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Freighter blocking Ohio river is still stuck after two days

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- Tugboats pulled in vain Friday and crews struggled to unload cargo from a 730-foot freighter that hasn't budged for two days since it ran aground, blocking ship traffic on the Maumee River.

Officials hoped that removing some of the 28,000 tons of soybeans would reduce the Nanticoke's weight enough to allow tugboats to shove it back into the shipping channel, Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Rick Minnich said.

The Canadian freighter Nanticoke was turned sideways in a strong current and got stuck Wednesday. It ran aground, and the force of the current has kept it from being turned around.

The Nanticoke, owned by Canada Steamship Lines, was heading out onto Lake Erie on its way to Canada before it ran aground.

The problem began when the ship approached a train bridge as a train was passing, Minnich said. The ship had to wait for the train to cross and the bridge to swing out of the way. But trouble developed because the current was moving faster than usual Wednesday after heavy rain.

Air Force couple weds thousands of miles apart

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AP) -- It was not the wedding Senior Airman Sandra Beckman had imagined.

Standing before a speaker phone in a full-length floral dress, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she said "I do" on Tuesday to Staff Sgt. Max Parris, who was thousands of miles away.

The couple intended to be married Dec. 22, after Parris returned from deployment to Saudi Arabia. But last month, he received orders for an assignment to England. By getting married right away, the couple could be eligible for a joint assignment.

Master Sgt. David Hipp, 347th Rescue Wing career adviser, remembered seeing a proxy marriage on an old episode of the television series, "M.A.S.H." With some calls to the Air Force Personnel Center, legal office, and Lowndes County Probate Office, Hipp helped coordinate the wedding.

"There are certain things required by law, but the law is silent as to whether they have to be in the same geographic location," said Capt. John Hicks, 374th Rescue Wing Assistant Judge Staff Advocate.

26 E. coli cases linked to university tailgate party

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Four more cases of E. coli linked to a pancake tailgate party at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been reported, taking the total to 26, university officials said.

The party was held at the campus stock pavilion on Oct. 6 before a football game.

Two of the infected are children and the rest are students, university officials said Thursday. They said one student remained hospitalized but was in good condition.

At least 1,000 people attended the university-sponsored party. Health officials said the source of the E. coli was probably not the food, since only a small percentage of those who attended became sick.

University Health Services epidemiologist Craig Roberts said Thursday that the source was still under investigation.

A Halloween haunted house planned at the pavilion was canceled as a precaution.

Woman guilty in torture of girl, 12, found in chains

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- A woman faces up to life in prison for torturing a 12-year-old girl who was severely dehydrated and malnourished when police found her shackled with chains in a back yard.

Jurors deliberated more than four hours Thursday before convicting Sandra Bearden of five counts of injury to a child, one count of child abandonment and one count of aggravated kidnapping of the Mexican girl, whose name was not released.

Bearden said she met the girl's parents while vacationing in Veracruz, Mexico, last fall and they suggested that Bearden take their only daughter to Laredo to live with her as a maid.

Bearden, a Mexican citizen, testified Wednesday that the abusive treatment came after the girl allegedly sexually abused the woman's 4-year-old son. She said she shackled the girl for a few hours over two days to prevent the girl from hurting herself and running away.

Police found the girl on May 12 after responding to a 911 call from a neighbor who heard cries for help behind the 8-foot-high concrete block fence around Bearden's back yard.

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