SHAKE ON A PLANE? DANCE CRAZE BRINGS FAA INQUIRY: COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The latest craze to sweep the Internet is bringing college students the wrong kind of attention — from the Federal Aviation Administration.
During a flight from Colorado Springs to San Diego, a group of students started the Harlem Shake, a dance to a song of the same name.
In the suddenly popular YouTube videos, one person starts dancing, then the video cuts to a large group of people dancing, many in costume.
Matt Zelin, a sophomore, told the Colorado College newspaper, The Catalyst, he asked a flight attendant for permission beforehand.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said Thursday they're looking at what phase the flight was in during the dance in the aisles.
Frontier Airlines says the seatbelt sign was off and safety measures were followed.
ANOTHER RADIATION RING AROUND EARTH: LOS ANGELES (AP) — You may not have noticed it, but for several weeks last year, the Earth was surrounded by an extra ring of radiation.
There are two doughnut-shaped rings of highly charged particles encircling the planet. Discovered in 1958, they're known as the Van Allen radiation belts.
So it came as a surprise when NASA's recently launched twin satellites to the treacherous region discovered a third, temporary ring. It appeared for a month before a shock wave from the sun destroyed it. Scientists are still trying to figure out how often this happens.
The twin spacecraft launched last year on a mission to explore the Van Allen belts. Solar storms can cause the rings to expand, posing a potential threat to satellites.
SUBSTITUTE TESTS TASER IN CLASS; WON'T BE CHARGED: ST. LOUIS (AP) — A substitute teacher who tested a stun gun during class at a suburban St. Louis grade school will not face criminal investigation, a police official said Thursday.
The incident happened Wednesday at Kehrs Mill Elementary School in the St. Louis County town of Chesterfield. Principal Christina Garland wrote to parents that a substitute teacher brought a Taser — a high-voltage stun gun commonly used by police — into a fifth-grade class.
In a message to parents on Thursday, Garland wrote that the substitute teacher "tested" the Taser in the classroom but away from students. Garland did not explain how the weapon was tested, and a Rockwood School District spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
A teacher across the hall learned of the incident and contacted administrators. School officials immediately removed the substitute teacher, who is a woman. Another substitute was brought in for the remainder of the day. No one was hurt.
BP PROBE OF GULF SPILL DIDN'T EXPLORE COST CUTS: NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An internal BP probe of the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico didn't explore whether decisions by upper-level management or cost cuts had a role in causing the disaster because investigators didn't have access to its partners' employees and records, a BP executive testified Thursday at a trial designed to assign blame to the companies.
Mark Bly, who led the investigation and has served as BP's global head of safety, said his team didn't have enough information to conduct a "systemic evaluation" of what caused the blowout of BP's Macondo well without cooperation from rig owner Transocean Ltd. or other companies that worked on the project.
A report by Bly's team in September 2010 focused on equipment failures and mistakes that rig workers made before the blowout triggered an explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
A BP policy says accident investigations should include attempts to identify any "systemic failures within the management system." Bly, however, said he and then-BP chief executive Tony Hayward got an exception to the policy and decided at the outset not to attempt a broader probe.
NY DISMEMBERMENT DEFENDANT DONS TRASH BAG IN COURT: NEW YORK (AP) — A man charged with killing and dismembering his mother and dumping her body parts in the trash appeared in court Thursday dressed in a garbage bag and said he'd done nothing wrong — even though detectives say they found a cellphone photo of him holding her severed head.
Bahsid McLean, 23, was charged with murder, hindering prosecution and criminal possession of a weapon. According to a criminal complaint, he stabbed Tanya Byrd and then cut up her body with help from an accomplice, William Harris, 26.
Byrd, a 45-year-old home health aide, was last seen alive Monday. Her remains were found a day later stuffed in four plastic garbage bags and scattered along four blocks, police said.
Detectives said they recovered an image on McLean's phone of him holding his mother's severed head.
"I didn't do anything wrong," McLean said during court.
FRIES ANYONE? KETCHUP TRUCK CRASH SNARLS RENO I-80: RENO, Nev. (AP) — They didn't need any ambulances but they could have used some fries.
What looked like a bloody mess on U.S. Interstate 80 in Reno Thursday afternoon was just the aftermath of a wreck involving a semi-trailer truck hauling thousands of bottles of Heinz ketchup.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports no one was hurt when the truck driver swerved to avoid another vehicle and hit a bridge in the median on the west edge of town. The crash ripped open the trailer, dumping the load and snarling traffic more than an hour.
Nevada Patrol Sgt. Janay Sherven said there was "red everywhere." She told the newspaper, "No bodies, no people, just ketchup."
State transportation crews used snowplows to help clear the highway connecting Reno to Lake Tahoe. The crash remains under investigation.