Disaster area declared
President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared a federal disaster in Mississippi following a massive tornado that tore through a college campus and destroyed or damaged more than 800 homes in the southern part of the state. Obama ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in Forrest and Lamar counties, which were severely affected by Sunday’s tornado and resulting severe weather. The National Weather Service says the tornado had maximum winds of 170 mph and forged a path three-quarters of a mile wide.
2 shot near courthouse
A man involved in a paternity dispute opened fire Wednesday in front of a South Carolina courthouse, wounding a woman and her stepfather, then led police on a 12-mile chase before he was caught, a sheriff said. The conditions of the victims were not known. Auhtorities said the suspect fled from officers, firing from his vehicle before he was forced into a ditch.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.
Homecoming for pageant
The Miss America pageant, a staple in Atlantic City for decades before it was moved to Las Vegas in 2006, is making a return, Gov. Chris Christie’s spokesman Michael Drewniak confirmed Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was scheduled to make a formal announcement today at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Motrin maker told to pay
Health-care company Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil-PPC Inc. subsidiary should pay a teenager and her parents a total of $109 million after she suffered a life-threatening drug reaction and lost most of her skin when she took a children’s pain reliever nearly a decade ago, a Plymouth Superior Court jury decided Wednesday. Samantha Reckis, now 16, was 7 when she was given Motrin brand ibuprofen and suffered a rare side effect known as toxic epidermal necrolysis and lost 90 percent of her skin and was blinded, a family attorney said. The McNeil unit said it disagreed with the verdict and was considering its legal options.
Compiled from wire reports.