2 Marine Corps pilots grounded during probe into obscene flight pattern

LOS ANGELES — Two military aviators have been banned from flying during an investigation into a phallic-shaped flight pattern they made last month in Southern California, the Marine Corps said Tuesday.

Officials learned the T-34C aircraft flew over the Salton Sea in a pattern resembling the shape of a penis after a Twitter post from Aircraft Spots, which tracks flight patterns, outlined the flight path on Oct. 23.

Although the pilots are grounded, they are still assisting with other duties in their squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, according to Josef Patterson, a Marines spokesman.

Any potential disciplinary action will be determined following the investigation, he said.

“The Marines and Sailors of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing will perform at the highest levels expected of professional warfighters, and uphold our core values of honor, courage and commitment,” Patterson said in a statement.

— Los Angeles Times

Man killed woman after she accused second woman of using ‘N-word,’ Dallas police say

DALLAS — A 55-year-old Dallas man was arrested after police say he fatally shot a woman who had been fighting with another woman in south Dallas on Monday evening.

The shooting happened just before 8 p.m. in the 3300 block of East Illinois Avenue.

Jimmie Tarrer and the woman — who was only identified as a “witness” in court documents — were on a plot of land that they own and were talking to each other when a woman walked by and accused the witness of calling her the “N-word,” according to an arrest affidavit.

The witness told police that the woman spun her around and cut her on her left eyebrow. Police believe the cut was caused by her own eyeglasses, the document says.

Tarrer told the witness to move away, and when she did, he shot the other woman once, the document says.

Tarrer then called 911 and told dispatchers that the woman he shot had a knife. Later, the witness told police that she didn’t see a knife. Tarrer then gave the woman CPR until rescuers arrived.

She was taken to the hospital and died at 8:33 p.m., the document says.

The Dallas Morning News identified the witness at Tarrer’s wife. Police have not identified the victim.

— Fort Worth Star-Telegram

After delays, NASA will launch satellite to explore the atmosphere

ORLANDO, Fla. — NASA and Northrop Grumman are trying again this week with the planned launch of the space agency’s ICON satellite after a late October launch date was scrapped.

The satellite, destined to explore the area between Earth and space, will be carried into orbit by Northrop’s Pegasus XL, a unique kind of rocket that launches midair after being dropped from a plane.

After a successful Launch Readiness review Tuesday morning, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration confirmed the 90-minute launch window is now set to open at 2 a.m. CT Wednesday morning. The L-1011 Stargazer is set to take to the skies from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Skid Strip, with a release targeted for 2:05 a.m.

Weather conditions are 90 percent “go” for launch with some threat of cumulus clouds, according to the Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron.

NASA’s $242 million Ionospheric Connection Explorer satellite, known as ICON, was originally set to launch Oct. 26. But issues with three tail fins, discovered when the Pegasus rocket was ferried to the Space Coast from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, halted the launch.

According to Florida Today, engineers have since swapped out components of the electrical system that controls the tail fins.

The ICON satellite will study the ionosphere, the area of Earth’s atmosphere where terrestrial weather meets space weather. This is also the area where auroras occur. But the ionosphere can also cause disruptions in radio transmissions, satellites and astronaut health, NASA said.

— Orlando Sentinel

High school security guard dealt cocaine during class hours, cops say

MIAMI — A security guard at Felix Varela High in West Kendall, Fla., dealt cocaine and marijuana while in his employee uniform and during school hours, authorities say.

Jamie Green, 43, was booked into a Miami-Dade jail early Tuesday charged with multiple counts of cocaine and marijuana dealing. Investigators believe he was doing drug deals at a gas station near the school during classes. He is not accused of dealing directly to students, although investigators are still exploring the possibility.

Miami-Dade detectives raided his South Miami-Dade home and found nearly 30 grams of cocaine, 790 grams of marijuana and over $2,000 cash.

The month-long undercover investigation was conducted by detectives from the Miami-Dade’s narcotics bureau and the Hammocks district station, along with the State Attorney’s Office. Green is a Miami-Dade schools employee.

A confidential informant working with police detectives made a series of undercover buys from Green in October, all as undercover detectives watched from afar, according to a search warrant. On Monday, detectives following Green in his car saw him make a suspected cocaine sale to a man named Alberto Ferro.

When detectives walked up to arrest Green, he tried to reverse his car and escape, then swallow drugs, according to the search warrant.

— Miami Herald

Number of dead in southern French building collapse rises to four

PARIS — The number of people killed when two buildings collapsed in the southern French city of Marseille earlier this week has risen to four, AFP news agency reported Tuesday, citing French prosecutors.

The body of a fourth victim, a woman, was pulled from the rubble by emergency services on Tuesday.

Earlier, the bodies of two men and a woman had been found.

Two derelict buildings in the center of the southern French city collapsed Monday morning.

They were located in a small shopping street in the Noailles district in the city center. One of them was dilapidated and empty, while one of the buildings was known to be occupied.

Several people are still missing, including one Italian woman, Italy’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed.

Investigators are looking into what caused the buildings to collapse.

Local officials said recent heavy rains may have been a contributing factor.

— dpa