Nation Briefs

South Carolina

Oldest living U.S. citizen breaks her hip, dies at 114

A 114-year-old South Carolina woman who was the oldest living U.S. citizen has died, two of her daughters said Saturday.

Mamie Rearden of Edgefield, who held the title as the country’s oldest person for about two weeks, died Wednesday at a hospital in Augusta, Ga., said Sara Rearden of Burtonsville, Md., and Janie Ruth Osborne of Edgefield. They said their mother broke her hip after a fall about three weeks ago.

Gerontology Research Group, which verifies age information for Guinness World Records, listed Mamie Rearden as the oldest living American after last month’s passing of 115-year-old Dina Manfredini of Iowa. Rearden’s Sept. 7, 1898, birth was recorded in the 1900 U.S. Census, the group’s Robert Young said.

Rearden was more than a year younger than the world’s oldest person, 115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan.

Alaska

Winter presenting challenges to Shell ship salvage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Responders on Saturday prepared to hook a main tow line to an oil-drilling ship grounded on rocks near a remote Alaska island.

Officials overseeing the response to the grounding of Royal Dutch Shell’s Kulluk barge said they could use the line to “test capabilities” as they prepare to recover the ship. But the plans were subject to tides and weather, which can be fierce in the North Pacific during winter.

Officials also hoped to deploy oil-soaking booms around nearby Kodiak Island, especially near any salmon streams. They say there’s no sign the hull has been breached or that oil has spilled from the vessel.

The Kulluk ran aground during a fierce year-end storm, and more than 600 people are working on its recovery.

New York

Iceland airline restrains man on flight to New York City

NEW YORK – Icelandair said it had to restrain a passenger on a flight from Reykjavik to New York City because he was hitting people, screaming profanities and spitting.

Thursday’s flight was getting media attention after a photograph began circulating on the Internet purporting to show the passenger tied to his seat with tape and plastic restraints.

The man who posted the picture to his Tumblr, Andy Ellwood, said it was taken by a friend on the flight.

Icelandair spokesman Gudjon Arngrimsson said the man was bound after his behavior became “unruly and threatening.”

Ohio

Football sex charges prompt city to launch website

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Authorities investigating rape accusations against two high school football players in eastern Ohio launched a website Saturday as interest in the case balloons, an extraordinary step designed to combat the misperception “that the football team runs the city,” the city manager said.

Two 16-year-old boys are set for trial next month in juvenile court in Steubenville, a town of about 18,000, on charges that they raped a 16-year-old girl in August. Their attorneys have denied the charges in court.

As investigation continues, it has spurred heated commentary online. Some support the defendants and question the character of the teenage girl, while others allege a cover-up or contend more people should be charged.

At a second peaceful protest at the local courthouse in as many weeks Saturday, protesters, some wearing masks, gave details of their own rapes or those of relatives. They lamented what they said was a laissez faire attitude to sexual crimes in the community.

Associated Press