National news headlines for the week of June 24, 2013


Two Alaskan volcanoes that began minor eruptions weeks ago are showing their strongest seismic activity yet, emitting small amounts of lava and ash along with smoke plumes, the Alaska Volcano Observatory said Tuesday. The observatory warned of more vigorous activity with the Pavlof and Veniaminof volcanoes, both on the Alaskan Peninsula—though that will likely just mean more ash. Pavlof, a snowcovered, cone-shaped mountain, has been erupting since early May. While its activity since then has waxed and waned, seismic activity increased since Tuesday morning and the volcano has started continuously shaking, said David Schneider, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. Some lava is flowing, and the volcano is spewing a cloud of steam and ash that has risen as high as 28,000 feet, said Schneider, at the observatory in Anchorage.


Two pilots safely ejected before an F-16 crashed during a training mission on Wednesday night near Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, an Air Force spokeswoman told CNN. They were recovered a short time later by an ambulance crew, CNN affiliate KPHO reported. Air Force officials reported both pilots were uninjured. Witnesses said they could tell the plane was sputtering and popping just before it went down. “The jet exploded. It went boom,” Eva Dela Cruz, who lives near the base, told KPHO. “It exploded again and we looked up and saw the jet with a lot of flames. Like a lot of fire and I said that’s not normal because we see jets left and right.” The Air Force will investigate the crash, according to KPHO.


A warehouse full of wood chips ignited creating a massive blaze Thursday morning in suburban Lake Worth. Around 6:19 a.m. fire crews were called to South Florida Shavings at 10191 Lantana Road, just west of 441. A column of smoke coming from the fire could be seen for miles. According to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesman Albert Borroto, the building housed acetylene and oxygen tanks and the fire caused them to explode. No workers were inside at the time. “It was pretty much a defensive attack. We’ve got both our aerial ladders up making sure we put the main structure out and protect the surroundings. There are still adjacent structures that are full of wood shavings also, Borroto said. According to its website, the company has been serving the equestrian community since 1988 and provides quality bedding for horses.


The father of the only American POW in Afghanistan sent a message to his son’s Taliban captors on Saturday: “After 12 years, let there be peace. Can we push this forward and make it happen?” And he sent a message to his son: “I will not leave you on the battlefield. You are not forgotten.” Updates about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s case have been sparse since he was captured nearly four years ago after finishing a guard shift at a combat outpost. Family members have remained reticent for fear of jeopardizing his safety. But the 27-year-old soldier’s parents spoke out at a rally in his home state of Idaho on Saturday, just days after U.S. authorities said discussion of a possible prisoner exchange with the Taliban could be on the table during upcoming talks. “We are feeling optimistic this week,” mother Jani Bergdahl said. “So many of you have come from far away, and we appreciate the sacrifices you made to make this possible.” More than 1,000 people were in the crowd, including hundreds of war veterans who rode motorcycles into this town. Throughout the event, they chanted, “Bring Bowe Home.”


A federal grand jury has returned a 30-count indictment against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts said Thursday. Tsarnaev is charged with killing four people—three spectators who died in the bombings, and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer ambushed in his cruiser a few days later. At least 264 people were wounded in the double bombings, which took place near the marathon finish line. The grand jury charged Tsarnaev with the use of a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death and conspiracy; bombing of a place of public use resulting in death and conspiracy; malicious destruction of property resulting in death and conspiracy; use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence causing death; carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury; interference with commerce by threats or violence; and aiding and abetting.


Authorities have released the name of the 6-year-old girl who drowned in a boating accident near Corvallis on Sunday. Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman says Joslyn Farrell of Washington State was visiting her father when the incident happened. Hoffman says the accident happened about two miles downstream of the Woodside Fishing Access on the Bitterroot River. A group of people, including the victim, were on a boat when it was caught in a hydraulic step below a diversion dam and started to sink. Several people, including the child, were caught in strong water currents behind the dam. The child could not be resuscitated and was pronounced dead after being flown to the hospital. The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are continuing to investigate the incident.


A piece of Las Vegas history is up for sale, and it’s a steal. A mansion once owned by Liberace located near University of Nevada Las Vegas is listed at $529,000. The star bought the house back in the 1970s. Neighbors said they remember seeing Liberace there in his heyday, dressed flamboyantly and surrounded by bodyguards. Built in the 1960s, the nearly 15,000-square-foot mansion still includes much of Liberace’s personal flair, including several rooms adorned with large piano key decorations. Real estate expert Iddo Gavish of Gavish Real Estate said he has no idea why the price is so low, but that condition and location could play a role. “The property is just shy of half an acre. Two oversized bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and they are asking $35 a square foot. You couldn’t build that house for $35 a square foot,” Gavish said. The house is bank-owned and went into foreclosure in 2010. FOX5 spotted several interested buyers on Tuesday, including Las Vegas Strip headliner Holly Madison.

North Carolina

After Caesars Entertainment announced it was cutting ties with Paula Deen, Harrah’s Cherokee also announced its own Paula Deen restaurant would change. Harrah’s is owned by Caesars Entertainment. Ahinawake Littledave, a spokesperson for the Cherokee casino, said the casino would be removing Deen’s name from the local restaurant, Paula Deen’s Kitchen opened at the western North Carolina casino as part of their $630 million expansion. Littledave said that Deen’s name will be removed, the restaurant will be renamed and will have a new menu in the wake of Caesars’ decision. The disassociation between Deen and Caesars is companywide, according to Littledave. Littledave said no one is losing their job, but they will work with the new restaurant.

Compiled By Juliana Norwood. CNN News Wire contributed to

this report.