Around the nation

2013-03-18T00:00:00Z Around the nationFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
March 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

INDIANA

Two dead as private jet crashes into neighborhood

SOUTH BEND - A private jet apparently experiencing mechanical trouble crashed Sunday in a northern Indiana neighborhood, hitting three homes and killing two people aboard the plane, authorities and witnesses said.

The Beechcraft Premier I twin-jet had left Tulsa, Okla.'s Riverside Airport and crashed near South Bend Regional Airport, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Roland Herwig in Oklahoma City said. Two of four people aboard the plane were killed, Herwig said.

It was not clear if anyone on the ground was killed, and Herwig did not have any additional information.

South Bend Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Maggie Scroope said three people injured when the plane crashed were being treated there; one was in serious condition and two were in fair condition. Scroope did not know if they were on the plane or the ground.

New York

'Oz' again tops box office with $42.2M in slow year

NEW YORK - "Oz the Great and Powerful" is living up to its name at the box office.

Walt Disney's 3-D blockbuster led all films for the second week in a row, taking in $42.2 million according to studio estimates Sunday. Sam Raimi's prequel to the L. Frank Baum classic "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" also took in $46.6 million overseas, leading to a two-week worldwide total of $281.8 million.

In a winter of underperforming releases, that makes "Oz" easily the biggest hit of 2013 so far.

The box office is down nearly 13 percent from last year.

Among the weekend's debuts, the Halle Berry thriller "The Call" far exceeded expectations with a $17.1 million opening for Sony and TriStar Pictures. The Steve Carell magician comedy "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" fared worse, opening with a disappointing $10.3 million for Warner Bros.

California

Bills seek end to videos showing farm animal abuse

SACRAMENTO- An undercover video that showed California cows struggling to stand as they were prodded to slaughter by forklifts led to the largest meat recall in U.S. history. In Vermont, a video of veal calves skinned alive and tossed like sacks of potatoes ended with the plant's closure and criminal convictions.

Now in a pushback led by the meat and poultry industries, state legislators across the country are introducing laws making it harder for animal welfare advocates to investigate cruelty and food safety cases.

Some bills make it illegal to take photographs at a farming operation. Others make it a crime for someone such as an animal welfare advocate to lie on an application to get a job at a plant.

Bills pending in California, Nebraska and Tennessee require that anyone collecting evidence of abuse turn it over to law enforcement within 24 to 48 hours - which advocates say does not allow enough time to document illegal activity under federal humane handling and food safety laws.

Louisiana

Cops: Burglar was tracked through pickax bar code

METAIRIE, La. - Authorities in Louisiana say they tracked a man accused of stealing drugs from a pharmacy because he left behind a pickax he used to break in - and forgot to remove the price tag.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Col. John Fortunato says the sticker included a bar code indicating when and where the pickax was bought. The store had video of the purchase.

Fortunato told The Times-Picayune that a store near the pharmacy had surveillance video from the night of the burglary, showing the same man and a vehicle license plate.

Fortunato says drugs from the pharmacy were found during a search of 43-year-old Scott Rodrigue's home.

Rodrigue was booked with pharmacy burglary and drug possession and freed on $70,000 bond.

The Associated Press

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