In brief: Bus crashes into bridge, injures 30
Boston – A charter bus carrying high school students from Pennsylvania crashed when it attempted to pass under a low bridge in Boston on Saturday night, injuring more than 30 people, several seriously, and leaving some trapped inside for hours, authorities said.
The students had been in the area to visit Harvard University. The bus, which was carrying 42 students and adult chaperones, was heading back to the Philadelphia area when it struck an overpass on Soldier’s Field Road, a major crosstown road, at around 7:30 p.m., Massachusetts State Police said.
Authorities said the Calvary Coach bus did not belong on that road, which was not authorized for oversized vehicles, and state police were investigating whether charges were warranted against the driver, who apparently failed to see a sign prohibiting the vehicle from taking that route.
State police said at least 32 people were injured, including three seriously.
Governor tells Boy Scouts to keep gay ban
Austin, Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry said emphatically Saturday that the Boy Scouts of America shouldn’t soften its strict no-gays membership policy, and dismissed the idea of bending the organization to the whims of “popular culture.”
Perry is an Eagle Scout and in 2008 he authored the book “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.” It detailed the governor’s deep love for the organization and explained why it should continue to embrace traditional, conservative values – including excluding openly gay members and Scout leaders.
America’s longest-serving governor addressed the Texas Scouts’ 64th annual Report to State, where hundreds of Scouts from around Texas filled the state House of Representatives to announce their delegation’s recent accomplishments.
Perry told the youngsters that the Scouts was a key reason he joined the U.S. Air Force and later sought public office, and that society’s failure to adhere to the organization’s core values was a cause for high rates of teen pregnancy and wayward youth who grow up to be “men joining their fathers in prison.”
Speaking to reporters afterward, Perry said: “Hopefully the board will follow their historic position of keeping the Scouts strongly supportive of the values that make Scouting this very important and impactful organization.”
Short winter perhaps, signals groundhog
Punxsutawney, Pa. – An end to winter’s bitter cold will come soon, according to Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog.
Following a recent stretch of weather that’s included temperatures well below freezing as well as record warmth, tornadoes in the South and Midwest and torrential rains in the mid-Atlantic, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair Saturday in front of thousands but didn’t see his shadow.
Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2 on Gobbler’s Knob in west-central Pennsylvania, winter will last six more weeks. But if he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will come early.
The prediction is made during a ceremony overseen by a group called the Inner Circle. Members don top hats and tuxedos for the ceremony on Groundhog Day each year. Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle, says that after “consulting” with Phil, he makes the call in deciphering what the world’s Punxsutawney Phil has to say about the weather.