- - Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Authorities: Dust storm leads to fatal crash

PICACHO — A blinding dust storm rolled across the Arizona desert Tuesday afternoon, causing two pileup crashes that involved at least 30 vehicles on a major interstate. One man was killed and at least 15 other people were injured, authorities said.

“It’s pretty chaotic out there,” said state Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves.

Video from helicopters showed dozens of cars and semis pulled over or strewn about Interstate 10 near Picacho, about midway between Phoenix and Tucson.

Fire officials said crews removed the man who was killed from his vehicle and moved four critical patients to a Tucson hospital. More than 10 others had less serious injuries.


Casey Anthony tells authorities she’s unemployed

ORLANDO — Casey Anthony told her probation officer this week that she is unemployed and hasn’t used any illegal drugs, according to a report released Tuesday by authorities.

Miss Anthony reported to her probation officer Monday at an undisclosed location in Florida, the state Department of Corrections said in the report.

She told the probation officer that she has had no source of income during the past 30 days. Her probation order requires her to “work diligently at a lawful occupation.”

But Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said being jobless doesn’t put Miss Anthony in violation of her probation.


Official who performed bra trick resigns

ABINGTON — The chairman of a Massachusetts school board has resigned days after performing a magic trick at a televised meeting that made it appear as if he had removed a fellow board member’s bra.

Russell FitzGerald said he resigned from the Abington School Committee on Monday after a weekend of reflection.

He told the Enterprise of Brockton that fallout from the trick played a part in his decision. The meeting was on live TV and was met in the room with silence and embarrassment.

Mr. FitzGerald is an amateur magician who generally started meetings with a trick. Neither the subject of the Sept. 27 bra trick nor his accomplice knew what was going to happen.

Mr. FitzGerald also noted he’s been on the board 11 years and his term is almost up.


Chopper crash kills 1; 4 rescued

NEW YORK — A helicopter with five people aboard crashed into the East River on Tuesday afternoon after taking off from a launch pad on the riverbank, killing one and seriously injuring at least two others.

The pilot and three others were pulled alive from the water by rescue crews shortly after the chopper went down. The body of a woman also on the Bell 206 helicopter, which was submerged in the murky water, was recovered later, police spokesman Paul Browne said.

The private chopper went into the river off 34th Street in midtown Manhattan. It’s unclear what happened, but witnesses reported it was sputtering and appeared to be in some type of mechanical distress.


Punishing illegal immigrant hires OK’d by state panel

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvanians who knowingly hire illegal immigrants would lose their professional licenses under a bill that passed out of a state House committee on a party-line vote Tuesday.

The Republican-majority State Government Committee approved the Professional Licensees Illegal Employment Act, which would cover anyone licensed by the Bureau of Occupational and Professional Affairs. Its penalties would apply to first-offense violations.

Supporters said the proposed law would help prevent people who are in the U.S. illegally from holding jobs that legal residents could otherwise have.

Democrats said they worried the bill could lead to large institutions going out of business because of a single hire and that the standards by which someone would be subject to a complaint and investigation were not spelled out.


Knox meets press, asks for time with family

SEATTLE — Amanda Knox has thanked all those who believed and defended her during her trial in Italy over the sexual assault and fatal stabbing of her British roommate.

“Thank you for being there with me,” she said through tears Tuesday, shortly after the plane carrying her to freedom landed in her hometown of Seattle.

“I’m really overwhelmed right now. I was looking down from the airplane, and it seemed like everything wasnt real,” she said.

Her attorney, Theodore Simon, reiterated her claims of innocence in the case, which has made her a tabloid staple on two continents. The conviction was overturned amid doubts over DNA evidence. Prosecutors insist she was among three people who killed 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.

The University of Washington student was studying abroad in Perugia at the time.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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