April 27, 2009 in Nation/World

In brief: Chrysler reaches deal with UAW

 

Chrysler LLC cleared another major obstacle to its survival Sunday when it reached a tentative deal for concessions with the United Auto Workers union.

The troubled automaker is just days from a Thursday U.S. government deadline to gain concessions from its unions and debtholders and form an alliance with Italy’s Fiat Group SpA or face almost certain liquidation.

The UAW announced the deal in a news release Sunday night, calling the concessions painful but saying the deal takes advantage of the Obama administration giving Chrysler and its workers a second chance.

The UAW deal is seen as a key piece of pulling Chrysler’s plan together, and it’s noteworthy that the UAW said Fiat was involved in the deal.

COLUMBUS, Ohio

Police break up Kent State riot

An end-of-year college block party spiraled out of control as police fired pellets and used pepper spray to break up hundreds of rioting students who sparked a string of street fires at Kent State University.

Video posted on the Internet shows students hurling furniture and street signs into the flames on Saturday night as a SWAT team in riot gear converged on the crowd. Kent police said the party grew violent after one reveler was arrested and students began pelting officers with bottles, bricks and rocks.

It was the first violent clash between Kent State students and police in years. In 1970, four Kent State students were killed by Ohio National Guard troops during a campus protest of the invasion of Cambodia.

“They were burning pretty much everything,” said police dispatcher Rosemarie Mosher. “They were throwing stop signs on the fires, they were throwing chairs, couches, tree branches. Basically anything they could get their hands on.”

At least 64 students were arrested, and several officers suffered minor injuries, Mosher said. When officers ordered the crowd to disperse, students built piles of couches, suitcases and other debris and lit them on fire. There were at least four fires blazing in the middle of the street, Mosher said.

The riot was mostly over by 10 p.m., when more than two dozen police and fire vehicles surrounded the area.

MANCHESTER, Iowa

Police: Man cut out father’s pacemaker

Authorities in northeast Iowa say a man faces charges accusing him of cutting a pacemaker out of his father’s chest.

The Delaware County sheriff’s office said in a statement Sunday that 32-year-old Jesse Fierstine of Manchester struck his 63-year-old father, Charles Fierstine, on the head with a flashlight and a piece of firewood Saturday, then cut the pacemaker from his chest using a pocketknife.

The statement says the younger Fierstine was charged with attempted murder.

Charles Fierstine was taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Officials didn’t give details on his condition Sunday.

HAMPTON, Va.

Three men shot in university dorm

A former student shot the night manager and a pizza delivery man inside a Hampton University dorm early Sunday before turning the gun on himself, police and school officials said Sunday. All three were hospitalized.

No students were injured in the shooting reported around 1 a.m., Hampton police said.

The suspect, who is from New York, shot two Hampton men, ages 62 and 43, before shooting himself, police said in a statement.

The 18-year-old shooter is a former student and the older victim is the night manager of the dormitory, Harkness Hall, school spokeswoman Yuri Rodgers Milligan said.

Names of those involved were not immediately released.

“The Hampton University community is praying for those injured in this tragic incident.” Hampton President William R. Harvey said in a statement.

DES MOINES, Iowa

Severe storms pound Midwest

Strong thunderstorms packing possible tornadoes battered parts of the Midwest on Sunday for a second straight day, damaging at least half a dozen buildings and a campground in Iowa and two Oklahoma homes.

Tornadoes were reported in eastern Iowa, western Oklahoma and south-central Kansas, but there were no immediate reports of serious injuries.

In Kansas, a possible tornado touched down in the Lake Afton area southwest of Witchita. Two people were injured when the camper they were in was flipped by the storm, said Sgt. Oscar Thomasson of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department.

A possible tornado swept through the northeast part of Linn County, Iowa, destroying campers at a campground near Central City and causing “significant” damage to about a half-dozen homes and buildings in its path, said Mike Goldberg, the county’s emergency coordinator.

No injuries had been reported about three hours after the storm, and Goldberg said “it’s looking favorable” that there wouldn’t be any. Teams were still checking homes one by one in the areas hardest hit, including at the campground, he said.

Power outages were reported Sunday in eastern Iowa and western Oklahoma, while utility crews in southern Michigan worked to restore power to thousands of homes and businesses blacked out by thunderstorms that raked the region a day earlier with wind up to 70 mph.

A mobile home and a frame home were damaged Sunday by a possible twister in Ellis County, Okla., said state Department of Emergency Management spokeswoman Michelann Ooten.

From wire reports


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