Warship honors Marine who saved comrades
Marines flushing out Iraqi insurgents after an ambush came upon a column of vehicles. A van with a father and son. A pickup truck. A tractor. And a Toyota Land Cruiser with four young insurgents. The driver of the Land Cruiser jumped out and attacked Cpl. Jason Dunham. Two Marines ran up to assist, but Dunham cried out, "No, no, no, watch his hand!" A grenade exploded. Dunham, 22, of Scio, N.Y., mortally wounded as he saved his comrades that day, will be honored Saturday at the christening of the Navy's newest destroyer, the USS Jason Dunham. The young corporal who threw his Kevlar helmet and his body on the grenade became the first Marine since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor. His mother, Deb Dunham, who will christen the ship with champagne at Bath Iron Works, will be joined by her husband, Dan, and their other three children.
Fort Jackson, S.C.
Troops to get help in handling stress
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey told reporters Thursday that military training will soon include antistress programs as part of an effort to help soldiers deal with the aftereffects of combat and prevent suicides. The program begins Oct. 1 and will be part of a soldier's first week in basic training and continue through all levels of Army education for officers and enlisted personnel. There were a record 140 soldier suicides in 2008, pushing the rate per 100,000 troops beyond the civilian rate for the first time. The rate went up this year, with 51 in January and February alone.
Stem cell donors to get tax dollars
Starting next year, New York women may be able to donate their eggs not only to help others get pregnant, but also for stem cell research. And they'll be able to get reimbursement of up to $10,000 — paid for by taxpayers. The Empire State Stem Cell Board, which helps oversee $600 million in state funding for stem cell studies over 11 years, voted last month to make New York the only state that allows taxpayer dollars to be used to pay for women to donate their eggs for stem cell research. The plan is expected to begin in 2010.
Chilled trailer was smuggling humans
An Arizona Department of Public Safety officer who stopped a refrigerated trailer on Interstate 19 north of Nogales near the Mexico border found 97 undocumented immigrants crammed inside in near-freezing temperatures. The trailer was also carrying fruit and was chilled to 34 degrees. Temperatures outside were in the mid 80s. The U.S. Border Patrol and Customs took custody of the undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala.
Mayor resigns, eyes Congress
Willie Herenton, the first black mayor of Memphis, resigned Thursday after a record 18 years in office to focus on his run for Congress. Herenton, 69, faces Rep. Steve Cohen in the August 2010 Democratic primary. Cohen became the city's first white congressman in more than three decades when he was elected in 2006.