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POSTED March 29, 2013 10:03 p.m.

3 TEXANS ALLEGEDLY TRIED TO SELL STOLEN AMBULANCE: CONROE, Texas (AP) — Three Houston man have been charged with stealing an ambulance and trying to sell the emergency vehicle for scrap metal recycling.

Montgomery County Jail records show Peter Burks, Oscar Comeaux III and James West were being held Friday on felony theft charges.

Comeaux has also been charged with tampering with a government document and he's held without bond. Bond is $10,000 apiece for Burks and West.

All were arrested Wednesday at the Texas Port Recycling Center near Conroe for allegedly trying to sell the ambulance for scrap. The vehicle was reported stolen in Houston.

Montgomery County sheriff's investigators are also reviewing other reported auto thefts for potential ties to the trio.

POLICE IN TENN. SEARCH FOR MAN WHO FELL FROM PLANE: CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Tennessee are searching for a man who was thrown from an experimental aircraft while he was learning to fly from an instructor.

Police in Collegedale and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office on Friday were searching the ground for the man, who has not been identified.

Collegedale Municipal Airport employee Lowell Sterchi said the man was being trained by an instructor in his Zodiac 601 aircraft at about 2,500 feet when the canopy came off.

The man's seat belt was not fastened and he was thrown out from the plane over the East Brainerd and Apison areas of the county.

Sterchi said the instructor, who Sterchi would not identify, landed the plane and was not physically hurt. Sterchi said the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified.

1 NAVY SEAL DEAD AFTER ARIZ. PARACHUTING ACCIDENT: TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A Navy SEAL has died and another was injured when they collided in midair during parachute training in southern Arizona, authorities said.

The Department of Defense said an E-8 senior chief was taken to University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson, where he was pronounced dead. The other SEAL — a E-6 petty officer first class — was in stable condition at the same hospital, military officials said Friday.

U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Kenneth McGraw said the SEALs were practicing "routine military free-fall training" when the accident occurred Thursday afternoon. Authorities said they collided in midair and landed in separate areas.

The command has a parachute testing and training facility at the Pinal Airpark in Marana, according to McGraw, who added that training programs are operated there year-round.

The area is in rugged desert terrain northeast of Tucson.

The names of the two SEALs, both from an East Coast Naval Special Warfare Unit, weren't immediately released and military officials said the accident was under investigation.

TEACHER THAT STOMPED US FLAG TO RESIGN: CHAPIN, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina high school teacher who talked glowingly about the U.S. and the importance of embracing freedom while stomping on an American flag in his classroom has agreed to resign at the end of this school year.

The attorney for Chapin High School teacher Scott Compton and the Lexington-Richland 5 School District released a joint statement Friday announcing Compton's decision.

The district's superintendent recommended that Compton be fired after parents complained about the lesson. But the teacher had been deciding whether to appeal to the school board.

Compton's lawyer says he stomped the flag to show the idea of what America stands for is greater than the material objects like the flag that represent it and that the teacher did not intend to show any disrespect to military members to the country.

WTC DEBRIS WILL BE SIFTED FOR SEPT. 11 REMAINS: NEW YORK (AP) — Construction debris from the World Trade Center site will be sifted for any human remains from the 9/11 terrorist attacks starting Monday.

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a memo Friday that DNA testing will continue until every possible identification can be made. The sifting is expected to continue for about 10 weeks on Staten Island.

City officials say about 60 truckloads of construction debris have been collected around the site over the past 2½ years. A skyscraper will replace the twin towers.

Some 2,750 people died at the World Trade Center in the 2001 attacks. So far, 1,634 people have been identified.

The chief medical examiner's office is leading the operation. It has identified 34 victims and 2,345 possible human remains of previously identified victims since 2006.

 

 

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