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Rescuers end search for missing sailor off Va. coast

Children watch horse riders during the National Western Stock Show Parade in Denver on Thursday. (Brennan Linsley/AP)
Rescuers end search for missing sailor

Rescuers called off their search Thursday for a sailor missing since a Navy helicopter with five crew members aboard crashed in the ocean off the Virginia coast, the Coast Guard said.

Two people died in the Wednesday crash. Two others were hospitalized.

Capt. John Little, Coast Guard section commander, said the ­frigid temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia Beach contributed to the decision to end the active rescue effort.

Of the two survivors, one was released from the hospital Thursday and the other could be released as soon as Friday, Capt. Todd Flannery, commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic, said at a news conference Thursday. He declined to identify the survivors.

The sailors who died were Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, 29, of Greensboro, N.C., and Petty Officer 3rd Class Brian Collins, 25, of ­Truckee, Calif. Van Dorn was a pilot and Collins a crewman on the flight, Flannery said.

The Navy identified the aircraft as an MH-53E Sea Dragon assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14, based at Naval Station Norfolk.

— Associated Press

Man pleads to lesser charge in assault case

A man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old schoolmate when he was 17 pleaded guilty Thursday to misdemeanor child endangerment — a far less serious crime than the rape charges the girl and her family had been pursuing.

Matt Barnett entered the plea during a court hearing in his home town of Maryville, a college town about 85 miles north of Kansas City. He was sentenced to two years of probation and a four-month suspended jail term, and he cannot drink alcohol, go to bars or contact the girl, Daisy Coleman, or her family.

Jean Peters Baker, who was brought in as a special prosecutor to reexamine the case in October, said she had spoken to Daisy and her mother, Melinda Coleman, and that both were “satisfied” with her decision to press the child endangerment count.

Daisy alleged that Barnett raped her at a house party in January 2012, when he was a senior and she was a freshman at Maryville High School. Barnett says the sex was consensual.

Baker was brought in to look at the case after the local prosecutor, Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice, was criticized for dropping it. He alleged that Daisy’s family had stopped cooperating — a claim Daisy and her mother deny.

— Associated Press

Lung cancer drops among U.S. adults

The percentage of U.S. adults developing lung cancer is falling, with the sharpest declines among those age 35 to 44, according to U.S. data released Thursday.

The lung cancer rate dropped by 2.6 percent per year among men and 1.1 percent per year among women between 2005 and 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

The largest decline was seen in adults age 35 to 44, with a 6.4 percent drop per year among men and a 5.9 percent decrease for women in that age group.

— Reuters

Utah demolishing chemical-weapons site: Crews started demolition Thursday of an Army depot in Utah that was responsible for destroying more than 40 percent of the nation’s stockpile of chemical weapons. The Deseret Chemical Depot, 45 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, once held 13,600 tons of chemical agents, making it the world’s largest stockpile of a witch’s brew of toxins and blister and blood agents that accumulated throughout the Cold War. Army officials said they want to tear it down for safety reasons.

— Associated Press


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