Blowout may have caused van crash that killed 5 Amish

INDIANAPOLIS - A tire blowout may have caused a van carrying passengers from an Amish community to flip over on a highway, killing three children and two adults, police said Monday. Eleven others were injured in the crash.

Police said no other vehicles were involved Sunday when the southbound van veered out of control on Interstate 69, entered a grassy median and overturned, coming to rest in the northbound lanes near Muncie, about 50 miles northeast of Indianapolis. The roof of the vehicle was shorn away.

Witnesses saw the rear left tire on the van blow out before the crash occurred, and police said that a preliminary investigation of the tires confirmed those observations.

Woman convicted of cutting baby from mother's womb

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A woman whose attorneys had argued that she was suffering from delusions when she killed an expectant mother, cut the baby from her womb and took the infant home was convicted Monday.

Jurors convicted Lisa Montgomery, 39, of kidnapping resulting in death in the 2004 attack on 23-year-old Bobbie Jo Stinnett in the northwest Missouri town of Skidmore. Jurors deliberated for about four hours before rejecting Montgomery's insanity defense.

Prosecutors said they plan to seek the death penalty.

Heavy rains lash New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - The Army Corps of Engineers closed a gate on a suburban canal as heavy rains lashed the flood-prone city, raising fears that climbing waters threatened the walls holding them back.

After more than 8 inches of rain fell on parts of New Orleans by late afternoon, Mayor Ray Nagin shut City Hall early, and schools also closed. People were asked to stay indoors until the flood potential subsided. More rain was expected overnight.

The Harvey Canal in Jefferson Parish was one of several in the area placed under new safety guidelines after Hurricane Katrina's flood waters breached two New Orleans canals in August 2005, causing catastrophic flooding.

Roberts says devil won't steal ORU amid controversy

TULSA, Okla. - Oral Roberts returned to his namesake university Monday and denied the lurid accusations that have threatened to engulf the school, telling students and employees in a chapel service that 'the devil is not going to steal ORU.'

Making his first visit to Oral Roberts University in three years, Roberts said at the service that his son Richard Roberts, who took a leave of absence as the school's president last week, eventually will return to his position, the Tulsa World reported.

Three former professors sued the university Oct. 2 for wrongful termination, claiming they were dismissed after they turned over to the board of regents a copy of a report documenting moral and ethical lapses on the part of Richard Roberts and his family.

Weather outlook poor for launch of space shuttle

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA kept close watch on the weather on both sides of the Atlantic on Monday as Discovery's launch countdown entered its final hours with no major technical problems.

Rain was expected right around launch time and threatened to delay this morning's liftoff. At the overseas emergency landing sites, good weather was expected at one of the three locations, which was all NASA needed.

NASA refuses to release pilot data

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. - An unprecedented national survey of pilots by the U.S. government has found that safety problems like near collisions and runway interference occur far more frequently than previously recognized. But the government is withholding the information, fearful it would upset air travelers and hurt airline profits.

NASA gathered the information under an $8.5 million federal safety project, through telephone interviews with roughly 24,000 commercial and general aviation pilots over nearly four years. Since shutting down the project more than one year ago, the space agency has refused to divulge its survey data publicly.

Public, private tuitions rise again

The price of college again rose faster than the inflation rate this year, climbing 6.6 percent at four-year public schools and outstripping increases in the financial aid that lowers what most students actually pay.

The latest increases, reported Monday by the College Board, bring the average list price of four-year public universities to $6,185 this year, up $381 from 2006-2007. At four-year private colleges, tuition and fees rose 6.3 percent to $23,712.

Public two-year colleges' average price rose 4.2 percent to $2,361.