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Nation in brief

Private plane crashes far off course; pilot killed

By wire services
Published March 19, 2006

WINFIELD, W.Va. - A private plane crashed near a rural home in West Virginia after straying hundreds of miles off course as National Guard fighter crews tried unsuccessfully to contact the pilot.

The body of the pilot, the only person on board, was found in the wreckage after the plane crashed Friday night, said Todd Gunther of the National Transportation Safety Board. No one on the ground was injured.

Gunther identified the pilot as William R. Cammack, 56, of St. Paul, Minn.

The twin-engine Beech Baron 56TC took off from Glendive, Mont., Friday evening for a 600-mile flight to St. Paul, Minn., Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Holly Baker said.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane alerted the National Guard, Gunther said.

The pilots of F-16s based in Wisconsin intercepted the plane near Madison, Wis., and tracked it to Michigan, where it was picked up by pilots of two F-16s based near Detroit.

The military pilots fired flares to attract the pilot's attention, but did not make contact. They tracked it until the crash, officials said.

Bail denied for suspect in underground room case

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A local magistrate denied bail Saturday for a convicted rapist accused of abducting two teenage girls and assaulting them in a hidden underground room behind his home.

Kenneth G. Hinson was arrested Friday evening after a four-day manhunt near his Darlington County home.

Police say two 17-year-old girls were abducted and assaulted in a room under a shed behind Hinson's property. The girls were left bound inside the room but freed themselves. Officials say they opened the trap door in the floor and kicked down the shed's door.

Hinson was denied bail by Darlington County Magistrate Deatrice Curtis on charges of criminal sexual assault, kidnapping and assault and battery with intent to kill.

Shooting at S.C. fraternity party leaves five injured

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A gunman opened fire at a fraternity party in a banquet hall across the street from the South Carolina Capitol early Saturday, wounding five people.

None of the injuries was believed to be life-threatening, but at least one victim was hospitalized in intensive care, authorities said.

No arrests had been made.

A man who had been kicked out of the party after an argument went to his car and returned with a gun just after 1 a.m., said police Sgt. Florence McCants.

Witnesses said the gunman shot into the crowd and at the mirrored ceiling of the rented banquet hall on the ground floor of an office building, according to a police report. The man then left but returned with three other people, who shot at the building from the outside, damaging windows, witnesses told police.

Four more arrested in videotaped beatings

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Four more people have been arrested in connection with assaults and robberies by a neighborhood gang that videotaped its crimes.

Five adults and seven juveniles have now been arrested and police are looking for seven more suspects. The four men, ages 15 to 20, face charges of robbery, malicious wounding and conspiracy, police spokesman Harold Eley said.

The videotape features assailants beating the victims with objects including a trash can and a bicycle, threatening victims with a gun and robbing them. Police said most of the attacks were never reported.

[Last modified March 19, 2006, 01:08:10]

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