Sunday, December 8, 2013
Decision on adopted girl will get high court review
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a ruling that sent a South Carolina couple's adopted Native American daughter back to her biological father in Oklahoma.
The high court agreed to hear an appeal by Matt and Melanie Capobianco over the fate of 3-year-old Veronica. The couple's adoption of the girl was overturned by the South Carolina Supreme Court, which said the girl must go back to Oklahoma to be with her biological father, Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation.
The state court said the federal Indian Child Welfare Act gives custodial preference to the girl's father. That act was passed in 1978 because of the high number of Indian children then being removed from their homes by public and private agencies.
The act gives the child's tribe and family the right to have a say in decisions affecting the child. The Capobiancos want that decision overturned. They adopted Veronica after attending the girl's birth and caring for her thereafter.
Airline pilot suspended after failing alcohol test
An American Eagle pilot was suspended after failing a blood-alcohol test as he prepared to fly Friday from Minneapolis to New York City, authorities said.
Police at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport said officers and a Transportation Security Administration agent smelled alcohol as they passed the pilot waiting to get on an elevator. The pilot was conducting preflight checks about 6 a.m. when police boarded the aircraft, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said.
Officers made him take a breath test and arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, Hogan said. Passengers had not yet boarded the flight to New York's LaGuardia Airport, he said.
Hogan said airport police will wait until blood tests are processed before deciding whether to file charges against the pilot. Police identified the pilot as 48-year-old Kolbjorn Jarle Kristiansen.
Federal rules prohibit pilots from flying within eight hours of drinking alcohol or if they have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04 or higher.
PALM COAST, Fla.
At least three people killed as plane crashes into house
At least three people were killed when a small plane crashed into a house Friday afternoon while trying to land at a central Florida airport, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The 1957 Beechcraft H35 Bonanza was heading from Fort Pierce to Knoxville, Tenn., when it began experiencing mechanical problems, Lt. Justin Asbury said. The pilot told controllers that the engine was shaky and there was smoke coming from the plane. The plane was also entering bad weather.
The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said the plane hit a Palm Coast home just east of the Flagler County Airport around 2:20 p.m., several minutes after the pilot's call.
Robert Ferrigno, who lives down the street, said he heard the crash from his home.
"Planes go over here all the time, but this afternoon, I heard, 'putt, putt, putt,' and then I heard, 'boom,'" Ferrigno said. "I looked outside, and there were flames shooting up over the trees."
Feds will operate health exchange, governor told
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant is handing control of a state health insurance exchange over to the federal government by trying to block creation of a state-run exchange, Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney told the governor in a letter Friday.
In the letter, Chaney tells Bryant, a fellow Republican, that the federal government will run an exchange in Mississippi if the state does not create its own.
"Phil, there is simply no legitimate reason to impede the development of a state-based exchange in this point in time," Chaney wrote.
Exchanges are online marketplaces where people can shop for insurance. Under the federal health law that President Obama signed in 2010, every state is required to have an exchange so people can get coverage starting in January 2014, much of it federally subsidized. States that don't create their own will have one run by Washington.
-- From news service reports