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Amtrak crash blamed on bad truck brakes

Reno, Nev.

Amtrak crash blamed on bad truck brakes

An inattentive trucker with a history of speeding violations driving a tractor-trailer with faulty brakes was the probable cause of a fatal collision with an Amtrak train that left six people dead in northern Nevada last year, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded Tuesday. On a 5-0 vote, the panel also agreed that the weakness of passenger car walls likely contributed to the number of deaths and more than a dozen injuries after the truck skidded 300 feet into the train at a rural crossing on June 24, 2011. It recommended new strength standards be developed. The truck driver, Larry Valli, 43, was killed along with the train's conductor and four passengers.

CHICAGO

Jackson's wife won't run for seat

The wife of Jesse Jackson Jr. said Tuesday that she's not interested in running for the U.S. House seat her husband held for nearly 17 years, ending talk that she was eying the Chicago-area district. "No. I am not a candidate for Congress," Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson told reporters. "I intend to remain an alderman." Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned last month citing his health and acknowledging that he's under federal investigation, reportedly over the use of campaign funds.

South Sudan

Soldiers blamed in civilian deaths

South Sudan soldiers are being blamed for the deaths of more than 20 civilians in two separate regions in the world's newest country. A South Sudanese official said Tuesday that the first incident took place in Jonglei state last week. The official said soldiers rounded up civilians and fired on the group, killing 13. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Separately, SPLA troops were reported to have opened fire on civilians in Western Equatoria state on Saturday and Sunday. A U.N. spokesman said that nine people were killed.

New York

Chemical thrown in rabbi's face

An advocate for child sexual abuse victims in the Satmar Hasidic community was injured by a chemical he believed to be bleach that was thrown in his face as he walked down the street in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, neighborhood on Tuesday. Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg said a man came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. "He has a cup of bleach," Rosenberg said, adding that he recognized the man. "And then he says 'whoops' and throws it in my face and walks off." Rosenberg is expected to fully recover, a relative said.

Elsewhere

JOHANNESBURG: Heavy rains in South Africa have caused a bridge to collapse, killing 14 people, the South African Press Association reported Tuesday.

CHICAGO: A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down a ban on carrying concealed weapons in Illinois and gave lawmakers 180 days to write a law that legalizes it.

Times wires

Amtrak crash blamed on bad truck brakes 12/11/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 11, 2012 11:25pm]
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  1. 'Days were lost': Why Puerto Rico is still suffering a month after Hurricane Maria

    Hurricanes

    MAUNABO, PUERTO RICO — Before Hurricane Maria tore through the rest of this island, it came to Mayor Jorge Márquez's home.

    A man wades through a flooded road, past a boat, in the Toa Ville community two days after the impact of Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Because of flooding, thousands of people are being evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti) CGPR130
  2. With college looming, Channel Drive band finds a way to keep on rocking

    Human Interest

    A year and a half.

    That's the time Channel Drive, a band made up of local high school students, had to organize concerts, create music, produce an album and perform in front of audiences before three-fourths of the group were to leave for college.

    One of Channel Drive’s favorite venues is the Brass Mug in North Tampa. Here, from left to right, Colby Williams, Jacob Fleming and Ricardo Ponte command the stage while Alex Carr handles drums.
  3. Florida's unemployment hits 3.8 percent, lowest since April 2007

    Economic Development

    Florida's unemployment rate continued its downward tear in September to hit 3.8 percent — the lowest since April 2007 — as the state lost 127,400 jobs over the month.

    Florida's unemployment rate dropped from 4 percent in August to 3.8 percent in September. Pictured is 
Shantia Blackmon (left),from St. Petersburg, talking with Jocelyn Kelley from North Carolina at a Pinellas Schools County Job Fair in June. | [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Study: When you die, your brain knows you're dead

    Health

    Have you ever wondered what happens after you die?

    According to a new study from NYU, researchers say that a person's brain may function after their death. [iStockPhoto]

  5. Gradebook podcast: On HB 7069, with Palm Beach schools superintendent Robert Avossa

    Blogs

    After months of discussion, several Florida school districts filed suit against the Legislature over the contentious HB 7069, calling parts of it unconstitutional. At the same time, some of them also sought grant funding established in the same measure. The Palm Beach County school district did both. Superintendent …

    Palm Beach superintendent Robert Avossa