NEWS OF THE DAY
From Across the Nation
_1 Gas explosions: There’s no evidence to suggest the gas explosions that rocked communities north of Boston were intentional, a federal investigator said Saturday. As officials opened their probe into Thursday’s disaster, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that there doesn’t appear to be “anything nefarious, anything suspicious.” The series of explosions and fires Thursday destroyed or damaged dozens of homes, killed a teenager, injured dozens and forced thousands of people to evacuate from the communities of Lawrence, North Andover and Andover. Sumwalt said a final report about what happened could take up to two years to complete.
_2 Satellite launch: A NASA satellite designed to precisely measure changes in Earth’s ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice and vegetation was launched into polar orbit Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. NASA Earth Science Division director Michael Freilich said the mission of the ICESat-2 in particular will advance knowledge of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica contribute to sea level rise.
_3 Girls killed: Officials in Arizona said Saturday that a man has been indicted in the kidnappings and killings of two girls who went missing in 2012 and 2014. Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus said Christopher Matthew Clements, 36, was indicted on murder and kidnapping charges in the deaths of 6-year-old Isabel Celis and 13year-old Maribel Gonzalez. Isabel went missing from her Tucson home in April 2012 and her body was discovered in rural southern Arizona in 2017. Maribel Gonzalez body was discovered in June 2014 near Tucson. Authorities did not disclose what prompted Clements’ arrest but said he provided information in 2017 that led to the discovery of Isabel’s remains. Clements already had been jailed on other charges.
_4 Child neglect case: A man and woman in southern Minnesota are accused of dropping off a 5-year-old boy in the woods as punishment for wetting himself. Lynda Michel, 42, and Gregory Wilson, 32, were charged Friday in Nicollet County District Court with child neglect. Authorities say the boy is Wilson’s biological son. The boy was found by a motorist walking along a road south of St. Peter. He was crying and wet from rain. He told police he had been dropped off because he had been “naughty.” The couple told authorities they turned around after a short distance but couldn’t find him.
_5 Senior center shooting: A woman who fired shots through her door at a senior apartment complex in Castaic (Los Angeles County) surrendered peacefully after several hours, sheriff ’s officials said Saturday. Authorities evacuated the multistory Castaic Lake Senior Village after the shots were fired Friday. Sheriff ’s Lt. Leo Bauer said the woman was reported as being “highly disturbed” and she refused to surrender. A crisis negotiation team persuaded her to come out after several hours. She was not identified, and no one was injured.
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