IT TOOK A 7TH TRY, BUT MISSILE FINALLY HITS ITS FLYING TARGET
WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (AP) -- An expensive experimental antimissile missile did Thursday what it had been unable to do on six previous attempts -- hit a flying target.A white puff of smoke in the southern New Mexico sky marked where the Army's Theater High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missile struck a target missile, which left a squiggly white trail of vapor just to the west.
Before Thursday, the $3.9 billion system had missed its target on six consecutive attempts.
"I think I can put it in four letters -- B-A-N-G," said Bob Hunt, spokesman for the Army's program executive office for air and missile defense in Huntsville, Ala., where the program is managed.
THAAD is supposed to shield American troops in the field by intercepting and destroying enemy missiles from ranges of 800 miles away or more.
NEWARK IS LATEST TO SUE NATION'S FIREARMS INDUSTRY
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's largest city on Wednesday became the latest in the nation to sue the firearms industry to recover costs associated with gun violence.
Newark's lawsuit against 28 gun makers, two industry groups and two distributors says manufacturers purposely sold unsafe weapons, failed to exert proper control over their distribution and falsely advertised that guns increase home security.
The lawsuit did not specify how much money the city is seeking, although Mayor Sharpe James said he wanted "far in excess of $100 million."
Nearly two dozen cities and counties around the nation have similar suits pending. In each, the gun manufacturers say they should not be held responsible for accidents or criminal acts.
MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER AFTER TOT SUFFERS FATAL PUNCH
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A man has been charged with fatally punching his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter, then tossing the child out a second-story window to make it appear she died from the fall.
Eric Trigg, 30, is charged with first-degree murder. He allegedly told police he punched the girl because he was angry when she kept crying after defecating in an upstairs bedroom.
The child's mother, April Reeves, 23, is charged with aggravated child neglect.
ALL 7 ABOARD ARE KILLED WHEN COPTER RAMS GLACIER
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- A helicopter loaded with tourists on a sightseeing flight over one of Alaska's spectacular glaciers smashed into the ice, killing all seven people aboard.
The crash Wednesday on Herbert Glacier, about 20 miles north of Juneau, killed six passengers and the pilot of the Aerospatiale AS-350BA operated by Coastal Helicopters, said Juneau Fire Chief Mike Doyle. The cause had yet to be determined.
Clouds and fog blanketed the Juneau area, and worsening weather forced authorities to suspend efforts to recover the bodies Wednesday afternoon. But Leif Lie, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Juneau, said flying conditions were reasonably good around the time of the crash.
Helicopters buzz through the skies around Juneau almost constantly during the tourist season, carrying cruise-ship passengers and other visitors to the massive Juneau Icefield and the glaciers that flow down from it.
BOSTON SERGEANT CLEARED OF JAMMING TRANSMISSIONS
BOSTON (AP) -- A white police sergeant has been cleared of suspicion he deliberately jammed the radio transmissions of a black lieutenant who was directing officers during the first lady's visit last week, according to a published report.
Police sources told The Boston Globe that an internal investigation showed that Sgt. Michael R. Donovan used his radio just once, for about two seconds, during the hour Friday that Lt. Valimore Williams said his radio was jammed.
Williams was using a different channel to direct officers on duty, and that channel may have been jammed unintentionally by other officers, the Globe reported Thursday.
No problems were reported during Hillary Rodham Clinton's visit.
FLORIDA TEACHER FACES LAYOFF AFTER LESSON ON PIPE BOMB
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) -- A high school teacher faces suspension for allegedly showing his class how to make a pipe bomb and where to place it for maximum injuries and damage to the school.
Timothy Falls of Palm Harbor University High presented the lesson a day after the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, according to a school district investigation.
The Pinellas County school superintendent has recommended that the social studies teacher be suspended for 10 days, meaning he would lose $1,430.
Falls, 38, has requested a hearing. He did not return a call for comment from the St. Petersburg Times.
According to an account provided by the school board, Falls discussed the Columbine shootings in several classes, calling it a travesty and emphasizing the importance of students being aware of their surroundings.
Then, at students' request, Falls allegedly drew a diagram of a pipe bomb on the chalkboard "and described its components in detail."
He also "initiated a discussion explaining to students exactly where a pipe bomb should be placed at Palm Harbor University High School in order to maximize impact and why such a placement would be most effective in causing injury or harm."