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In brief: Navy releases crash victims’ names

Wed., Sept. 25, 2013

SAN DIEGO – The Navy on Tuesday released the names of two helicopter crew members killed when their MH-60S Knighthawk crashed in the Red Sea.

Killed were Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones, 35, of Lompoc, Calif., and Chief Warrant Officer Jonathon Gibson, 32, of Aurora, Ore.

Three other crew members were rescued and are in stable condition, the Navy said. The crew was from the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 at North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado, Calif.

The crash occurred Sunday as the helicopter was attempting to land on the destroyer William Lawrence.

The William Lawrence is part of the carrier Nimitz strike group that has been ordered into the Red Sea amid tensions between the U.S. and Syria over use of chemical weapons during the Syrian civil war.

The crash was not due to any hostile action, the Navy said.

After rescuing the three, Navy boats and helicopters continued to search for the remaining two, but it was later called off.

Governor signs quake warning bill

LOS ANGELES – Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday ordered creation of a statewide earthquake early warning system that could give millions of Californians a few precious seconds of warning before a powerful temblor strikes.

The bill signed into law Tuesday directs the Office of Emergency Services to develop the system and identify sources of funding for it by January 2016. The system is expected to cost about $80 million to build and run for five years. Early warning systems are designed to detect the first, fast-moving shock wave from a large earthquake, calculate the strength and alert people before the slower but damaging waves spread. The U.S. has lagged behind Mexico, Japan and other quake-prone countries in developing a system that can detect a rupturing fault and provide enough time for trains to brake, cars to pull off roads, utilities to shut off gas lines, and people to dive under tables and desks.

The system can’t predict earthquakes and people at the epicenter won’t get any warning, but those farther away could benefit.

Chicago shooting suspects denied bail

CHICAGO – Two men in their 20s opened fire last week into a park on Chicago’s South Side – wounding a 3-year-old boy and 12 other people – after one of the men had been grazed by a bullet hours earlier, police said Tuesday.

They did not aim at anyone in particular but “just shot into the park” because they believed it was controlled by a rival gang, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told reporters.

Police identified the gang member out for vengeance as Bryon Champ, 21. Armed with an assault-style rifle, he fired more than a dozen rounds into the crowd of people at a basketball court at Cornell Square Park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood Thursday night, police said.

Champ was accompanied by Tabari Young, 22, who also fired into the park, police said. Kewane Gatewood, 20, supplied the high-powered gun Champ used, while Brad Jett, 22, acted as a lookout, police said.

Prosecutors said all four suspects have admitted to participating in the shooting. They are being held without bail.

80-year-old man in car assaulted

EAST POINT, Ga. – Police in suburban Atlanta say they’re searching for three people accused of assaulting an 80-year-old man in an attempted carjacking.

East Point police said the man was in his car when he was assaulted in his driveway on Sept. 14 by at least two men and a woman.

Officials said the woman driving the car blocked the man in his driveway and one of the suspects threw a brick through one of the man’s windows.

Police said the men pistol-whipped the victim, who suffered broken bones in his face and cuts to both of his arms. The victim said the suspects stole his wallet and ran off.

Law aims to protect kids from paparazzi

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Paparazzi and others who harass the children of public figures will face tougher penalties under legislation that California Gov. Jerry Brown signed Tuesday.

The bill from state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, will boost penalties for actions that include taking photos and video of a child without parental consent and in a harassing manner.

Celebrities such as actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner urged lawmakers to support SB 606. Berry testified before several legislative committees that her daughter has been intimidated by photographers who follow them daily.


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