W.Va. investigating death of Md. man

Authorities in West Virginia are investigating the death of a 28-year-old man who had been competing in an endurance course. Berkeley County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ted Snyder says Avishek Sengupta of Ellicott City, Md., was found Saturday in water at the “Walk the Plank” obstacle of a “Tough Mudder” endurance event near Glengary. He died Sunday at a northern Virginia hospital. The Virginia medical examiner’s office in Manassas said an autopsy has been completed but a cause of death wasn’t immediately available. Continue Reading

5 killed after van overturns during Border Patrol pursuit

Authorities say five people died after the van they were traveling in rolled over in southern Arizona as it was being pursued by Border Patrol agents. Rural/Metro Fire spokesman Willie Treatch says 22 people were in the van at the time it rolled over Saturday night in between Tucson and Benson, Ariz. Seventeen other people were taken to hospitals for treatment. Their injuries are unknown. Treatch says he didn’t know the circumstances of the vehicle pursuit by the Border Patrol. Continue Reading

China says new North Korea nuclear test possible

China’s top general says Beijing considers a fourth North Korean nuclear test to be a possibility. Chief of the General Staff Gen. Fang Fenghui said Monday that Beijing firmly opposes the North’s nuclear weapons program and wants to work with others on negotiations to end it. Fang offered no indication as to when Beijing thought a test might take place and gave no other details. His comments followed a meeting with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is making his first visit to China in that position. Fang sought to reassure Dempsey over recent reports of Chinese military-sponsored hacking attacks on U.S. targets, saying China opposed all such activity. Continue Reading

Miss. River closed after barges hit bridge

The Mississippi River remains closed as authorities work to determine whether a sunken barge was a navigation hazard. The Coast Guard closed the river Sunday after the old U.S. Highway 80 railroad bridge was struck by barges that broke free from a string under tow. About 30 barges broke free and at least one sank. The Coast Guard says three others had been nudged against the river bank and the remaining barges have been rounded up. The barges were being pushed by the boat Captain Buck Lay, which the Coast Guard says is owned by Memco Barge Line Inc. Via: Fox News Continue Reading

Caterpillar 1Q profit shrank; cuts 2013 outlook

A slowdown in the mining business is digging a hole in Caterpillar’s profits. First-quarter profit shrank 45 percent. Caterpillar lowered its expectations for full year sales and profits because its mining business is slowing. Sales of Caterpillar-branded mining machines will drop by half this year, the company said on Monday. Caterpillar said mining customers placed big orders for gear last year, just as mining profits fell, so now those customers are cutting back. Continue Reading

Family members identify 4 first responders killed in Texas plant explosion

Officials as well as family members have identified four more first responders who died in last week’s deadly Texas fertilizer plant explosion. At least 14 people died in Wednesday’s explosion at the plant in the Texas town of West. West Mayor Tommy Muska has said that 10 of the 14 who died were first responders. On Sunday, professional organizations and family and friends identified four more of the first responders who died: brothers Doug and Robert Snokhous who were both firefighters with the West Volunteer Fire Department; Jerry Chapman, a firefighter with the Abbott Volunteer Fire Department; and Kevin Sanders worked with West EMS as well as another area volunteer fire department. The blast at the West Fertilizer Co. Continue Reading

Big Muddy Remains Closed to Barge Traffic after One Sinks

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi River remains closed as authorities work to determine whether a sunken barge was a navigation hazard.  

The Coast Guard closed the river Sunday after the old U.S. Highway 80 railroad bridge was struck by barges that broke free from a string under tow. About 30 barges broke free and at least one sank. The Coast Guard says three others had been nudged against the river bank and the remaining barges have been rounded up. Continue Reading

Aurora, IL Teen Arrested by FBI for Terrorist Ties

CHICAGO (AP) — The FBI has arrested an 18-year-old suburban Chicago man who U.S. authorities say was planning join an al-Qaida-affiliated group operating in Syria. The FBI says Abdella Ahmad Tounisi of Aurora was arrested Friday night as he tried to board a flight from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to Turkey. Tounisi, a U.S. citizen, is charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. According to the criminal complaint, Tounisi carried out research online about Jabhat al-Nusrah, or Nursa Front. Nusra Front is the most effective rebel faction fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. Continue Reading

Iowa Lawmakers Discuss Reducing Home-Schooling Regs.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — While most of the education debate in the state Capitol this year has been on how to improve teachers and enhance schools in Iowa, some lawmakers are focused on a very different educational goal — seeking to reduce regulations for homeschooling families.  

Language added to an education bill passed in the Republican-controlled state House in February would remove oversight for some households that homeschool their children. The issue could complicate negotiations as Republicans try to reach a compromise with the Democratic-controlled Senate on an education overhaul plan. Some Republicans have made clear that they will not support the overall education policy plan without these provisions. Democrats are noncommittal on the homeschooling proposals. Continue Reading