TIME Boston Marathon

Boston Will Commemorate Tragedy Before Running Another Race

Boston must pay its respects to the victims of last year's tragedy while putting on another race

BOSTON—While survivors and others gather for a solemn ceremony to mark the anniversary of the bombings at last year’s Boston Marathon, runners from around the world will be arriving in brightly-colored running gear just outside to prepare for this year’s competition.

It’s a disconnect that exemplifies a rare, if not singular, challenge: the need to commemorate a tragedy that coincides with an iconic annual event. And it means planners have to balance grieving about the past with staging an athletic spectacle that’s all about positive emotion.

“It really is a huge pendulum sweep,” says Dusty Rhodes, who is in charge of the tribute.

A unusual calendar quirk will help: The Boston Marathon is always run on the third Monday in April. Last year’s marathon was on April 15, the earliest possible date, while this year’s will be on April 21, the latest. That gives organizers six days between the anniversary of last year’s bombings and the runners’ gathering at the starting line.

“What we really want to have happen on Tuesday is the appropriate focus on the victims and the community and the enormity of the impact and the sadness and the challenge, and then move forward,” says Rhodes. “Come Wednesday morning after the tribute, let’s go and have the world’s best marathon that we can have.”

The commemoration will recognize the three people killed by two bombs placed on Boylston Street during last year’s marathon, an MIT police officer fatally shot by the alleged bombers three days later, the 264 who were hurt in the blasts, many of them gravely, and the firefighters, police, hospital employees and others who responded to the emergency.

Participants will file out of a local convention hall behind an honor guard and place a wreath at the freshly painted blue-and-yellow finish line. They will observe a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m., the exact moment when the first of the bombs exploded.

Church bells will ring citywide at 2:50 p.m. along with the horns of boats in the city’s famous harbor. The finish-line flag familiar from the photographs of last year’s chaos will be raised, and church bells will play Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.”

“By the time we get to the end of the tribute program, it’s about hope,” Rhodes says. “We’ve done well, we’re a team, we’ve been a strong team, and we will be a strong team. And that’s the tone we close with. It’s a microcosm of what the whole week will be.”

For all of that, officials say they can’t predict, and don’t presume to dictate, how people will remember the events of last year while also watching this year’s race unfold.

“That’s not for us to reconcile,” said Tom Grilk, executive director of marathon parent the Boston Athletic Association. “It’s for us to provide people with an opportunity to do what they do and to remember and react the way they wish.”

As for the marathon itself, Grilk hopes it “will be what it has always been, an international athletic event and a day of celebration and joy for the runners and spectators along the way and volunteers,” he says. “What we have heard from people is that we along with them have to move forward, have to display that determination, colored by that history that happened before.”

TIME Transportation

Feds Will Probe Passenger Safety After California Bus Crash

Students put up a sign for El Monte High School student Adrian Castro, outside the school in El Monte
Students put up a sign for El Monte High School student Adrian Castro, outside the school in El Monte, California April 11, 2014. Lucy Nicholson—Reuters

Federal transportation authorities have launched an investigation into passenger safety on buses, following last week's crash in northern California that killed 10 people, and will focus on the use of seat belts, emergency exists and fire safety rules

Federal transportation authorities have launched an investigation into how to increase safety on buses in response to Thursday’s horrific crash in Northern California.

The bus, transporting 44 high school students to Humboldt State University for a familiarization visit, collided with a FedEx truck, killing 10 people—five students, the three adults accompanying them, and both drivers—and injuring dozens.

The investigation will look into the use of seatbelts, emergency exits and fire safety rules on buses.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will provide an initial report within 30 days but the investigation could take up to 12 months. The NTSB has long advocated increased safety for bus passengers but other federal agencies have been slow to respond.

“The worst thing for the NTSB is to show up, know that we’ve issued recommendations from a previous accident where lives have been lost … and find out (that) if those recommendations had been closed and enacted, lives could have been saved,” NTSB member Mark Rosekind told AP on Friday.

[AP]

TIME Crime

Woman Arrested After 7 Dead Babies Found in Utah Home

Megan Huntsman at Pleasant Grove County Jail in Pleasant Grove, Utah on April 13, 2014.
Megan Huntsman at Pleasant Grove County Jail in Pleasant Grove, Utah on April 13, 2014. Pleasant Grove County Jail/Reuters

A woman was arrested after seven bodies, thought to be children she gave birth to between 1996 and 2006, were found in cardboard boxes in her home near Salt Lake City that she shares with her husband, who police say is not suspected of any involvement

A woman was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of killing seven babies found dead in her former home, south of Salt Lake City.

The grisly discovery was made in the former abode of Megan Huntsman, 39. On Monday, police released a probable cause statement in which Huntsman confirmed to authorities that she gave birth to the seven babies between 1996 and 2006, and that she either strangled or suffocated them as soon as they were born. She then wrapped them in a towel or shirt, put them in a plastic bag, and placed them in boxes in her garage. Six of the seven babies were born alive, one was stillborn.

Her husband, believed to be the father of the infants, apparently alerted police after stumbling across one in a cardboard box. The six other corpses were discovered once officers arrived at the scene.

So far, police have not commented on either a motive or Huntsman’s reaction to her arrest. Police Captain Michael Roberts has said the husband, who the Associated Press reports is named Darren West, is not suspected of any involvement.

Huntsman’s three daughters, aged around 13 to 20, are still understood to live with their father at the house.

The bodies are currently at the state medical examiner’s office in Salt Lake City, where they are undergoing tests to reveal the cause of death and the parentage of the deceased.

[AP]

TIME Kansas City shooting

Kansas City Shooting Is Hate of an Ancient Vintage

Classmates of one of the victims hug during a prayer service for the victims of the Jewish Community Center shootings in Leawood, Kans., on April 13, 2014 John Sleezer—Kansas City Star/MCT/Getty Images

Though the police remain cautious on motive, for many the attack at a Jewish community center outside Kansas City leaves little doubt over the assailant's anti-Semitic views

At a press conference four hours after three people were killed in shootings at two Jewish facilities near Kansas City, Mo., authorities cautiously noted that they did not yet know the motive. Only after prompting did John Douglass, chief of police in the sprawling suburb of Overland Park, Kans., say “We are investigating it as a hate crime.”

At 10:15 p.m. E.T., when I asked Douglass over the phone why the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City (JCC) was targeted, he reiterated, very reasonably, “We’re being very careful not to put out anything that we don’t know for certain.”

But one look at the campus of the JCC leaves little doubt. Set well back from nearby thoroughfares, nestled behind berms on the campus of Sprint’s corporate headquarters, the center is not the sort of place that a gunman finds at random.

And if history teaches anything, it’s the sad fact that when a gunman seeks out a Jewish center and opens fire, the motive is hate of an ancient vintage.

Three people were dead on Sunday, the eve of Passover, two more had narrowly escaped being wounded (in one case, a student’s backpack was hit), and a suspect was in custody. Apparently, the gunman first murdered a woman on the parking lot of Village Shalom, a Jewish-oriented retirement development, then drove a short distance north to kill a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the JCC.

A short time later, police arrested a bearded man in his 70s outside an elementary school a mile from the second crime scene. Reporters at the scene said he smiled as he was taken away from a white sedan with a Missouri license plate, and that he may have called out “Heil Hitler!”

Roiling dark rain clouds swept over the neighborhood as police and FBI agents began gathering evidence. They spoke to witnesses who told them that the JCC facility was bustling on Sunday at about 1 p.m. Members were working out in the fitness center, actors were rehearsing for an upcoming performance of To Kill a Mockingbird, and throngs of teenagers from throughout the metro area were gathering to audition for the KC SuperStar talent competition.

“There were tons of kids because this was about to start at 1 o’clock,” competition publicist Ruth Bigus told the Kansas City Star.

One of the victims — identified by the Kansas City Star as Eagle Scout Reat Griffin Underwood, a high school freshman — may have been on his way to the tryouts. The gunman used a shotgun to kill the boy and his grandfather, identified by the Star as William Lewis Corporon, a physician, as they arrived in the parking lot.

Overland Park police have long been sensitive to the possibility of anti-Semitic violence in the area, which is home to a number of synagogues and other prominent Jewish institutions. An off-duty police officer was reportedly stationed at the JCC and may have played a role in ending the rampage. Police chief Douglass reported that the gunman may have had other weapons besides the shotgun — suggesting that he might have planned to kill more people.

As the suspect fled, staff at the community center put a well-rehearsed disaster plan into action. Dozens of people were ushered into inside rooms as outside doors were locked tight. Young musicians huddled on the auditorium floor, while others crowded into locker rooms. Given the ominous spring weather, many people initially believed they were responding to a tornado warning; only after about 15 minutes were they told about the shootings.

Douglass confirmed that an off-duty officer was at work inside the JCC at the time of the shooting. The officer helped guide people to safety, then rushed outside as the gunman was driving away. By then, calls were flooding into 911. “We realized we had an active shooter in the vicinity, so the protocol is to flood the zone with first responders,” said the chief. “We quickly found the suspect sitting in his car at the school parking lot.”

Officials at the Church of the Resurrection, a large United Methodist congregation in nearby Leawood, Kans., reported on Sunday evening that Corporon, who died at the scene of the crime, and Underwood, who died as surgeons struggled to save him at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, were members of their church. There was nothing remotely surprising about the fact that a Christian teenager and his grandfather were visiting the JCC. Thousands of Kansas City residents of every faith (and no faith at all) are made welcome each year at the center’s many public events.

Unfortunately, that spirit of community means nothing to a bigot with murder in his heart. He sees the word Jewish and the word shalom (peace), and that’s all he needs to know.

Chief Douglass was being a careful professional when he said “It’s too early in the investigation to try to label it. We know it’s a vicious act of violence.” Douglass continued, but before calling it a hate crime “we’re going to have to know more about it.”

For the rest of us, the facts speak for themselves.

TIME Crime

Suspect in Kansas City Shooting Thought to Be White Supremacist

This photo provided by 41ActionNews, shows Frazier Glenn Cross, who is accused of killing three people outside of Jewish sites near Kansas City, April 13, 2014 AP

A Kansas suburb is shaken after authorities say a gunman killed three people while targeting members of Overland Park's Jewish community

Updated 4:40 a.m. E.T. on Monday

Three people were killed when a gunman targeted users of a Jewish community center and residents of neighboring retirement community in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park on Sunday.

Shots were reportedly fired at a parking lot behind the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City about 1 p.m., Overland Park’s police chief John Douglass told media.

A retired doctor and his 14-year-old grandson were shot dead before the assailant fled the scene and opened fire minutes later at nearby Village Shalom, a residential community, killing a woman.

The shooter was later detained near an elementary school and was booked under a believed alias, Frazier Glenn Cross, on charges of first-degree murder, according to the Associated Press. The gunman reportedly yelled “Heil Hitler” as he sat in police car after being arrested.

Officials have been cautious in identifying the shooting as a hate crime. “As you might imagine we are only three hours into this investigation,” said Douglass. “There’s a lot of innuendo and a lot of assertions going around. There is really very little hard-core information.”

However, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights advocacy organization that follows hate groups, identified the suspected gunman as a 73-year-old white supremacist well-known in the state and the former “grand dragon” of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a paramilitary organization.

Miller previously served three years in a federal correctional facility on weapons charges and for conspiring to assassinate the founder of the SPLC. He has a long history of intimidating minorities, stockpiling weapons and organizing extremist militia groups.

The suspect is also known to have financially supported and written more than 10,000 posts for the Vanguard News Network, an openly anti-Semitic outlet whose founder has openly called for the extermination of the Jews.

Miller’s attack outside the community center came as it hosted a rehearsal for a production of To Kill a Mockingbird and auditions for “KC Superstar,” a singing competition for high school aged students from around the city.

“We were all very scared. People were calling their loved ones and some of the children didn’t know what was going on, but the ones that did were definitely very scared,” Jenessa Watkins, who was inside the community center when the shooting occurred, told CNN.

“I’m just very grateful to God that no one inside the building was hurt. But my heart really goes out to the families of the victims.”

Speaking at an Easter prayer breakfast Monday, President Barack Obama said the killings had cast a pall over the Jewish holiday of Passover, which began Monday. “Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray,” he said.

“As Americans, we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims, we’ve got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society. And we have to keep coming together across faiths to combat the ignorance and intolerance, including anti-Semitism that can lead to hatred and to violence.”

TIME

3 Dead After Shootings at Kansas Jewish Facilities

John Douglass
John Douglass, Overland Park chief of police, talks to reporters after a shooting at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kan. and Village Shalom in Leawood, Kan., Sunday, April 13, 2014. Orlin Wagner—AP

A man in his 70s was taken into custody following deadly shootings at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement home in a Kansas City suburb on Sunday

Updated 7:00 p.m. ET Sunday

Authorities say three people were killed on Sunday after shootings in a Kansas City suburb. The Associated Press reports that two people died at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City campus in Overland Park and one was killed at Village Shalom, a nearby retirement community. Two more people were shot at but not injured, the AP said.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said that a person who had been reported earlier to be in critical condition was one of the three dead, according to AP.

The Jewish Community Center’s Facebook page is advising visitors that a “shooting incident” happened near a campus entrance and says the facility is on lockdown.

A man in his 70s was taken into custody following the shootings. That person’s identity and status remains unknown. Ages and identities of the victims have not been released.

[AP]

TIME Accidents

Feds: FedEx Truck Wasn’t on Fire Before Crash

Bus Crash Kills 10 In Northern California
A bus involved in the deadly crash is loaded on to a truck at the scene on April 11, 2014 in Orland, California. Elijah Nouvelage—Getty Images

NTSB investigators had initiated a probe to verify the claims of a driver who witnessed the fiery crash, who said that the FedEx vehicle was on fire before it hit a bus, killing 10. But officials said Sunday afternoon that the truck was not already on fire

Updated 4/13 at 3:45 p.m.

Federal officials said Sunday afternoon that a FedEx tractor-trailer was not on fire when it veered across a highway meridian and struck a bus, killing 10 people.

Investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board had initiated a probe to verify the claims of a driver who witnessed the fiery crash and had said the FedEx vehicle was on fire before it hit the bus. The NTSB also tested blood samples of the FedEx driver to see if he inhaled smoke before the collision, the Associated Press reports.

Investigators found Sunday afternoon that the truck was not already on fire.

The FedEx truck driven by Tim Evans, 32, of Elk Grove, Calif. veered across the meridian of California’s Interstate 5 before colliding with a bus carrying 48 high school students and chaperones to a college tour. Evans, along with five students, three adult chaperones and the school bus driver were killed in the crash. Dozens of other students had various injures, including burns.

Federal officials are investigating whether more fire safety measures could have prevented injuries to those on board the bus and whether there should be a barrier at Interstate 5’s meridian.

[AP]

MORE: Deadly Bus Collision Update

TIME fracking

Geologists: Fracking Likely Cause of Ohio Earthquakes

Gas Drilling Earthquakes
A brine injection well owned by Northstar Disposal Services LLC is seen in Youngstown, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2011. Amy Sancetta—AP

Tremors under the state’s Appalachian Mountains last month were likely the result of hydraulic fracturing—the gas extraction process referred to as “fracking”—geologists have said for the first time, leading Ohio to issue strict permit conditions on Friday

Geologists have for the first time linked earthquakes deep under Ohio’s Appalachian Mountains to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue strict permit conditions Friday on the gas extraction process.

Researchers found that five small tremors last month near Youngstown, Ohio were likely the result of the injection of sand and water that occurs during the hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking” — process, the Associated Press reports. Fracking involves injecting rocks with pressurized water or other liquids in an effort to extract gas which can be turned into usable fuel.

Because the geology of each shale formation is different, the discovery in Ohio may not apply everywhere across the country. However, other instances of fracking causing small earthquakes have been recorded elsewhere, including in Oklahoma, England and British Columbia, Canada.

Ohio’s new permit conditions require natural gas companies to install sensitive seismic-monitoring equipment at drilling sites near known faults or seismic activity. If an earth tremor of greater than 1.0 magnitude is linked to fracking, operations will be halted.

“While we can never be 100 percent sure that drilling activities are connected to a seismic event, caution dictates that we take these new steps to protect human health, safety and the environment,” James Zehringer, director of Ohio’s natural resources department, said.

[AP]

MORE: The Fuss Over Fracking: The Dilemma of a New Gas Boom

TIME

This Doctor Volunteers to Help Suffering Soldiers

The trauma war brings can become part of veterans, their families and communities

Though her practice specializes in treating children, clinical psychologist Barbara Van Dahlen’s greatest influence may be getting fellow doctors to give their time and expertise to help soldiers returning from war.

Concerned about the mental health consequences of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, she founded in 2005 Give an Hour, a national network of mental-health professionals like herself who provide free services for American veterans, their loved ones and their communities.

TIME honored Dr. Van Dahlen as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012. Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said of Dahlen: “Barbara has tenaciously attacked the epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder, helping break through the stigma that prevents many from seeking help. She has also created an opportunity for many who have not served in uniform to make a difference.”

TIME Airlines

How a Proposed ‘Transparent’ Law Would Blatantly Mislead Consumers

The new bill is strongly supported by the airline industry. That alone gives a pretty good indication it’s a bad deal for travelers.

Last month, the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 was introduced in the House, with the stated goal to “restore transparency to the advertising of U.S. airline ticket prices, and ensure that airfare advertisements are not forced to hide the costs of government from consumers.” The bill was proposed in response to federal regulations passed two years ago that required taxes and fees to be included in the prices featured in airline advertising.

“These regulations actually hide the cost of government from consumers,” Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the sponsors of the bill and leading members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a press release this past week. The release also announced that the committee had approved the bill, bringing it one step closer to becoming law. “This common sense bill will allow flyers to see the full breakdown of their ticket costs,” said Shuster and DeFazio, “so they’ll know what they’re paying for the service, and what they’re paying in government imposed taxes and fees.”

Consumers are fans of common sense. Transparency too. So what’s not to like about the Transparent Airfares Act? Well, consumer advocates start their arguments by pointing out that the rule changes in the bill makes no sense for travelers, and that they are seriously lacking in transparency.

“We’re all for transparency, but this bill doesn’t provide it,” National Consumers League executive director Sally Greenberg explained in a column by consumer advocate Christopher Elliott. “The airlines want to advertise deceptively low prices.”

(MORE: Here’s the Most Depressing Thing About the Airlines Right Now)

How could a set of regulations encourage transparency while simultaneously raising the opportunity for deception? It can’t.

Proponents of the bill say that consumers want transparency in terms of full disclosure of the fees and taxes included in the total price of a flight. Airlines for America (A4A), an airline association that strongly backs the new bill, claims that current regulations—which, again, call for advertised prices to be listed after mandatory taxes and fees are factored in—hide the amount paid to the government with each flight purchase. For the typical $300 flight within the U.S., federal taxes account for $61, or 20% of the total ticket price.

In effect, supporters of the bill would like airlines to be able to advertise that flight—which costs $300, remember—at a price of $239. Who would want that? You would, say the airlines and the bill’s sponsors.

Sure, in a way there’s a little more transparency because travelers would be more aware of how much they’re paying in taxes and fees, spelled out in fine print somewhere. But far more importantly, there’s a greater likelihood of consumers being misled and deceived if airlines are yet again allowed to advertise unrealistic low-ball fares that don’t come close to representing the total price of a flight.

That’s why consumer advocates think the Transparent Airfares Act is anything but transparent. They’ve redubbed it the “Air Transportation Cost Concealment and Deception Bill” (Paul Hudson, of Flyersrights.org), and the “Obfuscated Airfares Act of 2014″ (Ed Perkins, of Smarter Travel). Perkins attacks the idea promulgated by the airlines, Shuster, and his cohorts that consumers are somehow clamoring for line-by-line explanations of the taxes and fees included in the price of a flight, when nothing could be further from the truth. “What they want to know is how much a trip will really cost, not some phony figure designed to make them think an airline is almost giving away tickets,” Perkins writes. “If they really want to know the details about taxes and fees, they can easily look at the ‘terms and conditions’ pull-down display.”

(MORE: Airline Travelers, Your Future Will Look a Lot Like … Cleveland)

People such as A4A CEO Nicholas E. Calio play up to the masses by saying the new bill is about “promoting government transparency” and “protecting customers,” but it’s a major stretch to believe the proposed changes would actually help travelers. Another line in the statement released by Calio shows that one of the purposes of getting the bill passed, or at least noticed, has nothing to do with transparency, but with simply keeping government fees in check. “Air travel remains one of the best bargains for consumers, but that affordability is imperiled by rising government taxes and fees,” said Calio.

That may very well be true. But it’s no reason to install new rules that would increase the chances travelers will be confused and duped by airlines.

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