NASCAR fans at Daytona injured when large chunks of debris from car sails into grandstands
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- At least 30 NASCAR fans were injured Saturday when a car sailed into the fence at Daytona International Speedway, and large chunks of debris -- including a tire -- flew into the grandstands. No fatalities were reported from the accident on the last lap of the Nationwide Series race.
The crash began as the field closed in on the finish line, and rookie Kyle Larson's car came upon the wreck and went airborne into the fence that separates the track from the seats.
Large chunks of Larson's car landed in the grandstands, and one of his tires appeared to fly over the fence and land midway up the lower section. The car itself had its entire front end sheared off, with the burning engine wedged through a gaping hole in the fence.
Speedway President Joie Chitwood said 14 fans were treated on site, and 14 others were taken to hospitals. Chitwood didn't give any updates on their conditions.
The number of those transported given by Chitwood was slightly lower than that given by local officials.
AP PHOTOS: Frightening last-lap crash at Daytona
A last-lap accident sent rookie Kyle Larson's car sailing into the fence that separates the track from fans at the NASCAR Nationwide Series race Saturday at Daytona. Large chunks of Larson's car landed in the grandstands. The car itself had its entire front end sheared off, with a piece of burning engine wedged through a gaping hole in the fence.
Here are some photos of the crash.
Daytona put to fast work on fence, wall repairs following scary wreck at track
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood said "We'll be ready to go racing" and is confident the track will be repaired in time Sunday for the Daytona 500.
At least 28 NASCAR fans were injured Saturday when large chunks of debris, including a tire, sailed into the grandstands when a car flew into the fence on a frightening last-lap accident in the second-tier Nationwide Series race.
Chitwood says he doesn't anticipate moving any fans from those affected seats for Sunday's race. He says the fence that separates the track from the seats will be repaired. The grandstands where fans were injured are about 200 feet from the start-finish line.
This will be the third time in four years the track has needed major repairs on Daytona 500 weekend. The 2010 race was interrupted for more than two hours because of a pothole on the track. Juan Pablo Montoya slammed into a jet dryer in last year's race that caused a raging inferno that stopped the event for two hours.
"We're very confident that we'll be ready for tomorrow's event with the 55th running of the Daytona 500," Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president of racing operations, said. "As with any of these incidents, we'll conduct a thorough review and work closely with the tracks as we do with all our events, learn what we can and see what we can apply in the future."
Smugglers still cashing in on Michigan can refund despite harsher penalties, new technology
LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan lawmakers want to crack down on can and bottle smugglers they say are scamming Michigan for undeserved recycling refunds, corrupting a generous 10-cent per container payback policy once infamously portrayed in a "Seinfeld" episode and which beverage officials now claim costs the state millions of dollars annually.
"Seinfeld" characters Kramer and Newman failed miserably in their comedic attempt to cash in on the refund, when they loaded a mail truck full of cans and bottles in New York and attempted to drive them to Michigan. But lawmakers say it's a serious problem, especially in border counties, and they want to toughen penalties on people who try to return unmarked, out-of-state cans and bottles for refunds.
"If you are intending to defraud ... then you should be held accountable for it," said Republican Rep. Kenneth Kurtz of Coldwater. He recently introduced legislation aimed at cracking down on scammers who drive car and truck loads of cans from Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio -- states that do not offer refunds -- to stores across the border in Michigan.
His legislation would make an attempt to return between 100 and 10,000 non-returnable containers punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Current law sets penalties only for those who actually return fraudulent containers.
Michigan's 10 cent-per-container refund -- the highest in the country -- was enacted more than 30 years ago to encourage recycling. Many say it's worked. The state's recycling rate for cans and bottles was nearly 96 percent in 2011. By contrast, New York, one of nine states with nickel deposits on most containers, saw only a 66.8 percent redemption rate in 2007, the most recent figure available.
ND high school investigating 3 fans seen wearing KKK-style hoods and robes during hockey game
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) -- A North Dakota high school principal says appropriate action is being taken after three students briefly donned Ku Klux Klan-style white robes and hoods Friday night during a state hockey semifinal game.
The photo caused an uproar on Twitter when it was posted by 19-year-old Shane Schuster, who was seated with some friends at Ralph Engelstad Arena when something in the student section across the rink caught his eye.
"I thought, 'Are those KKK hoods?' I couldn't believe it," Schuster said. "I was shocked."
Schuster said he focused his camera phone and snapped a photo, later uploading it to Twitter.
Kristopher Arason, Red River's principal, said the school's investigation determined that the students put on the attire just after Red River's first goal and wore it for about 30 seconds to a minute. The teens removed the outfits after students in the section told them it was offensive, he said.
Car-to-car shooting latest violent incident to brand Vegas as dangerous even as crime drops
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Variously known as an adult playground and Disneyland for grown-ups, Las Vegas brands itself as a place where tourists can enjoy a sense of edginess with no real danger.
But a series of high-profile episodes of random violence amid the throngs of tourists is threatening Sin City's reputation as a padded room of a town where people can cut loose with no fear of consequences.
A car-to-car shooting and fiery crash that killed two bystanders and an aspiring rapper Thursday followed a bizarre elevator stabbing and a movie theater parking lot shooting.
Though crime has been falling on the glitzy stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that houses most of the city's major casinos, tourism officials worry that vacationers and convention planners could begin to steer clear of the town because of a perception of mayhem.
"We are concerned because it can create misperceptions about the safety of the city, the safety of the Strip," said Gary Thompson, spokesman for Caesars Entertainment, which owns 10 resorts in the tourist zone, including Caesars Palace and Paris Las Vegas.
Obama attends daughter Sasha's dance recital at arts center in suburban Maryland
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama is attending his youngest daughter's dance recital at an arts center in suburban Maryland.
A White House official says 11-year-old Sasha Obama's recital is being performed Saturday evening at the Music Center at Strathmore.
Located in North Bethesda, Md., about a half-mile outside the capital beltway, Strathmore is a nonprofit arts center that hosts events and classes.
Egypt opposition leader calls for boycott of parliamentary elections, but his movement divided
CAIRO (AP) -- Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei called Saturday for a boycott of parliamentary elections, drawing immediate criticism from some within his movement who said it was a hasty decision.
The dispute showed the fragility of a fairly new opposition front forged after the deeply fragmented movement found little success at the polls since it led the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Opposition infighting would only help ensure that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood group remains Egypt's dominant political force after the next vote.
"(I) called for parliamentary election boycott in 2010 to expose sham democracy. Today I repeat my call, will not be part of an act of deception," Nobel laureate ElBaradei, who leads the opposition National Salvation Front (NSF), wrote on his Twitter account.
The comment reiterated a frequently heard opposition sentiment that democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi is acting like Mubarak.
Beauty queen's death unveils violence, opulence and mystery of Mexico's narco country
GUAMUCHIL, Mexico (AP) -- Maria Susana Flores walked up to the microphone in a sequined black dress, showing the judges of the Sinaloa Woman beauty contest the smile and the strut she had perfected in pageants since preschool.
"Women, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change your past," the 20-year-old contestant said in a sweet, high voice. "But you can choose today what your future will be."
Drums rolled as Susana left center stage and turned to pose, placing manicured hands on her tiny waist and shaking back long brown hair. The crowd whooped. The judges were dazzled by the dark-eyed beauty with the Penelope Cruz lips, and before long she was bowing her head to accept the 2012 crown.
If you had asked her that February weekend, the new Sinaloa Woman would have said the future she'd chosen was clear: a calendar of pageants as far away as China, a chance to compete for the coveted Miss Sinaloa title, and then, Miss Mexico.
But Susy, as she was called, had chosen another path at the crossroads of power and beauty in a state known for drug lords and pageant queens. It was a fateful choice.
A-list chefs take to the links for golf tournament during South Beach Wine and Food Festival
AVENTURA, Fla. (AP) -- What do you get when a group of celebrity chefs move from the kitchen to the fairway following a long -- and late -- night of wine and burgers on South Beach?
"I'm clearly not the future of golf," tweeted Alex Guarnaschelli after one swing.
"Watch out Tiger, here I come!" Jose Andres said in Spanish after teeing off.
Nearly a dozen A-list chefs took to the links early Saturday during the South Beach Wine and Food Festival for a golf tournament hosted by Andres. He, too, admitted to staying out late the night before and "seeing the sun come up on the horizon."
"That's not the way chefs usually behave," the Spanish chef said. "But we need to play with the stereotypes."