Nation Briefs

Washington, D.C.

Obama calls for lawmakers to put an end to gridlock

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to end partisan gridlock and pass proposals he says would put Americans back to work.

In his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama says GOP lawmakers “haven’t lifted a finger” on many of the ideas he sent to Congress last year. He says there’s no excuse for inaction just because it’s an election year.

The president says every problem the nation faces is “within our power to solve.” He says, “What’s lacking is our politics.”

In the Republican address, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who survived a recall election last week, calls on Obama to make tough decisions to tackle the nation’s debt and deficit. And he blames the president for seeing big government as a solution to the nation’s problems.


Woman, 63, drives car into crowd, injuring dozens

LIMA, Ohio – A 63-year-old woman unexplainably drove her car into a crowded town square in northwest Ohio and struck bystanders, sending some through the air and pinning others under the car until freed when bystanders lifted the vehicle, authorities and witnesses said.

About 30 people were injured. Some suffered serious injuries to their legs, heads and necks, none of them life-threatening, police said. All but four were released from the hospital Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said. At least one other person was taken to another hospital.

The chaotic scene unfolded Friday night in Lima, where more than 1,000 people had gathered for a weekly community event featuring live music. A witness said the woman appeared disoriented.

Lima Police Det. Steve Stechschulte said the Lima-area woman, who police would not identify, probably drove the car about 50 feet at about 20 mph. Tire marks show the car’s destructive path, including on a sidewalk and mulch-filled flower bed.

Stechschulte said officials Saturday were still investigating the cause of the crash. He said the woman was not injured and was released pending further investigation. She was cooperating with officers, he said.


New course at Reno air races debuts to praise from pilots

RENO, Nev. – Pilots offered praise this week for a new course designed to keep them farther away from spectators at the Reno National Championship Air Races after last year’s accident that killed 11 people.

Pilots who flew the course for the first time during a training seminar last week ahead of the Sept. 12-16 races reacted positively to it, said Reno Air Racing Association President Mike Houghton.

The repositioning of several pylons moves the course about 150 feet farther away from spectators and helps to ease the gravitational pull on pilots competing in the fastest of six aircraft classes by smoothing out some turns, he said.

A modified World War II P-51 Mustang crashed in front of VIP boxes last September at the Reno National Championship Air Races, killing 11 people and injuring about 70 others.

The competition at Reno Stead Airport is the only event of its kind in the world, with planes flying wing-tip-to-wing tip around an oval pylon track, sometimes just 50 feet off the ground and at speeds of over 500 mph.

Last week’s seminar, which drew nearly 50 rookies and veterans, for the first time offered special training to provide a feel for the gravitational pull pilots will experience when racing.

Associated Press