National news briefs: 9/1/14

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4 in family found dead

CHICAGO — Four members of one family were found shot to death at their home in a Chicago suburb, police said on Sunday.

Local media said the victims were an elderly couple and their two severely disabled adult children. Police said they were investigating the incident in Elmhurst, about 18 miles west of Chicago, but there was no threat or danger to others.

The bodies were discovered Saturday evening after Elmhurst police went to the home for a “well being check,” police said in a statement, identifying the four dead as Francis and Joan Stack, both 82, Francis Stack Jr., 48, and Mary Stack, 57, Elmhurst.

The Chicago Tribune, citing DuPage County court records, said the adult children of the elderly couple suffered from severe mental disabilities and were in residential care programs but came home nearly every weekend.

Wildfires slow down

HAPPY CAMP, Calif. — The U.S. Forest Service says cloudy skies and lower temperatures have slowed the spread of two forest wildfires that are threatening as many as 250 homes in far Northern California.

The Forest Service reported Sunday that the fires had burned 98 square miles in the Klamath National Forest by Sunday. That was 8 square miles more than a day earlier, but represented a significant reduction in the growth of the blazes that had picked up steam as humidity declined and winds increased late last week.

The two wildfires are the largest among 17 that were sparked by lightning in the forest on Aug. 11.

They remained 15 percent contained.

More than 2,100 firefighters and 19 helicopters are taking advantage of the better weather by laying hoses, constructing fire lines and clearing brush from around evacuated communities.

Napa Valley aftershock

NAPA COUNTY, Calif. — California's Napa Valley, the site of a strong and damaging earthquake a week ago, was shaken by a small aftershock early on Sunday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, measuring magnitude 3.2, occurred five miles southwest of Napa. There were no immediate reports of damage.

It was one of many aftershocks that have occurred since Aug. 24 when a magnitude 6.0 quake struck, the biggest to hit California's Bay Area in 25 years, injuring more than 200 people and damaging dozens of buildings.

Grape-harvesting season is getting under way in Napa County, where thousands of people are employed in wine production.

Pilot search called off

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — The Coast Guard has suspended the search for a pilot who lost consciousness and crashed a small airplane into the Atlantic Ocean off the Virginia shore.

Petty Officer Nate Littlejohn says the search was halted Sunday morning after a civilian boater recovered a wheel and engine cowling from the single-engine Cirrus. Littlejohn says the chances of finding anything else were slim.

The plane drifted into restricted airspace over the nation’s capital Saturday afternoon, scrambling fighter jets that stayed with it until it crashed about 50 miles southeast of Chincoteague. The plane had left Waukesha, Wis., and was headed to Manassas, Va. The pilot, whose name has not been released, was the only person on board.

The plane was registered to Ronald Hutchinson, of Brookfield, Wis.

Celebrity chef gets a DWI

NEW YORK — Celebrity chef Todd English, who has opened restaurants around the country and written multiple cookbooks, was arrested Sunday on a charge of driving while intoxicated, authorities said.

Police in Southampton said English was arrested Sunday morning on a county road on Long Island. He made a court appearance later in the day, and authorities said he posted $1,500 bail.

The circumstances of the arrest were unavailable. An email to English’s representative and a call to his attorney were not immediately returned.

The chef, whose full name is William Todd English, is the creative force behind a number of restaurants around the country, including Olives, Figs and Fish Club. English has written several cookbooks and has been honored by the James Beard Foundation for excellence and achievement in cuisine.

In September 2009, his former fiancee was charged with assault, and authorities accused her of hitting him with a metal wrist watch, leaving him needing multiple stitches. The couple had been scheduled to get married, but English called the wedding off.

A judge in January 2010 closed the case without prison or probation based on her going through anger management and performing community service.

3 dead in plane crash

DENVER — Three people were killed and two injured on Sunday when a single-engine airplane crashed in a field adjacent to a runway at a northern Colorado airport, authorities said.

Peter Knudson, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said the Piper PA-46 aircraft went down shortly before noon near the Erie Municipal Airport. Roger Rademacher, assistant fire chief with Mountain View Fire Rescue, said emergency crews found two people dead inside the wreckage.

Two people survived the crash, Rademacher said. One was transported by ground ambulance to a nearby hospital and the other survivor was airlifted to a Denver hospital.


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