SMALL PLANE CRASHES INTO HOUSE IN CENTRAL INDIANA: COLUMBUS, Ind. (AP) — A small, home-built plane piloted by an 81-year-old man crashed into a house Thursday in central Indiana, injuring the pilot and his passenger while a woman inside the home escaped unscathed before the aircraft's wreckage burst into flames, authorities said.
The plane, piloted by Gerald H. Clayton of Columbus, crashed shortly after takeoff and plowed into the back of a house in a subdivision just south of Columbus Municipal Airport, said Columbus police Lt. Matt Myers.
Clayton and passenger Dennis King, 60, of Columbus, had already exited the aircraft when he arrived and spoke to one of the men, Myers said. They had burns, cuts and abrasions.
Neighbors said both men were able to walk to ambulances unaided after the crash in Columbus, a city about 40 miles south of Indianapolis.
TEAM EXAMINING GULF SHIPWRECK FINDS 2 OTHER WRECKS: GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Marine archaeologists examining a well-preserved shipwreck nearly a mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico made a thrilling discovery this week — two nearby vessels that were likely sailing with their ship when they all went down together in the same storm.
Researchers led by a team from Texas State University in San Marcos are calling it the deepest shipwrecks — 4,363 feet down — that archaeologists have systematically investigated in the Gulf of Mexico and in North America.
"I think we're all thoroughly intrigued by this project," principal investigator Fritz Hanselmann, of the Texas State University Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, said Thursday at a news conference announcing the new find.
During eight days of exploration that ended Wednesday, more than 60 artifacts were recovered from the first vessel explored, including musket parts, ceramic cups and dishes, liquor bottles, clothing and even a toothbrush. The researchers couldn't legally or ethically retrieve pieces from the two new finds under the terms of their agreement to examine the initial shipwreck.
DRUM OF DEPLETED URANIUM FOUND AT FLORIDA AIRPORT: MIAMI (AP) — Part of the Opa-locka Executive Airport in South Florida had to be temporarily evacuated after a 55-gallon drum containing depleted uranium aircraft parts was found.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Arnold Piedrahita Jr. reports that the unsealed drum was found Thursday near a dismantled plane at the airport. A hazmat team from Miami International Airport went to the site, but only minimal levels of radiation were detected.
Officials initially cleared a 150-foot perimeter around the drum, but that circle was later reduced to 5 feet.
Most depleted uranium is a byproduct of the production of enriched uranium, which is commonly used in nuclear reactors and weapons. It has significantly less radiation than natural uranium.
WARRANT SEEKS WIFE OF BOUNTY HUNTER 'DOG' : MONUMENT, Colo. (AP) — Police in Colorado say an arrest warrant has been issued for the wife of TV bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman after she was accused of verbally harassing a teenager.
Attorneys for Beth Chapman say she did nothing wrong.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported Thursday (http://tinyurl.com/lvftfyw ) that police in Monument, north of Colorado Springs, couldn't reach Chapman to issue a summons, so they obtained the warrant.
Chapman's Colorado attorney, Gary Lozow, says she will cooperate with police and expects to be exonerated.
Police Lt. Steve Burk says the alleged harassment took place July 10 at a lake. He declined to provide details.
The Chapmans appear on the CMT show "Dog and Beth: On the Hunt." They own a home in Castle Rock.
INMATE IN 2005 HALLOWEEN KILLING PUT TO DEATH: ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has executed its first inmate since 2011, a man convicted of the beating and shooting death of an elderly man on Halloween night in 2005.
Authorities say 29-year-old Andrew Lackey was pronounced dead at 6:25 p.m. Thursday after receiving an injection at Holman Prison in Atmore.
Authorities say Lackey was seeking money when he killed 80-year-old Charles Newman at his Limestone County home. Court records show Newman made an emergency call to police the night of his death and could be heard saying, "Leave me alone" and "What do you want?"
Lackey, who had dropped all appeals, became the first person executed by the state since October 2011.
TRIAL FOR MAN ACCUSED IN UTAH BOY'S DEATH: FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — A Utah judge on Thursday ruled there's enough evidence for a man accused of killing his 4-year-old stepson to stand trial on murder charges.
Prosecutors say 34-year-old Nathanael Sloop and his wife malnourished and abused the boy for days until he died in May 2010. Sloop is accused of using a hammer to disfigure Ethan Stacy's face and burying his body in the northern Utah mountains.
Second District Judge Glen Dawson on Thursday ordered Sloop to stand trial on charges of aggravated murder, child abuse, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body. Prosecutors say they plan to seek the death penalty against Sloop.
Sloop's defense attorneys are challenging the law which prosecutors are using to seek the death penalty. The law allows prosecutors to pursue capital punishment in a killing that resulted from child abuse, kidnapping or sexual assault. Prosecutors do not have to prove the killing was intentional — only a "reckless indifference to human life."
Defense attorney Richard Mauro said Thursday that the law is unclear and poorly written.
NEW NASA TELESCOPE SCOURS SUN IN 'GRAND OPENING: CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA is getting an unprecedented close-up look at the sun, thanks to a new telescope.
NASA's IRIS spacecraft, launched just a month ago, already is providing detailed pictures of the sun. The telescope's door opened last week, and it began observing the lower solar atmospheres in never-before-seen detail. The early results were announced Thursday and hailed by the research team as exciting.
NASA's science mission directorate chief, former astronaut John Grunsfeld, says it's "a grand opening of a new era in solar physics."
IRIS is short for Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph. It will continue its mission for the next two years. Scientists say the observations will help shed light on the sun's impact on Earth.