MILTON, W.Va. (AP) — Who says superheroes aren't real?
When a West Virginia home caught fire, trapping a kitten inside, it was Batman and Captain America who came to the rescue.
John Buckland, dressed as Batman, and Troy Marcum, dressed as Captain America, saw smoke at a house nearby when they were entertaining children as part of their business. They ran to the house along with another bystander, kicked in the door and broke out a window so some smoke could escape.
Buckland, a former firefighter, says he crawled into the front room and felt something furry. He grabbed the animal, ran outside and gave it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
No one was hurt in the fire, including the rescuers — though Buckland says the cat hissed and swatted at him when it regained consciousness.
Seventeen East St. Louis firefighters will lose their jobs at the end of the month. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that City Manager Deletra Hudson sent a letter to the firefighters saying the city "has been forced to make some difficult financial decisions to meet its budgetary obligations."
The firefighters had been hired with federal grant money. When the grant ran out in March, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks said the city found some extra money to keep the firefighters on the job until the end of September.
Parks told the paper that he expects eight of the laid off firefighters to be called back when the new city budget kicks in January 1st.
East St. Louis currently employs 54 firefighters.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Precipitation has been below average this summer in Illinois.
Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign says statewide average precipitation for June, July and August was just less than 10 inches. He says that's nearly 2 inches below average.
Data show June's rainfall was above average, but rainfall during both July and August were below average. However, Angel says this year is an improvement over last summer. That's when precipitation was just less than 7 inches or nearly 5 inches below average.
The summer's statewide average temperature has been 72.5 degrees. That's about 1 degree below average.