Nation in brief: Weakening storm approaches Hawaii
HONOLULU – Hawaii residents kept a watchful eye on Felicia on Monday as the weakening tropical storm closed in on the islands.
A tropical storm watch for the Big Island was canceled Monday but remained in effect for Oahu and Maui County.
After being downgraded from a hurricane, Felicia had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph with higher gusts, according to Air Force reconnaissance aircraft. The storm was expected to weaken to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph by Monday night, forecasters said.
As the storm was moving west at about 10 mph, the center was expected to reach the Hawaiian Islands today, by which time it was expected to have weakened to a tropical depression.
Alaska lawmakers restore stimulus
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Legislature has overridden former Gov. Sarah Palin’s veto of more than $28 million in federal stimulus funds for energy projects.
The override on Monday came despite a last-hour Facebook plea from Palin.
She warned that accepting the stimulus funds would “chip away at Alaska’s right to chart its own course.”
Divers find body in plane wreckage
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Hudson River divers on Monday found the wreckage of a small plane and one of two victims missing following a midair collision with a sightseeing helicopter.
NYPD divers couldn’t remove the man’s body from the aircraft wreckage. Nine people – two men and a boy from a Pennsylvania family on the plane and five Italian tourists and a pilot on the helicopter – died in Saturday’s collision, which occurred in a congested flyway popular with sightseers.
Police were to return to the water today.
Riders rescued from roller coaster
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Rescue crews have removed the last person stranded on a roller coaster ride at the Great America Theme Park in Santa Clara.
San Jose Fire Capt. Scott Kouns said the last of 24 people stranded on the park’s Invertigo Roller Coaster rider were taken off the disabled ride a little before 6:00 p.m. Monday.
The riders had to be lowered one at a time into buckets at the end of aerial ladders after the roller coaster came to a stop shortly before 2 p.m. Monday.
All of the passengers were strapped into the ride and were right side up as they awaited being taken off the ride.
Authorities say there were no injuries.
Transplant patient dies of cancer
DAYTON, Ohio – An Ohio man who lived the longest on one transplanted heart has died at age 51.
In 2000, Tony Huesman became the American who lived the longest on one heart transplant. That year, a Tennessee man who got his first new heart a year before Huesman got his underwent a second transplant.
Huesman’s wife, Carol Huesman, said he died Sunday night after a battle with cancer. He was attacked by a pneumonia virus when he was 18. He got a heart transplant 31 years ago at Stanford University.
He later founded the Huesman Heart Foundation in Dayton and served as its president. The foundation seeks to reduce heart disease by educating children.