News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
MONDAY, JULY 30, 2007

Nation In Brief

2 die in float plane crash in Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — A small float plane crashed into the Willamette River in Oregon, killing two people, including an accomplished flight instructor, authorities said.

David Howard Wiley, 80, a former National Seaplane Pilot of the Year, was one of the two men who died shortly before noon Saturday when the vintage 1941 Taylorcraft float plane crashed just north of Willamette Falls.

The identity of the other man was being withheld pending notification of his family. Witnesses said the two-passenger, single-engine plane took off from the river, rose about 75 feet, wobbled in the air and then began a steep turn to the left before the left wing broke off.

Clackamas County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Strovink said people who saw the crash told him the plane took off in an “unstable fashion.”

Apartment complex fire kills 5

LEMOORE, Calif. — An apartment fire in California’s Central Valley left five family members dead, including three children, authorities said.

Firefighters early Saturday found the bodies of Michell Mattison and Derik Faubion, both 19, and their 2-month-old baby Hayden Allison Faubion in one of the apartments.

The couple’s niece and nephew, Lexus May Visnar, 4, and Ariel Nel Visnar, 2, also died in the fire.

Investigators have not determined a cause. Police Chief Kim Morrell told the Fresno Bee that foul play was not suspected.

Text messager taps to victory at fair

MINOT, N.D. — Oh, no! Don’t forget the exclamation point! It could cost you $1,000!

Kevin Taylor, 30, of Minneapolis lost out on a $1,000 first prize in a text messaging contest at the North Dakota State Fair because he forgot the punctuation mark at the end of a phrase that he and his sudden-death competitor had to enter.

So he settled for $200.

Beth Brevik, 32, of Minot, ended up with the big prize at Saturday’s contest, tapping out the phrase: “I hope I win the grand prize of $1,000 so I can buy a new phone. Whoo!”

“I was very lucky,” she said.

Brevik and Taylor finished ahead of 38 competitors, many of them teenagers. Organizers said the contest was patterned after a similar event in New York, where a 13-year-old girl won $50,000.

Judges gather to promote fairness

ATLANTA — About 200 judges gathered Sunday at the tomb of civil rights leaders Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King to reaffirm their efforts to promote fairness in the legal system.

The judges, part of the National Bar Association’s Judicial Council, gathered with King’s sister, Christine King Farris, to place a wreath before the tomb.

The event was part of the National Bar Association’s annual conference, which began Saturday in Atlanta and continues through Friday.

Park road reopens near wildfire

HELENA, Mont. — A highway near Glacier National Park was reopened Sunday, just a half-mile from a wind-whipped wildfire, but a nearby lodge threatened by the flames remained evacuated.

Authorities escorted traffic on U.S. 2 through the area along the southern edge of the park in northwest Montana. Fire managers warned that it could be closed again if the blaze flared up like it did Saturday, when wind kicked it across control lines. A 24-mile stretch of the highway was closed Saturday.

Guests and 18 employees at Summit Station Lodge along the highway remained evacuated as flames were within a mile of the facility, owner Jorge Simental said. The number of guests was not immediately available.

compiled from wire reports

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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