The fiery wreck of a North Carolina church bus on Wednesday killed eight people and injured more than a dozen others.
Emergency workers respond to the church bus crash near Dandridge, Tenn. on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (Paul Efird/The Knoxville News Sentinel/AP)
For months, a tight-knit group of seniors at a North Carolina church had been looking forward to the road trip.
It was a tradition for members of the Young at Heart Ministry to attend the annual Fall Jubilee in Gatlinburg, Tenn., an event featuring gospel singers and speakers. The Front Street Baptist Church's website described the gathering as "three days of singing, laughing and preaching" for "mature and senior believers."
But on the way back to Statesville, N.C., on Wednesday, the bus carrying the church group blew a tire, veered across a highway median and crashed into a sport utility vehicle and tractor-trailer in a fiery wreck that killed eight people.
Fourteen other people were hurt in the accident in northeastern Tennessee, including two who were in critical condition.
Church members on Wednesday night were waiting for more details. None of the victims have been identified.
The bus that crashed was carrying members of a North Carolina church group. (Paul Efird/The Knoxville News Sentinel/AP)
"This is hard," said Jerry Wright, whose 73-year-old brother, John, and his wife were on the bus. "You try not to think the worst, but it gets to you."
He believes his brother may have been driving the church bus because he had done so in the past.
If he was driving, it's going to be bad," Wright said. "I've been trying to ring them. I've been calling their phone, but it keeps ringing and ringing and ringing.show more
By Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg News
After more than two months of investigation, Southwest Airlines fired the captain and ordered the first officer to undergo more training. (Joseph Kaczmarek/AP)
Southwest Airlines said it fired the captain who was at the controls of a plane that landed nose first at New York's LaGuardia Airport in July, injuring nine people and snarling air traffic for hours.
The captain, a Southwest pilot for 13 years, took control from the first officer just before the Boeing 737 hit the runway, U.S. investigators said in August. Dallas-based Southwest ordered the first officer to undergo more training, an airline spokeswoman, Linda Rutherford, said in an email Wednesday.
Southwest acted after completing its investigation into the July 22 accident, Rutherford said. The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which is conducting its own inquiry, previously said it found no evidence of a mechanical failure.
"As a matter of policy we have not identified the pilots and we are not discussing the specifics," Rutherford said. "We are also still in an active investigation with the NTSB."
With its nose pointed three degrees downward, the 737-700 struck the runway first with the landing gear at the front of the plane instead of settling onto the main wheels located beneath the wings, the NTSB said in a July 25 release.
The forward gear broke, snapping rearward and damaging an electronics bay. Flight 345 was arriving from Nashville, Tenn., and carried 150 people.
An NOAA satellite image taken on Thursday shows the tropical disturbance that's now become Tropical Storm Karen moving into the eastern Gulf of Mexico. (Weather Underground/AP)
Tropical Storm Karen has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and a hurricane watch is in effect along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the late-season storm formed Thursday morning. It was about 500 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and already had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph.
The hurricane watch was in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Indian Pass in the Florida Panhandle. A tropical storm watch also was in effect for parts of the Louisiana coast west of Grand Isle, including the metro New Orleans area and Lake Pontchartrain.
Karen was moving north-northwest at 13 mph. It could be at or near hurricane strength by Friday.
By Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Pos
In this Feb. 4, 1998 file photo, writer Tom Clancy appears at his home in Calvert County, Md. Clancy, the bestselling author of more than 25 fiction and nonfiction books for the Penguin Group, died on Oct. 1, 2013 in Baltimore, Md. He was 66. (Vince Lupo/AP Photo)
Let me take you back to the thrilling days of yesteryear, when The Washington Post Book World was a stand-alone section that ran a regular feature called Book Report and a man named Tom Clancy was a Calvert County, Md. insurance agent preparing to publish his first book.
In June 1984, Michele Slung, The Washington Post's books reporter, wrote about a double unlikelihood: the decision by the little-known Naval Institute Press in Annapolis, Md. to branch out from nonfiction books on nautical matters and to start publishing fiction, and the luck of a budding novelist in selling his first book to the first house he sent it to.
A photo of Clancy, who died Wednesday at age 66, tops Slung's report -- the leftmost anchor of a trio that also includes Richard Nixon and Michael Jackson (together at last). She noted that the Naval Institute dates to 1873, when it was founded, in part, to let naval officers kibitz about how their favorite branch of the service was being run. A hundred and eleven years later, one of its editors described it as "a nonprofit membership organization that publishes magazines and books."show more
By DOMENIC POLI, Reformer Staff
Frank Caraballo appears in Windham District Court. (Reformer file photo)
RUTLAND -- A federal jury found Frank Caraballo guilty of murder Wednesday, more than two years after authorities say he fatally shot a woman in Dummerston over missing narcotics.
Caraballo, 31, of Holyoke, Mass., was found guilty on all but one of the charges against him. Though jurors found him guilty of causing Melissa Barratt's death, they were not convinced he actually pulled the trigger of the gun used to kill her in July 2011. He was also found guilty of conspiracy to distribute more than 28 grams heroin, cocaine and crack and of being in felony possession of a firearm. He was, however, found not guilty of distributing more than 280 grams of drugs.
Caraballo is already serving a 16-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute drugs. He likely faces 40 years to life in prison for the newest convictions in U.S. District Court.
The prosecution accused Caraballo of murdering Melissa Barratt, who made money selling drugs for him, with a gunshot to the head in the woods off Dummerston's East West Road. Caraballo had suspected Barratt of stealing a safe containing thousands of dollars of drugs, which her friend testified she indeed did.show more