- - Thursday, January 13, 2011


Remains of 2 airmen ID’d

DETROIT | It took Air Force Col. James E. Dennany’s family years to finally accept that he would not be coming home alive from the Vietnam War, his 49-year-old son says.

Now, 41 years after Mr. Dennany’s plane was shot down over Laos, his remains have been identified, and he finally will be buried, along with the other Michigan airman who disappeared with him.

The Defense Department’s POW/Missing Personnel Office announced Wednesday that it had identified the remains of Mr. Dennany and fellow Michigan resident Maj. Robert L. Tucci.

A funeral with full military honors is scheduled Friday for both airmen at Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

“I will be sharing my pride with my grandsons,” James E. Dennany Jr. of Humble, Texas, said in a telephone interview Wednesday night.

His 34-year-old father and Mr. Tucci, a 27-year-old from Detroit, disappeared on Nov. 12, 1969, after their F-4D Phantom took off from Udorn air base in Thailand to escort an AC-130 ground-attack aircraft on a mission along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Khammouane province, Laos.

The Pentagon said anti-aircraft fire struck the plane. Mr. Tucci was the pilot and Mr. Dennany the weapons system officer.


Brett Favre’s sister arrested in meth bust

KILN | The sister of Vikings quarterback Brett Favre has been released from jail on drug charges a day after she was arrested during a methamphetamine bust.

Brandi Favre, 34, posted $40,000 bond on Thursday afternoon. Earlier in the day, she wore orange prison scrubs and a GAP sweatshirt with her hands cuffed in front of her during a court appearance that lasted less than 10 minutes.

Hancock County Justice Judge Tom Carver Sr. agreed to arraign Miss Favre before her co-defendants because of the attention she drew.

Miss Favre has been charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and generating hazardous waste.

If convicted, she faces up to $1 million in fines and up to 30 years in prison on each count.

Miss Favre’s defense attorneys say she returned home after leaving jail.


Man sentenced in airport terror plot

NEW YORK | A man charged in a foiled 2007 plot to blow up jet fuel tanks at Kennedy Airport in New York has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A judge imposed the term on Abdel Nur, 60, on Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn. Nur pleaded guilty last year to providing material support in the scheme.

Two other men, Abdel Kadir and Russell Defreitas, were convicted on more serious charges that they conspired to kill thousands by using explosives to blow up the fuel tanks. Prosecutors have said they sought the help of militant Muslims in Guyana.

Kadir, who’s a former member of Guyana’s parliament, was sentenced last month to life in prison. Defreitas, who worked as a cargo handler at the airport, is scheduled to be sentenced next month.


13 arrested in gun, drug busts

MIDWEST CITY | Local and federal authorities are collaborating in a crackdown on drug- and gun-trafficking charges that already has led to the arrest of 13 suspects in and around Oklahoma City.

Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said authorities conducted two raids in Oklahoma City and another 11 in suburban Midwest City early Thursday morning.

Chief Clabes did not name the suspects or specify the charges against them. He said the arrests are the result of an investigation that began in January 2009 and that more arrests are expected.

The FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials also took part in the raids.


2 companies fined in coke-plant explosion

PITTSBURGH | Federal officials have fined U.S. Steel and a subcontractor a total of $175,000 for safety violations found after a coke-plant explosion injured at least 15 workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Thursday it had cited the companies following a probe of the July 14 explosion at the Clairton Coke Works near Pittsburgh.

OSHA said the companies failed to provide effective energy-control procedures and exposed workers to burns.

U.S. Steel Corp. was penalized $143,500 for two willful and 11 serious violations. Subcontractor Power Piping Co. was cited for six serious violations, with $31,500 in penalties.


Convicted Palin hacker reports to prison camp

CHATTANOOGA | A former Tennessee college student who was convicted of hacking Sarah Palin’s e-mail account has reported to an unfenced federal prison camp in Kentucky to begin a yearlong sentence.

A Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman said David Kernell, 23, reported Monday to the minimum-security camp at Ashland, Ky.

A Knoxville jury in April convicted Kernell of unauthorized access to a protected computer and destruction of records to impede a federal investigation. The jury acquitted him of wire fraud and deadlocked on an identity-theft charge.

The former Alaska governor and her daughter Bristol testified that the hacking, followed by Kernell’s online bragging and his providing others with a password and Palin family telephone numbers, caused them emotional hardship.


Company to offer more tickets into space

Space Adventures plans to sell three seats on the Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station starting in 2013.

The Vienna, Va.-based company said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with the Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation and Rocket and Space Corp. Energia for the additional seats.

The seats are being made available because of the increased production of the Soyuz spacecraft.

Space Adventures says the flights will be about 10 days.

Space Adventures first launched a private client into space in 2001. It has since arranged seven additional missions to the International Space Station. Its advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin and other astronauts.


Water permit vetoed for mountaintop mine

MORGANTOWN | The Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday it’s revoking a crucial water permit for West Virginia’s largest mountaintop-removal mine because it would irreparably damage the environment and threaten the health of nearby communities.

Assistant Administrator for Water Peter S. Silva said the agency was employing a rarely used veto power because Arch Coal’s Spruce No. 1 mine in Logan County would use “destructive and unsustainable” mining practices.

The move formalizes an action the agency first threatened nine months ago.

Arch issued a statement saying it was “shocked and dismayed” by EPA’s assault on a permit that was legitimately issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and it vowed to continue fighting for the mine.

The nearly 2,300-acre Spruce mine would bury seven miles of streams, and EPA previously ruled it likely would harm downstream water quality. The St. Louis-based coal company planned to invest $250 million in the project, creating 250 jobs, but the mine has been delayed by lawsuits since it was permitted in 2007.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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