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Riders left hanging in power outage

Mon., June 11, 2007

A dozen riders on a roller coaster spent half an hour hanging upside down – 150 feet above the ground – after a power outage shut down the attraction.

It took about 30 minutes for the city fire department to rescue the riders using a ladder truck Saturday evening, said Aundrea Crary, spokeswoman for the Springs & Crystal Falls amusement park.

Spectators cheered when the riders were brought to the ground from the highest point of a loop on the X-Coaster, but one passenger threw up after reaching safety.

The X-Coaster was one of several rides brought to a halt by the outage that originated somewhere near the park.

The park resumed normal operations, although the X-Coaster remained closed.

One X-Coaster passenger, Jay Plummer, 37, was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Medical Center in Hot Springs after complaining of neck pain and a headache.

Camarillo, Calif.

Average fuel price drops 7 cents

The national average price for gasoline dropped 7 cents in the last three weeks, according to a nationwide survey released Sunday that marked the first decline since January.

The U.S. average for self-serve, regular-grade gasoline was $3.11 per gallon as of Wednesday, down from $3.18 in the last national survey May 18, oil industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said.

The modest relief came thanks to a boost in imports of gasoline from foreign producers lured by record-high prices, she said.

Lundberg, however, said the latest numbers don’t portend any dramatic price drops. Despite the recent sag, prices still are up 93 cents since the start of 2007.

Orlando, Fla.

Disney tourists abducted, robbed

Two Connecticut tourists were abducted and robbed at gunpoint early Sunday after a Downtown Disney shopping trip.

According to the Orange County Sheriffs Office, a man in a black Volkswagen Jetta called out a question to the couple, who were staying at a Disney resort, as they walked through the parking lot shortly after midnight at the entertainment-and-shopping hotspot.

When they stopped to answer, the couple, Justin Stetzer, 20, and Jessica Dellacamera, 20, both of Branford, Conn., were forced into the car at gunpoint.

Deputies said that three men inside the Jetta drove the tourists to a gas station and forced Stetzer to withdraw money from an ATM. After stopping at an unknown location, the men took the couple to a remote location near an Osceola County landfill.

They forced the couple out of the car and beat them, striking Stetzer in the head with a handgun. But the two fought back against their attackers, and in the scuffle, the gun discharged.

That scared the men, who panicked and fled.

London, Ky.

Brothers found dead in car trunk

Two young brothers accidentally locked themselves in the trunk of their mother’s car and were found dead about four hours after they were reported missing, state police said Sunday.

“Preliminarily, it appears that this is just a tragedy,” said state Trooper Don Trosper. “These boys were out playing and they accidentally got themselves locked in the trunk.”

Their grandparents called police Saturday to say they had not seen their grandsons for about three hours, said Laurel County Coroner Doug Bowling.

The bodies were found in the trunk of a 1996 car at their mother’s home.

Bowling identified the boys as 8-year-old Chase Baker and 11-year-old Coty Baker.

From wire reports


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