Wildfire claims 100 structures, including resorts, homes

Homes and cabins make up one-third of the nearly 100 structures destroyed by a wildfire burning across more than 30 square miles of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, officials said Monday.

The lost property includes Pike Lake Resort near Pike Lake in Luce County. The Rainbow Lodge at the mouth of the Two Hearted River, one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite streams, was badly damaged.

The Duck Lake Fire began with a lightning strike last week and burned more than 22,000 acres, or 34 square miles, but was 51 percent contained by Monday, according to the Department of Natural Resources.


Flesh-eating disease victim off ventilator, able to speak

A young Georgia woman battling a flesh-eating disease could hardly believe it when she was able to speak Sunday for the first time since she was taken to an Augusta hospital more than three weeks ago, her father said Monday.

“Hello. Whoa. Wow, my mind is blown,” were Aimee Copeland’s first words Sunday morning to her sister and mother, her father said in a phone interview Monday with The Associated Press.

The 24-year-old developed necrotizing fasciitis after cutting her leg in a May 1 fall from a homemade zip line over a west Georgia river. Her left leg, other foot and both hands have been amputated.

Copeland began breathing on her own early last week and the ventilator was wheeled out of her room on Thursday, the same day she was able to sit up in a chair on her own.


Man holed up atop crane threatens to shoot police

Dallas police said a man was holed up in a construction crane at Southern Methodist University after threatening to shoot campus police if they approached him Monday.

Police say the man climbed the 150-foot crane late in the morning.

Dallas police Sr. Cpl. Melinda Gutierrez says officers hadn’t confirmed whether the suspect was armed, but he told SMU police that he would shoot if they approached.

SMU spokesman Kent Best said the man was believed to be fleeing police and was in the cab of a crane used in student housing construction.

Best says a limited number of people were on campus because of the Memorial Day holiday.

BOISE, Idaho

Couple, daughter in plane crash airlifted from mountain

Hours after their plane crashed on a steep and snowy mountainside in Idaho, a California firefighter, his wife and their daughter were airlifted to safety by National Guard rescuers.

The family was en route from California to Mountain Home, Idaho, when their Cessna 172 went down Saturday night, leaving them with head and back injuries, officials said.

One of them used a cellphone just after midnight to report that they had survived the crash.

A medical helicopter located the wreckage Sunday morning, but whiteout conditions prevented the aircraft crew from carrying out an immediate rescue, said Col. Tim Marsano of the Idaho National Guard.

Rescuers who walked through 6-foot snowdrifts and on 60-degree slopes reached the crash site first. They wrapped the family members in blankets and built a fire until a military helicopter could lift them out with a hoist. “It was inhospitable for a landing,” Marsano said. “The use of the helicopter was indispensable for this type of rescue operation.”

The three were flown one at a time to a landing area about a half-mile from War Eagle Mountain in southwest Idaho’s Owyhee County. They were later flown to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where they remain in stable condition Monday.