SALT LAKE CITY — When Josh Ferrin closed on his family’s first home, he never thought he’d make the discovery of a lifetime — then give it back.
Ferrin picked up the keys earlier this week and decided to check out the house in a Salt Lake City suburb.
As he walked into the garage, a piece of cloth clinging to an attic door caught his eye. Inside, he found eight boxes full of cash — about $45,000.
Ferrin says he thought about everything he could do with the money, but knew he had to give it back. And that’s exactly what he did.
He called the previous owner’s son and returned the money. That man says he knew his father had stored cash in the home but never imagined it was that much.
Independent study faults owner in W.Va. coal blast
BECKLEY, W.Va. — An independent investigation concludes the West Virginia coal mine explosion that killed 29 men last year was the result of safety failings by owner Massey Energy Co.
The 113-page report released Thursday says that Virginia-based Massey could have prevented the disaster by following basic safety procedures. Investigators criticize Massey for allowing vast amounts of highly explosive dust to accumulate in violation of federal regulations.
The report was released online at the same time that investigators held a private briefing for families of the victims from Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine.
Investigators dismissed Massey’s contention that an inundation of gas overwhelmed safeguards weakened by ventilation changes ordered by federal regulators.
Giffords sheds helmet after skull surgery
HOUSTON — Scribbled on the helmet protecting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ injured head was a simple reminder: 5/17/11, the date doctors said she could take it off for the last time.
Now, a day after successful surgery to repair her skull, the helmet adorned with the Arizona state flag that she has worn since she was shot in the head in January is finally gone.
She is awake, communicating and doing bedside therapy. And her new look has earned her a nickname.
“I started calling her Gorgeous Gabby today,” said Dr. Dong Kim, the neurosurgeon who performed the operation. “She hasn’t looked in the mirror yet, but as soon as she does she’ll be very pleased.”
Even shaving her head to prevent infection hasn’t harmed her appearance, Kim said.
“I think it looks quite cute if you ask me, and hair will grow back,” he added.
Giffords’ astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, is in space and couldn’t see her. But he closely followed the intricate, 3½-hour surgery, talking to his brother and mother-in-law by Internet phone on the International Space Station and emailing doctors.
“She’s doing really, really well, as good as possibly could be expected,” Kelly said in interview from space.
Kelly said he’s “looking forward” to her release from TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, though no one, including her doctors, is saying when that will be.
Still, the operation is considered a major milestone in her recovery, and doctors said they worked according to their original plan, performing the surgery at an optimal time and not rearranging it to fit Kelly’s launch schedule.
Dr. Gerard Francisco, head of Giffords’ rehabilitation team at TIRR, said the surgery will also allow doctors to “upgrade” her therapy, possibly improving her rate of recovery.
Lawyer: Gitmo prisoner who died was mentally ill
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A Guantanamo Bay prisoner who died in an apparent suicide had twice before tried to kill himself at the U.S. base in Cuba and had a long-term mental illness that predated his time in custody, his lawyer said Thursday.
One previous suicide attempt was so serious the prisoner nearly died, but he was saved by military doctors, attorney Paul Rashkind told The Associated Press.
“This was a young man who suffered significant psychosis, a paralyzing psychosis beginning many years ago, long before he got to Gitmo,” Rashkind said in a phone interview from St. Louis.
The U.S. military said the 37-year-old Afghan prisoner identified as Inayatullah was found unconscious and not breathing Wednesday. Doctors attempted “extensive lifesaving measures” but could not revive him, the government said in a brief statement.
The prisoner apparently hanged himself with what appeared to be bed linen in an exercise yard of the detention center, a Guantanamo spokeswoman, Navy Cmdr. Tamsen A. Reese, told the AP.
Reese declined to discuss details about the detainee’s death or medical history pending an investigation into the case by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
She said the prisoner did not have a history of disciplinary problems: “He was generally a compliant detainee.”
It is unclear how he could have managed to hang himself without drawing the attention of guards. Five previous deaths were declared suicides at Guantanamo and there have been many attempts — or “self-harm incidents,” as they are sometimes called by the military.