Nation & World Briefs 05-02-14 Rosie's Mich. plant is saved for now by campaign extension


DETROIT -- The Detroit-area factory where Rosie the Riveter showed that a woman could do a "man's work" by building World War II-era bombers has been saved from the wrecking ball, organizers of a campaign to build a museum on the site announced Thursday.

The site's manager had given the Save the Willow Run Bomber Plant campaign a deadline of Thursday to raise the $8 million needed to buy a 150,000-square-foot portion of the larger property.

As recently as Tuesday morning, the group was about $1 million short of its goal, but later in the day "closed on a big one," fundraising consultant Michael Montgomery said.

That allowed Montgomery and his partners to get "within spitting distance of the full eight (million)" and enough to go forward with a purchase agreement, which he expects to be finalized in seven to 10 days.

Meanwhile, those behind the effort will go back to raising the additional dollars needed to make the new Yankee Air Museum a reality.

"We're going to go on raising money past May 1, because we've got to build the plant out and create the exhibits of the new museum that we've promised."

Arrests more than 600 gang suspects: More than 600 suspected gang members have been arrested in the Homeland Security Department's largest crackdown on street gangs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday. ICE agents, along with local authorities in 179 cities, arrested 638 suspected gang members over a monthlong period in March and April. ICE said 78 suspected gang members were arrested on federal charges while 447 others currently face only state charges. ICE arrested 113 others on administrative immigration charges.

Vote to block their pay hike: House lawmakers voted for the sixth year in a row on Thursday to deny themselves the cost-of-living pay hike that they would otherwise automatically receive next January. The move would freeze congressional salaries at $174,000 a year and is attached to legislation to fund Congress' budget, which passed the House by a 402-14 vote. Lawmakers haven't received a pay hike since January 2009.

Teacher honored at White House: Sean McComb, a Maryland high school teacher who helps push students toward college, was honored at the White House on Thursday as the National Teacher of the Year. McComb, said he himself benefited from an inspiring teacher during his childhood. President Barack Obama presented an apple trophy to McComb, an English teacher from Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts near Baltimore where he works with students in a college readiness program.

Soldier gets life sentence: Saying his mind was scarred by combat and numbed by heroin, an Army soldier told a southeast Georgia judge Thursday in Ludowici that he shot a teenage girl twice in the head because he thought he saw "the glint of a gun" as she opened her car door. Sgt. Anthony Peden, 28, was sentenced to life in prison nearly a month after he pleaded guilty to murder charges in the December 2011 slayings of 17-year-old Tiffany York and her boyfriend, former soldier Michael Roark. Prosecutors say the couple was led to the woods near Fort Stewart in Georgia and slain by a group of soldiers to protect an anti-government militia group they had formed inside the military. Peden's account sought to minimize his role. Three other defendants who previously struck plea deals to avoid a possible death sentence had said Roark was suspected of taking money from the group and they feared he and York planned to expose the militia to police. They said Peden shot the girl before she could get out of her car, while Pvt. Christopher Salmon shot Roark on his knees.

GM recalling Cadillac SUVs: General Motors is recalling more than 50,000 luxury SUVs to fix a computer error that can delay acceleration for three or four seconds. The recall affects some Cadillac SRX SUVs from the 2013 model year with 3.6-Liter V6 engines. GM said in documents filed with U.S. safety regulators that the problem happens when the transmission shifts from first to second gear and the driver brakes the vehicle to under 5 miles per hour. The company said a lag in acceleration can increase the risk of a crash. GM dealers will update the transmission control computer at no cost to customers. No date has been set yet for the recall to begin.

Videos shows teens' last moments: Soon after the ferry began to tilt, high school students can be seen huddled below deck in a video, joking about the Titanic and taking selfies even as fear slowly built. Newly released video reveals a frightening scene half an hour later, as the ship listed so severely that students, one of them weeping, were forced to sit on a wall instead of the floor. Its emergence comes after the release of shaky video ( ) -- at times poignant and heartbreaking as the teens said last words to their loved ones -- that was found on the cellphone belonging to 17-year-old Park Su-hyeon when his body was recovered after the ferry sank off the country's southern coast April 16.

Kremlin sends envoy to Ukraine: A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Kremlin has sent an envoy to Ukraine's southeast to negotiate the release of foreign military observers who were captured by pro-Russian militia in the city of Slovyansk. In comments to Russian news agencies Dmitry Peskov did not specify where Vladimir Lukin was sent to but said that the Kremlin has not been able to get in touch with him since Ukraine launched what seemed to be the first major assault on pro-Russian forces in the country's east. Both sides report at least three dead and two injured.

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