Nation Briefs

New Mexico

Supersonic skydive ‘a go’ today, meteorologist says

ROSWELL, N.M. – The weekend weather in New Mexico seems better this time for a daredevil trying to become the first skydiver to break the sound barrier.

Meteorologist Don Day said the weather forecast was favorable for the jump, scheduled for early today near Roswell.

Former Austrian paratrooper Felix Baumgartner will be prepared at sunrise to launch his 30 million-cubic-foot helium balloon to hoist a 3,000-pound capsule that will carry the jumper 23 miles up in the sky. The jump has been canceled twice because of high winds.

Baumgartner will try to break a 1960 high-altitude parachuting record. He will also test a pressurized suit that is designed for stratospheric jumps.

New Hampshire

Suspect charged in presumed death of college student

DOVER, N.H. – A martial arts instructor active in community theater was charged Saturday in the death of a 19-year-old University of New Hampshire student who disappeared days earlier.

Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott is believed to be dead, and law enforcement officials continued to search for her body, Assistant Attorney General James Vara said Saturday. Her car was found in a parking lot on campus in Durham.

Police charged Seth Mazzaglia, 29, of Dover, with second-degree murder, but Vara declined to say how the two knew each other or what led to his arrest.

Authorities were searching for a body on Peirce Island in Portsmouth, on the New Hampshire coast about 12 miles southeast of Dover, since Friday night.

California

22 saved from sinking boat in San Francisco Bay

SAN FRANCISCO – Nearly two dozen people who were enjoying a bachelor party on what’s billed as San Francisco Bay’s only “floating wine tasting room” are OK after their boat hit a shoal near Alcatraz Island and began sinking Friday night, officials said.

The 45-foot Neptune hit the shoal around 8:42 p.m. and started taking on water after the impact left a 1-foot gash in the side of the boat, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Josh Dykman said.

The boat’s captain tried to steer the stricken vessel to San Francisco’s Pier 39. But the boat started having rudder issues and began to sink about 300 feet from the pier, Dykman said.

Three Coast Guard boats took all 22 passengers and crew members off the vessel and brought them to the pier, Dykman said. San Francisco fire and San Francisco police boats also responded. There were no injuries.

Tennessee

Teen’s shooting fuels criticism of Memphis Police Dept.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A pile of stuffed animals marks the spot where 15-year-old Justin Thompson fell, fatally shot by an off-duty Memphis police officer on a school night in a working-class neighborhood.

The Sept. 24 shooting is still under investigation, but the question of whether Officer Terrance Shaw used excessive force makes the case one more example for critics who say there is a years-long culture of misconduct in the police department of Tennessee’s largest city.

This year, at least 23 Memphis officers and civilian personnel have been charged with crimes, from DUI and drug dealing to human sex trafficking. Going back to 2004, dozens of officers in the 2,400-officer force have been charged with corruption.

Thompson’s death was a tipping point for Mayor A C Wharton Jr. in recently ordering a review of the department by an outside group, like Miami, Los Angeles and other major cities with troubled departments have done in the past.

Associated Press

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