Nation briefs for Monday's A2

2013-12-16T00:05:00Z Nation briefs for Monday's A2 nwitimes.com
December 16, 2013 12:05 am

Neighbor of Ohio girl found dead in trash bin arrested

AKRON | A neighbor was arrested Sunday in the killing of a 9-year-old Ohio girl whose body was found in a trash bin near her home after authorities and residents conducted a frantic search for the missing child.

Jerrod Metsker, 24, was arrested at his home on a murder charge about 12 hours after deputies found the body of Reann Murphy near her home at a mobile park in Smithville, about 30 miles southwest of Akron, Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said at a news conference.

It was not immediately clear whether Metsker had an attorney. His first court appearance is scheduled Monday morning.

Hutchinson wouldn't say how Reann was killed or offer a motive.

Colorado school gunman had threatened librarian earlier

CENTENNIAL, Colo. | A Colorado teenager who may have been nursing a grudge against a high school librarian since September intended to harm that librarian and inflict numerous other casualties when he entered his school and shot a student at point-blank range before killing himself, authorities said.

Karl Pierson, 18, fired six shots from a pump-action shotgun between the moment he walked into Arapahoe High School on Friday and the moment he killed himself in a library as a school security officer closed in on him, Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.

Arapahoe senior Claire Davis, 17, who was sitting with a friend when Pierson entered the library, was shot in the head. She was hospitalized in critical condition. Students and residents held a candlelight vigil for Davis Saturday night at a park near the school.

Pierson's original target was believed to be a librarian who coached the school's speech and debate team. The librarian, whose name was not released, had disciplined the teen in September for reasons that haven't been disclosed. The librarian escaped the school unharmed.

Near-blizzard storm snarling yule travel plans in Northeast

HARRISBURG, Pa. | At this rate, the Northeast will be tired of winter before winter even arrives.

Another shot of wintry weather moved through Ohio and Pennsylvania on Saturday as it headed into New England, hampering travel by car and airplane and complicating shoppers' plans less than two weeks before Christmas.

Nearly a foot of snow was reported in parts of central Pennsylvania and the National Weather Service warned Maine could see near-blizzard conditions Sunday.

Multiple accidents were reported on roadways throughout the Midwest and Northeast, while airports reported about 1,000 flight cancellations because of Saturday's snow.

Despite budget deal, no sign bipartisan accords imminent

WASHINGTON | People hoping for a government that works better can't decide whether to cheer or lament a bipartisan budget bill that legislative leaders call a breakthrough even as they acknowledge it does little.

In an era of low expectations, House passage of the bill marks a rare cease-fire that should avoid a repeat of this fall's government shutdown and flirtation with default.

Yet it comes nowhere near the more ambitious efforts to address long-term spending and debt. Such comprehensive plans repeatedly collapsed in recent years despite secret White House talks, blue-ribbon panels, a congressional "super committee" and other devices and tactics.

Several Washington insiders warn against assuming the new budget deal will lead to progress on immigration and other stalemated issues.

Hawaii plane crash survivor hails pilot for belly landing

HONOLULU | After a 70-year-old Hawaii man survived a flight that crash-landed in Hawaii waters, he swam about a half-mile in 6-foot waves to Molokai's rugged shoreline, thinking the eight others aboard the small commercial plane were fine bobbing in their life vests, awaiting rescue.

C. Phillip Hollstein Jr. said Friday he was surprised to learn later that one of the travelers was killed, Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy. The others on board suffered only minor injuries.

When the lone engine of the small plane failed, the nine people on board stayed calm as the aircraft glided toward the ocean and made a remarkably smooth belly landing, Hollstein recounted.

He said the pilot, Clyde Kawasaki, expertly maneuvered the plane after the engine failed, avoiding what could have been a catastrophic impact on the water.

"He did everything right," Hollstein said. "He set it up for the best crash-landing you could do."

The engine on Makani Kai Air's 2002 Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop cut out less than a minute after takeoff from the island of Molokai on Wednesday.

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