Gotta Watch: Narrowly escaping with their lives
A school bus was lodged in a building in Henryville, Indiana after being tossed by a tornado earlier this month.
March 31st, 2012
10:45 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Narrowly escaping with their lives

We've recently received lots of videos of narrow misses and people barely avoiding catastrophes. They faced everything from natural disasters to auto accidents, but these lucky people managed to get away without serious injuries. You’ve Gotta Watch these great escapes.

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Tornado throws bus

A bus driver carrying a busload of children must decide what to do to save them when she sees a tornado touch down. Watch the shocking surveillance video from inside the bus.

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Fireman: Roof under him 'just dropped'

Three firefighters in Michigan were fighting a fire at a dry cleaning business when the roof collapsed underneath them. See how they use teamwork to save their partner, and their reactions once they saw the tape.

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Car swerves toward biker

This video out of Texas shows a motorcyclist barely avoiding a car that is spinning out of control. We debated about how many inches this biker was from the sedan. Watch and decide for yourself.

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Filed under: Gotta Watch • Indiana • Michigan • Texas • Tornadoes • Weather
March 31st, 2012
03:53 AM ET

Clashes erupt in Syria despite demands for cease-fire

The Syrian military clashed with defectors in the capital of Damascus on Saturday as regime forces bombarded other towns with heavy gunfire despite the United Nations' call for a cease-fire, opposition activists said.

Gunfire between both sides erupted in the Homs neighborhoods of Baba Amr and Jouret Al-Arayes, the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria said. Early-morning shelling also targeted other various areas in Daraa, Idlib, Hama and the Damascus countryside, opposition activists said.

The latest violence comes after a U.N. special envoy ordered President Bashar al-Assad to implement a peace plan and not await concessions from the opposition.

"The government must stop first and then discuss a cessation of hostilities with the other side and with the mediator," Ahmad Fawzi, a spokesman for special envoy Kofi Annan said Friday. "We expect him to implement this plan immediately."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Arab Spring • Syria • World
March 31st, 2012
12:14 AM ET

Numbers announced in record Mega Millions jackpot

Lottery players across the country scrambled to check their tickets late Friday to see if they could be $640 million richer.
The winning numbers in the Mega Millions lottery Friday night were 2 4 23 38 46, with a Mega Ball of 23.

If there is no winner from Friday, the jackpot would increase to an estimated $975 million, said Athena Hernandez of the D.C. lottery. That drawing would occur Tuesday.

The multistate jackpot has grown to become the largest ever offered that could be won by an individual. It has caused long lines at convenience stores and has many dreaming of creative ways to quit their jobs if they get the lucky numbers.

"Friday night's Mega Millions drawing will truly be a spectacular event in lottery history and provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion-dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket," Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and lead director for the Mega Millions group, said before the drawing.
Sales have skyrocketed at Manhattan Tobacco, a New York convenience store, cashier Alex Shanahe said. He said the store has proved to be lucky before, having sold winning tickets of $3 million and $5 million.

"The sales have tripled. Everybody wants to win the Mega Millions," Shanahe said.

mega millions

FULL STORY
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Filed under: U.S.
Overheard on CNN.com: Crafty gardeners persist despite climate, pests, limited space
Sometimes gardening can be a challenge, and CNN.com readers shared their own strategies for getting things to grow.
March 30th, 2012
08:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Crafty gardeners persist despite climate, pests, limited space

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Gardening season is here again. Eatocracy Managing Editor Kat Kinsman wrote an article arguing that there are no excuses why you can't garden, and outlined some ideas. Readers in turn told us ways they overcame difficulties in their yards and pots.

This is the year you garden

Some readers overcame geographic challenges.

Charlotte: "Had a Valencia orange tree growing in my living room for fourteen years in Fairbanks, Alaska. It CAN be done. I was rather surprised, actually. I was eating an orange one day and spitting the seeds into the trash. Looked into the bottom of the trashcan and said to myself 'Hmmm, wonder if they'll grow?' So I put them in a pot with old potting soil and sure enough they sprouted and I got orange trees. Kind of spindly and leggy at first but once I got into the habit of hauling it out onto the deck in the summers, it filled out beautifully. So educational. Before this, I didn't know that citrus grow really big thorns, LOL!"

The same reader suggested consulting the wisdom of the crowd if you need anything.

Charlotte: "Don't forget FreeCycle or equivalent! If you want seeds or seedlings, post an ad on your local freecycle, or put up a note with the little fringes on the bottom w/ your phone number, on a community bulletin board. Say you want to get into gardening and can't afford seeds or seedlings and can any local gardeners help get you started. You will be overwhelmed by the response. I never have room to plant all the seeds in packets I buy and many plants come up in my garden as volunteers year after year. If someone wanted them, I'd be delighted to share rather than throwing away or throwing onto the compost heap!"

There were people who have to grow in small spaces, but they make it work. FULL POST

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Filed under: Food • Overheard on CNN.com
March 30th, 2012
03:46 PM ET

Hungarian president says he won't resign after plagiarism accusation

Protesters in Hungary are calling for the resignation of President Pal Schmitt after a university he attended said that he plagiarized parts of his doctoral dissertation.

However, in an interview aired Friday on public access television station M1, Schmitt said he would not resign.

"I have a clean conscience. I have written my thesis with my best knowledge I had at the time, and I never intended to plagiarize. However, I will accept the decision of the (University) Senate that has withdrawn my doctorate. But this has got nothing to do with me being a president," he said.

Schmitt, a former Olympic fencing champion, wrote his dissertation in 1992 for the University of Physical Education, which is now part of Semmelweis University in Budapest.

In January 2012, the Hungarian HVG weekly reported that a large part of Schmitt's dissertation was copied.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Hungary
This Week's Top Videos
March 30th, 2012
02:50 PM ET

This Week's Top Videos

Editor's Note: This post is a recap of the top five videos on CNN.com from the past week. So in case you didn't catch our best videos during the week, here is your chance to see what you missed.

The most watched video on CNN.com this week was the surveillance video of George Zimmerman in handcuffs after the Trayvon Martin shooting. Following as the second most popular video was a firsthand account of the erratic Jet Blue pilot who was subdued by passengers. Rounding out the top five are a heart-warming reunion between a soldier and an excited dog, a teen signing sensation, and finally, an open mic mishap from President Obama. Check out the videos below and see what everyone else was watching this week on CNN.com.

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1

Zimmerman in handcuffs night of shooting

Police surveillance video shows George Zimmerman arriving at the police department in handcuffs the night of shooting.

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2

Witness: Fliers 'wrestle' JetBlue pilot

A JetBlue passenger describes the incident that caused a flight to be diverted.

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3

Dog goes nuts when soldier comes home

A dog can't contain himself after seeing his owner come home from Afghanistan.

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4

Teen takes TV talent show by storm

Jonathan Antoine's booming opera voice leaves judges on "Britain's Got Talent" pronouncing him the next Pavarotti.

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Open mic catches Obama seeking help

An open mic catches President Obama seeking help from Russia's outgoing president for NATO's missile defense.

Follow us on Twitter: @CNNVideo

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Air travel • Animals • Barack Obama • Crime • Dogs • Florida • Justice • Military • Most Popular • Music • Plane emergency landing • Politics • Russia • Showbiz • Travel • Trayvon Martin • TV • U.S. • United Kingdom • War • World
March 30th, 2012
01:57 PM ET

You're not going to win Mega Millions jackpot

“Never tell me the odds.”
Han Solo in "The Empire Strikes Back"

Look. We know that you're aware the odds of winning Friday night’s record-breaking $640 million Mega Millions jackpot, or any Mega Millions jackpot, are astronomical.

We also know that for the people who win it, the odds matter not one bit. Someone is going to win at least a share of the prize if not Friday, then in some subsequent drawing. But since we’re covering the historic jackpot and showing people in long lines giddily talking about how many cars or yachts or Dippin' Dots they’d buy if they win, we feel compelled to remind you:

It’s not going to be you.

The odds of a ticket winning a Mega Millions jackpot is 175,711,536 to 1. As Han Solo’s talkative robotic friend would tell you, you have a much, much better chance (1 in 3,720!) of navigating an asteroid field successfully. We didn’t exactly vet that, but you know you’d smash your ship into the rocks. And who are we to question protocol droids fluent in more than 6 million forms of communication?

To hammer home the point, here are a few other unlikely scenarios that, we’re sorry to say, are far more likely than you taking home a jackpot.

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

Chances of dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

Chance you will be die from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From the University of Maryland Medical Center:

Chance of having conjoined twins: 1 in 200,000. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From U.S. Hole in One, which insures golf prizes for holes in one:

The chance of an amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole is about 1 in 12,500. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

The chance of a golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 in about 156 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From a 2011 State Farm study on collisions between vehicles and deer:

 The chance of hitting a deer with a vehicle in Hawaii, the state where State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are least likely, is 1 in 6,267. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From the National Weather Service:

The chance of being struck by lightning over an 80-year lifetime: 1 in 10,000. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History, based on U.S. beach injury statistics in 2000:

Chance of drowning and other beach-related fatalites: 1 in 2 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

Chance of being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million. Chance you will win the Mega Millions jackpot: 1 in 175.7 million.

What are the odds you will win? Weigh in below, or on Twitter using #whataretheodds.

March 30th, 2012
07:41 AM ET

Friday's live events

The race to the Republican presidential nomination remains up in the air.  Watch CNN.com Live for all the latest news and views from the campaign trail.

Today's programming highlights...

12:00 pm ET - Santorum rally - GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum spends his Friday in Wisconsin, starting with a campaign rally in Hudson.  He'll also speak in Chippewa Falls at 4:00 pm ET, then attend a fish fry and bowling outing in Weston at 8:00 pm ET.

FULL POST


Filed under: Elections • Politics • Republican Party
March 30th, 2012
04:12 AM ET

Clinton, Gulf officials to discuss Syria as tensions soar

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in Saudi Arabia on Friday for talks aimed at ending bloodshed in Syria as opposition activists report new shelling and raids in several neighborhoods.

Clinton will meet various Gulf officials, including Saudi's King Abdullah, to discuss bilateral and regional issues. Talks will include continued efforts to end the bloody crackdown against anti- government protesters in Syria.

She will then travel to Istanbul on Saturday and Sunday to attend the second meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People."

"This meeting will build upon steps that our friends, allies, and the Syrian opposition continue to take in an attempt to halt the slaughter of the Syrian people and pursue a transition to democracy in Syria," the State Department said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Uncategorized
March 30th, 2012
04:10 AM ET

Sarkozy: 19 arrested in French police raids

Nineteen people have been arrested in a series of police raids on suspected Islamist networks, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told French radio Friday morning.

The raids come a week after gunman Mohammed Merah, who killed seven people, was shot dead after a 31-hour siege in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

Sarkozy told Europe 1 the decision to act had been taken by the interior minister and foreign minister "to deny the entry of certain people to France" who did not share the country's values.

"It's not just linked to Toulouse, it's all over the country, it's in connection with a form of radical Islam and it's in agreement with the law," he said.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Crime • World
March 30th, 2012
01:11 AM ET

Sandusky trial postponed

The trial for Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach accused of molesting several boys, has been postponed until June 5.

The trial was scheduled for May 15 but it "must be postponed to accommodate various logistical contingencies," court documents said.

Sandusky's lawyer, Joe Amendola, said the delay may still not be enough time.

"We don't know if we will have all the information we need and are entitled to receive prior to the new trial date, but we will do our very best to be ready to proceed to trial on June 5," Amendola said.

Sandusky, a longtime defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, is currently under house arrest as he awaits trial on more than 50 counts of child sexual abuse. He has pleaded not guilty.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Justice • U.S.
March 30th, 2012
01:09 AM ET

Japan says it will shoot down N. Korea rocket over territory

Japan will shoot down any part of the long-range rocket that North Korea plans to launch next month that enters its territory, the Japanese defense minister, Naoki Tanaka, said Friday.

Speaking at a news conference, Tanaka said he had issued the official order after instructing the Japanese military earlier in the week to prepare the country's missile defense shield against the planned rocket launch.

North Korea announced earlier this month that it would launch a rocket carrying a satellite between April 12 and 16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the founder of the Communist state.

Pyongyang says the operation is for "peaceful purposes," but Japan, the United States and South Korea see the launch as a cover for a long-range ballistic missile test.

Firing the long-range rocket would breach U.N. Security Council resolutions, and Washington has suspended a recent deal to provide food aid to North Korea as a result.

FULL STORY

Filed under: World
March 30th, 2012
01:07 AM ET

Canada getting rid of the penny to save costs

Canada is ditching production of the penny, saying it costs more to make the coin than it's worth.

As of this fall, the Royal Canadian Mint will cease distributing Canadian pennies, though consumers will still be able to use them for transactions. The change was included in the country's 2012 budget released Thursday.

The budget calls the lowly penny a "burden to the economy."

"It costs the government 1.6 cents to produce each new penny," the budget says, adding the government will save about $11 million a year with its elimination.

Some Canadians, it says, consider the penny more of a nuisance than a useful coin.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Economy • World
Afghanistan massacre: What we've learned in the past week
March 29th, 2012
10:57 PM ET

Afghanistan massacre: What we've learned in the past week

Allegations that a U.S. soldier suspected of killing 17 Afghan civilians briefly returned to his base in the midst of the attacks are among the developments that have surfaced in the case in recent days.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, is accused of walking into two villages near an Army outpost in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district and killing men, women and children on March 11. U.S. authorities have said Bales acted alone, leaving at night and eventually surrendering at his base.

The U.S. military has charged Bales with 17 counts of murder with premeditation, for which he could face the death penalty. He also faces six counts of attempted murder and two counts of assault and is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, after being flown from Afghanistan a few days after the killings.

Here are some of the new developments in the case this week:

U.S. official: Bales left base twice, alleged to have talked of killings

Two senior U.S. officials told CNN that Bales sneaked off his remote outpost twice during his alleged rampage, entering one village during each trip.

One U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation said an Afghan guard allegedly spotted Bales leaving his outpost around 1 a.m. It is not clear why Bales' superiors weren’t alerted, and the official said Bales was not noticed when he allegedly returned to the compound an hour later.

FULL POST

Overheard on CNN.com: Space, science invoke some of life's thorniest questions
An artist's rendering of sunset on Gliese 667 Cc, a previously-discovered super-Earth.
March 29th, 2012
07:18 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Space, science invoke some of life's thorniest questions

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

CNN's Light Years blog always seems to be addressing some of life's biggest, most perplexing and indeed thorniest questions. Our readers often go there to debate grand themes and ponder the meaning of the universe.

1. Are we alone?

Astronomers have estimated that in our galaxy, there are tens of billions of rocky planets not so much bigger than Earth that could be candidates for harboring life.

Astronomers: Billions of 'super-Earths' in habitable zone of red dwarf stars

It follows that many would ask whether there is life on other planets. Readers have varied views on this.

Etheras: "Life as-we-know-it is unlikely to be plentiful. ... If you keep adding-on all the vital elements to the evolution of life as-we-know-it (the only life we can say for sure exists) it becomes increasingly plausible that life (at least 'complex life') in the universe is very rare. Its just a numbers game. So why do scientists constantly talk about life on other planets? Money. They want headlines because headlines means publicity which means grants. They're telling people what those people want to hear, because if they didn't people wouldn't give them money. Now ... I'm not saying life doesn't exist on other planets. I am saying that, its more likely than not, humankind will never find another intelligent civilization, even if we could colonize half the galaxy. Sorry chums, we're alone."

Brandon T: "As an astronomer studying exoplanets, there are still too many unknowns to even consider evaluating the possibility of life on other planets. Viewed statistically, however, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that the only planet known to harbor life would ultimately involve life intelligent enough to ask this question. Therefore, it's likely that there are many planets out there with non-intelligent life, at the very least."

2. Can religion and science coexist?

Stories about research into human origins often give rise to debates over evolution, creation, science and religion. FULL POST

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Filed under: Overheard on CNN.com • Religion • Science • Space
Overheard on CNN.com: Lottery inspires $540 million wishes, charitable dreams
Readers shared their ideas for what to do with hundreds of millions of dollars. We heard all sorts of fantasies.
March 29th, 2012
05:23 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Lottery inspires $540 million wishes, charitable dreams

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Video iReporter Matt Sky received hundreds of comments in response to a question he posed to fellow readers: What would you do with what is now a $540 million Mega Millions jackpot? The responses got quite creative.

What would you do with all that money?

Here are some of the kinds of fantasies that our readers shared.

Medical

jana21: "I would find the best medical facility in the world and have stem cell work done for my son in hopes that he would then be able to learn how to talk and maybe even walk! I would make sure that no matter how long he lived, he would have the best quality of life possible to fit his needs. I would put away for my daughters' education and set up trusts for both. I would also build more playgrounds for the disabled all across our country. Once all that is taken care of, pay off my student loans and all other debt then take classes that interested me and use my free time to volunteer."

Vehicular

RVT1K:
"1) Buy a huge piece of land in the desert Southwest.
2) Build a nice home on it.
3) Build a VAST garage and complete workshop.
4) Build my own private racetrack on the land.
5) Collect a vast array of sports cars and motorcycles.
6) Spend the rest of my days trying to improve my lap times."

Creative

bgarrett4: I'd start my own TV show where people would compete for my money. A million-a-year for a prize? I could set up a long-running show called 'What Would you Do for $' lol" FULL POST

House passes GOP budget plan
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan introduces the GOP leadership's 2013 budget plan at the Capitol.
March 29th, 2012
03:48 PM ET

House passes GOP budget plan

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday passed the GOP leadership's 2013 budget plan a measure that has no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but creates a clear contrast between the two parties on a number of critical tax and spending issues ahead of the general election.

The resolution passed in a strongly polarized 228-191 vote. No Democrats backed the measure; only 10 Republicans opposed it.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's $3.53 trillion blueprint includes an overhaul of the nation's tax code and major changes to popular entitlements such as Medicare expensive programs that in the past have been considered politically untouchable.

Republicans say the plan is necessary to slow the growth of exploding federal deficits and put the federal government on the road to fiscal stability.

"We have one of the most predictable economic crises in this country coming. It's a debt-driven crisis. And so we have an obligation not just a legal obligation but a moral obligation to do something about it," Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said Thursday morning. GOP leaders "think the key components are to get spending under control, reform our entitlement programs" and help stimulate economic growth.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Politics
Affiliate roundup: Students told to delete Facebook accounts
A Jewish girls' school in Brooklyn has students sign contracts forbidding them from having a Facebook account, WCBS says.
March 29th, 2012
12:51 PM ET

Affiliate roundup: Students told to delete Facebook accounts

A sampling of Thursday's headlines from some CNN affiliates nationwide:

WCBS: School says some students violating policy against Facebook

Students at a Jewish girls’ high school in New York have been ordered to delete their Facebook accounts in accordance with school policy, CNN affiliate WCBS-TV reported.

Juniors at the school who were found to have Facebook accounts were taken out of class and told to stop their accounts or face expulsion, according to WCBS. Students at the school sign contracts promising not to have the accounts; the school principal says having such an account violates religious expectations of modesty.

FULL POST


Filed under: Alabama • California • Florida • New York
March 29th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Mega Millions jackpot now at $640 million

[Update on Friday] The estimated jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has risen to $640 million, lottery officials said Friday.

[Posted at 1:57 p.m. ET Thursday] The estimated jackpot for Friday night's Mega Millions drawing rose Thursday to $540 million, extending what Mega Millions officials say already was going to be a world record for lottery jackpots.

Friday's jackpot initially was estimated at $476 million, and then $500 million, but stronger-than-anticipated sales nationwide have helped push up the figure, lottery officials said.

The previous world record for a single jackpot, according to Mega Millions officials, was that game's $390 million prize in a March 6, 2007, drawing. That jackpot was split by winners in Georgia and New Jersey.

The growing jackpot has drawn plenty of interest from would-be millionaires.

In Texas, one of the 42 states where Mega Millions is played, 482,763 standard $1 tickets that is, tickets without the extra $1 Megaplier option were sold from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, said Kelly Cripe, spokeswoman for the Texas Lottery Commission. In the same hour a day earlier, 143,605 tickets were told in Texas, Cripe said.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Lotto
March 29th, 2012
04:18 AM ET

Firefighters continue to battle Colorado wildfire

Firefighters were hoping to make more progress Thursday on a deadly wildfire that torched more than 4,000 acres in a mountainous area near Denver.

After feverish battles by more than 500 firefighters, authorities said the blaze was about 15% contained Wednesday.

The Colorado Forest Service apologized for the wildfire after it was revealed that it was caused by a "controlled" burn that got out of control, killing at least two people.

"This is heartbreaking and we're sorry," State Forester Joe Duda told reporters Wednesday about the Lower North Fork Fire, which has scorched 4,140 acres in Jefferson County, destroying or damaging 27 houses and leaving a woman missing in addition to the two fatalities.

The revelation pushed Gov. John Hickenlooper to suspend such burns. A team is being formed to investigate how last Thursday's controlled burn re-erupted on Monday as a wildfire.

FULL STORY

Filed under: U.S.
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