Federal report documents inmate sex abuse in US

A new federal report says inmates at jails in Indianapolis, Baltimore, St. Louis and Philadelphia face the nation’s highest levels of sexual abuse at the hands of guards. The U.S. Department of Justice’s report says the Marion County Jail in Indianapolis had the nation’s highest rate of inmate sex abuse by staff. Its 7.7 percent abuse rate was well above the 1.8 percent average abuse rate among all jails based on inmate surveys from February 2011 to May 2012. The Baltimore City Detention Center had the second-highest abuse rate by guards at 6.7 percent. Continue Reading

Alaska volcano shoots lava up hundreds of feet

Alaska’s remote Pavlof Volcano has been shooting lava hundreds of feet into the air, but its ash plume is thinning and is no longer making it dangerous for airplanes to fly nearby. Geologist Chris Waythomas of the Alaska Volcano Observatory says a narrow ash plume extends a couple hundred miles southeast from the volcano, which is 625 miles southwest of Anchorage. The eruption that began Monday seemed to be slowing on Saturday, but Waythomas says that could change at any time. He says seismic tremors from the 8,262-foot volcano have been going up and down, but remain at a fairly high level. Scientists are not expecting the eruption to end anytime soon but so far it has not been explosive. Continue Reading

50 to 60 injured after car drives into hikers at Virginia parade, emergency official says

About 50 to 60 people were injured Saturday when a driver described by witnesses as an elderly man drove his car into a group of hikers marching in a parade in a small Virginia mountain town. It happened around 2:10 p.m. during the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days festival, an annual celebration of the Appalachian Trail in Damascus, near the Tennessee state line about a half-hour drive east of Bristol. Washington County director of emergency management Pokey Harris said no fatalities had been reported. The injuries ranged from critical to superficial, he said. Three of the victims were flown by helicopters to regional hospitals. Continue Reading

Funeral held for mom, son found dead in home

Funeral services have been held for the New Jersey woman and boy whose bodies were found in their home after a 37-hour hostage standoff last weekend. The Times of Trenton (http://bit.ly/113Q2dJ) reports Carmenlita Stevens’ four surviving children were among those attending Saturday’s service for the 44-year-old woman and her 12-year-old son, Quavon Foster. Stevens’ boyfriend had held three of the surviving children hostage during the standoff. Authorities have said Stevens and Foster died from stab wounds on April 25, nearly three weeks before the standoff began May 10. It ended two days later when hostage-taker Gerald Tyrone Murphy was fatally shot in the head by police who stormed the home. Continue Reading

After nearly 30 years, Camp Lejeune coming clean

Purple wildflowers sprout in abundance around the bright-yellow pipe, one of several jutting from the sandy soil in this unassuming patch of grass and mud. A dirty hose runs from the pipe to an idling truck and into a large tank labeled, “NON-POTABLE WATER.” This is the former Hadnot Point fuel farm, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s main fuel depot until it was ordered closed in the 1980s. At one point, a layer of gasoline 15 feet thick floated atop the groundwater here, and this “fluid vapor recovery” truck is part of the continuing effort to remove it. “He’s skimming that contaminate out of that well, into this tank,” civilian Bob Lowder, head of environmental quality for the base, said during a recent tour. Continue Reading

Police investigate killing of 21-year-old Hofstra student in home invasion

Last Sunday Andrea Rebello, a 21-year-old Hofstra University junior studying public relations, posted a recipe for how to prepare July 4-themed strawberries covered in sparkling sugars on her blog. Less than a week later, Nassau County police announced that Rebello, who was with her twin sister Jessica and several other college students inside an off-campus house, had been shot and killed during an early morning break-in Friday that also left the armed intruder dead. The shooting, which took place just steps from the Long Island campus, has cast a pall over the university community gearing up for commencement ceremonies this weekend. Police are still investigating. “Today is the last day of finals and this should be a happy day on campus; but it’s not,” said Hofstra freshman Scott Aharoni of Great Neck, as he passed through the area rife with yellow crime-scene tape Friday. Continue Reading

Powerball at an estimated $600 million as jackpot continues to grow

The Powerball jackpot soared to an estimated $600 million — the third largest lottery in history — as dreamers in all but the seven states where the game isn’t played snatched up tickets for the minuscule change at a life on easy street. Officials expect the jackpot to keep growing before Saturday’s drawing that could break Powerball’s November 2012 record of $587.5 million. Thursday’s announcement by the Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery Association means ticket sales have soared since Wednesday night’s drawing for an estimated $360 million jackpot, in which no one picked all six numbers correctly. Sales jumped by $260 million in the days before November’s biggest Powerball jackpot win. And Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said it’s possible that Saturday’s could end up eclipsing that amount. Continue Reading

Landing gear issue forces plane to make belly landing in New Jersey

An airline official says a US Airways flight with 34 people aboard was forced to make a belly landing at Newark International Airport after experiencing landing gear trouble. No injuries were reported. US Airways spokesman Davien Anderson tells The Associated Press that a turboprop plane that left Philadelphia shortly before 11 p.m. Friday landed safely at Newark with its landing gear retracted at about 1 a.m. Saturday. Anderson said the flight, being operated by Piedmont Airlines, was carrying 31 passengers and three crew members. He says the plane circled Newark in a holding pattern while working to get the gear down. Continue Reading

Probe begins after Connecticut commuter train collision injures 60, 5 critically

Two commuter trains packed with rush-hour commuters collided in an accident that sent more than 60 people to the hospital, severely damaged the tracks and threatened to snarl travel in the congested Northeast Corridor. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said five people were critically injured and one was very critically hurt in Friday evening’s crash on the Metro-North Railroad, which serves the northern suburbs of New York City. Passengers described a chaotic, terrifying scene of crunching metal and flying bodies. “All I know was I was in the air, hitting seats, bouncing around, flying down the aisle and finally I came to a stop on one seat,” Lola Oliver, 49, of Bridgeport, told The Associated Press. “It happened so fast I had no idea what was going on. Continue Reading