National

8.2.14:  Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Crews have begun removing cars trapped by flooding from a broken water line on the University of California, Los Angeles campus.

Repair crews are shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at UCLA continue to assess damage from the 20 million gallons that inundated the campus.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers are reinforcing the excavated 56-by-41-foot crater and making the site safe for crews.

UCLA officials said six facilities were damaged in Tuesday’s flooding.

About 960 vehicles were trapped in garages, with many below water left behind by the roiling flood. On Thursday night removal began of about 270 cars that were on upper levels and not damaged by water.


7.31.14:  Chrysler recalls Fiat 500Ls to fix knee air bags

 

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler is recalling just under 30,000 Fiat 500L small cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix a problem with air bags that protect knees in a crash.

 

The company says in a statement Wednesday that the bags may not inflate in the proper position if the driver isn’t wearing a seat belt. Chrysler says it doesn’t know of any injuries from the problem.

 

The recall covers cars from the 2014 and 2015 model years including 25,500 in the U.S. and another 4,000 in Canada.

 

Dealers will replace the driver’s side knee air bags at no cost to owners.

 

Chrysler says it will notify owners when parts are available. In the meantime, they should wear seat belts so the bags work properly.


7.31.14:  Praying for U.S. Missionaries with Ebola

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A North Carolina congressman is asking for prayer for Charlotte missionary Nancy Writebol, one of two Americans who have come down with Ebola while helping West Africans affected by the deadly virus.

 

In a House floor speech, Republican Robert Pittenger noted that Writebol could have left Liberia when Ebola began to spread, but instead volunteered to help sanitize medical personnel and their equipment. He said she “chose a higher calling of sacrificial love and service.”

 

Writebol and Dr. Kent Brantly, a medical missionary with the Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse, remained in isolation Wednesday, receiving treatment for the virus that has no known cure and kills 60 percent of the people who contract it.

 

Prayer services for the afflicted missionaries were held Wednesday at Writebol’s home church in Charlotte and Brantly’s home church in Fort Worth, Texas.


7.30.14:  Broken water main floods UCLA

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A broken water main near the UCLA campus is spewing water into the air, and stranding cars and people in underground parking structures.

 

Television news reports show an immense geyser surging from the middle of the street on Sunset Boulevard. Streets on and near campus are flooded, and fast-moving sheets of water are pouring down the entrance of a parking structure and into campus athletic fields near Pauley Pavilion.  Pauley Pavilion basketball arena had just undergone a $132 million renovation and has at least an inch of water covering the floor.

 

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey says fire crews have helped at least three stranded drivers.

 

More than 100 vehicles were stuck in parking garages and firefighters had to use inflatable boats to rescue some people.


7.30.14:  NCAA settles head injury lawsuit 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit.

 

The Associated Press has learned that the organization will create a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football and other contact sports.

 

A filing Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago says college sports’ governing body also has agreed to implement a single return-to-play policy spelling out how all teams must treat players who received head blows. The NCAA has been accused of giving too much discretion to individual schools about when athletes can go back into games.

 

This deal stops short of setting aside money to pay players who suffered brain trauma. Instead, athletes can sue individually for damages, and the NCAA-funded tests to gauge the extent of neurological injuries could establish grounds for doing that.


7.28.14:  Tennessee storms destroy homes

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Law enforcement officials have set up a command post and a school is open for anyone left homeless by Sunday’s severe storms in Claiborne County, Tennessee.

 

Authorities aren’t sure if it was a tornado that ripped through, destroying at least 10 homes.

 

The community of Speedwell is especially hard hit. There are no reports of deaths or injuries.


7.25.14: Deadly tornado hits Virginia

 

CAPE CHARLES, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will tour a campground on the Eastern Shore where two people were killed and dozens were injured after a tornado hit.

 

McAuliffe is scheduled to visit the Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort on Friday.

 

A married couple from Jersey City, New Jersey was killed when a tree fell on their tent Thursday. Their 13-year-old son was severely injured when the same tree fell on his neighboring tent.

 

State police say another 35 people were injured in the tornado. McAuliffe cut short a political fundraising trip in Aspen, Colorado, to survey the damage.

 

More than 1,300 people were at the campground in tents, campers and cottages when the storm hit, knocking down trees and flipping over some campers. A tractor-trailer driving on U.S. 13 was also knocked over during the storm.


7.25.14:  Cause sought for gunfight between patient, doctor

 

DARBY, Pa. (AP) — Authorities hope to learn if a psychiatrist had concerns about a patient who allegedly killed a case worker at a suburban Philadelphia hospital before the doctor pulled out his own gun to protect himself.

 

Delaware District Attorney Jack Whelan says Dr. Lee Silverman was grazed in the temple as he exchanged gunfire with his patient, 49-year-old Richard Plotts.

 

Whelan says the case worker killed Thursday afternoon was 53-year-old Theresa Hunt of Philadelphia.

 

Authorities say Hunt had accompanied Plotts to an appointment with Silverman at a psychiatric crisis center adjacent to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby.

 

Whelan says Plotts underwent surgery Thursday night at a Philadelphia hospital. Silverman was treated and released.

 


7.24.14:  Awarded a Pell Grant? Better double-check

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Potentially tens of thousands of students awarded a Pell Grant or other need-based federal aid for the coming school year could find it taken away because of a mistake in filling out the form.

 

The mistake primarily stems from an online form change to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, made Jan. 1 that expanded the field to enter income.

 

Many applicants unnecessarily entered a decimal point and cents that the system ignored. The error led to students being declared eligible for aid when they are not — and ineligible when they are.

 

The Education Department says fewer than 200,000 applicants have been declared eligible when they are not. Officials say data checks to try to identify those students are underway, and the form has been changed.


7.23.14:  Chrysler recalls Jeep SUVs for ignition switches

 

DETROIT (AP) — Chrysler is recalling up to 792,300 older Jeep SUVs worldwide because the ignition switches could cause engine stalling.

 

Tuesday’s recall covers 2005-2007 Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Commanders.

 

Chrysler says it’s not sure exactly how many will be recalled. The company says an outside force such as a driver’s knee can knock switches out of the “run” position, shutting off the engine. This disables power-assisted steering and braking and the front air bags might not inflate.

 

Engineers are working on a fix. Chrysler says it knows of no injuries and only one accident. The company says only a few complaints have been filed. Owners should keep clearance between their knees and keys until repairs are made.

 

The recall comes as U.S. safety regulators investigate ignition switch problems across the auto industry.