. Continue Reading

Mass. residents sue NY Post over marathon coverage

Two Massachusetts residents have sued the New York Post, saying the newspaper falsely portrayed them as suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings in part by featuring them on the front page under the headline “Bag Men.” The lawsuit said photographs and articles the Post published three days after the bombings made it appear that law enforcement officials suspected 16-year-old Salaheddin Barhoum and 24-year-old Yassine Zaimi as the attack’s perpetrators, before the FBI publicly identified two brothers as suspects. But the Post still stands by its story, and says it never identified them as suspects. Lawyers for the two Moroccan plaintiffs said Thursday the friends had hoped to run the race that day as unofficial entrants, and had running gear in their bags. The civil action said the Post’s headline implied they had bombs in their bags and accuses the newspaper of libel, negligent infliction of emotional distress and privacy invasion. Continue Reading


Ottumwa Men’s Shelter Closing

After 10 years of operation, the men’s shelter in Ottumwa is closing their doors. The Ottumwa Courier reports that the Ottumwa Community Outreach Ministry will be serving it’s last meal tomorrow. The shelter has been serving 50-100 meals a day. The decision to close the center was based on inability to maintain an active board of directors as well as dwindling financial resources. Continue Reading


Metropolis, IL. Hopes to Break Superman Record

The southern Illinois city of Metropolis is attempting to set a Superman record. Organizers of the yearly festival honoring Superman, hope to enter the record books for having the most people dressed up as Superman at one time. The mark now stands at 437, but there’s competition. Yesterday 566 people were dressed as the superhero in Chicago. The event was tied to the new Superman movie. Continue Reading