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3 US firefighters who died in Australia crash identified

SYDNEY (AP) — The three American firefighters who were killed when the aerial water tanker they were in crashed while battling wildfires in Australia have been identified by their employer. Canada-based Coulson Aviation says the men who died Thursday in the crash of the C-130 Hercules were Capt. Ian H. McBeth, 44, of Great Falls, Montana; First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42, of Buckeye, Arizona; and Flight Engineer Rick A. DeMorgan Jr., 43, of Navarre, Florida. New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian confirmed the deaths in the state's Snowy Monaro region, which came as Australia grapples with an unprecedented fire season that has left a large swath of destruction.


9 parents separated from families return to children in US

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nine parents who were deported as the Trump administration separated thousands of migrant families landed back into the U.S. to reunite with children they haven't seen in a year and a half. The group arrived at Los Angeles International Airport from Guatemala City on Wednesday night. The trip was arranged under the order of a federal judge who found the U.S. government had unlawfully prevented them from seeking asylum. Some of the children were at the airport to greet them, a powerful reminder of the lasting effects of Trump's separation policy.


Children's aunt says she was home when they were suffocated

PHOENIX (AP) — A relative of three young children who police say were suffocated by their mother says the woman never appeared to be a danger. Pearl Rebolledo Velazco, the children's great-aunt, spoke at a candlelight vigil Wednesday night outside the home where police say 22-year-old Rachel Henry killed her children. Velazco says she and the youngest child's father were in the house when Henry allegedly killed them Monday night. But she says they were completely unaware of what was going on in the next room. Henry remains jailed on $3 million bond on suspicion of three counts of first-degree murder. It was not known if she has an attorney.


Top Arizona court: Divorced woman can't use frozen embryos

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Supreme Court says a woman can't use her frozen embryos to have a baby because her ex-husband doesn't want to have children. The Supreme Court's Thursday ruling relies on a contract the couple signed with the fertility clinic that said if their relationship ended both needed to agree to have a baby or the embryos would be donated. The ruling overturned a Court of Appeals decision that said Ruby Torres would be allowed to have the embryos implanted because the contract left it to the courts to decide. Torres had an aggressive cancer and wanted to preserve her ability to have children after treatment.


Coal industry on Navajo Nation could end with plant closure

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The closure of a coal-fired power plant on the Navajo Nation sooner than expected will be a major blow to a region where coal has been a mainstay of the economy for decades. The Arizona Public Service Co. operates the Four Corners Power Plant near Farmington, New Mexico. The utility announced this week it will close the plant in 2031 — several years earlier than expected. Regional officials say they're more focused now on promoting tourism and recreation, and ensuring the area has internet and other infrastructure to draw businesses. Another coal plant just miles away is set to close in 2022.


Far from US-Mexico border, Seattle judge weighs wall funding

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge in Washington state is considering whether to block President Donald Trump from diverting billions of dollars from military construction projects to build sections of border wall along the Southern border. U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein said Thursday she hoped to rule within a few weeks on the state's challenge to the administration. An appeals court ruling expected soon in a similar challenge could take precedence over her decision. Attorney General Bob Ferguson argues that Washington would lose out on tax revenue if a military construction project at Naval Base Kitsap is canceled as planned.


Report: Phoenix fire truck was speeding before deadly crash

PHOENIX (AP) — A report says a Phoenix Fire Department engine involved in a fatal accident was speeding just before the collision. KTVK-TV reported the Phoenix Police Department says the fire engine was going 69 mph in an area where the posted speed limit was 40 mph. Department policy allows firetrucks to go 10 mph over the posted speed limit while responding to a call. The report says firefighters were responding to a structure fire in April when a pickup turned in front of the fire engine. The crash killed 20-year-old Kenneth Collins, 19-year-old Dariana Serrano and their 4-month-old son.


Peoria man gets prison for sexual exploitation of a minor

PHOENIX (AP) — A Peoria man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexual exploitation of a minor. State prosecutors also said Wednesday that 51-year-old Joseph Charles Nolan will be on lifetime probation after serving his prison term and will be required to register as a sex offender. They say Homeland Security Investigations in Tucson identified a computer from the Phoenix metro area in March 2016 that was sharing video files. They say the files contained graphic depictions of child sexual exploitation online through a peer-to-peer file trading network. Investigators traced the computer to an apartment in Peoria. Prosecutors say Nolan pleaded guilty to two felony counts.