relationships

Couple Married For Seven Decades Dies Within Hours of Each Other

Kenneth Felumlee, Helen Felumlee
Kenneth and Helen Felumlee pose for a photo in September 1941. Felumlee family/AP

Kenneth and Helen Felumlee did almost everything together during 70 years of marriage. So it was little surprise that, when it came to the end, one couldn't live without the other. "We wanted them to go together, and they did," said their daughter

When Helen Felumlee died at the age of 92 last Saturday morning, her family knew it wouldn’t be long before her husband Kenneth followed. The two had been married for 70 years and by all accounts were near inseparable all their lives.

So the family wasn’t surprised when Kenneth, 91, died only 15 hours after his wife.

“We knew when one went, the other was going to go,” said daughter Linda Cody. “We wanted them to go together, and they did.”

The couple met when they were 18 and 19 years old and immediately got along, dating for three years before sneaking off to wed secretly in February 1944, reports the Zanesville Times Recorder. The couple had eight children in Nashport, Ohio, with Kenneth working as a railcar inspector and rural mail carrier.

The couple visited almost all 50 states by bus after Kenneth retired, and even in their final days, they ate breakfast together while holding hands.

[Zanesville Times Recorder]

 

 

Internet security

Healthcare.gov Users Urged to Change Passwords Over Heartbleed Fears

No security breach has been detected but online healthcare enrollees are warned to change their passwords as a precaution against the programming flaw. The government is reportedly carrying out a review into the Heartbleed bug

People who used the Obama administration’s healthcare.gov website to enroll in insurance plans under the government’s healthcare reform law are being warned to change their passwords in defense against the notorious Heartbleed internet security flaw.

“While there’s no indication that any personal information has ever been at risk, we have taken steps to address Heartbleed issues and reset consumers’ passwords out of an abundance of caution,” said a post on the website. The government is reportedly carrying out a review into the Heartbleed bug, according to the Associated Press.

The Heartbleed programming flaw has affected widely used encryption technology, and major internet services have recommended users change their website passwords. Critics have said the healthcare online enrollment presents myriad opportunities for hackers to exploit security flaws. The IRS has already said it was not affected by Heartbleed.

Obama announced this week that about 8 million people have enrolled in the insurance plans, exceeding forecasts.

Education

High Schooler Suspended for Inviting Miss America To Prom

USO Warrior And Family Center Grand Opening
Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri attends the grand opening of the USO Warrior and Family Center on April 1, 2014 in Bethesda, Maryland. Paul Morigi—WireImage/Getty Images

Patrick Farves disrupted a Q&A with Nina Davuluri to hand the beauty queen a flower and invite her to prom. School authorities said they'd warned the gutsy teen against making a scene and the move earned him a suspension of 3.5 days

A gutsy high school senior was suspended Thursday for asking Miss America to prom when she hosted a question-and-answer session his Pennsylvania school.

Patrick Farves, a senior at Central York High School, Pa. said he had been steeling himself all week to pop the question when Nina Davuluri arrived to speak before the student body at a Thursday assembly.

Davuluri, holder of the beauty queen crown, was holding a talk about diversity and the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM studies, and Farves wanted a piece of the action.

During a pause between pre-screened students during the question-and-answer portion, Farves made his move. “I already had a little flower,” he told the York Dispatch. “I was completely set on doing this.”

Farves called out his proposition and handed Davuluri a flower, to cheering from fellow students. His interruption won him 3.5 days of in-school suspension, as school administrations said they had warned him against making a scene.

But Miss America never got a chance to say “no”: the cheering drowned out her response. “For the sake of my ego, I’m going to say no, I never got a direct answer,” Farves said.

[York Dispatch]

Environment

Pipeline Delay Delights And Dismays Interest Groups

Obama's decision to extend a review of the divisive Keystone XL pipeline frustrates energy and labor groups, but is welcomed by environmentalists

Environmental groups and energy and labor organizations sparred over the Obama’s administration decision Friday to extend its review of the Keystone XL pipeline, an issue that has increasingly become a political hot potato.

Energy interests, who say the pipeline will create thousands of new jobs and help spur America’s recent energy boom by connecting Canadian crude oil reserves with refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, criticized the delay on a final decision.

But the pipeline has drawn harsh criticism for its likely environmental impact, with many arguing that it will greatly accelerate the energy-intensive extraction of oil reserves from Alberta’s tar sands and thus contribute heavily to carbon emissions.

The Obama administration’s decision Friday indefinitely extends the time executive agencies can review the approximately 2.5 million submitted comments and consider a Nebraska court case surrounding Keystone XL. The final approval or rejection of the pipeline may not occur until after November’s midterm elections.

The Natural Resources Defense Council approved of the extension on a deadline: “The State Department is taking the most prudent course of action possible,” the NRDC said in a statement. “It is already clear that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline fails the climate test and will damage our climate, our lands and our waters.”

But proponents of Keystone XL said the Obama administration’s punt was politically motivated, as making a final decision before the midterm elections could hurt Democrats. “It’s a sad day for America’s workers when politics trumps job creating policy at the White House,” said Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. “Strong majorities in the House and the Senate have publicly called for Keystone XL’s approval.”

Democrats stand to suffer no matter what Obama ends up deciding. Approving the pipeline could stifle campaign contributions by environmental groups to Democratic lawmakers, while rejecting the pipeline could hurt Democrats in states whose economies rest on oil and gas production, and threaten support from labor groups who back the construction of the pipeline.

The Laborers’ International Union of North America also voiced its opposition to the latest delay. LIUNA’s president Terry O’Sullivan called it “another low blow to the working men and women of our country for whom the Keystone XL Pipeline is a lifeline to good jobs and energy security.”

Environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, one of the most fervent opponents of the pipeline, gave mixed reviews of the Obama administration’s delay, saying that putting off the decision means slowing the emissions-intensive and dirty extraction of oil in Canada, but bemoaning the President’s hesitation to take a strong stand on climate issues.

“We actually need President Obama providing climate leadership. If he’d just follow the science and reject the stupid pipeline he’d finally send a much-needed signal to the rest of the planet that he’s getting serious,” McKibben said.

fire

Fire Destroys 3 Homes at Jersey Shore Community

(SEA ISLE CITY, N.J.) — Three homes have been destroyed by a fire that broke out near the beachfront of a Jersey Shore community.

Authorities say no injuries have been reported in the smoky seven-alarm fire, which erupted around 4:30 p.m. Friday in Sea Isle City and sent large clouds of black smoke spewing across the region. It was brought under control about two hours later.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Multiple fire companies battled the blaze, but it wasn’t clear if any of the homes were occupied when the blaze broke out. Officials say other nearby residences suffered minor damage due to the fire, but the blaze was not expected to consume any other residences.

Authorities say windy conditions hampered the firefighting efforts.

Transportation

Officials Probe Potential Threat on Delta Flight

(DENVER) — Officials say a Delta Air Lines plane on a flight from Detroit to Denver reported an unspecified potential security threat and taxied to a remote area after landing safely at Denver International Airport.

Airport spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said Friday that passengers on the flight were taken to another location by bus. Police are searching the plane, and it is unclear what, if anything, they have found.

Stegman had no other information about the potential threat or how it was reported.

California

California Farmers to Get More Water

California's Drought Threatens Farm Town With 50% Unemployment
Central Valley farmer Bill Diedrich examines an almond grove near Firebaugh, Calif., Feb. 10 2014. Ken James—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Department of Water Resources said it is increasing water allotments from the State Water Project from zero to 5 percent of what water districts have requested. The news comes as the state is experiencing its third consecutive dry year

(FRESNO, Calif.) — Drought-stricken California farmers and cities are set to get more water as state and federal officials ease cutbacks due to recent rain and snow, officials announced on Friday.

The Department of Water Resources said it is increasing water allotments from the State Water Project from zero to 5 percent of what water districts have requested. The State Water Project supplies water to 29 public agencies serving more than 25 million Californians and irrigates nearly a million acres of farmland.

Also, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said it will supply 75 percent of the water requested by water agencies in the Sacramento Valley, up from the current 40 percent.

“This is all a bit of good news in an otherwise bleak water year,” Mark Cowin, director of the California Department of Water Resources, said on a conference call with reporters.

The state’s increase to a 5 percent allocation will make a little more than 200,000 acre-feet available, an amount of water needed to sustain 400,000 families of four for about a year.

Federal and state officials said rain and snow from storms in February and March allowed them to increase water allotments.

The news comes as the state is experiencing its third consecutive dry year. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in January.

State officials said the recent storms also removed the need to immediately install rock barriers, blocking certain channels of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, to prevent saltwater intrusion. The expensive barriers would have adverse impacts on fish and wildlife and worsen water quality for some agricultural users, according to state officials.

Cowan said that the state has increased its water allotment but asked suppliers not to draw from it until after Sept. 1. Officials worry about yet another dry year for California in 2015. Cowan also urged residents to conserve their water use.

“The bottom line is we will continue to see more calls for water use restrictions throughout urban areas,” he said. “I expect those to be more and more severe over the course of the summer.”

Brian Stanko of the Nature Conservancy, which advocates for fish and wildlife, welcomed the meager increases, saying wetlands for migrating birds north of the Delta will benefit from the government’s decision to increase water flows, but wetlands in the Central Valley will continue to suffer.

He also praised the decision not to build rock barriers on the Delta, which would also block migrating salmon.

“We don’t have to do that right now,” Stranko said. “It’s a good thing.”

Jim Beck, manager of the Kern County Water Agency in Bakersfield, said most people think of a 5 percent increase as almost insignificant, but compared to receiving no water — what they had been told — that meager increase is huge. The agency provides 90 percent of its water to farmers.

“Our growers are really turning over every rock to find every bit of water,” Beck said. “This really changes things.”

All California farmers and water users get the advantage of the state’s 5 percent increase, if they’re tapped into California’s State Water Project. Others tied to the federally run Central Valley Project north of the Delta get the 75 percent increase with Friday’s announcement.

Yet those using federal water south of the Delta remain at a zero water allotment, including hundreds of Central Valley farmers who rely on the Westlands Water District, the nation’s largest supplier of water for agricultural use.

Gayle Holman, a Westlands spokeswoman, said its farmers will continue to rely on ground wells to make up for water they’re not getting from reservoirs and canals, she said.

There’s an indirect benefit to the increase in water for farmers in the north, Holman said, noting that it adds water into the system and makes water transfers a little more available for southland farmers to buy, although at top dollar.

“The situation is still very severe,” she said. “It is definitely one where growers are literally taking it day by day.”

Crime

Autopsies Done on 7 Utah Babies Found in Garage

Booking photo of Megan Huntsman in Pleasant Grove, Utah
Megan Huntsman is shown in this booking photo provided by the Pleasant Grove County Jail in Pleasant Grove, Utah April 13, 2014. Pleasant Grove County Jail/Reuters

Pleasant Grove police said the medical examiner will review the autopsy reports of seven infants found in cardboard boxes with police and prosecutors. Meanwhile, the woman accused of killing six of the babies was still being held in jail on $6 million bail

(PLEASANT GROVE, Utah) — The Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office has completed autopsies of seven infants found in cardboard boxes in a woman’s garage, but it is unclear when the results will be released.

Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Mike Roberts said Friday the medical examiner will review the autopsy reports with police and prosecutors. He did not have any of the results and did not know whether his agency would get them before prosecutors file criminal charges against the woman accused of killing six of the babies.

Chief Medical Examiner Todd Grey said in an email that his office never discusses cases or releases autopsy results publicly, but he said other investigators might release them later.

Megan Huntsman, 39, was still being held Friday in the Utah County Jail in Provo on $6 million bail. She is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Monday.

Roberts said Huntsman had been placed on suicide watch at the jail. She did not have an attorney as of late Thursday, he said.

In addition to the autopsies, investigators have brought in the FBI to help Utah officials analyze DNA taken from the seven babies. None of the labs in Utah can analyze the type of DNA that has been taken from the tiny corpses, Roberts said.

Officials hope the DNA will reveal the sex of the babies and who their parents are, but it’s unknown when the results will be back, Roberts said.

News of the completed autopsies was first reported by the Deseret News.

Huntsman’s estranged husband discovered one of the babies’ bodies in the garage of their Pleasant Grove home last weekend. Huntsman told police that she killed six infants after giving birth to them from 1996 to 2006, according to authorities. She put the bodies in plastic bags and packed them in boxes in her garage, investigators said.

Huntsman told police that a seventh baby was stillborn.

Roberts said officials still believe Huntsman’s timeline of events is accurate.

Huntsman’s estranged husband, Darren West, lived with her during the decade she said the births and deaths occurred, but he was in federal prison on drug charges from 2006 until January. West told police in his initial interview that he knew nothing about the pregnancies, but he has since obtained an attorney and investigators haven’t spoken with him again, Roberts said. They are trying to determine his knowledge or involvement.

West previously declined to comment on the case through a family spokesman.

Investigators have an initial theory on Huntsman’s motive but aren’t discussing it publicly, Roberts said.

shooting

Autopsy: Border Patrol Agent Shot Man Twice

(SAN DIEGO) — An autopsy report says a Mexican man who was killed by a Border Patrol agent near San Diego was shot twice in the chest after allegedly pelting the agent with rocks.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s report released Friday says two casings were recovered about 16 feet from the body of 41-year-old Jesus Flores.

Investigators have said Flores struck the agent in the head with a rock and that the agent fired from below because he feared another blow could kill or incapacitate him.

The Feb. 18 shooting came amid controversy over how the Border Patrol should respond to rock throwers.

Crime

7-Year-Old Found With Loaded Gun at School

The boy has been suspended but is too young to face prosecution

A 7-year-old boy in Jefferson County, Alabama, was caught with a loaded gun at his elementary school Thursday.

Authorities say the boy was showing the snub-nosed revolver to another student when a teacher saw the gun and took it away. The boy was suspended and will face a disciplinary hearing but is too young to face criminal charges, AL.com reports.

“We don’t believe the 7-year-old had any ill intentions at all, just curiosity. In this case that could have been deadly,” sheriff’s deputy Randy Christian said. “Time and time again we have begged people to make sure guns were secure and out of reach for children. We are asking that again today.”

[AL.com]

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