Sinkhole swallows 8 collector Corvettes; trial date is set for Boston Marathon bombing case

February 12
KENTUCKY
Sinkhole swallows8 collector Corvettes

A 40-foot sinkhole opened up under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green and swallowed eight collector cars, including the historic 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette, the museum said Wednesday.

No injuries were reported, but a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and a 2009 ZR-1 “Blue Devil” on loan from General Motors were among the iconic cars piled up in the gaping pit.

Alarms went off early Wednesday morning in the “Skydome” area, and museum security officers who rushed to the scene discovered the sinkhole, 25 to 30 feet deep. The Bowling Green Fire Department estimated its width at 40 feet.

That region of south central Kentucky contains many caves and sinkholes, known as “karst” topography. Mammoth Cave National Park is about 20 miles from Bowling Green.

— Reuters

MASSACHUSETTS
Marathon bombing case’s trial date is set

A U.S. judge on Wednesday ordered the accused Boston Marathon bomber to face trial in November, denying his attorneys the extra time they had sought to prepare his defense on charges involving the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, a native of Russia’s restive Chechnya region, could be executed if convicted of killing three people and injuring an estimated 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs in the April 15, 2013, attack. He is also accused of killing a university police officer three days later, as he and his brother tried to flee the area after they were identified as suspects.

U.S. District Judge George O’Toole said jury selection would begin Nov. 3, well ahead of the September 2015 start that the defense had requested. Defense attorneys had asked for time to review massive amounts of evidence collected by the government during its investigation.

Last month, prosecutors said they would seek to have Tsarnaev, who moved to the United States a decade ago, put to death if he is convicted of charges including use of a weapon of mass destruction.Tsarnaev, who is being held in a prison west of Boston and was not in court Wednesday, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

— Reuters

CALIFORNIA
Republican wins San Diego mayoral race

A moderate Republican city councilman has been elected mayor of San Diego in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Bob Filner, who resigned amid a torrent of sexual harassment allegations.

San Diego becomes the nation’s largest city with a Republican mayor, and Kevin Faulconer, 47, will be the only Republican to lead a major city in California, where Democrats hold all statewide offices. Filner was San Diego’s first Democratic leader in 20 years.

With all precincts reporting, the two-term councilman and former public relations executive led Democratic Councilman David Alvarez by 54.5 percent to 45.5 percent.

— Associated Press

Mammoth tusk found in Seattle: Construction workers digging in a Seattle neighborhood have found the curved tusk of a mammoth, an ancient elephant relative that inhabited North America at least 10,000 years ago during the Ice Age. Seattle’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture said its paleontologists were confident that the fossil, uncovered Tuesday, came from an Ice Age mammoth. Crews were excavating for plumbing trenches in the city’s bustling South Lake Union neighborhood when they found the tusk about 40 feet beneath ground level, an official from a contracting company involved in the dig said.

Woman convicted of killing pregnant friend, cutting baby from womb: A woman accused of killing her pregnant friend three months after her own miscarriage was convicted Wednesday of beating and strangling her, then cutting the baby from her womb and passing the child off as her daughter. Julie Corey, 39, sobbed as a Worcester Superior Court jury found her guilty of the 2009 murder of Darlene Haynes, 23. Sentencing was scheduled for Tuesday. Prosecutors said Haynes was eight months pregnant when Corey attacked her and cut the baby out of her body.

Boy Scouts membership drops 6 percent: The Boy Scouts of America said Wednesday that it lost 6 percent of its membership after an often-bruising year in which it announced it would accept openly gay boys for the first time, over the objections of some participants who eventually left the organization. The organization’s national leadership voted in May to accept openly gay boys for the first time, while continuing to exclude gay leaders.

— Reuters

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