83-year-old woman vanishes after departing plane at Reagan National Airport

Local police and volunteers are combing D.C.’s Roosevelt Island for an elderly woman who vanished Friday after arriving at Reagan National Airport from Barbados. 83-year-old Victoria Kong was last seen walking on a footpath towards D.C. while her family awaited her arrival at the airport’s baggage claim area, MyFoxDC.com reports. Authorities tell the station search dogs have indicated Kong traveled onto Roosevelt Island apparently on foot, but did not leave. “We are real concerned that she’s by herself,” Kong’s granddaughter Alexandria Anderson told MyFoxDC.com.”She’s hungry, she’s cold, she doesn’t know where she is. I’m concerned she doesn’t know how to call us, how to reach us, how to find us. Continue Reading

Parishioners start fund for stabbing victims after attack at New Mexico Catholic church

Members of a Catholic church where three people were stabbed during Mass a week ago launched an effort on Sunday to raise money for victims hurt in the attack. The start of the campaign came as Sunday services resumed at St. Jude Thaddeus Church. Parishioners were also collecting cards and well wishes to give to families. “God is working in and through all of life’s circumstances,” a message seeking donations said on the church’s website. Continue Reading

Arlington National Cemetery plans controversial expansion to avoid running out of room

Looking to avoid running out of burial sites at the most iconic burial ground in the U.S., Arlington National Cemetery leaders are hoping to start a controversial 27-acre expansion this fall. The planned expansion, called the Millennium Project, would add more than 27,000 burial sites for veterans on the northern side of the grounds, the Washington Post reports. “This is important,” said Kathryn Condon, executive director of Army National Military Cemeteries, “because if we do nothing today, we will run out of in-ground burial space in 2025.” But critics say the Millennium Project expansion doesn’t fit the Arlington National Cemetery historic site, and it would damage a stream and force hundreds of Civil War-era trees to be bulldozed. “I love Arlington. Continue Reading

Police: US soccer referee punched by player dies

Ricardo Portillo’s daughters had begged him to stop refereeing in a Hispanic soccer league because of the growing risk of violence from angry players. Now they’re faced with planning his funeral after he succumbed to injuries late Saturday that had put him in a coma for a week since a 17-year-old goalie punched him in the head. Authorities say the teen punched Portillo after the youth was called for a foul and issued a yellow card. “The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call,” Unified police spokesman Justin Hoyal in a press release. The suspect has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault. Hoyal said authorities will consider additional charges since the 46-year-old Salt Lake City man has died. Continue Reading

Bring it on: Author says Muslim group's $30M libel suit will expose terror ties

The shadowy leader of an American Muslim organization accused of running terror training camps in the U.S. could find himself being questioned under oath if his outfit follows through on its $30 million defamation suit against the Christian group that leveled the charges in a best-selling book. Muslims of the Americas, a group founded in the 1980s by elusive Pakistani Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, is suing the Christian Action Network for defamation and libel following CAN’s recent publication of the book “Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamist Terrorist Training Camps Inside America.” Co-authored by CAN founder Martin Mawyer and Patti Pierucci, the book accuses MOA of “acting as a front for the radical Islamist group Jamaat al-Fuqra.” In the suit, filed this year in federal court in Albany, N.Y., the Muslim group accuses Mawyer, Pierucci and CAN of “malicious, repetitious and continuous pronouncements and publication of defamatory statements against plaintiff.” “We’re calling their bluff,” said Mawyer. Continue Reading

Single mother's simple error earns her $14 million lottery prize

At the intersection of Fate and Lotto, Thuan Le made a very fortunate error. The California single mother of four is thanking her lucky stars after mistakenly slipping an extra dollar into the self-service Lotto machine at her local CVS store in Mission Viejo. That superfluous dollar wound up getting Le the SuperLotto Plus ticket holding the five winning numbers — 5, 33, 25, 46, 32 — plus the Mega number, 26, selected randomly in the April 24 drawing. In all, Le won a $14 million jackpot. “Thuan Le is a hardworking single mother of four sons,” according to a release from the California Lottery. Continue Reading

California police seek neighbors' help in murder of 8-year-old Leila Fowler

California sheriff’s officials say investigators were knocking on the doors of hundreds of homes as they try to find possible witnesses in their search for the killer of 8-year-old Leila Fowler. A sheriff’s spokesman says investigators were canvassing homes in the Valley Springs and Rancho Calaveras area Saturday in the hopes of locating new witnesses or refreshing the memories of other residents who may have seen something. Sgt. Chris Hewitt of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office says investigators expect to find more people at their homes on the weekend to answer questions. Leila was found stabbed in her family home last Saturday. Continue Reading

District hit over prayer session at Georgia high school

A Georgia school district has ignited controversy after about 50 students took part in a prayer session that lasted more than two hours, cutting into their class time. According to My Fox Atlanta, the spontaneous prayer last week at Lumpkin County High School was started by a student in a coach’s office at about 7:30 a.m.

Some teachers reportedly participated in the prayer revival that went until 11:30 a.m.

“It was a student-led initiative. The student showed up at the coach’s office and the coach did pray with them and it went into the school day, over into the first period of the day,” Schools Superintendent Dewey Moye told the station. Moye said that some parents called to complain, and he realizes that in the future procedures and policies must be followed. According to WSBTV, three of the teachers who participated in the prayer meeting had assistants in their class, but one teacher left his classroom unattended to go the gym. Continue Reading

Damp ocean air aids fight against Calif. wildfire

A flow of damp air from the Pacific Ocean helped firefighters in their battle against a huge wildfire burning through coastal mountains in Southern California. Fire crews on Saturday worked to create miles of containment lines as the high winds and hot, dry air of recent days were replaced by the normal Pacific air, significantly reducing fire activity. The 43-square-mile blaze at the western end of the Santa Monica Mountains was 56 percent surrounded. The progress made led authorities to lift evacuation orders for residences in several areas. “The fire isn’t really running and gunning,” said Tom Kruschke, a Ventura County Fire Department spokesman. Continue Reading