tampabay.com

Smoking may be cause of beach house fire

By Times Wires
Published November 3, 2007


OCEAN ISLE BEACH, N.C.

A discarded cigarette or other smoking materials may have caused a beach house fire that killed seven South Carolina college students, authorities said Friday, though a preliminary investigation failed to nail down the blaze's origin. Steve Netherland, the special agent in charge of the State Bureau of Investigation's regional office in Jacksonville, said survivors told investigators there were people smoking at the home. A final report on the investigation may not be complete for several weeks.

OMAHA, Neb.

Teacher, student may be in Mexico

A female teacher and a 13-year-old boy believed to be on the run may have crossed the California border into Mexico, a police investigator said Friday. Paul Schwarz of the Lexington Police Department in Nebraska said the white Pontiac owned by 25-year-old Kelsey Peterson crossed into Mexico around 11 p.m. on Tuesday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near Tijuana, Mexico. Peterson, a sixth-grade math teacher and basketball coach at Lexington Middle School, fled with the boy after police began investigating whether the pair had an intimate relationship, authorities said.

SYRACUSE, N.Y.

Suit filed against 'dancing dentist'

Dentist George Trusty was dancing to Car Wash on the radio while drilling on a woman's tooth, and she wound up in hospital when the drill bit snapped off and lodged near her eye, a lawsuit alleges. Brandy Fanning, 31, said she had to undergo emergency surgery and spent three days in a hospital because of the October 2004 mishap. The federal lawsuit filed last month seeks $600,000 for her medical expenses, pain and suffering. Trusty, 57, a dentist at Syracuse Community Health Center, declined comment Friday.

Elsewhere

Anchorage, Alaska: The Supreme Court, in a 3-2 decision, threw out an embattled state law Friday that required parental or judicial consent before a teenager can have an abortion. The court said the consent requirement robs a pregnant teen of her constitutional right to make such an important decision herself and transfers that right to her parents or a judge.

Providence, R.I.: Doctors Ana Maria Santi and Victor Mariani, both of New York, who doled out illegal steroids and human growth hormone prescriptions to perhaps thousands of people were sentenced Friday. Santi received two years in prison and Mariani a year of home confinement. They pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges they were paid by New Jersey businessman Daniel McGlone to write prescriptions for customers they never met.

Boss, Mo: An Air National Guard F-15 crashed Friday in south-central Missouri after the pilot ejected, authorities said. The pilot, who was not named, was flown to a St. Louis hospital and was in serious condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Lodi, Calif.: Police arrested the two students, ages 16 and 17, who sprayed a noxious gas in the main hallway of Lodi High School on Thursday, sickening 43 students and sending six to the hospital, police said.

East Lyme, Conn.: A multivehicle accident on southbound Interstate 95 in southeastern Connecticut in which three people were killed forced the shutdown of a stretch of the highway, and transportation officials warned it could take 24 hours to fully reopen.