Daily Dispatches
A balloon cluster carrying Jonathan Trappe lifts off from Caribou, Maine.
Associated Press/Photo by Mark McBreairty
A balloon cluster carrying Jonathan Trappe lifts off from Caribou, Maine.

Midday Roundup: Trans-Atlantic balloon crossing inspired by Up comes down


Flooding. Colorado National Guard troops began evacuating all 2,000 residents of Lyons, Colo., at dawn today as floodwaters threatened to overtake the town. Thunderstorms dumped more than 6 inches of rain on the area around Boulder Thursday, washing out roads, damaging dams, flooding homes, and cutting the city off from any outside assistance. Officials fear more flooding could be on the way if mudslides in Boulder Canyon send another wall of water rushing through the area. The flash flooding has so far killed three people and left one missing. More rain is expected today.

More devastation. Four blocks of the famed New Jersey boardwalk in Seaside Park burned to the ground overnight, just 10 months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the area with its massive storm surge. Business owners, some who had not even reopened after the storm, struggled this morning to comprehend another devastating loss. Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire, although they say they have no reason to suspect foul play. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pledged to make state funds available to help with rebuilding costs not covered by insurance.

Death penalty. An Indian court sentenced four men to death just days after convicting them of gang-raping a 23-year-old woman in Delhi. The woman, a college student, died several weeks after the attack, which prompted widespread protests and spurred lawmakers to enact tougher penalties for rape cases. The four men—Mukesh Singh, Vinay Sharma, Akshay Thakur, and Pawan Gupta—maintained their innocence despite witness testimony tying them to the attack.

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Legal licenses. The California legislature passed a bill late yesterday giving more illegal immigrants the right to apply for driver's licenses. Gov. Jerry Brown, who is expected to sign the bill into law, said he hoped it would send a message to the federal government that immigration reform is long overdue. It will be up to the state's Department of Transportation to decide what documentation immigrants must show in order to get a license.

Bad idea. And finally, from the "Who thought this was a good idea?" file: A man has failed in his attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean carried by nothing more than a huge bundle of helium balloons. Jonathan Trappe, who took off yesterday morning from Maine, landed safely in Newfoundland. I suppose that in and of itself is no small miracle. He said he was having trouble controlling his 300-balloon contraption. Shocking. Trappe evidently got the idea from the animated movie Up, which just goes to show you even kids' movies need a disclaimer these days: Don't try this at home.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the managing editor of WORLD's website.


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