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Country singer Randy Travis suffers stroke

Thursday, 11 July 2013 06:04 Published in National News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. • The publicist for Randy Travis says the country music singer has suffered a stroke in a Texas hospital.

Publicist Kirt Webster said Wednesday night that the 54-year-old Travis suffered the stroke while he was being treated for congestive heart failure because of a viral illness.

Webster said Travis was undergoing surgery Wednesday night to relieve pressure on his brain. He has been in critical condition.

Doctors said earlier Wednesday that Travis was in good health until three weeks before he was hospitalized, when he contracted a viral upper respiratory infection.

The viral illness led to a weakened heart muscle that eventually worsened into heart failure.

Honeywell set to restart Metropolis, IL plant

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 07:47 Published in Local News

   METROPOLIS, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois plant that helps make nuclear fuel is firing up its production again after a yearlong shutdown due to federally requested upgrades.

   The Honeywell plant in Metropolis was scheduled to resume operations Wednesday. That comes a little more than a week after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission gave the green light for the plant to again refine raw uranium ore into uranium hexafluoride. That's later processed into fuel for commercial power reactors.

   The plant has been closed since May of last year after the commission ordered Honeywell to make the site able to withstand an earthquake or tornado. The plant also had to revise its emergency response plans for natural disasters.

   The company in recent months has been hiring back workers, among other things, to get them retrained.

 

Julia Merfeld, a 21-year-old Michigan woman, is set to be sentenced on July 30 after pleading guilty in June to soliciting the murder of her husband, Jacob.

Recorded footage of Julia Merfeld soliciting an undercover cop posing as a hit man has surfaced on the Internet and has shocked viewers for how calm, cool and collected she is while planning the murder.

“When I first decided to do this … it’s not that we weren’t getting along,” she says on the video. “But … terrible as it sounds, it was easier than divorcing him.

"You know, I didn’t have to worry about the judgment of my family, I didn’t have to worry about breaking his heart, all that stuff like this. It’s, like, how I [could have] a clean getaway.”

Furthermore, Merfeld told the fake hit man he’d be paid $50,000 out of the 27-year-old husband’s $400,000 life insurance policy that she would receive in the case of his death. She said she would pay him in a series of weekly $9,000 installments to avoid suspicion from her bank.





Suspicions of Merfeld's intention to carry out the plans were first raised after she told coworker Carlos Ramos she wanted her husband killed. Ramos originally thought she was joking and hoped the topic would never come up again, he told local ABC affiliate WZZM 13. But when she continued to talk about the plan in more detail, Ramos made the decision to go to the police, who set up the sting with the fake hit man.

Merfeld and the undercover Michigan State Police detective met two times – first to discuss the murder plot and once more so that she could show him directions to her house, a map of the outside, a floor plan and a photograph of her husband.

While Merfeld will reportedly be sentenced to a minimum of six years, her husband and intended victim asked that she get no jail time at all, the sentencing judge said in court at the time of her guilty plea.

Instead, Chief Muskegon County Circuit Judge William C. Marietti set her minimum sentence at six years. The maximum can be anything up to life in prison, depending on Marietti’s decision at Merfeld's sentencing July 30.

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