June 6th, 2010
11:13 AM ET

Severe weather kills 7 in Ohio

A tornado touched down in Elmwood, Illinois, on Saturday night, police say.

[Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET] The death toll in Ohio from severe weather Saturday and early Sunday has risen to seven, authorities said.

The deaths came in Wood County, Ohio, when a tornado touched down there overnight, state Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Kelli Blackwell told CNN. Wood County is about 30 miles south of Toledo.

Video: Storm rips through Ohio

A 5-year-old child was among the deaths in Millbury, Ohio, according to Wood County dispatchers, who received the information from Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer. Four other victims ranged in age from 20 to 56, dispatchers said, and details on the remaining two were not immediately available.

A man was also found dead in the street in Millbury, and two adults died in a van in Lake Township, about five miles from Millbury, Blackwell said.

Severe weather struck much of the Midwest on Saturday and early Sunday. In Michigan, 11 people were injured when a storm struck Monroe County, Michigan, and damage to the exterior wall of the Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant prompted an automatic shutdown, said Dan Smith, spokesman for the county's emergency management division. The plant will remain closed until crews have assessed the damage, he said.

Ten people were taken to hospitals by ambulance, and one was flown, after the storm struck about 3 a.m. Sunday, Smith said. Field crews were assessing the number of homes and businesses damaged in Dundee Village and Dundee Township, he said.

Up to 500 people staying at a water park resort were evacuated safely to a middle school, Smith said.

Read the full CNN.com story

[Updated at 11:35 a.m. ET] Four people were killed overnight in severe weather in Wood County, Ohio, the state Emergency Management Agency told CNN Sunday.

Severe weather struck throughout the region.

A tornado touched down in central Illinois Saturday, police said, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.


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Filed under: U.S. • Weather
June 6th, 2010
10:42 AM ET

Day 48: Latest oil disaster developments

A brown pelican stained with oil in Louisiana on Sunday.

[Updated at 3:42 p.m. ET] Here are the latest developments on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig. 

BP had increased the amount of oil it funneled to the surface to about 441,000 gallons on Saturday, the company said Sunday. This was an increase from about 250,000 gallons on Friday.

In advance of approaching oil, Florida has about 250,000 feet of boom spread around the panhandle and has another 250,000 feet available, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said barely any oil had appeared on the state's shores, but its tourist industry was nonetheless feeling the pinch because of "misperceptions."

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal government's response manager to the Gulf oil disaster, said BP has made progress in capping the leak, but he cautioned it was too early to call efforts a success. 

"We're making the right progress. I don't think anyone should be pleased as long as there's oil in the water," Allen said. 

BP Senior Vice President Bob Fryar said Saturday that the oil company "was very pleased" with the progress the company has made funneling oil from an undersea cap up to a drilling ship. "That operation has gone extremely well," Fryar said. 

BP funneled about 250,000 gallons of oil in the first 24 hours from a cap installed on the ruptured Gulf of Mexico well to a drilling ship, the company said Saturday. 

After reviewing new images and data, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reopened more than 16,000 square miles of ocean along the Florida coast that was previously closed for fishing because of the oil spill. More than 13,000 square miles of that lie just west of the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. 

But the federal agency also closed a 2,275-square mile area off the Florida Panhandle, extending the northern boundary just east of the western edge of Choctawhatchee Bay. That means that 32 percent of the Gulf still remains off limits for fishing. 

Tar balls and tar patties have been found in Florida on Pensacola Beach. 

President Obama said in his weekly address Saturday that the federal government was "prepared for the worst" in coping with the Gulf oil. 

He cited a series of statistics that illuminated the "largest response to an environmental disaster of this kind in the history of our country." 

- 17,500 National Guard troops authorized for deployment. 

- 20,000 people are currently working to protect waters and coastlines. 

- 1,900 vessels are in the Gulf assisting in the clean up. 

 - 4.3 million feet of boom deployed with another 2.9 million feet of boom available, enough to stretch over 1,300 miles. 

- 17 staging areas across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida to rapidly defend sensitive shorelines. 

Obama also reiterated his commitment to cleaning up the oil spill in his weekly address, recorded Friday when he visited Grand Isle, Louisiana. 

"What I told these men and women - and what I have said since the beginning of this disaster - is that I'm going to stand with the people of the Gulf Coast until they are made whole," the president said. 

The administration has tried to distance itself from oil company BP in recent days. The Justice Department has launched criminal and civil investigations into the spill. But that has not been enough to temper the frustration seething among coastline residents. BP officials were grilled this weekend by local leaders. 

Oil that has already affected Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama drifted steadily towards Florida. 

President Obama plans to personally offer his condolences to families who lost relatives in the rig explosion, said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. The president has invited the families of the 11 dead workers to the White House on Thursday. 

The cost of the federal response effort to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill totaled $93 million as of June 1, according to a Friday letter from Allen and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to congressional leadership. They are requesting that Congress approve a proposed provision that would make available up to an additional $100 million to the Coast Guard.

June 6th, 2010
01:26 AM ET

Porn actor sought in slaying dies after falling off cliff

A porn actor, who was accused of killing a coworker with a sword, died after falling off a cliff in California on Saturday when police used a stun gun to subdue him.


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Filed under: U.S.