3 veteran storm chasers killed by Oklahoma tornado

Three veteran storm chasers were among the 10 people killed when a violent tornado barreled into the Oklahoma City metro area. Jim Samaras said Sunday that his brother Tim Samaras was killed. Tim Samaras’ son, Paul Samaras, and another chaser, Carl Young, also died. The men were from Colorado but traveled the Great Plains in search of bad weather. The three died Friday night near El Reno when an EF3 tornado with winds up to 165 mph hit the Oklahoma City area during rush hour. Continue Reading

Murder trial of reputed mob boss Whitey Bulger to begin in Boston

The long-awaited murder trial of reputed Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger is set to begin this week. The 83-year-old Bulger was once a feared man accused of running the violent Winter Hill Gang. Prosecutors say he played a role in 19 murders over two decades and they plan to have his former cohorts testify against him. The infamous gangsters on the witness list include Bulger’s former partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, hit man John Martorano and former Bulger lieutenant Kevin Weeks. Bulger’s lawyers have made it clear they will attack the men’s credibility. Continue Reading

Long-awaited Bulger murder trial to begin in Mass.

The long-awaited murder trial of reputed Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger is set to begin this week. The 83-year-old Bulger was once a feared man accused of running the violent Winter Hill Gang. Prosecutors say he played a role in 19 murders over two decades and they plan to have his former cohorts testify against him. The infamous gangsters on the witness list include Bulger’s former partner, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, hit man John Martorano and former Bulger lieutenant Kevin Weeks. Bulger’s lawyers have made it clear they will attack the men’s credibility. Continue Reading

Where in the world is $590M Powerball lottery winner?

It’s been two weeks since residents of Zephyrhills, Fla., learned that a $590 million Powerball ticket was sold inside their city limits. No one expected the winner to come forward immediately. After all, they reasoned, the person might need a few days to absorb the shock, or to consult with financial advisers. But now folks are simply beside themselves. “Who won?” Continue Reading

Florida city wonders who won the lottery jackpot

It’s been two weeks since residents of Zephyrhills, Fla., learned that a $590 million Powerball ticket was sold inside their city limits. No one expected the winner to come forward immediately. After all, they reasoned, the person might need a few days to absorb the shock, or to consult with financial advisers. But now folks are simply beside themselves. “Who won?” Continue Reading

Illinois Gov. Quinn open to Great Lakes-Mississippi split to block carp

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said Saturday that separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems is the “ultimate solution” to prevent voracious Asian carp from overrunning the lakes, a potential step toward resolving a longstanding regional feud. During a meeting with governors of several neighboring states, Quinn said it would be a massive and costly undertaking to rework the Chicago canal project that linked the two giant watersheds a century ago. He defended Illinois’ efforts to block the advance of silver and bighead carp toward the lakes by hiring commercial fishermen and operating an electric barrier, but acknowledged more needs to be done. “Ultimately, I think we have to separate the basins,” Quinn said. “I really feel that is the ultimate solution.” Continue Reading

Ariz. mom not giving up on Mexico, despite arrest

The American woman who was jailed for a week after Mexican authorities said they found marijuana under her bus seat said she’ll return to Mexico someday. But she’s going to drive her car. Yanira Maldonado returned to her suburban Phoenix home on Friday, a day after a judge in Nogales, Mexico, dismissed drug smuggling charges. The 42-year-old mother walked out of a prison on the outskirts of Nogales, Mexico, late Thursday night after a judge determined she was no longer a suspect, following a review of a video that showed she and her husband, Gary, climbing on the bus with just a purse, blankets and bottles of water. “What happened to me can happen to anyone,” she said Friday of her weeklong detention after Mexican authorities said they found marijuana under her bus seat. Continue Reading

New Orleans parade marred by gunfire stages re-do

Organizers of a parade interrupted by a shooting spree in New Orleans on Mother’s Day are finishing what they started. The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/18HgTVY ) the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club held a “re-do” Saturday of its second-line parade along the same route where 20 people were injured after gunfire erupted last month. Led by a brass band, the crowd danced and sang when they paused at the intersection where the shooting broke out on May 12. Two brothers are accused of firing into the crowd last month. They were arrested on 20 counts each of attempted second-degree murder. Continue Reading

Police dog mourned by Plymouth police officers

Those who have suffered the loss of a pet often describe it as if they lost a member of the family. For a Plymouth police officer, losing his dog meant losing his partner. Kaiser, a member of Plymouth’s K-9 team, was recently diagnosed with a severe kidney disease, according to the Plymouth Police Working Dog Foundation’s Facebook page. The dog was placed into retirement when the disease began to take a toll on him. The officer in charge of Kaiser ultimately made what he calls the “heart-wrenching” decision to have the dog put down after seeking the advice of a veterinarian, trainer, and family members. Continue Reading