Nation in brief: Flood victims’ families visit site
LANGLEY, Ark. – Family members toured the campground Sunday where their loved ones were staying when they were swept away by a flash flood.
About 20 people from two families were brought to the site – the only people still remaining at a nearby church to wait for word of the missing. Rescue commanders helped the families find their loved ones’ campsites and to gather mementos.
“It’s just overwhelming for them. It looks like a war zone here,” said the church’s pastor, Graig Cowart, who accompanied the group.
As the search went from one of rescue to recovery, 19 people had been confirmed killed in the pre-dawn Friday flood. Searchers recovered one body Sunday in a debris pile, and state police Capt. Mike Fletcher said that one person remained missing. Many people first feared missing are now not believed to have been camping at the Albert Pike Recreation Area, the part of Ouachita National Forest hardest hit by flooding, state police spokesman Bill Sadler said.
Sausage man Jimmy Dean dies
RICHMOND, Va. – Jimmy Dean, a country music legend for his smash hit about a workingman hero, “Big Bad John,” and an entrepreneur known for his sausage brand, has died. He was 81.
Donna Meade Dean said her husband died at 7:54 p.m. Sunday at their Henrico County, Va., home, south of Richmond.
She said he had some health problems but was still functioning well, so his death came as a shock.
Born in 1928, Dean was raised in poverty in Plainview, Texas, and dropped out of high school after the ninth grade. But he went on to a successful entertainment career in the ’50s and ’60s.
In 1969, Dean went into the sausage business, starting the Jimmy Dean Meat Co. He sold the company to Sara Lee Corp. in 1984.
With his drawled wisecracks and quick wit, Dean charmed many fans. But in both entertainment and business circles, he was also known for his tough hide. He fired bandmate Roy Clark, who went on to “Hee Haw” fame, for showing up late for gigs.
More recently, a scrap with Sara Lee led to national headlines.
The Chicago-based company let him go as spokesman in 2003, inciting Dean’s wrath. He issued a statement titled “Somebody doesn’t like Sara Lee,” claiming he was dumped because he got old.
More flights cut
as strike continues
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Spirit Airlines is canceling all of its flights through Tuesday, stranding thousands more passengers as a pilots strike continues into its second day.
Spirit pilots walked off the job Saturday amid an ongoing contract dispute with the airline that has lasted for more than three years. Spirit pilots have said their pay lags behind competitors such as AirTran Airways and JetBlue.
The privately held airline, based in Miramar, Fla., carries 16,680 passengers per day – about 1 percent of the U.S. total – mostly between the eastern U.S. and the Caribbean and Latin America. Spirit’s CEO said this weekend that no talks were scheduled with picketing pilots.
The airline said it is refunding fares for flights Saturday through Tuesday, plus offering a $100 credit toward future flights as it tries to get its passengers booked onto other airlines.