National

8.25.16:  Multiple tornadoes touch down in central Indiana

 

(AP) — Multiple tornadoes touched down in central Indiana, tearing the roofs off apartment buildings and sending air conditioners falling onto parked cars.  Thousands of people lost power and about a dozen people sustained minor injuries.

The mayor in Kokoma says there’s “substantial damage” to property.

Howard County authorities say 8 funnel clouds were spotted in the area Wednesday afternoon and a state of emergency was declared for the Kokoma area.

At one point more than 39,000 customers were without power last night.


8.25.16:  Goalie Solo suspended 6 months

 

 

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. women’s goalkeeper Hope Solo is suspended for six months by U.S. Soccer for disparaging comments about Sweden following the Americans’ early departure from the Rio Olympics. Solo called the Swedes “a bunch of cowards” for focusing on defense rather than attacking the three-time defending champion U.S. team.

Sweden eliminated the Americans 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 1-1 draw in a quarterfinal Olympic match.

The 35-year-old Solo, who was previously suspended for 30 days early in 2015 for her conduct, will not be eligible for selection to the national team until February.

 


8.23.16:  Bathrooms for our students

 

 

(AP)- The Justice department is considering its options, now that a federal judge in Texas has blocked an Obama administration order concerning transgender students in public schools.

The administration had said schools have to let those students use locker rooms and bathrooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.  But a judge has put that order on hold saying that a federal education law makes it clear that gender is defined by “biological and anatomical differences” at birth.

The ruling comes as most public schools in Texas began the new school year yesterday. Texas and 12 other states had challenged the directive as unconstitutional.


8.22.16:  U.S. comes away with 121 medals

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The United States came away with three more gold medals on the final day of competition at the Rio Olympics. The men’s basketball clobbered Serbia 96-66 behind Kevin Durant’s 30 points, boxer Clarissa Shields won the middleweight class for the second straight Olympics and 20-year-old Kyle Snyder won gold in the 97 kilogram class to become the youngest Olympic wrestling champion in U.S. history. The United States finished with 121 total medals, 51 more than runner-up China in the largest margin for a non-boycotted Olympics in nearly a century.


8.19.16:   Major gains against Southern California wildfire

 

 

SANTA YNEZ, Calif. (AP) —Firefighters have been making some progress in battling a huge wildfire 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

The fire has burned 56 square miles but is now 22 percent contained.

Meanwhile, a new fire broke out in rural Santa Barbara County, quickly surging to about 500 acres and prompting the evacuation of two campgrounds.

 

 

Meanwhile, officials say Californians are increasingly ignoring evacuation orders as the region faces what could be its most hazardous fire season on record.

State fire officials say the trend is dangerous as infernos speed through drought-starved vegetation.

Only about half of the more than 4,500 residents of Wrightwood heeded evacuation orders this week as surrounding forests were engulfed in flames from a huge, fast-moving wildfire east of Los Angeles that charred nearly 50 square miles.

U.S. Forest Service spokesman John Miller says more homeowners are staying put and dialing 911 for help. But crews are not always able to reach them.

Some say wildfires now have become a way of life in wildlands.

 


8.19.16:  2 US swimmers return home

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Two U.S. Olympic swimmers are back in the U.S. after being pulled off a plane in Brazil and questioned about claims that they had been robbed. Teammate Ryan Lochte had claimed that he, the two swimmers and another teammate had been robbed in a taxi in Rio, but authorities now say Lochte lied, and the four had actually vandalized a gas station bathroom. A lawyer says the fourth swimmer, still in Rio, has worked out a deal to donate nearly $11,000 and then he can return home.

 

— Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and U.S decathlete Ashton Eaton were among yesterday’s winners at the Rio Olympics. Bolt claimed his eight career Olympic gold medal by winning the 200 in 19.78 seconds, more than a half-second slower than his own world record of 19.19. Eaton clinched his second consecutive decathlon gold medal with a strong finish in the 1,500 meters, leaving him 59 points ahead of

 

— The United States managed a sweep of the gold medals in the men’s and women’s 400-meter hurdles. Two-time world champion Kerron Clement  finished first in the men’s final. Dalilah Muhammad took the women’s event in 53.13 seconds, while teammate Ashley Spencer earned bronze.

 


8.18.16:  Uber to use autonomous cars to haul people in next few weeks

 

 

DETROIT (AP) — Ride-hailing service Uber says it will start hauling passengers with self-driving cars on the streets of Pittsburgh in next several weeks.

The company says the autonomous Ford Fusions will have human backup drivers but will transport passengers just like normal Uber vehicles.

Uber has a self-driving research lab in Pittsburgh and is working on autonomous technology.

Also Thursday, Uber and Volvo announced a $300 million deal for Volvo to provide SUVs to Uber for autonomous vehicle research. Eventually the Volvo SUVs will be part of the self-driving fleet in Pittsburgh.

 


8.18.16:  25 gold medals up for grabs today

 

 

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Twenty-five gold medals are waiting to be won at the Rio Olympics today, with the marque event featuring Usain Bolt in his favorite race, the 200 meter sprint.

The Jamaican superstar is aiming for his 8th gold medal.

Other top track events include the women’s 800 meters and 400 meter hurdles and the men’s 400 meter hurdles, the decathlon and shot put.

 


8.18.16:  Gueydan residents told to evacuate

 

 

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (AP) — Authorities in the southern Louisiana community of Gueydan  are telling residents to evacuate as floodwaters rise.

Fire Chief Evans Bourque says there’s an area in Vermilion Parish that’s outside the levee system and residents in 60 to 70 homes are affected.

Flooding that struck the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas has left at least 13 people dead and damaged some 40,000 homes.

 

FEMA says it will look into lining up rental properties and also consider temporary housing units for those left homeless by flooding in Louisiana’s Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas.

 


8.18.16:  Swimmers continue to be questioned

 

Three American swimmers are expected to give statements to Brazilian police on Thursday about how they were reportedly robbed early Sunday morning in Rio de Janeiro.

A Brazilian official says the questioning will take place in Leblon, south of Rio, which is investigating the alleged robbery that targeted 12-time medalist Ryan Lochte and three teammates.

U.S. Olympic officials say Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz, who were detained by Brazilian authorities Wednesday night before getting on a homebound flight, were released with the understanding they will cooperate with the police. They said a third American swimmer, James Feigan, also will speak to the police Thursday.

Lochte, who is already back in the United States, has said the four were robbed at gunpoint in a taxi by men with a police badge as they returned to the athletes village from a party after the final Rio Olympic swimming events.