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ANSAN, South Korea (AP) — The most poignant reminders of what's been lost here are the most ordinary.

Desks in the classrooms of Danwon High School in Ansan, where dozens of students were missing and feared dead Thursday after a ferry disaster, are cluttered with textbooks, gym clothes, empty water bottles — small bits of ordinary school life now infused with heartbreak.

There is fury as parents and students lash out at the swarming news media. Horror, too, as they picture loved ones trapped in the cold and dark of a flipped, submerged ferry. Most refuse to believe that, even after dozens of attempts, a friend, a child, a sibling won't answer their cellphone. They keep calling.

They try to nourish any link, no matter how small, to the missing: Parents and school workers have locked up the missing students' belongings because their schoolmates were taking them home as keepsakes, mementos of friends they believe are dead.

One message on a blackboard reads: "Please, everyone return safely!" Another: "Jin-yong! Please come home alive."

More than 320 Danwon High School second-year students — mostly 16- and 17-year-olds — left Tuesday night for what was supposed to be one of the highlights of the year, a 14-hour overnight ferry trip to the southern resort island of Jeju for four days of fun. Now, as the hours stretch on since the ferry sank Wednesday with no word about more than 270 missing passengers among the 475 people on board, Ansan fears the worst.

"Do you believe they're still alive?" Lee Mi-shim, a 48-year-old mother of a missing student, asked a reporter as tears streamed down her face. "I know the chances aren't good. ... No one in his class has been rescued."

Lee, whose husband died about 10 years ago, had heart surgery a few years ago. Her son, Kim Ki-su, always told her that he'd eventually become a Korean traditional doctor to help her. "I feel like collapsing. At least then I'd die earlier than him," Lee said.

The 25 people confirmed dead Thursday include at least four students and two teachers, and there's fear that number will go much higher because so many of the passengers were from the school. More than a dozen teachers were on board.

"My baby is trapped in cold waters now. How can I sleep comfortably?" said a 63-year-old grandmother of a missing student who gave only her surname, Kim, tears welling in her eyes as she explained why she stayed overnight at the school's auditorium waiting for news about the search. "I cannot live without him."

There were huge swings in emotions Thursday at the school's auditorium, where hundreds of family members, students, residents and aid workers gathered, desperate for news. Volunteers, wearing green or yellow vests, cleaned the school and provided coffee, fruit, rice, kimchi and instant noodles.

In the morning, people sat and stared vacantly at a giant TV screen broadcasting news of the sinking. Some women wiped away tears. One middle-aged woman wept as she talked on her phone. Tired-looking students sat on chairs, repeatedly checking their phones.

Later in the day, fury erupted over the pace of the rescue operation.

Angry parents and students cursed and shoved reporters, photographers and TV cameramen, while about 10 female students wailed loudly and hugged each other. An unidentified middle-aged man shouted, "Let's smash their cameras the next time we see another flash."

The school, nestled in a quiet, clean residential area, was founded in 2005 and has more than 1,200 students and 85 teachers. The area is a half hour's drive from an industrial complex where many parents of students work at factories, according to residents. Ansan has a population of about 770,000, about 40,000 of whom are foreign workers from China, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries, according to city officials.

Many South Korean high schools organize trips for first- or second-year students, and Jeju is a popular destination. Students and parents in Ansan spoke of the excitement of the annual trip. The students have taken ferries to the southern island in recent years because they can spend more time with each other. They take pictures of the stars, of the ocean and islands, of each other. They gossip. They bond in a way not possible on shorter plane or train trips. Then, after the four-day trip is over, they fly back home.

Kim Eun-taek, an 18-year-old third-year student, knows more than 10 of the missing students, including one of his best friends.

"He lives next door. We used to play at my house together. He cooked food for me, fried sweet potatoes ... fried vegetables," said Kim, putting up his sweatshirt hood and lowering his head.

Ko Jae Hyoung, who sells fried chicken near the school, said the neighborhood is close-knit. Students grow up together, graduating from the same elementary and middle schools.

Ko closed his restaurant Wednesday to volunteer at the school. That night, he and about 30 others held a candlelight vigil to pray for the safe return of the students. Dozens of residents held vigils again on Thursday night.

Ko, whose daughter is a first-year student at the school, remembers some of the missing students visiting his restaurant to eat chicken and joke around with him.

"Now, the neighborhood is like a funeral home," he said.

___

Klug contributed from Seoul.

Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs

Friday, 18 April 2014 00:34 Published in Sports
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Alexander Steen scored at 26 seconds of the third overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 4-3 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday night.
 
Steen beat Corey Crawford off a pair of short passes from Steve Ott and David Backes to cap the longest overtime game in franchise history.
 
"It's big. We want to start this series off on a good note," Steen said. "Especially at home in front of our fans."
 
Ryan Miller blanked the Blackhawks after Patrick Kane scored on a breakaway to put Chicago up 3-2 late in the first period and Jaden Schwartz tied it with 1:45 to go in regulation.
 
Both teams face a short turnaround with Game 2 Saturday afternoon.
 
The Blues' previous longest overtime game was a 4-3 loss at Detroit in 1984 that extended 37 minutes, 7 seven seconds. The home record for a playoff overtime game was 33:49 extra time in a 5-4 win over Chicago on April 20, 1989.
 
St. Louis had to kill off delay-of-game penalties for shooting the puck into the stands in the first two overtimes. The Blackhawks killed a holding penalty in the second overtime.
 
Jonathan Toews, like Kane back from a lengthy injury absence, had two assists for Chicago.

 
Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Adam Cracknell all scored their first playoff goal for the Blues.
 
The Blackhawks kept the Blues penned in their own zone for 2:10 during the first overtime, and Maxim Lapierre made the save of the session getting his body on a drive by Kris Versteeg with less than two minutes remaining.
 
Tarasenko was among the best players coming off a 15-game absence because of a broken thumb.
 
Cracknell tapped in a rebound early in the first to end a scoring drought of 148 minutes and 39 seconds for a team that got shut out the last two games of the regular season.
 
Kane scored his 30th career playoff goal after catching the defense napping at the end of a St. Louis power play, beating Miller off a long lead pass from Toews for a 3-2 lead at 18:24 of the first.
 
Miller allowed three goals on just seven shots in the first with defensemen Johnny Oduya and Brent Seabrook also scoring for Chicago.
 
St. Louis' top line of David Backes, Steen and Ott was a combined minus-5 in the first. Ott was a bit of surprise, considering he was minus-7 during the Blues' six-game losing streak to end the regular season.
 
Crawford faced just three shots in the second, but needed big saves to thwart Tarasenko and Ott. He made glove saves on drives by Steen and Tarasenko not long before Schwartz got the equalizer.
 
NOTES: Oduya and Seabrook combined for 10 goals in the regular season. Oduya's goal was first credited to Kris Versteeg on a deflection. ... St. Louis got most of its injured players back but key forward T.J. Oshie (head) and Patrik Burglund (shoulder) were scratches. ... Kane had two goals and four assists against St. Louis in the regular season and Toews had a goal and three assists.

Source: Haith front-runner for Tulsa job

Thursday, 17 April 2014 22:45 Published in Sports
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Missouri coach Frank Haith is in position to replace Danny Manning at Tulsa.
 
A person with knowledge of the situation at Tulsa says Haith is the front-runner for the job, and he traveled to the school on Thursday afternoon to discuss a possible deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because nothing had been finalized.
 
Haith coached at Miami (Fla.) before taking over at Missouri. He led Missouri to a 30-5 record in 2011-12 and was The Associated Press Coach of the Year. The Tigers went 23-12 this season.
 
Manning left Tulsa after two seasons to take over at Wake Forest. He coached the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA tournament this season.
 
Haith would be leaving an uncertain situation. Missouri's top scorer last season, Jabari Brown, was a senior. Brown, who had transferred to Missouri from Auburn, led the Southeastern Conference with 19.9 points per game last season. Missouri went 7-8 after the start of February, missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in six years and lost to Southern Mississippi in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.
 
While Missouri plays in the high-profile Big 12, Tulsa might be a more stable situation for Haith.
 
The Golden Hurricane went 17-16 and played in the CBI tournament two years ago. This past season, Tulsa improved to 21-13, won the Conference USA tournament and reached the NCAA tournament with a young team. Sophomore guard James Woodard was a second-team all-conference pick, and forwards Rashad Smith, Lew Evans and D'Andre Wright and guards Shaquille Harrison and Rashad Ray were sophomores who played significant roles.
 
The Golden Hurricane will be moving to the American Athletic Conference next season, which includes national champion Connecticut.

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