- - Sunday, May 13, 2012

ATLANTA — Emory University in Atlanta has become the latest college to bring dogs on campus during exams to help stressed-out students.

Schools are placing pups in counseling centers for students to visit regularly or allowing faculty and staff to bring their pets to campus to play with students.

Some colleges have created pet-friendly dorms where students can bring their dogs or cats from home.

Research shows that interaction with pets decreases the level of cortisol - or stress hormone - in people and increases endorphins, known as the happiness hormone. But there is scant research on how pet programs on college campuses help students cope with stress.

TENNESSEE

College sweethearts to marry 60 years later

DYERSBURG — Two residents of a Tennessee assisted living center were to marry on Sunday, more than 60 years after they first met.

The State Gazette reported that Peggy Schuster and the Rev. Henry Freund were college sweethearts in the early 1950s.

Mr. Freund said the couple often sat together in class at Rhodes College in Memphis (then Southwestern) and frequently dated. But they eventually went their separate ways and married other people.

While attending a church meeting in Memphis in 2001, Mr. Freund learned that Mrs. Schuster had been widowed.

Mr. Freund, who had lost his wife, wrote his college sweetheart to offer sympathy. A decade later, Mrs. Schuster gave Mr. Freund her email address and the couple, both in their 80s, began corresponding.

Mr. Freund said a spark that had survived for more than 60 years “burst into flames.”

CALIFORNIA

Historic battleship set to become museum

RICHMOND — The USS Iowa was last actively engaged in conflict in the late 1980s, helping escort reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz during the Iran-Iraq war.

Some 25 years later, following years of being mothballed, the 887-foot long ship that once carried President Franklin Roosevelt to a World War II summit is coming to life once again as it is being prepared for what is likely its final voyage.

At the Port of Richmond, the 58,000-ton battlewagon is undergoing a $4 million restoration before being towed May 20 through the Golden Gate, then several hundred miles south to the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro. There it is to be transformed into an interactive naval museum.

FLORIDA

2 men denied bond in deaths of 2 teens

ORLANDO — Two men charged with murder in the deaths of two teenagers whose bodies were found engulfed in flames along a central Florida trail have been denied bond.

Jesse Brandon Davis and Hector Manuel Rodriguez made their first appearance before a judge on Saturday.

Both men have been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the deaths of 16-year-old Nicholas Presha and 18-year-old Jeremy Stewart in April.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says the teens met the men with the intention of selling them two stolen handguns. Investigators say they were robbed and shot to death. A passerby later discovered their bodies engulfed in flames along a popular trail.

Mr. Davis was arrested last month on unrelated charges. Mr. Rodriguez was arrested on Friday.

ILLINOIS

Car hits elevated train beam; 4 die

CHICAGO — A speeding car hit a support beam of a Chicago elevated train track, crashing with enough force to split in two and killing four passengers inside, authorities said Sunday.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office said three women died at the scene. A fourth woman was pronounced dead at an area hospital early Sunday. She was identified as Ieshia Nelson, 21, of Chicago. The names of the other women were not immediately available.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Hector Alfaro said the car was traveling fast when it hit a support beam of a Chicago Transit Authority train track on the city’s West Side before it ran into a light pole. The crash happened about midnight Sunday.

Chicago fire officials said the vehicle crashed with enough force that it split in two.

Police were investigating the cause of the crash.

MASSACHUSETTS

Vigil held for Boston U. students killed in crash

BOSTON — Hundreds of Boston University students held a candlelight vigil for three classmates killed in a minivan crash in New Zealand, where they were studying.

Junior Tori Pinheiro said her boyfriend, Austin Brashears, was among those who died in the Saturday morning accident. She cried at the Boston vigil as she recalled how friendly he was and how much she loved him.

She says he recently had left her a voicemail saying he missed her and she has been playing it repeatedly.

Mr. Brashears was from Huntington Beach, Calif. The university said the other students killed were Daniela Lekhno, of Manalapan, N.J., and Roch Jauberty, whose parents live in Paris.

New Zealand police said the students were traveling near a North Island vacation town when their minivan drifted to the side of the road and then rolled over.

NEW YORK

Wallenda starts practice for Niagara tightrope walk

NIAGARA FALLS — Nik Wallenda has performed his first practice walk on the tightrope he’ll use to walk above Niagara Falls next month.

The Buffalo News reported a couple hundred people came out to watch Mr. Wallenda as he slowly crossed the two-inch steel cable strung between two cranes in front of the Seneca Niagara Casino. Mr. Wallenda stopped after walking about a third of the wire’s length because he could feel the cable moving beneath his feet.

He later placed a short weighted pole on the cable to the prevent movement.

Mr. Wallenda is a seventh-generation member of the famous daredevil family the Great Wallendas, also known as the Flying Wallendas. His high-wire walk is set for June 15.

Mr. Wallenda would be the first to walk above the falls themselves.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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