Sunday, October 16, 2005

Rainfall eases in Northeast

WORCESTER, Mass. — Severe flooding swept away cars, uprooted trees and forced evacuations as the Northeast endured another day of driving rain yesterday. But in some places, there was good news — the sun was shining.

Forecasters expected strong winds overnight, but said the worst of the heavy rain appeared to be over. Parts of the Northeast have endured more than a foot of rain since Oct. 7.

Flooding kept roads and highways shut down yesterday , halted train service and prompted Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to declare a state of emergency, following the lead of New Jersey and New Hampshire.

The death toll rose to 11 when a 75-year-old Connecticut man was swept away by rushing water at a campground. Also, four persons in New Hampshire have been missing for a week.

Pregnant woman identifies attacker

FORD CITY, Pa. — A head injury clouds her memory, but the woman who nearly had her unborn son sliced from her belly has identified her next-door neighbor as her attacker, authorities say.

Valerie Lynn Oskin, 30, “definitely” remembers being clubbed with a baseball bat on Wednesday by Peggy Jo Conner and then being driven around by her, Armstrong County District Attorney Scott Andreassi said Friday.

Mrs. Oskin was rescued after a teenager spotted the women, and the baby boy was delivered at a hospital in healthy condition.

Mrs. Conner, 38, was jailed without bail on charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and aggravated assault of an unborn child.

Fugitive arrested in restaurateur’s killing

DALLAS — The nine-month search for a man wanted in the abduction and slaying of a Dallas restaurateur ended with an arrest in a Mexican resort town Friday.

Mexican federal authorities captured Edgar “Richie” Acevedo in Cabo San Lucas and were preparing to take the 25-year-old former waiter to Mexico City, Dallas police said. Mr. Acevedo had worked at a restaurant run by victim Oscar Sanchez’s family.

FBI Special Agent Lori Bailey confirmed the arrest, but would not discuss details.

Mr. Sanchez was kidnapped Jan. 18 during what police think was a staged car crash in Dallas. His body was found in a field a week later.

A former elementary school teacher, Jose Felix, was charged with capital murder and believed to be an accomplice. He was captured as he prepared to board to plane to Guadalajara, Mexico, where Mr. Acevedo had flown. Mr. Felix’s trial is set for Jan. 30.

Deer crashes into plumbing store

OWOSSO, Mich. — Some people have to go out deer hunting to bag a buck. Not Scott Lamphere — the animals come to him.

A five-pointer crashed through the front door of his plumbing store Thursday evening.

“We hear this crash in our office, and there’s this deer stumbling around in our backroom,” manager Kristina Kelley told the Lansing State Journal.

The animal knocked a few things off some shelves and broke a radio before it ran out a garage door.

Mr. Lamphere, who returned home last week from an Alaskan hunting trip, is a trophy hunter whose front office is filled with mounted animals. That might be why the deer came crashing in, he said.

“Maybe he’d seen his friends inside, and he was coming for a visit,” Mr. Lamphere said.

Homes evacuated after gas-tank blast

TEXARKANA, Ark. — Seven empty train cars and a tanker containing a flammable gas derailed yesterday in a switchyard, exploding in a ball of fire that killed one person and forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

A plume of smoke covered the south end of the city, and at least seven persons went to hospital emergency rooms with complaints of respiratory problems.

At least two homes were destroyed — including one where the victim died — and several vehicles were totaled in the quarter-mile area surrounding the accident, police spokesman Chris Rankin said.

At midday, the propylene tank was still burning, but the fire was under control and the smoke had thinned out, Mr. Rankin said.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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