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Jan. 5, 2013 at 10:14 PM   |   Comments

Skydiver still missing in Washington state

NORTH BEND, Wash., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A skydiver from Florida was still missing Saturday, three days after leaping from a helicopter over a rugged area of Washington state, authorities said.

The King County Sheriff's Office said searchers had narrowed down the area where they were looking for Kurt Ruppert, 29, of Palatka, Fla., based on information from his cellphone and flight pattern, The Seattle Times reported.

More than 130 volunteers from 19 agencies, aided by search dogs, scoured the targeted area Saturday, WTLV-WJXX, Jacksonville, Fla., reported.

Ruppert was wearing a web-design wingsuit when he jumped from a height of 6,500 feet near Mount Si in North Bend Thursday.

The TV stations said investigators said two of Ruppert's friends were waiting for him in the landing zone, but had their line of sight blocked so they did not see him jump and don't know if his parachute deployed. They described him as a very experienced skydiver with more than a thousand jumps to his credit.

Art Shaffer, owner of Skydive Palatka, said sometimes things happen that a skydiver can't control, but Ruppert "wouldn't have done anything outlandish."

"I'm pretty sure he's out there and maybe just can't walk, but he's a strong guy, pretty resilient and resourceful so I'm pretty sure he's still alive," Shaffer said. "We just have to find him."


Oldest American Mamie Rearden dies at 114

EDGEFIELD, S.C., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Mamie J. Lewis Rearden, who was the oldest person in the United States for 16 days, has died in South Carolina, her family said. She was 114.

Rearden, a retired educator and social worker born in Edgefield in 1898 and died there Wednesday, The Edgefield Advertiser reported. She had been hospitalized for about three weeks after breaking a hip, The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle reported.

Mamie Rearden became the oldest living person in the United States after a 115-year-old Des Moines, Iowa, woman, Dina Manfredini, died Dec. 17.

The mantle now belongs to Elsie Thompson, 113, of Clearwater, Fla. Thompson was born April 5, 1899.


Shots fired at police in Belfast

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Shots were fired at police officers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Saturday afternoon, a first in the region's latest hostilities over flags, authorities said.

The gunfire came during a third day of disturbances following a loyalist rally at City Hall where protesters voiced their opposition to restrictions on flying the union flag, The Guardian reported.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said two men were arrested on charges related to the shooting, including a 38-year-old man accused of attempted murder, the British newspaper said.

Eleven others were arrested in conjunction with the unrest, The Guardian said.

Police used water cannons once again Saturday to disperse about 100 rioting loyalists after riot squad officers were pelted with bricks, bottles, fireworks and smoke canisters. A total of at least 40 officers have been injured in confrontations with protesters since new flag-flying rules were invoked.

Saturday's violence allegedly began when republican youths hurled items which loyalist demonstrators claimed struck a baby.


8 terror suspects killed in Indonesia

MATARAM, Indonesia, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Eight suspected terrorists were killed in two police actions in Indonesia, authorities said Saturday.

A special anti-terror unit shot three suspects to death about 5:30 a.m. local time Saturday in the Trei mountain area in Dompu District, the state-run news agency Antara reported.

The other five suspects were shot to death about 7 p.m. Friday in a raid at their hideout in Sila Rato, Bima District.

Details of the operations by members of the elite Detachment 88 squads were unavailable.

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