- - Thursday, June 17, 2010


Tour bus crash leaves 22 hurt

ROSEMEAD — Los Angeles County authorities said a tour bus accident Thursday morning in Rosemead left two people with moderate injuries and 20 people with minor injuries.

Fire Inspector Matt Levesque said the circumstances were not known, but the accident appeared to involve a collision with a sedan on north San Gabriel Boulevard.

Rosemead is a suburb east of Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley.


Woman in escort ad reported as missing

PORTLAND — Police in Maine and New York are investigating the disappearance of a 22-year-old woman who advertised as an escort on Craigslist.

Police said Megan Waterman, of Scarborough, Maine, hasn’t been in contact with her family or friends since the weekend of June 5 when she was staying at a hotel in Hauppauge on New York’s Long Island.

Scarborough police Detective Don Blatchford said Miss Waterman went to New York on Memorial Day weekend with her boyfriend, 20-year-old Akeem Cruz, of Brooklyn, N.Y. Police questioned Mr. Cruz and were treating the disappearance as a missing-person case.

Police said Miss Waterman’s mother told them that Miss Waterman called her 3-year-old daughter regularly when she traveled, but the calls have stopped.


FDA panel approves anti-pregnancy drug

GAITHERSBURG — Federal health specialists said Thursday that a new type of morning-after contraceptive that works longer than existing drugs is safe and effective.

The Food and Drug Administration’s panel of reproductive health specialists voted unanimously that the pill ellaOne successfully reduces the chance of pregnancy up to five days after sex. Plan B, the most widely used emergency contraceptive pill, is effective only if women take it within three days of sex.

In a separate vote, the panel unanimously ruled that the drug appeared safe, according to an FDA spokeswoman. The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s advice, though it often does.

Studies by the drug’s manufacturer, HRA Pharma, showed that ellaOne prevented pregnancies longer and more consistently than Plan B. In a head-to-head trial between the two drugs, women who took ellaOne had a 1.8 percent chance of becoming pregnant, while women who took Plan B had a 2.6 percent chance.

EllaOne has drawn criticism from pro-life groups who argue that the drug is closer to an abortion pill than emergency contraception. Groups presenting at the meeting said the drug is chemically similar to the abortion drug Mifeprex, which can be taken to end a pregnancy up to 50 days into the gestation period.

That drug has been associated with severe infections and bleeding after abortion. However, FDA reviewers found no major medical side effects with ellaOne.


5 killed, 2 hurt as plane misses runway

RUIDOSO — At least five people were killed and two others were injured when a twin-engine plane overshot a runway while landing and crashed Thursday at a regional airport in south-central New Mexico, federal and local authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said he did not have any information about the flight plan for the Cessna 310, but he confirmed it was registered to an owner in Granbury, Texas. The tail number showed that the airplane belongs to Rod Aviation.

“The aircraft was apparently landing when it crashed just off the end of the runway,” Mr. Lunsford said.

State police Lt. Eric Garcia confirmed that five people were killed in the crash at Sierra Blanca Regional Airport just outside the mountain community of Ruidoso, and two others were pulled from the wreckage and taken to a hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known.

“We’re working with the originating airport right now to get a better idea of how many passengers were on board. … There’s a substantial amount of damage so we can’t clearly see who’s inside,” Lt. Garcia said.

He declined to say where the flight originated.

The plane’s passengers appear to be related, and the two survivors are teenagers, Mr. Lunsford said.

Officials with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.


Dog spots alligator; wrangler captures it

COLUMBUS — Witnesses said a reptile wrangler used his bare hands to capture a 4-foot alligator that an alert dog noticed outside an Ohio business.

Employee Jeff Colucy was with his Weimaraner in the parking lot of a Columbus company that makes office fixtures when the dog went on alert Wednesday morning, focused on the alligator hunkered down in a puddle.

Police brought in reptile wrangler Chris Law, who captured the gator by grabbing it at the tail with his bare hands. He said he didn’t have his usual reptile rescue gear because he was about to leave on vacation.

Mr. Law said people often buy alligators as pets, then dump them when the animals get too big. He picks up about 40 a year and turns them over to wildlife rescue groups.


Army’s first black helicopter pilot dies

RENTON — A man from Washington state who became the Army’s first black helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War has died.

William H. Holloman, a Tuskegee airman in World War II who also served in Vietnam, was 85.

The Tuskegee Airmen association said Thursday that Mr. Holloman died Friday in Renton after suffering a heart attack. He was a St. Louis native who lived in Kent.

As an 18-year-old, Mr. Holloman entered the Army Air Corps and trained with the all-black program at the Tuskegee, Ala., Army Flying School.

The Tuskegee Airmen association said that after the war, Mr. Holloman worked as a commercial pilot but was recalled in 1966 to serve in Vietnam.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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