Yuma Sun

Nation & World Glance


Young gymnast among 3 killed near Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – At age 9, T’yonna Major excelled at her school work and in gymnastics, shown flexing her arms after competitio­ns with newly won medals around her neck in photos her proud dad posted on social media.

“She was a light to everyone that knew her,” the girl’s father, Tokiyo Major, posted on the fundraisin­g site Gofundme, where he has asked for donations to help pay for his daughter’s funeral. “She was everything to us.”

T’yonna was killed Wednesday when a gunman barged into her home outside Orlando and shot the third-grader and her mother, who survived the attack. The Orange County sheriff said the same assailant killed two other people in the Pine Hills area – a TV journalist shot in a vehicle outside and a 38-year-old woman slain hours earlier in the same neighborho­od.

Sheriff John Mina said the victims appear to have been killed at random.

Grieving families and friends of the victims are still trying to come to terms with the bloody rampage. A least two vigils in their memory were planned Friday evening.

Prosecutor: Murdaugh ‘fuzzy’ about new details of case

Disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh faced intense questionin­g about his movements the night his wife and son were killed as the prosecutor challenged inconsiste­ncies in his memory Friday at his double murder trial.

A day after revealing for the first time that he was at the kennels where his wife and son were shot shortly before they died, Murdaugh returned to the stand in his own defense. During cross-examinatio­n, prosecutor Creighton Waters grilled Murdaugh about what he repeatedly called the once-prominent lawyer’s “new story” about what happened at the kennels on the evening June 7, 2021.

Waters asked Murdaugh if he meant what he told the jury Thursday – that he tried to help police find the killers.

“Other than lying to them about going to the kennels, I was cooperativ­e in every aspect of this investigat­ion,” Murdaugh said.

“Very cooperativ­e except maybe the most important fact of all, that you were at the murder scene with the victims just minutes before they died,” Waters replied.

Flotsam found off NY may be from famous SS Savannah

NEW YORK – A chunk of weather-beaten flotsam that washed up on a New York shoreline after Tropical Storm Ian last fall has piqued the interest of experts who say it is likely part of the SS Savannah, which ran aground and broke apart in 1821, two years after it became the first vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean partly under steam power.

The roughly 13-foot (4-meter) square piece of wreckage was spotted in October off Fire Island, a barrier island that hugs Long Island’s southern shore, and is now in the custody of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservati­on Society. It will work with National Park Service officials to identify the wreckage and put it on public display.

“It was pretty thrilling to find it,” said Betsy Demaria, a museum technician at the park service’s Fire Island National Seashore. “We definitely are going to have some subject matter experts take a look at it and help us get a better view of what we have here.”

It may be difficult to identify the wreckage with 100% certainty, but park service officials said the Savannah is a top contender among Fire Island’s known shipwrecks.

Explorers have searched for the Savannah for over two centuries but have not found anything they could definitive­ly link to the famous ship. The newly discovered wreckage, though, “very well could be” a piece of the historic shipwreck, said Ira Breskin, a senior lecturer at the State University of New York Maritime College in the Bronx. “It makes perfect sense.”

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