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Chris Chelios played in the NHL for as long as he could.

And he did it at a high level.

"I always said I'd go right until the tank was empty," he said. "And, I believe I did."

Chelios and fellow defensemen Scott Niedermayer along with forward Brendan Shanahan found out Tuesday they will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November.

Only Hall of Famer Gordie Howe was an older NHL player than Chelios, the only player in league history to play in at least 400 games with three different teams. His career ended with the Atlanta Thrashers during the 2009-10 season when he was 48.

"I was part of an era, Chris was part of a few," Niedermayer joked.

Chelios, Niedermayer and Shanahan will be joined in the 2013 class by Geraldine Heaney, the third woman to be enshrined in the hall, and coach Fred Shero, who led the Philadelphia Flyers to the Stanley Cup in 1974 and '75. He was selected posthumously in the builder category.

"There's no sense looking back as to why it didn't happen sooner, because today's a happy day to celebrate the fact that a guy that deserves it immensely has finally been elected to the Hall of Fame," Flyers chairman Ed Snider said.

Chelios and Niedermayer earned hockey's biggest individual honor in their first year of eligibility, and Shanahan got in on his second shot.

New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello raved about all three players, each of whom he had a connection to during their careers.

"Scott was an integral part of our success in New Jersey, not just on the ice, but off the ice," Lamoriello said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

"Shanahan was a part of my first draft - back in 1987 - and he went on to establish himself as one of the best, all-time power forwards in the history of the game. Chelios, who I was with in the 1996 World Cup and the Olympics, is one of the best success stories for an American hockey player."

Shanahan was a teammate of Chelios' in Detroit, and played with Niedermayer during the Olympics in 2002 when Canada won gold by beating Chelios and the Americans in Salt Lake City.

"When you got to play with them, it was a thrill," Shanahan said. "I spent some years playing with Cheli, and there's not another guy that you would want to go into a tough situation looking out for you.

"It absolutely makes it more special to go in with people I not only played against, but played with and got to know well."

Shanahan and Niedermayer are members of what's known as the Triple Gold Club, a group of players who have won the worlds, the Olympics and a Stanley Cup.

Each player is still working in the sport. Chelios is an adviser to hockey operations in Detroit. Niedermayer is an assistant coach in Anaheim. Shanahan is the NHL senior vice president of player safety.

Niedermayer won four Stanley Cups in 17 full NHL seasons to go along with a Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe Trophy. He played for the New Jersey Devils from 1991-92 through the 2003-04 season and finished his career in Anaheim in 2010.

Among the game's best U.S.-born players, Chelios won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman three times.

The Chicagoan split much of his career with three storied franchises in Montreal, Chicago and Detroit and was asked which team he will be affiliated when he is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"U.S.A.," he said.

Shanahan finished his career with 656 goals and 698 assists. He won three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, an Olympic gold medal and was the quintessential scoring power winger of his era.

Shanahan started his career with the Devils, went on to play in St. Louis, Hartford, Detroit and for the New York Rangers before ending his playing career back in New Jersey.

Heaney was a defenseman on Canada's gold-medal-winning team at the 2002 Olympics and is considered one of the best female players in history.

"As a young girl playing hockey, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be going into the hall," she said.

Tuesday, 09 July 2013 22:36
Published in Sports
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MIAMI (AP) - Documents show a man linked to the murder case against former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez told police Hernandez admitted firing the fatal shots.

   Carlos Ortiz reportedly told Massachusetts investigators that another man, Ernest Wallace, said Hernandez admitted shooting Odin Lloyd in an industrial park near Hernandez's Massachusetts home.

 

   The documents were filed in court by the Miramar, Fla., police department to justify a search of Wallace's home in that city.

   The documents also say that while investigating Lloyd's killing, police did searches in Bristol, Conn., that turned up a vehicle wanted in connection with a July 2012 double homicide in Boston.

 

   Police say the vehicle had been rented in the name of Hernandez.

 

   Hernandez's legal team did not return email messages Tuesday.

 

   THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

 

   Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was "argumentative" and slammed the door on police during their first encounter following his friend's death, according to court records.

 

   He also called his girlfriend's cellphone and stopped her from speaking with police after they pulled her over and told her the friend, Odin Lloyd, was dead.

 

   Hernandez was later accused of orchestrating Lloyd's death in an industrial park near Hernandez's home.

 

   According to an affidavit attached to search warrants unsealed Tuesday, Hernandez approached police after he noticed them parked outside his North Attleboro home on June 17, the day Lloyd's body was found.

 

   Police said they asked him about an SUV he had rented. Hernandez told them he rented it for Lloyd and had last seen him in Boston the day before, the documents said.

 

   The affidavit then said Hernandez became argumentative, asked "what's with all the questions?" and locked the door of his house behind him.

 

   He then returned with his attorney's business card, and didn't respond when police told him they were investigating a death.

 

   "Mr. Hernandez slammed the door and relocked it behind him," the records read. "Mr. Hernandez did not ask officers whose death was being investigated. Mr. Hernandez's demeanor did not indicate any concern for the death of any person."

 

   Hernandez came out about 10 minutes later and agreed to be questioned at a police station, according to the documents.

 

   Hernandez is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to murder in the killing of Lloyd, whose bullet-ridden body was found in an industrial area near Hernandez's North Attleborough home.

 

   His attorneys have said the evidence against him is circumstantial and that Hernandez is anxious to clear his name.

 

   Eight search warrants were unsealed Tuesday after news organizations sought access to the records.

 

   The search warrants reveal the breadth of the investigation, with authorities scouring through everything from Hernandez's house to the contents of his team locker, which the Patriots had emptied into a container.

 

   Among the items police seized were a rifle and ammunition found in Hernandez's home.

 

   The records also detailed a discussion police had with Hernandez's girlfriend, Shayanna Jenkins, after she dropped him off at the police station.

 

   Police said they pulled her over and she immediately burst into tears when she heard Lloyd was dead. She later told them she had last seen him two days earlier, according to the documents.

 

   She also said she had been out to a Father's Day dinner with Hernandez on June 16, but they returned home early and she went to bed. She said Hernandez was away that night and she didn't know who he was with.

 

   The records said Jenkins then received a call from Hernandez, who told her his agent had advised him to tell her not to speak to police.

 

   The documents also offer some details about June 14, the Friday before the shooting, when prosecutors say Hernandez and Lloyd went to a Boston nightclub, Rumor. Prosecutors say Hernandez orchestrated Lloyd's shooting because he was upset at him for talking to certain people at the club.

 

   One witness who works in the area near Rumor told police he saw Hernandez entering the club with what appeared to be a handgun, the documents said.

 

   And Lloyd's girlfriend said Lloyd told her he was out with Hernandez that night and they didn't come home because they'd gotten drunk and slept elsewhere, according to the records.

 

   Also Tuesday, a man who faces a gun charge in the case agreed to remain in jail until a hearing next month.

 

   Carlos Ortiz, 27, appeared in Attleboro District Court, where a hearing to determine if he is a danger to the community was scheduled for Aug. 14. If Ortiz is determined to be dangerous, he can be held without bail for 90 days.

 

   Ortiz is from Hernandez's hometown of Bristol, Conn., and authorities say he was with Hernandez when they picked up Lloyd the night he was killed.

 

   Another man who was with Hernandez that night, according to police, pleaded not guilty Monday to an accessory to murder charge in the case. Ernest Wallace, 41, of Miramar, Fla., will be held without bail until another hearing on July 22, under an agreement between his attorney and prosecutors.

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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) - Two flight attendants working in the back of an Asiana Airlines Flight 214 were ejected and survived when the plane slammed into a seawall and lost its tail end during a crash landing at San Francisco's airport.  Both women were found on the runway, amid debris.

   In a news conference Tuesday, National Transportation Safety Board officials didn't explain fully why the plane approached the notoriously difficult landing strip too low and slow, likely causing the crash.

 

   NTSB Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said the pilot at the controls was only about halfway through his training on the Boeing 777 and was landing at the San Francisco airport for the first time ever.

 

   Hersman also said his co-pilot was also on his first trip as a flight instructor.

   The NTSB hasn't ruled anyone at fault in the crash, but the new details painted a fuller picture of an inexperienced crew that didn't react fast enough to warnings the plane was in trouble.

   Audio recordings show pilots tried to correct the plane's speed and elevation only until seconds before hitting the seawall at the end of the runway, a calamitous impact that sent the fuselage bouncing and skidding across the airfield.

   Here is what is known: Seven seconds before impact, someone in the cockpit asked for more speed after apparently noticing that the jet was flying far slower than its recommended landing speed. A few seconds later, the yoke began to vibrate violently, an automatic warning telling the pilot the plane is losing lift and in imminent danger of an aerodynamic stall. One and a half seconds before impact came a command to abort the landing.

 

   The plane's airspeed has emerged as a key question mark in the investigation. All aircraft have minimum safe flying speeds that must be maintained or pilots risk a stall, which robs a plane of the lift it needs to stay airborne. Below those speeds, planes become unmaneuverable.

 

   Because pilots, not the control tower, are responsible for the approach and landing, former NTSB Chairman James Hall said, the cockpit communications will be key to figuring out what went wrong.

 

   "Good communication with the flight crew as well as the flight attendants is something I'm sure they're going to look at closely with this event," he said Tuesday. "Who was making decisions?"

 

   Hall was on the transportation board when a Korean Airlines Boeing 747 crashed in Guam in 1997, an accident investigators blamed in part on an authoritarian cockpit culture that made newer pilots reluctant to challenge captains.

 

   Since then, the industry has adopted broad training and requirements for crew resource management, a communications system or philosophy airline pilots are taught in part so that pilots who not at the controls feel free to voice any safety concerns or correct any unsafe behavior, even if it means challenging a more senior pilot or saying something that might give offense.

 

   If any of the Asiana pilots "saw something out of parameters for a safe landing," they were obligated to speak up, said Cass Howell, an associate dean at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

 

   "There are dozens and dozens of accidents that were preventable had someone been able to speak up when they should have, but they were reluctant to do so for any number of reasons, including looking stupid or offending the captain," said Howell, a former Marine Corps pilot.

 

   There's been no indication, from verbal calls or mechanical issues, that an emergency was ever declared by pilots.  Most airlines would require all four pilots to be present for the landing, the time when something is most likely to go wrong, experienced pilots said.

 

   "If there are four pilots there, even if you are sitting on a jump seat, that's something you watch, the airspeed and the descent profile," said John Cox, a former US Airways pilot and former Air Line Pilots Association accident investigator.

 

   Investigators want to nail down exactly what all four pilots were doing at all times.

 

   "We're looking at what they were doing, and we want to understand why they were doing it,." Hersman said Monday. "We want to understand what they knew and what they understood."

 

   It's unlikely there was a lot of chatter as the plane came in. The Federal Aviation Administration's "sterile cockpit" rules require pilots to refrain from any unnecessary conversation while the plane is below 10,000 feet so that their attention is focused on taking off or landing. What little conversation takes places is supposed to be necessary to safely completing the task at hand.

 

   Choi Jeong-ho, a senior official for South Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, told reporters in a briefing Tuesday in South Korea that investigators from both countries questioned two of the four Asiana pilots, Lee Gang-guk and Lee Jeong-min, on Monday. They planned to question the other two pilots and air controllers Tuesday.

 

   Choi said recorded conversation between the pilots and air controllers at the San Francisco airport would be investigated, too.

 

   In addition, authorities were reviewing the initial rescue efforts after fire officials acknowledged that one of their trucks might have run over one of the two Chinese teenagers killed in the crash. The students, Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan, were part of a larger group headed for a Christian summer camp with dozens of classmates.

 

   Asiana President Yoon Young-doo arrived in San Francisco from South Korea on Tuesday morning, fighting his way through a pack of journalists outside customs.

 

   He said he will look at the efforts of airline employees to help injured passengers and their family members, visit with the NTSB and other organizations to apologize for the crash and try to meet injured passengers.

 

   Yoon said he can't meet with the Asiana pilots because no outside contact with them is allowed until the investigation is completed.

 

   More than 180 people aboard the plane went to hospitals with injuries. But remarkably, more than a third didn't even require hospitalization.

 

   The passengers included 141 Chinese, 77 South Koreans, 64 Americans, three Canadians, three Indians, one Japanese, one Vietnamese and one person from France.

 

   South Korea officials said 39 people remained hospitalized in seven different hospitals in San Francisco.

 

   The flight originated in Shanghai, China, and stopped over in Seoul, South Korea, before making the nearly 11-hour trip to San Francisco.

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting low-level flights across sections of Missouri, Arkansas and Tennessee this week looking for clues about the New Madrid earthquake fault zone.

The USGS begins conducting the flights Wednesday over a 1,400-square-mile area across southeastern Missouri, northeastern Arkansas and western Tennessee. Crews will be measuring the magnetic field of the earth and underground rock formations to help locate concealed faults associated with the New Madrid seismic zone.

The USGS says the New Madrid area has been the most seismically active region in the United States east of the Rockies for decades.

The USGS says while there's no evidence of an imminent large earthquake, the agency has serious concerns about the potential repeat of a destructive earthquake like those that occurred in the 1800s.

 
Tuesday, 09 July 2013 17:18
Published in Local News
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