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Regional News: Ala Veterans Shrine; Parasailing Safety Fla Bill; Ga Power Outages; Ga SC Quake

By: ap
By: ap
Search underway for missing plane near Birmingham... National Veteran Shrine honoring veterans

In July 2013 two girls were injured while parasailing in windy conditions. The parasail spun out of control, slamming the girls into the pictured hotel in Panama City Beach, Fla.

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Federal aviation officials say they are searching for a small plane that lost contact with air traffic controllers during its approach to Birmingham's airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the Cessna 210 went missing after 10 p.m. Friday about 13 miles northeast of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
Authorities say the flight had departed from Jackson-Evers International Airport in Jackson, Miss. It wasn't immediately known how many people were on board the small plane.
A search for the plane was continuing Saturday in the Trussville area northeast of Birmingham.
Trussville Police Chief Don Sivley tells Al.com that the plane had been circling over the area and looking for a place to land.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The American Village in Montevallo is inviting people to attend the Monday dedication of its latest addition, a National Veteran Shrine honoring veterans' service to the country. The event includes the opening of two art galleries and three multimedia galleries. The stories of individual veterans will be told in short movies.

SELMA, Ala. (AP) -- Some of Selma's police officers are now patrolling city streets equipped with new stun guns. Selma Police Chief William Riley says that about half of his officers are now equipped with the new weapons. Riley says patrol officers have been trained on how to use the stun guns and policies.

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- More than 5,000 sailors are heading overseas as part of an at least eight-month deployment.
The aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush and guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun departed from Naval Station Norfolk on Saturday.
Meanwhile, guided-missile destroyer USS Roosevelt and guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea departed Naval Station Mayport in Florida. The group also deployed with several aircraft squadrons.
The Navy says that the strike group will serve in the 5th and 6th U.S. Fleet areas of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke also departed Naval Station Norfolk on Saturday for an independent eight-month Ballistic Missile Defense deployment.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Senate committee has unanimously approved a bill that would provide safety guidelines for parasailing companies.
The legislation approved Thursday details specific insurance, equipment and license requirements along with weather conditions that dictate a halt in operation.
Sen. Maria Sachs sponsored the bill. The Delray Beach Democrat says it's her number one priority for this year's session.
The parasailing industry received national attention in recent years with several deaths and accidents involving the unregulated activity in Florida.
The bill proposes that operators carry $1 million in insurance, have a license issued by the United States Coast Guard and have certain equipment on the boat.
Accident victim Alexis Fairchild and the mother of Amber White, who died in a 2007 incident, made emotional pleas to the committee on Thursday

ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) -- Two loggerhead sea turtles rehabilitated in the Florida Keys have been released back into the wild.
"Gizmo" and "Kristi" swam into the water simultaneously Friday with many of the roughly 200 spectators playfully shouting Valentine's Day wishes.
Gizmo was discovered last October suffering from emaciation and a head wound. It was treated at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon with antibiotics, lactulose, vitamins and honey wound care.
Kristi was found entangled in a fishing trap line and received physical therapy on a back flipper as well as antibiotics and vitamins.
The release marked the launch of a cooperative venture between Save-A-Turtle, a Keys-based turtle protection organization, and the Wyland Foundation. Marine life artist Wyland created exclusive artwork that is being integrated in Save-A-Turtle's fundraising efforts.

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A Washington state-based soldier accused of repeatedly raping a 10-year-old girl and posting sexual photos of the child online has been charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a child. Twenty-seven-year-old Sgt. Joseph French of Chipley, Fla., was charged yesterday in federal court. In a court appearance, he agreed to detention until his next hearing on Feb. 28.

ATLANTA (AP) -- Around 60,000 customers were still without power in Georgia by Saturday afternoon, as power crews reported significant progress in restoring electricity in hard-hit east Georgia after this week's ice storm.
Georgia Power reported that about 23,000 of its customers were without power late Saturday afternoon, with the vast majority of them in east Georgia.
The state's electric membership cooperatives, or EMCs, also had 37,500 of their customers without power statewide on Saturday.
The utility companies say nearly a million homes and businesses in Georgia lost power at some point after a storm blanketed the region with snow and ice.
In east Georgia, a state of emergency declaration was extended through Wednesday for 15 counties where severe storm damage is requiring ongoing response efforts, Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Residents of South Carolina and Georgia had finally begun to relax after weathering another winter storm when the earth shuddered.
A small earthquake near the state line shook both states late Friday, rattling residents hundreds of miles away.
The U.S. Geological Survey's website reported a quake of 4.1 magnitude at 10:23 p.m. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
On Saturday, engineers from the state Department of Transportation were out evaluating bridges. Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division said that's standard procedure after a quake.
The quake, about 7 miles from Edgefield, S.C. , was felt as far west Atlanta and as far north as Hickory, N.C., both about 150 miles away.
USGS geophysicist Dale Grant said it was a large quake for the area.


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