GLENDORA, Calif. – Santa Ana winds that fanned a campfire into a wildfire that destroyed five homes and threatened neighborhoods east of Los Angeles relented Thursday afternoon, halting the blaze in its tracks.
The fire swept through 1,700 acres of brush in the San Gabriel Mountains early in the day, but by nightfall it was 30 percent contained. Authorities planned to allow back some of the 2,000 people who were ordered to leave.
Three men in their 20s, including a homeless man, were arrested on suspicion of recklessly starting the blaze by tossing paper into a campfire in the Angeles National Forest, just north of Glendora. Glendora Chief Tim Staab said the men were trying to keep warm and the wildfire was apparently an accident.
Soldier killed, 2 hurt in chopper landing
A member of an elite Army helicopter unit was killed and two crew members suffered injuries when their aircraft slammed into the ground as they tried to land at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga., a military spokesman said Thursday.
The MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was returning from a routine training flight when it made a hard landing just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday on or near the airstrip at the base in coastal Georgia, said Army Maj. Allen Hill, a spokesman for the crew’s aviation unit. Hill said Thursday the Army was still investigating what went wrong.
Boy recovering after NM shotgun attack
Gov. Susana Martinez said Thursday the boy who was shot in the face and neck at a New Mexico middle school is heavily sedated and on a breathing machine, but his doctors are optimistic.
Martinez told reporters the student, whom she identified as 12-year-old Nathaniel Tavarez, remained in critical condition at a Lubbock, Texas, hospital and doctors have repaired slight damage to his heart. She also said his face and head are covered in pockmarks from the shotgun pellets, and both of his eyes were injured.
The news came as students returned to Berrendo Middle School in Roswell two days after a seventh-grader there opened fire in a crowded gym, wounding the boy and a 13-year-old girl, Kendal Sanders, whom Martinez said is expected to be released soon.
The suspected shooter, another 12-year-old boy, has been charged as a juvenile with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Judge again rejects Detroit bank deal
A judge overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy again rejected a deal Thursday to end a crippling financial agreement with major banks, dealing a blow to officials who want to put the issue behind them as they work on a plan to get the city out of the largest public bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.
Judge Steven Rhodes turned down a $169 million compromise, saying it’s just too much money. He rejected a $230 million deal on the same grounds last month.
Meanwhile, in Lansing, Gov. Rick Snyder met with state lawmakers to discuss the possibility of putting money aside to shore up Detroit’s pension plans and prevent the sale of city-owned art, days after foundations committed $330 million to the effort.
Oklahoma senator to end term early
U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn says he plans to finish the current year in office and resign his seat nearly two years before his term is to end.
The two-term Republican, 65, released a statement late Thursday saying he would give up his seat at the end of the current session of Congress, scheduled to end in January 2015. His term was scheduled to end in 2016.
Coburn recently announced he was diagnosed with cancer, but he said the decision was not about his health.
At polls, Egyptians favor constitution
An overwhelming majority of Egyptians who voted on the country’s new constitution backed the draft charter, a senior Egyptian official said Thursday, despite criticism from an international monitoring group of a clampdown on free speech ahead of the election.
The election official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that unofficial results after most of the ballots had been counted indicated that more than 90 percent voted yes.
The interim government is looking for a strong yes vote and a large turnout to win undisputed legitimacy and perhaps a popular mandate for the military chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, to run for president later this year.