The victims were identified by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday morning as Valery Jo Rintamaki, 58, of West Palm Beach, and Trystan Prestano, 10, and Skylar Prestano, 8, of Wellington.
The railroad crossing had no gate and the tracks were just about 25 yards from the turn off Beeline Highway. There was a yield sign and two railroad markers but a driver entering Corbett was shielded from oncoming trains by brush.
Rintamaki, driving a Subaru Outback, was traveling west on North Grade Road after turning left from Beeline Highway, and then slowed as she began crossing the railroad tracks, the sheriff’s office said. She failed to yield for the westbound train, which collided with the left side of the SUV.
Camping gear was strewn at the site of the collision along with the Subaru’s bumpers.
The northbound Amtrak train was carrying 200 passengers with a final destination of New York City. The impact of the crash pushed the SUV about a half mile before it came to rest, a mass of twisted wreckage.
“It sounded like a shotgun going off,” said Earl Megonigal, a check station operator at the wildlife management area. “Then we heard the train stopping and ran up there and saw all the car parts.”
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said crews responded at about 2 p.m. to the scene at the 18000 block of Beeline Highway. There were no reports of injuries to any of the Amtrak’s passengers and crew, Capt. Albert Borroto, spokesman for Palm Beach Fire Rescue said.
Fire Rescue called in a special operations unit to extract one of the deceased from the Subaru and crews began removing the vehicle shortly before 7 p.m.
After the car was detached from the front of the train, crews were seen making repairs with a welding torch in preparation for the train to continue its trip.
The Amtrak’s passenger cars were lit up, silhouetting the train against the swampland as all passengers remained aboard. According to a tweet from Amtrak, the train was back on the move shortly after 8 p.m. and “operating approximately 6 hours late.”
Amtrak said in a statement that Train 92 was traveling from Miami to New York when it made contact with a vehicle on the tracks. There were no reported injuries to the 200 passengers or crew, said Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds.
Megonigal said that previous crashes involving trains at the Corbett crossing have prompted calls for improved safety measures.
“Everybody has been saying for years we need some sort of crossing gate,” he said.” It’s dangerous there. Trains come flying by. ”
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The temperature nosedive will be a three-day process as a cold front charges across the central and eastern U.S. from Sunday into Tuesday.
The front will plunge quickly through the northern Plains and upper Midwest Sunday, into the southern Plains and Ohio Valley Monday, then through most of the East Coast and Deep South by Tuesday, the Weather Channel said.
High temperatures on Monday may be stuck in the teens and 20’s in the Midwest and around the Great Lakes. It could be the coldest Veterans Day on record in cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis, according to the Weather Channel.
By Tuesday, record cold is possible in the Northeast, Ohio Valley and portions of the South. Highs may get only into the 30’s as far south as Alabama.
The Florida Panhandle may shiver with lows in the 30’s Wednesday and Thursday morning.
Low temperatures may fall below freezing all the way to the Gulf Coast. The most intense cold will be in the northern Plains where temperatures may fall below zero, according to AccuWeather. Gusty winds will make it feel even colder across the region, and time spent outside will need to be limited.
In addition to the cold, a storm system may develop over the central USA, AccuWeather said, bringing icy conditions to the central Plains near the dividing line of warm and cold air next week.
Snow may be in the forecast for portions of the eastern and even southern USA as the storm is likely to track in that direction into the middle of the week.
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(IS TRUMP GUILTY OF TREASON AND MASS MURDER FOR DOING EXACTLY WHAT PUTIN AND IRAN WANTED, GENOCIDE OF THE KURDISH PEOPLE?)(OPED: OLDPOET56)
U.S. and Kurdish soldiers: Side by side just days ago, battling ISIS, now the Kurd’s are under attack
Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY Published 6:59 p.m. ET Oct. 10, 2019 | Updated 8:52 p.m. ET Oct. 10, 2019
Turkey launched airstrikes, fired artillery aimed at crushing Kurdish fighters in northern Syria on Wednesday after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, paving the way for an assault on forces that have long been allied with the United States. (Oct. 9) AP, AP
WASHINGTON – Two days before President Trump announced that he would pull U.S. military back from the border zone in Syria, Americans and their Kurdish allies had removed senior ISIS fighters from the battlefield, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The capture of the two fighters occurred as part of daily regular commando raids U.S. forces had been running with Kurdish soldiers, the official said.
Trump’s abandonment of Kurdish allies fighting ISIS has shocked members of the U.S. military and left it scrambling to protect American forces in Syria – and to look on as those they worked with side by side only a few days ago are now under attack as Turkey’s military continues to step up assaults on the region.
Thursday marked the second day of Turkey’s assault on Kurdish forces in the region. Turkey launched the assault because it views a Kurdish militia that dominates the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as a terrorist group.
Earlier this week, Trump said he was delivering on a campaign promise to remove U.S. troops from “ridiculous endless wars.” Trump also defended his decision on Wednesday to end U.S. support for the Kurds, saying they had failed to fight with Americans in World War II.
Donald Trump is defending his decision to withdraw US troops from Kurd-held areas in northern Syria. A move that led to Turkey launching a military operation on Wednesday. Trump says he “campaigned on ending the endless wars.” (Oct. 9) AP, AP
The Pentagon has issued few statements since Trump’s decision, blaming Turkey for acting unilaterally and calling for a “safe zone” to be established in northeastern Syria.
‘None of our allies can trust us’
The Kurds formed the backbone of the counter-ISIS ground force, backed by the U.S.-led air war, that has retaken virtually all the land seized by Islamic State fighters since 2014. The Kurds have lost 11,000 troops in the fighting and have seen another 20,000 wounded. Their bloodshed and support has led to a kinship understood by many U.S. troops who view the U.S. withdrawal of support as a betrayal of a dedicated ally, the official said.
“None of our allies can trust us anymore,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, the Connecticut Democrat and member of the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. “The biggest loss here apart from the slaughter of innocent and loyal fighters on our side is the shattering of trust. The loss of our word as a bond. No one can rely on the United States if we abandon our fiercest most loyal allies who have literally shed blood for us.”
Trump’s decision has led to ad hoc measures to protect U.S. troops and attempts to mitigate losses to ISIS, the official said. Among them:
A hotline established with Turkey to notify U.S. commanders of areas where bombs will be dropped to ensure American troops are out of harm’s way.
The movement of 50 U.S. troops from the area contested by Turkey and the Kurds to two American outposts in Syria. Drones are being flown over the area to protect U.S. forces.
Kurds continue to guard about 30 prison camps holding about 10,000 ISIS detainees. About 2,000 of those prisoners are foreign fighters from 50 countries, from China to Canada.
U.S. forces are safe, the official said, and the 50 troops relocated to outposts represent a fraction of the 1,000 remaining in Syria.
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Deaths in Syria, but may be inflated
Turkey launched the assault because it regards a Kurdish militia within the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, as a terrorist group. About 30,000 Kurdish fighters and civilians have been displaced by Turkey’s offensive.
Turkey is expected to turn over the fighting to local forces it backs, the official said. A second U.S. official said Turkey, a NATO ally, has been cut off from receiving U.S. intelligence on the region.
The Syrian Observatory for Human rights estimates that 16 SDF fighters have been killed and dozens wounded. Erdogan has said “109 terrorists” have been killed. The U.S. official cautioned that both sides may be exaggerating losses or gains for propaganda purposes.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – At least 25 people are confirmed dead and nine others still missing after a tragic boat fire early Monday that occurred in open water off the California coast.
The dive-boat was carrying 39 people, six crew members and 33 passengers who were asleep on the bottom of the deck, when it became fully engulfed in flames during a recreational scuba diving trip.
Five crew members sleeping on the top deck jumped off and took a dinghy to safety. Two had minor injuries.
The crew members took their dinghy to a private fishing boat, The Grape Escape, that was anchored near the north shore of Santa Cruz Island. The boat’s owners said that two of the crew members went back to look for survivors but found no one.
Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Matthew Kroll said at least 25 people died and the search will continue for the nine others still missing, according to the Associated Press.
He said five others have been found but not recovered because of unsafe conditions under the boat. Kroll said these numbers are based on initial reports and authorities are awaiting final counts from the autopsies.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said, “You couldn’t ask for a worse situation” than that of the deadly dive boat fire near Santa Cruz Island. USA TODAY
“You couldn’t ask for a worse situation,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said at a Monday news conference.
Brown said the boat is currently upside down in relatively shallow water with receding tides that are moving the vessel around. A 3,000-foot temporary flight restriction has been established around it. Authorities said it was under discussion whether to tow the vessel to shore or examine it on site.
Meanwhile, authorities opened a family assistance center where counseling was being provided to relatives of those on board. None of their names were immediately released.
Authorities responded Monday to a 3:30 a.m. mayday call of a boat engulfed in flames off Santa Cruz Island, about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles, the Coast Guard said at a news conference later that day.
“The call was garbled, it was not that clear, but we were able to get some information out of it to send vessels,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Mark Barney.
Coast Guard crews, the Ventura County and Santa Barbara County fire departments, and Vessel Assist responded to the call regarding the 75-foot commercial diving vessel called Conception and operated by Truth Aquatics out of Santa Barbara Harbor.
The boat had been anchored in an area called Platts Harbor at Santa Cruz Island, part of the five-island Channel Islands National Park and technically a part of Santa Barbara County.
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Truth Aquatics, a Santa Barbara-based company was founded in 1974. It had been chartered by Worldwide Diving Adventures, which says on its website that it has been taking divers on such expeditions since the 1970’s.
The names of the passengers on the boat were not available as of Monday evening. Truth Aquatics said the list of all the people aboard was in the hands of the Coast Guard.
Authorities said Monday afternoon they were still working to notify next of kin of those who died.
Community members are grieving after a 6-year-old girl died following a tragic accident at a Utah golf course.
Kellen Hill and his daughter Aria were golfing at Sleepy Ridge Golf Course in Orem, Utah, Monday morning. The ball hit by Hill struck Aria in the back of her head while she was waiting in a golf cart 20 yards away, KUTV-TV reported..
Aria was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City in critical condition, said Lt. Trent Colledge of the Orem Police Department. She died of her injuries later that evening.
“The Orem Police Department is deeply saddened by the tragic death of this young girl,” Colledge told USA TODAY. “Our sincere condolences go out to the family and we cannot even begin to comprehend the grief the family is experiencing at this time.”
Colledge added that police are not considering criminal charges and are treating the incident as a tragic accident.
“This is a horrible accident and the Orem Police Department’s investigation is being treated as such,” he told USA TODAY.
“Aria was full of joy and compassion,” said David Smith, Aria’s uncle, in a statement to USA TODAY. “She loved her parents and was a proud ‘sissy’ to her younger twin brothers. She loved fully, and will be missed by everyone who knew her.”
“This tragic accident has brought unimaginable difficulty, yet we’re grateful for the overwhelming support our family has received.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to defray the costs of her funeral.
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(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWSPAPER)
(Yesterday the Attorney General William Barr Proved to the American people that he, Our Nation’s Top Cop is totally bought and paid for as well as proving himself to be an habitual liar, just like his boss. The DOJ needs to change its call letters to DONJ, STANDS FOR DEPARTMENT OF NO JUSTICE, but of course it could mean Donald, as in Teflon Don’s Justice) (oldpoet56)
William Barr proved himself to be Donald Trump’s lawyer, not America’s: Today’s talker
USA TODAYPublished 2:01 p.m. ET May 2, 2019
‘Barr was now fully invested in portraying Trump as its innocent victim,’ says Brian Dickerson.
Attorney General William Barr was a no-show on Thursday, skipping a second congressional hearing into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Barr writes his obituary — and it’s not flattering
By Brian Dickerson
Attorney General William Barr snookered me.
Back in January, testifying before senators considering whether to confirm him as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Barr was at pains to dispel suspicions that he would use his office to undercut the work of special counsel Robert Mueller, then nearing the conclusion of his investigation.
Senators who opposed Barr’s confirmation had ample reason to question his bona fides as an honest broker. Half a year before his nomination as attorney general, in a 19-page memo mailed to Department of Justice leaders, Barr had asserted that Mueller’s inquiry into the allegations that the president had broken the law by obstructing DOJ investigators was “fatally misconceived” because the president’s authority over the department was absolute.
But at his confirmation hearing, Barr insisted the memo was merely a summary of his disinterested legal judgment, not a veiled pledge of unquestioning loyalty to the president who had nominated him. He had already served as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, he reminded senators; he wanted to restore confidence in the DOJ, not use it as a shield for presidential misconduct.
The prospect that Barr had misled senators about his independence emerged on March 24, when he released a four-page summary of Mueller’s report that eerily echoed the language of the White House propaganda machine. Barr confirmed his critics’ worst suspicions on April 18, when he preempted the release of the redacted report with a news conference in which he portrayed White House efforts to derail the investigation as the reasonable reaction of a president “frustrated and angered” about the allegations against him.
Along with his assertion that the FBI had spied after obtaining a warrant to monitor the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian agents, Barr made it clear that contrary to his promise to defend Mueller’s investigation, he was now fully invested in portraying Trump as its innocent victim.
Mueller made plain his dismay at Barr’s metamorphosis from attorney general to chief defense counsel in a March 27 letter, made public just before the attorney general’s testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which the special counsel protested that Barr had distorted “the context, substance and nature” of his investigators’ work and threatened to undermine public confidence in their findings.
In his Senate testimony, Barr dismissed Mueller’s circumspect letter as “snitty,” brushed off previous sworn testimony in which the AG denied any inkling of the special counsel’s displeasure, and insisted, with the Trump White House’s characteristic disdain for candor, that he had meant to telegraph “no negative connotations” with his insinuations about FBI “spying.”
Yet it is impossible to imagine that Mueller, his investigators, or the FBI agents and DOJ lawyers working on the 14 criminal investigations Mueller’s team referred to other U.S. attorneys came away from Wednesday’s hearing with the confidence that Barr has their backs.
Contrast that with the almost reverent appreciation Justice Department officials expressed for Barr’s predecessors, the late Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus, when they resigned rather than enlist in President Richard Nixon’s campaign to co-opt the Justice Department.
Barr won’t lose any sleep over my own disappointment, and he won’t be around to see how historians remember the cause for which he sacrificed, in a few short months, his reputation for integrity.
But he is quickly rewriting the obituary that might have appeared if he had demurred when Trump enlisted him as the White House’s principal propagandist. The updated version is unlikely to be one he or his children will take much pride in.
James Comey, The New York Times: “Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. … More often, proximity to an amoral leader reveals something depressing. I think that’s at least part of what we’ve seen with Attorney General William Barr and former acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Accomplished people lacking inner strength can’t resist the compromises necessary to survive President Donald Trump, and that adds up to something they will never recover from.”
The Wall Street Journal,editorial: “This trashing of Bill Barr shows how frustrated and angry Democrats continue to be that the special counsel came up empty in his Russia collusion probe. He was supposed to be their fast track to impeachment. Now they’re left trying to gin up an obstruction tale, but the probe wasn’t obstructed and there was no underlying crime. So they’re shouting and pounding the table against Bill Barr for acting like a real attorney general.”
Dana Milbank, The Washington Post: “Barr continued undermining Mueller on Wednesday, calling Mueller’s letter to him ‘a bit snitty’ and saying Mueller should have ended the investigation if he didn’t think it in his purview to say whether Trump committed a crime. And Barr eagerly played Trump’s defense lawyer. … Repeatedly, Barr said it didn’t matter that Trump had deceived the public. ‘I’m not in the business of determining when lies are told to the American people,’ he said. But now Barr, by misrepresenting his dealings with Mueller, has gotten himself into the business of lying to the American people.”
What our readers are saying
Attorney General William Barr is not America’s lawyer, he’s President Donald Trump’s private counsel hired to lie to Congress and Americans. Barr lied to Congress on Wednesday regarding former special counsel Robert Mueller’s letter and said it was probably written by a subordinate. He has no shame and will do anything to protect our “dictator.”
— Russell E. Glass
I’m glad Barr told them to stick it on a second congressional hearing. Barr was ready to testify until the House Judiciary Committee agreed to add an hour of questions by staff lawyers — a nonsensical demand. Democrats just wanted another day of theatrics.
— Gerd Eysser
So many people don’t understand the true danger in this administration and their lawlessness. It sets the dangerous precedent that money and power mean you are above the law, and their total disregard for the Constitution and our laws is deplorable and putting us all at risk.
— Eileen Carlson Sierra
The Mueller report is done. There was no collusion! Liberals need to get over themselves and quit spending all this money.
— Pamela Hyder Lewis
To join the conversations about topics on USA TODAY or provide feedback to this newsletter, email [email protected], comment on Facebook, or use #tellusatoday on Twitter.
The FBI has joined the widening criminal probe into how Boeing’s 737 Max 8 jets were deemed as safe in the months before two of them crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia, leading to a worldwide grounding of the vaunted planes amid scrutiny of U.S. certification standards.
A person familiar with the inquiry told USA TODAY on Wednesday that the FBI is assisting federal transportation authorities in their investigation into the jet’s certification process, which has come under criticism for possible cozy relationships between Boeing and FAA inspectors.
The two crashes killed more than 300 people since October. Transportation Department officials are leading the investigation into the Federal Aviation Administration approval of the passenger jet, while the FBI is providing needed resources, said the person, who is not authorized to comment publicly.
The FBI’s role in the inquiry was first reported by the Seattle Times.
It’s the latest revelation in the Boeing case, with a federal grand jury also looking into safety approvals for the planes and a key congressional panel scheduled next Wednesday to delve into the Max 8 and aviation safety in general.
Boeing CEO Dennis Mullenburg explains what his company is doing to ensure the safety of passengers after the Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes. USA TODAY
“In light of the recent tragedy in Ethiopia and the subsequent grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft, this hearing will examine challenges to the state of commercial aviation safety, including any specific concerns highlighted by recent accidents,” according to a statement from the committee, to be chaired by Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. “The committee will hear from a panel of government witnesses on ways to improve the safety of the commercial air transportation system”
News of the FBI’s involvement also comes after Wednesday’s decision by Europe and Canada to break with U.S. air-safety regulators. The Europeans and Canadians vow to conduct their own reviews of Boeing’s changes to a key flight-control system, not to simply take the Federal Aviation Administration’s word that the alterations are safe.
Those reviews scramble an ambitious schedule set by Boeing and could undercut the FAA’s reputation around the world. It could also mean a likely delay in the resumption of Max 8 flights around the globe. Hundreds of Max 8s are ground and production of more than 4,000 others have been halted amid safety concerns.
Boeing hopes by Monday to finish its update to critical software that can automatically point the nose of the plane sharply downward in some circumstances to avoid an aerodynamic stall, according to two people briefed on FAA presentations to congressional committees.
The FAA expects to certify Boeing’s modifications and plans for pilot training in April or May, one of the people told the Associated Press. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak about the briefings.
But there are doubts about meeting that timetable. Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1 and suspend some routes that it flew with the plane before it was grounded around the world last week.
American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, which are slightly less dependent on the Max than Air Canada, are juggling their fleets to fill in for grounded planes, but have still canceled some flights.
By international agreement, planes must be certified in the country where they are built. Regulators around the world have almost always accepted that country’s decision.
As a result, European airlines have flown Boeing jets with little independent review by the European Aviation Safety Agency, and U.S. airlines operate Airbus jets without a separate, lengthy certification process by the FAA.
That practice is being frayed, however, in the face of growing questions about the FAA’s certification of the Max. Critics question whether the FAA relied too much on Boeing to vouch for critical safety matters and whether it understood the significance of a new automated flight-control system on the Max.
CONTRIBUTING: Ledyard King, USA TODAY; Associated Press
A 34-year-old man is facing murder, forcible rape, kidnapping and other charges in connection with the disappearance of 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar from Lumberton, North Carolina. The news comes as Aguilar’s father, a Guatemalan citizen, was denied a U.S. visa and missed his daughter’s Saturday funeral.
The charges against suspect Michael Ray McLellan were released by the FBI on Saturday. Prior to his arrest, McLellan was being held in custody on unrelated charges, according to the FBI.
Despite tens of thousands of signatures on a Change.org petition calling on U.S. agencies to allow Hania Aguilar’s father to attend his daughter’s funeral, Noé Aguilar was not granted a visa, Naimeh Salem, a Texas immigration lawyer, confirmed to USA TODAY in a Saturday email.
Noé Aguilar was denied requests for a second interview and humanitarian parole, Salem said in a written statement.
Hania Aguilar’s funeral was Saturday at Lumberton High School, ABC11 WTVD reports. A video of the event shows purple balloons and bows decorating the venue as a large crowd gathered for a bilingual service.
Hania was abducted Nov. 5 after going outside to start an SUV for a relative who was going to drive her to the school bus. A neighbor said she heard screams, then saw a man force Hania into the SUV and drive away.
The FBI joined local and state police in a massive search. The vehicle was found three days later in a wooded area several miles from Hania Aguilar’s home. In late November, a body tentatively identified as Hania Aguilar’s was found in North Carolina.
Salem told the New York Times that Noé Aguilar’s visa was denied by American officials because they believed he might not return to his native country.
“To tell you the truth, with past administrations, we never had a problem like this,” Salem is quoted by the Times. “With this administration, most everything that is discretionary is getting denied.”
Suspect McLellan faces 10 state charges filed by the Lumberton Police Department, but more may be filed as the investigation continues, an FBI statement says.
Contributing: John Bacon, USA TODAY; The Associated Press; WCNC-TV, Charlotte, wcnc.com
Greek archaeologists discovered for the first time remnants of the long-lost ancient city of Tenea, Greece’s culture ministry said this week.
Having been previously documented only in ancient texts, Tenea was excavated in the southern region of Peloponnese, and the dig uncovered “proof of the existence of the ancient city,” the ministry said in a statement Tuesday.
Tenea is believed to have been a city settled by Trojan prisoners permitted to build their own city after the Trojan War. Past digs have found clues near the city, but the most recent excavation uncovered the “city’s urban fabric,” including floors, walls and door openings, the culture ministry said.
Taking place from September to early October, the excavation found remnants of residences, pottery, coins and tombs, among other discoveries.
“It is significant that the remnants of the city, the paved roads, the architectural structure, came to light,” lead archaeologist Elena Korka told CNN. “We’ve found evidence of life and death … and all this is just a small part of the history of the place.”
James “Whitey’’ Bulger, the Boston gangster who eluded authorities for 16 years before being captured and convicted of participating in 11 murders in 2013, has died at a prison in West Virginia, according to media reports.
Bulger, who was 89, was found dead Tuesday, according to the Boston Globe and NBC News.
Bulger was the head of a violent South Boston crime ring known as the Winter Hill Gang from the 1970’s into the 1990s. In 1995, Bulger was tipped off about his imminent indictment by an FBI agent and escaped, remaining on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list until getting apprehended in 2011 in Santa Monica, California.
His life of crime was the subject of several movies, including “The Departed,’’ which won an Oscar for the Best Picture of 2006.
Bulger, who was serving a life sentence, had been recently moved from a federal prison in Florida to a transfer facility in Oklahoma City before being relocated to the Hazelton Penitentiary. He had been in ill health for some time.
Among the slayings linked to Bulger was that of Roger Wheeler, who was gunned down outside his country club in Tulsa in 1981. Bulger was also convicted for his role in murders in several states and for racketeering.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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