- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 24, 2004

Police question pilot after flight near Bush

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Local law enforcement officials yesterday questioned a pilot in an incident involving an airplane that flew near where President Bush was speaking at a campaign event in Melbourne, Fla., the White House said yesterday.

The pilot was later released.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said that during the incident the president continued speaking and “was never in any danger.”

He said he did not know whether the pilot violated the president’s restricted airspace.

Mr. Bush was on a helicopter tour of four Florida cities, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Melbourne and later, Jacksonville.

Detectives link inmate to 12 slayings

LOS ANGELES — A prison inmate has been linked by DNA evidence to the killings of a dozen women in Los Angeles, including three slayings for which another man was convicted.

Chester Dwayne Turner, 37, is imprisoned for a rape conviction, but he is expected to be charged with 10 of the murders next week, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday, quoting detectives.

Police said Turner could be linked to the deaths of 12 women who were killed between 1987 and 1998, most within a 30-block area known for drugs, violence and prostitution.

District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons declined to comment on the case.

Turner is serving an eight-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to rape charges in 2002. Using a DNA sample from that case, authorities began testing his genetic profile against evidence in unsolved cases and started getting matches every month.

Two plumbers die in sewer trench

ALTON, Ill. — Two plumbers who were working in a 14-foot-deep sewer trench apparently suffocated after a wall collapsed on top of them, authorities said.

Randy Rasler, 45, and Vernon Sarver, 26, were trapped for about 30 minutes and died before rescuers could reach them, officials said. The men tried to escape before the cave-in, a witness told the Alton Telegraph.

Preliminary findings indicate the men died from suffocation, Bond County Coroner Alan Young said.

Fighter jet drops errant bomb on trail

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. — Military officials are investigating why a jet fighter accidentally dropped a 25-pound practice bomb on a hiking trail a mile from its intended target in southeastern Pennsylvania.

No one was injured when the grapefruit-sized bomb fell on the trail Oct. 13 during a training mission for a pair of A-10 Thunderbolts. The bomb created a crater about 6 inches wide in the trail.

The plane that dropped the bomb was assigned to the 111th Fighter Wing at Willow Grove Naval Air Station, said Col. Chris Cleaver, spokesman for Fort Indiantown Gap, an 18,000-acre military training site managed by the Pennsylvania National Guard.

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