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In brief: Air Force crew ejects before crash

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – An Air Force commander said he’s thankful that four crew members were able to safely eject before a B-1B bomber crashed in southeastern Montana.

The airplane crashed Monday in a remote area near Broadus, Mont. It was based at South Dakota’s Ellsworth Air Force Base, one of only two bases in the U.S. that have B-1B crews.

Col. Kevin Kennedy said two 28th Bomb Wing pilots and two weapons system officers were taken by ambulance and air to South Dakota hospitals in Rapid City and Spearfish. He said their injuries are not life-threatening.

No details were released about what caused the crash, which occurred about 170 miles southeast of Billings.

Abductor’s policy pays victim’s family

SAN DIEGO – A spokesman for the family of a California man who abducted a 16-year-old girl and killed her mother and young brother says a member of the family is the beneficiary of his life insurance.

Andrew Spanswick said Monday that James Lee DiMaggio left $112,000 to Hannah Anderson’s paternal grandmother. Spanswick said he doesn’t know why but believes it is for Hannah’s benefit.

Spanswick said DiMaggio, who was killed in a shootout with FBI agents, named Bernice Anderson as his beneficiary in 2011 instead of his sister.

DiMaggio died Aug. 10 in the Idaho wilderness. Hannah was rescued.

Courts cut federal public defender pay

WASHINGTON – The federal courts say that private lawyers paid to act as federal public defenders will have their salaries slashed as part of an attempt to survive government cost-cutting measures.

The Judicial Conference of the United States announced Monday that it would reduce by $15 an hour the pay of “panel attorneys.” The yearlong cuts start in September.

More than 10,000 lawyers serve as panel attorneys, representing defendants financially unable to retain counsel in federal criminal proceedings.

The pay for panel attorneys will drop from $125 per hour in non-capital cases to $110. Pay will drop from a maximum of $179 per hour for capital cases to $164.

Mechanical error caused limo deaths

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A mechanical problem is to blame for igniting a limousine fire that killed five nurses who were trapped in the back, the California Highway Patrol said Monday.

CHP Capt. Mike Maskarich said the blaze broke out on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge on May 4 because of a catastrophic failure of the rear suspension system. The air suspension failure allowed the spinning driveshaft to contact the floor pan, causing friction that ignited carpets and set the vehicle on fire, authorities said.

Authorities said no charges will be filed. The Public Utilities Commission is fining the limo operator $1,500 for having more passengers than allowed.


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