July 22, 2008 in Nation/World

Dolly expected to become hurricane

 

Residents along the Texas-Mexico border kept a watchful eye on Tropical Storm Dolly on Monday, stocking up on plywood, generators and flashlights as forecasters predicted the storm would strengthen into a hurricane later this week and make landfall.

Hurricane warnings were issued late Monday for parts of the Texas and Mexico coasts, meaning hurricane conditions were expected in those areas by the end of today.

The storm was expected to bring high winds and dump 10 to 20 inches of rain in coastal areas near the U.S.-Mexican border. Emergency officials feared major flooding problems and urged coastal residents to prepare.

Forecasters said Dolly was expected to make landfall late today or early Wednesday as a Category 1 hurricane, with sustained winds of 74 mph to 95 mph.

Honolulu

B-52 crash kills at least three

An Air Force B-52 bomber crashed off Guam on Monday morning, killing at least three airmen and leading to an intensive ocean search for the remaining three crew members, the military said.

Three vessels including a destroyer, three helicopters, two F-15 fighter jets and a Navy P-3 Orion aircraft based in Japan were involved in the search, which covered roughly 3,000 square miles of the Pacific, said Coast Guard spokesman Lt. John Titchen.

“We’ve basically saturated that area,” said Titchen, who called search conditions “ideal,” with light winds, calm seas and good visibility.

The unarmed B-52 bomber was en route from Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base to conduct a flyover in a parade on another part of the island when it crashed about 9:45 a.m. Monday about 30 miles northwest of Apra Harbor, the Air Force said.

The plane that crashed Monday was based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and deployed to Guam as part of the Department of Defense’s continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific.

Maplewood, Mo.

Firefighters at car fire shot at; one killed

Firefighters became victims of what appeared to be an ambush Monday when they were fired upon from a house as they worked to put out a vehicle fire across the street, police said.

One young firefighter was killed, two police officers were wounded and the house where the shots were fired later burned to the ground.

It was unclear Monday afternoon whether the gunman died in the house fire; authorities were searching the remains of the brick bungalow, St. Louis County police spokeswoman Tracy Panus said.

“The suspicion is he’s in there,” Panus said. “He didn’t get away. We have no indication he got out of the house.”

New York

Divorce granted after YouTube stunt

A Broadway mogul whose wife trashed him in a widely viewed Internet video was granted a divorce from her Monday.

A Manhattan judge gave Philip Smith a divorce from Tricia Walsh-Smith on the grounds of cruel and inhuman treatment.

Walsh-Smith lashes out against Smith in the tearful and furious YouTube video, which has attracted more than 3 million hits. She makes embarrassing claims about their intimate life and then calls his office to repeat those claims to a stunned assistant.

Judge Harold Beeler blasted Walsh-Smith for her video stunt, which he called “a calculated and callous campaign to embarrass and humiliate her husband” and to pressure him into settling the divorce case on more favorable terms than were stated in their prenuptial agreement.

He said Monday that the prenuptial agreement, signed three weeks before the couple’s 1999 wedding, was valid. This means that Walsh-Smith must leave their Park Avenue apartment within 30 days and that Smith, president of the Shubert Organization, the largest theater owner on Broadway, must pay her $750,000.

From wire reports

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