Aerial reenactment caps D-Day event
LA FIERE, France — Nearly 1,000 paratroopers dropped out of the sky in Normandy on Sunday — but this time they did so in peace, instead of to wrest western France from the Nazis as they did during World War II.
Drawing huge crowds who braved hot weather and lined the historic landing area at La Fiere, the aerial spectacle re-enacted the drama of the Normandy landings and served to cap commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Among the planes ferrying paratroopers for the event was a restored C-47 US military transport plane that dropped Allied troops on the village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise — a stone’s throw from La Fiere — on June 6, 1944. And the pilots who originally flew it took the controls again last week, 70 years later, remembering their experiences.
Sunday saw dozens of veterans escorted down a sandy path to a special section to watch the show alongside thousands of spectators — most of whom lined two sides of the field. Others took shelter in the shade as the lack of wind caused the sun to beat down hard.
Planes including the C-47 aircraft flew by loudly overhead several times, with two dozen military paratroopers — from countries including the U.S., Britain, France and Germany — jumping with each passage.
They were scenes reminiscent of the pivotal event, when around 15,000 Allied paratroopers were dropped in and around the village of Sainte-Mere-Eglise on D-Day. It became the first to be liberated by the Allies and remains one of the enduring symbols of the Normandy invasion.
Serial killer saved pills before suicide
PHOENIX — A convicted serial killer who committed suicide in an Arizona prison last year was likely hoarding antidepressants from a fellow inmate in the months before his death, a state prison investigation said.
Findings in an Arizona Department of Corrections report released Friday indicate another inmate gave 40-year-old Dale Hausner several amitriptyline pills a week over a two-month period at a Florence prison.
According to the documents, the unidentified inmate told the Inspector General’s Office that Hausner said he was having trouble sleeping. So, the inmate initially gave Hausner nine pills before giving out four or five each week.
The inmate told officials he had medications to give because prison nurses didn’t always watch him take what was a daily dosage. He would save any he didn’t feel like taking.
While the inmate recalled talking with Hausner about the idea of stockpiling pills to commit suicide, the inmate said he thought Hausner was taking them as he received them.
According to the inmate, he would use a homemade fishing line to transport pills from his cell to another until they reached Hausner. It’s possible Hausner had more than 56 tablets, the inmate said.
He was found unresponsive in his isolation cell at Eyman state prison complex on June 19, 2013. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at a hospital in Anthem, according to Arizona Department of Corrections officials.
Teen finishes walk packing brother
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan teenager carrying his 7-year-old brother on his back has battled heat, rain, fatigue and more to finish a 40-mile walk to raise awareness about cerebral palsy.
Fourteen-year-old Hunter Gandee walked from his high school not far from the Ohio boundary to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He packed his brother, Braden, throughout the two-day journey.
On Sunday, they strolled up a winding road toward the university’s wrestling center. Asked how he felt, Braden said simply: “Tired.”
Hunter acknowledges there was talk of stopping the walk around the 30-mile mark due to chafing on his brother’s legs.
Called the Cerebral Palsy Swagger, the trek’s goal was to raise awareness about cerebral palsy and to put a face on the muscle disorder.
Severe storms slam parts of Colorado
AURORA, Colo. — A line of severe storms packing high winds and hail is sweeping across Colorado’s eastern plains, spawning several damaging tornadoes, including one that dropped down near a junior golf tournament southeast of Denver.
Several tornadoes were reported Sunday, including one in the tiny northeastern town of Grover and two in Park County. County spokeswoman Linda Balough says no injuries have been reported, but there has been some damage.
The Aurora Fire Department says a tornado touched down near the Blackstone Country Club southeast of Denver, causing one minor injury and flipping an empty trailer.
Weather Service meteorologist Kyle Fredin says a trough of low pressure is creating a “large extensive line” of severe weather along the Front Range from southern Colorado to the Wyoming border.
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