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Tennessee plane crash victims all members of Kansas ranching family



Mark Zaleski / AP

Investigators carry a body from the crash site Tuesday where a small plane crashed Monday near a YMCA in suburban Nashville, Tenn.

The hero pilot of the light plane that crashed Monday in Nashville, Tenn., killing the man and three of his relatives, was a prominent Kansas rancher on his way to the nation’s largest cattle industry trade show, authorities said Tuesday.

Glenn Mull, 62, of Great Bend, Kan., owner of Mid-Kansas Agri Co. and Mull’s Farms and Feeding, was credited with saving many lives for having banked his plane into the ground instead of into rush-hour traffic or into a YMCA building just a few yards away.

The Metro Nashville/Davidson County medical examiner’s office confirmed Mull’s identity Tuesday afternoon, along with those of his three passengers: Elaine Mull, 63, his wife; Amy Harter, 40, their daughter; and Samantha Harter, 16, their granddaughter. All lived in Great Bend.

Family members and company officials said Mull was flying to Nashville to attend the Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show at the Opryland Convention Center.

Aerial footage shows the scene in Bellevue, Tenn., where a Gulfstream plane crashed near a YMCA on Monday, killing four people aboard the aircraft.

The plane, a twin-engine Gulfstream 690C, went down shortly before 5 p.m. ET Monday just outside the YMCA in Bellevue, a southwest suburban neighborhood of Nashville.

No injuries were reported at the YMCA — where the plane slammed into the ground a mere 20 feet from a wall.

“While details of the crash are still emerging, the near-miss of our building surely saved dozens of people from harm,” the YMCA of Middle Tennessee said in a statement, adding that its prayers “continue to be with the victims’ families and all those affected by the crash.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene Tuesday. Nashville police spokesman Don Aaron said foul play wasn’t suspected.

Aaron said the plane missed its first approach to the Nashville airport. It was circling back to make a second attempt and was coming in low, he said.

Metro Nashville Fire District Chief George Hickey said the death toll at the “totally devastated” scene could have been much worse. The plane came down in a sliver of green space between the YMCA and a retirement home as vehicles flooded nearby roads at the height of rush hour.

The pilot of a small plane that crashed Monday in Nashville, Tenn., was being called a hero for possibly saving the lives of many on the ground by maneuvering away from a nearby YMCA.

“The pilot did one hell of a job,” Hickey said. “No buildings were hit. I may be wrong, but I really want to take my hat off to the pilot.”

Dee Likes, executive vice president of the Kansas Livestock Association, said Mull was “a very experienced pilot and had flown this plane many, many times.”

“We’re all feeling it,” Likes told NBC station WSMV of Nashville, calling Mull “very personable — everybody liked him.”

Jeanine Haynes, Mull’s sister, told WSMV on Tuesday that Mull and his wife were “a part of the very thread that weaved the heartbeat of the family.”

“The tremendous void left in the ashes of the crash will be a stinging reminder in the days to come of the ones taken too soon,” she said.

Mull was also described as a prominent figure in Pawnee County, where his company has been in business for 105 years.

“Glenn was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Both he and his wife Elaine were well-known for their generous spirit and commitment to improving Pawnee County,” Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said in a statement. 

“Glenn, Elaine, their daughter Amy and granddaughter Samantha will be greatly missed,” he said.

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Hillary Clinton: ‘fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed’



Jason Decrow / AP

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is interviewed during a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Dec. 4, 2013, in New York.

Step aside, Jon Stewart. There’s a new political satirist in town.

Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and a potential Democratic presidential candidate, took an apparent shot at Fox News during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The tweet, which had been retweeted more than 30,000 times by the start of the game’s fourth quarter, was apparently a reference to the cable news channel’s coverage, which has been highly critical of Democrats and the September 2012 terror attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton has come under fire for the State Department response to the attack.

The Fox broadcast network — which aired the Super Bowl — and the Fox News Channel are both owned by the Fox Entertainment Group subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, a division of News Corp.

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Racial discrimination in teen years could mean health problems later



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Racial discrimination isn’t just a civil rights issue — it can also affect teenagers’ health, a new study suggests.

Adolescents who experienced frequent racial discrimination without emotional support from parents and peers had higher levels of blood pressure, a higher body mass index, and higher levels of stress-related hormones at age 20, placing them at greater risk for chronic disease as they get older.

While other studies have looked at perceived racial discrimination and health among adults, this study, published Monday in the journal Child Development, is the first of its type to track the effects in youth. The good news: Teens who did receive emotional support didn’t show the biological effects of racial discrimination.

Researchers wanted to look at the relationship between racial discrimination and what scientists call allostatic load, basically the “wear and tear” on the body over time caused by frequent and repeated stressors. Frequent activation of the body’s stress response causes a cascade of problems including high blood pressure, cardiac disease, stroke and increases in the body’s inflammatory response. The researchers also wanted to determine whether parental and peer support would help mediate that stress, leading to potentially better health outcomes. 

The study involved 331 African Americans, all of whom lived in the rural South, who were asked to rate the frequency of perceived discrimination at ages 16, 17 and 18. These discriminatory events included racially based slurs and insults, disrespectful treatment from community members, physical threats, and false accusations from business employees or law enforcement officials.

When the adolescents turned 18, the youths were asked to assess their peer emotional support during these years. Caregivers, too, were surveyed regarding the emotional support they provided, with questions including “If my child talks to me I have suggestions about how to handle problems,” and “If my child needs help with school or work, she/he can ask me about it.”

Blood pressure, body mass and stress-related hormones were assessed when youths turned 20. The researchers controlled for variables including low economic status, depression, or unhealthy behaviors such as drug use, for example, all of which can affect health.

Although many African Americans, as well as other minorities, experience discrimination as a stressor, only a small percentage show increases in the biological havoc that stress can cause.

“People ask why is that, and one reason we’ve shown is that it’s due to emotional support, which is important at all times in life, but especially during adolescence,’ says lead investigator Gene Brody, Regents Professor and Director of the Center for Family Research at University of Georgia. “These kinds of relationships can be a protective barrier from stress-changing biology.”

In recent years, racial discrimination as a stressor affecting biology has been the subject of numerous studies, mostly involving adults, says David Williams, a professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Other research has shown that racial discrimination and resulting health problems are a global phenomenon.

“It is not just an African-American problem, it is a universal problem, affecting the health of disadvantaged populations across the world,” adds Williams, the developer of “The Everyday Discrimination Scale,” which is widely used to assess perceived discrimination. “When a person’s sense of human dignity is violated, there are physiological consequences.”

Although the study does have some limitations since researchers still must determine the mechanism by which parental or peer involvement actually worked in reducing the stress response, it challenges researchers to explain “the how” of their findings, says Megan Gunnar, Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.

“While we are working out the how this comes about in the body, this study provides us with rich targets for increasing resilience in youth and, as if we needed them, more arguments for working to reduce racism and discrimination in our society.”

For caregivers the message is simple. “Just sitting with them, gauging how they are doing is not race specific, it is important across all races, and can have a powerful effect in buffering the effects of discrimination,” says Brody. 

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Child, 4, dies after being pulled from Norwegian Cruise pool



Richard Drew / AP

People pause to look at the Norwegian Breakaway on the Hudson River in New York in May 2013. A 4-year-old child died after being pulled unresponsive from a swimming pool on the Norwegian Breakaway on Feb. 3, 2014.

A 4-year-old child died after being pulled unresponsive from a swimming pool on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship off the coast of North Carolina on Monday, cruise line and Coast Guard officials said.

Crew members were able to revive a 6-year-old boy also found in the pool. He was airlifted to a hospital, where his condition was unknown.

The two children were found in the morning on the Norwegian Breakaway, the cruise line said in an announcement on its Facebook page. The statement did not give the ages of the children, but Coast Guard Petty Officer Adam SanSoucie said they were 4 and 6.

An emergency medical team on the ship gave both children CPR, but the younger child died, the cruise line’s statement said. The older child, a boy, was airlifted with his grandmother and a nurse to a hospital, the company said. It did not identify the gender of the younger child.

SanSoucie said the boy was taken by Marine rescue helicopter to Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, N.C. The boy was then transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. A spokeswoman there didn’t immediately return a phone call Tuesday. 

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this extremely difficult time and are providing full assistance and support,” the cruise line said in its Facebook statement. “The family is in our thoughts and prayers and we ask that you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well.”

The 4,000-passenger ship was bound for Florida. The Norwegian Cruise Line website describes the Norwegian Breakaway as the “newest and largest ship embarking from NYC” to winter destinations including the southern Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

— The Associated Press

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