Lobsterman survives a night lost at sea
OAKDALE - A Long Island lobsterman who spent 12 hours floating in the Atlantic Ocean after falling off his boat joked Thursday that he may have the two rubber boots that kept him afloat bronzed.
John Aldridge was rescued a day earlier when the Coast Guard found him floating in the ocean off of Montauk Point, about 40 miles from where he tumbled off the 44-foot lobster boat Anna Mary at about 3 in the morning.
Aldridge, 45, was treated at a hospital in Falmouth, Mass., for dehydration, exposure and hypothermia and released Thursday morning.
Feds: Southwest jet's nose gear landed first
NEW YORK - Federal investigators say it appears the nose gear of a Southwest Airlines jet that made a hard landing at New York's LaGuardia Airport hit the ground before the main landing gear.
The finding was released by the National Transportation Safety Board on Thursday. Sixteen passengers suffered minor injuries during Flight 345's landing Monday. The plane was coming from Nashville, Tenn.
A spokeswoman for Southwest said the landing described by the NTSB was "not in accordance" with operating procedures.
District of Columbia
US prison population down for third year
WASHINGTON - The government says the U.S. prison population dropped for the third straight year in 2012.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics says there were more than 1.5 million prison inmates last year. That's a drop of 1.7 percent from 2011. The prison population hit a high of more than 1.6 million inmates in 2009.
Despite the overall decline, the federal prison population actually rose by nearly 1,500 inmates last year. The state population dropped by nearly 30,000.
Judge fines woman who cursed jury duty
ERIE - A Pennsylvania woman has been fined $500 for cursing because she was frustrated with being picked to serve on a jury.
The Erie Times-News reported that Erie County Judge Ernest DiSantis levied the fine Wednesday on Kathleen Port. DiSantis told the Erie woman she was "totally out of line" and explained jury service is a duty of citizenship.
Port, whose phone number is unlisted, apologized several times but was fined nonetheless. Port was later thrown off the jury.
Small plane crashes into house, burns
COLUMBUS - A small, home-built plane piloted by an 81-year-old man crashed into a house Thursday in central Indiana, injuring the pilot and his passenger while a woman inside the home escaped unscathed before the aircraft's wreckage burst into flames, authorities said.
The plane, piloted by Gerald H. Clayton of Columbus, crashed shortly after takeoff and plowed into the back of a house in a subdivision just south of Columbus Municipal Airport, said Columbus police Lt. Matt Myers.
Clayton and passenger Dennis King, 60, of Columbus, had already exited the aircraft when he arrived and spoke to one of the men, Myers said. They had burns, cuts and abrasions.
Dozens of teens sprayed in cornfield
URBANA - Almost 80 teenagers were expected to be sent home from an eastern Illinois hospital Thursday after being accidentally sprayed with fungicide from a crop-dusting plane as they worked in cornfield, officials said.
The 79 teens were decontaminated by firefighters at the field just outside Pesotum and then taken to the Carle Foundation Hospital's emergency room in Urbana to be treated for what appeared to be minor ailments.
Emergency-room director Allen Rinehart said some of the workers had irritated skin but were all stable.