Duck-boat probe to see if rules ignored


Duck-boat probe to see if rules ignored

The investigation into the sinking of a sightseeing boat that claimed 17 lives will look at whether operators violated Coast Guard rules by venturing onto a Missouri lake as thunderstorms rolled in, a Coast Guard official said Monday.

More than three days after the deadly accident, a crane attached to a barge pulled the amphibious duck boat from Table Rock Lake near Branson, where it was submerged in 80 feet of water.

Coast Guard Lt. Tasha Sadowicz of the agency’s St. Louis office said the boat that capsized and sank was known as “Stretch Duck 07.” Like all 22 duck boats in operation in Branson, it was required to undergo annual inspections. The most recent was in February.

Alligator found in Pa. woman’s yard

PROSPECT PARK, Pa.

A Pennsylvania woman who was admiring a turtle in her backyard says she was surprised to find an alligator just a few feet away.

Tracie Hoffecker says she found the 2- to 3-foot-long alligator near her home in Prospect Park on Sunday morning. Hoffecker called her cousin, who is a Philadelphia firefighter, and he safely removed the alligator using a net.

Slimy, Scaly, Taily Reptile Rescue was called to the scene and recovered the animal. Rescue group representative Matt Snider says the alligator will go to an aquarium.

Authorities say the alligator was likely someone’s pet and was illegally dumped in the area.

Lawmaker uses slur, drops pants in show

ATLANTA

A Georgia lawmaker is the latest public figure caught with his pants down on provocateur Sacha Baron Cohen’s new cable TV series, this time literally, as the state legislator exposes his bottom, speaks with a mock Asian accent and yells a racial slur all in the name of fighting terrorism.

In Sunday night’s broadcast of Cohen’s Showtime series “Who Is America?” Cohen poses as an Israeli military expert who persuades Republican Rep. Jason Spencer to take part in several outlandish exercises. The lawmaker is told they’re making a counterterrorism video.

Spencer repeatedly shouts a racial slur for black people after Cohen tells him the tactic is useful for drawing bystanders’ attention to an unfolding attack.

He also drops his pants, then his underwear, before backing his exposed rear end toward Cohen while shouting “USA!” and “America!” Cohen told Spencer the move would incite fear in homophobic jihadists. The segment also shows Spencer speaking with a mock Asian accent while pretending to use a selfie-stick to surreptitiously insert a camera phone under a Muslim woman’s burqa.

At least 20 killed in wildfires in Greece

ATHENS, GREECE

A spokesman for the Greek government says the death toll from two big wildfires raging on the outskirts of Athens has risen to at least 20.

Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said early today that at least 69 other people have been hospitalized with injuries. Many are in serious condition.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras cut short a visit to Bosnia on Monday and returned to Athens to preside over an emergency response meeting with fire chiefs and government officials.

Greece has sought international assistance to cope with the fires near the capital, which have destroyed dozens of homes, burned cars and prompted tourists and Greeks to flee to beaches east of Athens for dramatic rescues by boats.

Associated Press

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