Small plane slams into two houses
EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A small plane crashed in a working-class neighborhood near an airport Friday and engulfed two houses in flames, killing at least two people and leaving a third feared dead.
The multi-engine, propeller-driven plane struck two small homes a few blocks from Tweed New Haven Airport as it came in for a landing.
Soon after the crash, officials said at least three people were missing: the pilot and two children in one of the houses, ages 1 and 13. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy later said the plane also may have been carrying two passengers but that officials were still trying to verify whether that was true.
“We haven’t recovered anybody at this point and we presume there is going to be a very bad outcome,” East Haven Fire Chief Douglas Jackson said early Friday afternoon.
Less than two hours later, Malloy said rescuers had spotted two bodies but had not yet been recovered them. The plane’s fuselage had entered one of the houses and the recovery effort was focusing on the home’s basement, the governor said.
The plane, a Rockwell International Turbo Commander 690B, flew out of Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and crashed at 11:25 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
A neighbor, David Esposito, said he heard a loud noise and then a thump. “No engine noise, nothing,” he said.
TV doctor backs pot as medicine
NEW YORK (AP) — CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta says he spoke too soon in opposing the medical use of marijuana in the past and that he now believes the drug can have very real benefits for people with specific health problems.
Gupta, the network’s chief medical correspondent and a brain surgeon, detailed his change of heart in an interview Friday and in an article for CNN’s website titled, “Why I changed my mind on weed.” He will narrate a documentary on the topic that will air on the network Sunday.
He wrote in Time magazine in 2009 about his opposition to laws that would make the drug available for medical purposes. “Smoking the stuff is not going to do your health any good,” he wrote then. But Gupta said Friday he too easily associated marijuana with “malingerers that just wanted to get high.”
Now he wants to say he’s sorry.
Gupta said he didn’t look hard enough at research on the topic, and found some new research that had been done since then. He was encouraged to look into the issue further upon meeting a 5-year-old girl in Colorado for whom medical marijuana has sharply cut down on the amount of seizures she had been suffering.
FCC votes to cut prison phone rates
WASHINGTON (AP) — A decade after families of prison inmates asked for action, the Federal Communications Commission agreed on Friday to limit how much companies can charge for phone calls made from behind bars.
The FCC voted 2-1 during an emotional meeting to cap interstate phone rates at 21 cents a minute for debit or prepaid calls and 25 cents a minute for collect calls. Companies wanting to set higher rates would have to file a request for a waiver and could not charge more until that waiver is granted.
The commission’s action ends fluctuating phone rates for inmates that vary depending on the provider, the type of call and size of prison facility. The fees range from 50 cents to $3.95 to place calls, plus additional per-minute rates of anywhere from 5 cents to 89 cents. In some cases, a 15-minute call has cost $17, and numerous fees have been tacked onto call charges. Inmates’ families, many of them poor, usually are stuck with the bills.
Car in kidnap case is found in Idaho
CASCADE, Idaho (AP) — A car belonging to a man suspected of killing a California woman and her young son and then fleeing with the 16-year-old daughter was found in the Idaho wilderness on Friday after horseback riders reported seeing the man and girl hiking in the area two days earlier, authorities said.
The riders reported seeing the two near Morehead Lake, an extremely rugged area about 70 miles northeast of Boise, around noon Wednesday, according to Ada County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Patrick Orr. They didn’t report it until later, after seeing news reports and realizing the pair was being sought.
Idaho authorities started searching Thursday and the car was found Friday morning. There have been no other reported sightings of the pair since Wednesday.
Garage workers win lotto jackpot
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — Sixteen workers from a county garage in a New Jersey shore community hit hard by Superstorm Sandy have one of the three winning tickets in the $448 million Powerball jackpot, and some even came to work for a second straight day after learning they would be multimillionaires, county officials said.
“We are absolutely delighted for this group, a real down-to-earth hardworking bunch of people,” Ocean County spokeswoman Donna Flynn said Friday outside the county vehicle maintenance department.
A Minnesota man has already claimed his third of Wednesday’s jackpot. The holder of the third winning ticket, also from New Jersey, has not come forward yet.
Each ticket, if taken as a lump-sum payment, is worth $58 million after taxes.
All 16 county workers showed up to work Thursday, and some were also back on the job Friday, Flynn said.
“They’re asking for their privacy now,” she said.
New Jersey Lottery officials did not return calls or messages Friday on whether they had verified the ticket.
Flynn said the lottery agency was planning to hold a news conference next week.
“This is a wonderful thing to happen to Ocean County after all the difficulties we’ve gone through with Superstorm Sandy,” she said.