Around the nation

2012-11-23T00:00:00Z Around the nationFrom Wire Reports From Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star
November 23, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Texas

2 killed, scores hurt in massive pileup

BEAUMONT - Two people died and more than 80 people were hurt Thursday when at least 140 vehicles collided in southeast Texas in a pileup that left trucks twisted on top of each other and authorities rushing to pull survivors from the wreckage.

The collision occurred in extremely foggy conditions at about 8:45 a.m. Thanksgiving Day on Interstate 10 southwest of Beaumont, a Gulf Coast city about 80 miles east of Houston.

A man and a woman were killed in a Chevy Suburban SUV crushed by a tractor-trailer, the Texas Department of Public Safety told KFDM-TV.

Jefferson County sheriff's Deputy Rod Carroll said in a news release that 80 to 90 people were taken to hospitals, with 10 to 12 of those in serious to critical condition. He said 140 to 150 vehicles were involved in the pileup.

According to DPS, a crash on the eastbound side of the highway led to other accidents in a dangerous chain reaction. There were multiple crashes on the other side of the highway as well.

California

Plea deal reached in Jobs burglary

PALO ALTO - A California man accused of breaking into Steve Jobs' house and stealing computers and the Apple Inc. co-founder's wallet has pleaded no contest to burglarizing homes across the San Francisco Bay Area.

Kariem McFarlin accepted a plea deal and was convicted Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court on eight felony counts of residential burglary and one felony count of selling stolen property.

McFarlin was initially charged in August with one count each of residential burglary and selling stolen property after Jobs' Palo Alto home was broken into in July. He apparently didn't realize he was in Jobs' house until he saw a letter addressed to the Silicon Valley icon, who died in October 2011.

During the 15-hour overnight heist, McFarlin took the late Jobs' wallet and driver's license as well as iPhones, iPads, iPods, Mac computers, champagne and $60,000 worth of Tiffany & Co. jewelry, police said.

Investigators from a task force eventually linked McFarlin, 35, to seven other burglaries in Alameda, Marin and San Francisco dating back to March 2011, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

'Haywire' actress, 59, dies of leukemia

LOS ANGELES - Deborah Raffin, an actress who ran a successful audiobook company with the help of her celebrity friends, has died. She was 59.

Raffin died Wednesday of leukemia at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, her brother, William, told the Los Angeles Times. She was diagnosed with the blood cancer about a year ago.

Raffin, the daughter of 20th Century Fox contract player Trudy Marshall, had roles in movies such as "Forty Carats" and "Once Is Not Enough." She also starred in television mini-series, most notably playing actress Brooke Hayward in "Haywire" and a businesswoman in "Noble House," based on the James Clavell saga set in Hong Kong.

She and her then-husband, music producer Michael Viner, launched Dove Books-on-Tape in the mid-1980s, which blossomed into a multimillion-dollar business.

New Jersey

Wrecked roller coaster might be tourist site

SEASIDE HEIGHTS - The remains of a roller coaster that was knocked off a New Jersey amusement pier by superstorm Sandy and partially submerged in the Atlantic Ocean might be left there as a tourist attraction.

Seaside Heights Mayor Bill Akers told WNBC-TV in New York that officials have not made a decision on whether to tear down the coaster. But the mayor said he's working with the Coast Guard to see if the coaster is stable enough to leave it alone, because he believes it would make "a great tourist attraction."

Utah

'World's Biggest Pile of Leaves' goes viral

SALT LAKE CITY - Nick Garrett and his northern Utah buddies know how to kid around, from burying a treasure chest filled with chocolate coins on Venice Beach to doing flips off the roof of a house into what they call the "World's Biggest Pile of Leaves."

Three of their YouTube videos have gone viral, generating a little cash for them and even laughs from those who need it most - victims of Hurricane Sandy.

It's easy to laugh watching Garrett and friends do back flips and cartwheels into a leaf pile that grew to 17 feet high and 60 feet in circumference, with an estimated 20,000 pounds of leaves they collected across Logan.

The YouTube video already has been viewed 1.5 million times.

Massachusetts

Dolphins stranded at low tide rescued

WELLFLEET - Animal rescuers say they have rescued four stranded common dolphins after a herd of eight was caught swimming during low tide on Thanksgiving at Herring River on Cape Cod.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare said its Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team successfully herded three dolphins out of danger Thursday. One animal died.

Rescuers stabilized the four stranded dolphins, carried them out of the mud and placed them in a rescue trailer for full health exams. They were all deemed healthy for release back to the ocean.

The Associated Press

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