2 missing, 38 hurt in Slim Jim plant collapse
GARNER, N.C. - An explosion at a Slim Jim meat products plant Tuesday injured at least 38 people, including four who suffered critical burns, and left a toxic cloud around the facility as authorities searched for two people still missing.
Jeffrey Hammerstein, district chief with Wake County Emergency Medical Services, said a third person initially reported missing was found and taken to the hospital. Authorities were searching for two others.
'We don't know if they're in the building or not, but we're going to go look for them,' Hammerstein said.
Chris Woods, a worker at the facility, said he started running after feeling an explosion about 11 a.m.
'I was picking up a piece of meat off the line and I felt it, the percussion in my chest,' Woods said. 'One of the guys I was working with got blown back, he flew backwards.'
Ex-Chicago Bear gets probation in fraud case
CHICAGO - Former Chicago Bear Roland Harper was sentenced to a year of house arrest Tuesday for acting as a front man in a $1.5 million fraud involving a landscaping contract for Chicago public schools.
U.S. District Judge John W. Darrah also required the 56-year-old former fullback to perform 200 hours of community service and pay $25,000 in restitution and forfeit $50,000. He'll also serve two years of probation, including the year he is confined to his home.
Harper, who was in the same backfield with Walter Payton, pleaded guilty last year to mail fraud. Defense attorney Patrick J. Cotter said Harper is now broke and faces an array of civil lawsuits stemming from his efforts to be successful in the business world.
Mich. man who spied for Iraq gets nearly four years
DETROIT - A man described by the Saddam Hussein regime as 'our good cooperating source' was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in prison for supplying information to Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds rejected Najib Shemami's claim that he acted under duress from the Iraqi government.
There is no dispute that he told Iraqi authorities about the activities of expatriates in the United States. He also reported on U.S. military movements in Turkey before the invasion, describing the location of 200 tanks as well as tents for refugees.
Shemami, 62, of Sterling Heights, was a frequent traveler from 1996 through 2002, smuggling money, medicine and clothing into Iraq.
Coach accused of teaching boys to steal
ARLINGTON, Wash. - A Little League coach in Washington state has been accused of using some of his players to help in a break-in.
Snohomish County prosecutors charged 31-year-old George Spady Jr. on Monday with burglary.
Court documents allege he took his son, a nephew and another player from the team with him when he broke into a vacant Arlington shop and took overhead lights and other items.
At 85, George H.W. Bush plans another skydive
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - Former President George H.W. Bush plans to celebrate his 85th birthday Friday by making a parachute jump in Maine, where he has his summer home.
Jim Appleby, a Bush aide, said Tuesday that Bush will make a tandem jump with a member of the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. Their landing zone is near a church in Kennebunkport.
Bush made his first jump as a Navy pilot when his plane was shot down over the Pacific during World War II. He also made two jumps apiece on his 75th and 80th birthdays.
Former AT&T CEO to become new GM chairman
DETROIT - A former CEO and chairman of telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. will lead General Motors Corp.'s board after the automaker emerges from bankruptcy protection, GM said Tuesday.
Edward Whitacre Jr., 67, eventually will replace Kent Kresa, who will remain GM's interim chairman until the reorganized automaker emerges as a new company that's majority-owned by the U.S. government.
Whitacre was chairman and chief executive of AT&T and its predecessor companies from 1990 to 2007. During his tenure, he led the company through several acquisitions and sales.