Sheriff: 8 people dead after tourist boat accident


Sheriff: 8 people dead after tourist boat accident

BRANSON, Mo.

A tourist boat apparently capsized on a lake Thursday night in Missouri, leaving at least eight people dead and several others hospitalized, a sheriff said.

The Springfield News-Leader reported that Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said a Ride the Ducks tourist boat reportedly sank on Table Rock Lake with more than 30 people on board. He said weather was believed to have caused the boat to capsize. High winds had hit the area, according to weather reports.

He said an off-duty deputy sheriff working security helped rescue people and that recovery efforts were ongoing, with some passengers still unaccounted for. A dive team was assisting.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 mph was measured around 7 p.m. Thursday at Branson Airport. The winds were likely stronger over the lake, Linderberg said.

Tornadoes sweep through Iowa, injuring at least 17

DES MOINES, Iowa

A flurry of tornadoes swept through central Iowa Thursday afternoon, injuring at least 17 people, flattening buildings in three cities and forcing the evacuation of a hospital.

The tornadoes formed unexpectedly and hit the cities of Marshalltown, Pella and Bondurant as surprised residents ran for cover. The storms injured 10 people in Marshalltown and seven at a factory near Pella, but no deaths have been reported.

Hardest hit appeared to be Marshalltown, a city of 27,000 people about 50 miles northeast of Des Moines, where brick walls collapsed in the streets, roofs were blown off buildings and the cupola of the historic courthouse tumbled 175 feet to the ground.

Confederate license plates on the rise on Tennessee roads

NASHVILLE, Tenn.

The number of Tennesseans with Confederate battle flag license plates has reached its highest point in a decade.

Data from the Tennessee Department of Revenue shows that 3,273 of the license plates benefiting the Sons of Confederate Veterans were active at the end of the 2018 fiscal year, The Tennessean reported.

That number represents a 72 percent increase from the end of the 2015 fiscal year, when the national debate of the display of Confederate flags reached a fever pitch after the massacre of nine black worshippers slain at a church in Charleston, S.C. The man sentenced to death in the June 2015 slayings said he intended to inflame racial tensions, leaving behind photos of himself posing at historical Civil War and African-American sites and holding the Confederate flag.

Flint water crisis prompts call for more oversight

WASHINGTON

A federal watchdog is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen its oversight of state drinking water systems nationally and respond more quickly to public health emergencies such as the crisis of lead in the water in Flint, Mich.

In a 74-page report released Thursday, the EPA’s inspector general pointed to “oversight lapses” at the federal, state and local levels in the response to Flint’s contaminated drinking water.

“While oversight authority is vital, its absence can contribute to a catastrophic situation,” the inspector general, Arthur A. Elkins, said in a statement. His office has concluded the EPA was too slow and passive in responding to the Flint crisis.

Associated Press

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