Plane carrying 12 lands hard
in Colo., no one hurt
TELLURIDE, Colo. (AP) — A plane carrying 12 people, including team members of a project about famed author J.D. Salinger, landed hard at Telluride airport after its landing gear collapsed, but officials said no one was injured.
The twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 skidded to a stop just after 1 p.m. Sunday and sustained damage to the left engine propellers and wing, the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office said.
Members of the team behind an upcoming book and documentary on the writer were among the 10 passengers and two crew members aboard, according to “Salinger” author Shane Salerno. But it was not clear exactly how many people connected to the project were on board.
“I am extremely grateful that everyone is okay,” Salerno, who was not on board, told The Associated Press in an email.
Before the plane landed, firefighters arrived at the scene to await its arrival after receiving advance notice that a light on the aircraft had shown its landing gear was not locked down.
There was no fire or smoke after the hard landing, but authorities said the aircraft suffered damage to the left engine propellers and the left wing.
FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the aircraft was arriving from Denver when the left main landing gear collapsed.
The Los Angeles Times reported the team traveled to Colorado on Sunday to promote the Salinger documentary at the Telluride Film Festival.
Landmark gay marriage hearing
approaches in Pa.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — For two months, an elected court clerk in the Philadelphia suburbs has been giving something to same-sex couples they have not been able to get anywhere else: a Pennsylvania marriage license.
Now a court has to decide whether the clerk has singlehandedly added Pennsylvania to the growing list of states that formally sanction same-sex marriages or whether he has been acting illegally and must be stopped.
Wednesday’s hearing in Harrisburg pits Gov. Tom Corbett’s Health Department against D. Bruce Hanes, Montgomery County’s register of wills, who issues marriage licenses as part of his duties as clerk of the county orphan’s court.
Hanes began giving marriage licenses to gay couples in late July, shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court threw out portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Pennsylvania is the only Northeastern state that has neither gay marriage nor civil unions, but the legality of the more than 150 such licenses Hanes has handed out remains an open question.
David Cohen, an attorney representing 32 couples who received licenses from Hanes, says it’s too early to speculate on the legal status of those marriages.
“That’s certainly unknown because it would depend on the scope of the decision,” Cohen said. But he added that there’s plenty of legal precedent for courts to look at the core issue of how a local official decides whether an action is constitutional.
The case is one of several nationwide that have put county clerks in a legal spotlight of late and harkens back to initial efforts in California nearly a decade ago to push for same-sex marriage.
Dozens of aftershocks
expected on Alaskan island
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Dozens of noticeable aftershocks above magnitude 4.0 are expected in the remote Aleutian Island region off Alaska in the days and weeks following a major 7.0 earthquake, the Alaska state seismologist said Saturday.
A dozen measurable aftershocks have already hit the region since Friday’s quake, including one reaching 6.1 in strength, said seismologist Michael West. There have been more than 30 aftershocks measuring at least magnitude 2.5.
None of the aftershocks are expected to cause a notable tsunami, since the initial quake did not cause one. And West said experts are not too worried this quake will trigger another significant quake nearby in the near future.
“This is very common area for earthquakes,” West said. Temblors above magnitude 5.0 are felt every month.
The site of Friday’s quake is quite active. Significant quakes were felt just to the east and the west of Friday’s earthquake in 1986, 1996 and 2003.
“This was exactly the earthquake that’s supposed to happen,” West said, noting that it’s part of a pattern, when examined in a scientific way.
The Pacific tectonic plate is always pushing under America. It builds up stress and then earthquakes happen. Of course, West notes, he has be cautious about saying something will never happen, but he’s not particularly concerned.
There have been no reports of damage or injuries from the earthquake, which was strongly felt in Atka, an Aleut community of 64 people, and the larger Aleutian town of Adak, where 320 people live.
The earthquake and the aftershocks didn’t trigger any tsunami warnings, but Michael Burgy with the West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer, Alaska, said the center is monitoring for potential tsunamis caused by landslides, either on land or under water.
The Alaska Earthquake Information Center said the primary earthquake was centered 67 miles southwest of Adak, about 1,200 miles southwest of Anchorage. Shaking lasted up to one minute.
The 6.1 aftershock struck in the same general area at 10:39 p.m. Friday.