Iconic cable cars to shut down for repairs

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco’s iconic cable cars will stop running for 10 days starting Friday while they undergo the final repairs in a three-year restoration project of the gearboxes that propel the world-famous system up the city’s notoriously steep hills.

Shuttle buses will run along the three cable car routes where historic cars typically travel at a steady 9.5 miles per hour, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said Wednesday.

The agency says it needs to get the manually operated cable cars off the streets to rehabilitate the gearboxes that power the system that started in the 1890s.

The gearboxes spin the 30-foot tall wheels that pull the 12 miles of steel cables under San Francisco to lift the city’s 40 cable cars up steep hills.

The shutdown is sure to disappoint some of the tourists visiting the city next week. Long lines typically snake around several sites where riders can hope on, despite each car’s capacity of 60 people. The city says 7.5 million passengers ride the cable cars each year.

The work is part of a $6 million upgrade project that started in 2017 to repair the four heavy equipment gearboxes that have been in service since 1984. The fourth gearbox controls the Hyde Line, the master cable that controls all cable cars going in and out of the cable car barn. Without it operating, cable cars can’t enter or return from service.

San Francisco’s cable cars were named a National Historic Landmark in 1964 by the U.S. Interior Department’s National Park Service. The cost is $6 for each ride or $14 for an all-day pass. Seniors and the disabled pay $3.

Woman gets prison for $1.6M curse scam

MIAMI — A South Florida woman who claimed to be a psychic fortune teller has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison for taking $1.6 million from a Texas woman to remove a curse from her family.Court records show that 28-year-old Sherry Tina Uwanawich was sentenced last week in Miami. She previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud. She must also pay restitution.

Investigators say Uwanawich met the victim in Houston, Texas, in 2007. Uwanawich gained the woman’s trust and convinced her that a curse had been placed on her and her family. Uwanawich claimed she needed large sums of money for crystals and candles to perform meditations that would lift the curse.

The scheme ended in 2014 when Uwanawich admitted to the victim there had been no curse.

Cargo plane crashes in fiery wreck, kills 2

TOLEDO, Ohio — A cargo plane approaching an Ohio airport crashed into several unoccupied vehicles at an auto repair shop Wednesday in a fiery wreck that killed both people aboard the aircraft, authorities said.

No other injuries were reported from the early morning crash just east of the Toledo Express Airport.

The two people who died were aboard the Convair 440, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority spokeswoman Kayla Lewandowski said.

The plane went down at a business property filled with truck cabs and trailers while no one was there and missed the nearby Ohio Turnpike.

“We got very lucky where it happened,” said Brian Rozick, the fire chief at the Ohio Air National Guard base at the airport.

He said they had no advance warning of a problem and they were notified about the crash by the airport control tower.

By midmorning, no flames were visible as firefighters occasionally sprayed water on the smoldering wreckage. The debris was contained mainly to the auto business, where several trailers were mangled and burned.

The port authority’s manager of airline affairs, Joe Rotterdam, said officials couldn’t yet confirm whether any distress call was made from the aircraft.

Officials believe the plane had traveled from Laredo, Texas, and stopped outside Memphis, Tennessee, on Tuesday before heading to Ohio, Rotterdam said. It crashed at or around 2:37 a.m.

Port authority officials said no further details were immediately available about the people who died or the plane’s owner.

Rotterdam said it’s not clear if there is a so-called black box with recorded data about the flight.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were helping with the investigation.

Toledo Express Airport remained open.

5 people stabbed in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A man got into an argument with his co-workers and stabbed five people at a construction-supply business, authorities said.

Investigators were still trying to understand what specifically set off the suspect, identified by Tallahassee, Florida, police as Antwann Brown, 41, to pull out a pocket knife and begin stabbing co-workers.

“It appeared that he actually sought out certain victims,” interim Police Chief Steven Outlaw said during a news conference yards from the business where the stabbings took place.

The five victims were taken to an area hospital.

One victim was in serious condition, two were in fair condition and another two were in good condition, said Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare spokeswoman Danielle Buchanan.

Brown was apprehended not far from Dyke Industries, which supplies doors and windows to residential and commercial customers, where police said he had worked for just over three months.

Outlaw said there was no indication of any pending employment actions against Brown. A company representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Police said Brown clocked in at about 8 a.m. as he normally should. Minutes later, “he was engaged in some kind of dispute at work,” Outlaw said, “and clocked out at 8:20.”

Outlaw would not elaborate on what the dispute was about. The dispute remained a verbal one until the suspect returned and began attacking co-workers with a small knife, he said.

Other co-workers fended Brown off with sticks and whatever they could grab. They pinned him down, but he escaped. Officers arrested him outside the facility, the chief said.

Outlaw called the employees’ actions, “heroic.”

Driver dies, 8 children injured as bus crashes

WALNUT, Miss. — A school bus driver is dead and eight children have injuries after a school bus rolled over in northern Mississippi.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol said that the bus driver died in the Tuesday morning incident, with the bus ending up on its side in a ditch.

Officials tell WMC-TV that the 63-year-old driver, Chester Cole, likely suffered a medical emergency. Benton County Coroner Larry Hobson said Cole appeared to his clutch his chest and slumped over in his seat before the crash.

Eight injured children were taken to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The hospital said four are in serious condition and four others are being released Tuesday.

Troopers say no other vehicles were involved in the wreck on U.S. Highway 72 west of Walnut.

The Associated Press

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