History: NC's nuclear disaster near miss
History is making headlines and conversation this weekend. A new book says North Carolina and the eastern United States narrowly missed a major nuclear catastrophe more than 50 years ago. Britain’s Guardian newspaper said Saturday that a recently declassified document, reported in a new book by Eric Schlosser, says a military airplane accidentally dropped two hydrogen bombs on Goldsboro, North Carolina, in January 1961. A single switch helped avert a blast that would have been 260 times more powerful than the bomb that flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in World War 2. The near-disaster happened when a B-52 bomber broke up in flight over Goldsboro. Schlosser uncovered the document through the Freedom of Information Act. (See more on NPR.org, "Document Sheds New Light on the Time the U.S. Almost Nuked Itself")
OFFICIALS SEEK SOURCE OF SALMONELLA
Cleveland County health officials are interviewing people as they seek the source of a salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 71 people at a Shelby church barbeque. Thirteen people were hospitalized after the September 7th dinner at Sandy Plains Baptist Church. Three were still in hospitals as of Friday. Sandy Plain Baptist is nearly 160 years old and has hosted the barbecue for 50 years, drawing as many as 5,000 people to the event.
WOMAN SURVIVES LEAP FROM CHARLESTON BRIDGE
A 31-year-old woman survived a 200-foot jump off the bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina,early Saturday. Authorities were called to the Ravenel Bridge around 3 a.m. where the woman was threatening to jump. She leaped around 6:30 a.m. The Coast Guard said the woman was conscious and complaining of back pain when she was rescued from the water.
BURR GIVES NC THE NATION'S LONGEST EMPTY JUDGESHIP
North Carolina has the longest-running judicial vacancy in the country's federal district courts, in part because Republican Senator Richard Burr won’t let the process go forward. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that North Carolina's eastern judicial district has had a vacancy since the beginning of 2006 when Judge Malcolm Howard started semi-retirement. That means his seat has been open for more than 2,800 days. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts considers a post vacant for 2,500 days to be a "judicial emergency." President Barack Obama nominated Jennifer May-Parker, a federal prosecutor in the 44-county district that stretches from Raleigh to the coast. Burr hasn't acted since June to clear May-Parker for a Senate hearing on the lifetime job. A Burr press aide did not provide an explanation.
FIRE PIT EXPLOSION BLAMED ON GASOLINE
North Carolina fire investigators say gasoline or some other fuel used to burn wood in an outdoor stove caused the explosion last weekend that killed one and injured four others clustered nearby. 28-year-old Martin Antoine Blossom died when the cast iron stove exploded and sent metal flying. Investigators found that someone poured a gas or gas mixture onto a log inside the front-yard fire pit to accelerate the burning.