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    A boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank Thursday night, killing at least eight people, the local sheriff said. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said seven people were hospitalized and several others remain missing after a Ride the Ducks boat sank on Table Rock Lake in Branson. The exact number of those missing was not immediately available. A spokeswoman for the Cox Medical Center Branson said four adults and three children arrived at the hospital shortly after the incident. Two adults are in critical condition and the others were treated for minor injuries, Brandei Clifton said. Rader said the stormy weather was believed to be the cause of the capsizing. The National Weather Service tweeted that wind gusts of 63 mph were reported around 7:30 p.m. at Branson Airport. He also said an off-duty sheriff's deputy working security for the boat company helped rescue people after the accident. Multiple dive teams from a number of law enforcement agencies were assisting in the rescue and recovery effort. Rader said crews would stay on the scene all night. 'It's going to be a challenging night and tomorrow,' the sheriff said.
  • Some GOP congressmen in Virginia want nothing to do with their own party's provocative candidate for Senate, Corey Stewart, an outspoken acolyte of President Donald Trump and defender of Confederate monuments. Stewart says he's fine with the cold shoulders if it helps Republicans win. By contrast, Democrats appear to be one big happy family, with down-ballot Democrats eager to campaign with incumbent Tim Kaine. It's a dynamic that could affect overall turnout in Virginia and have far reaching effects. Republicans currently hold seven U.S. House seats in Virginia and Democrats are bullish on their chances of flipping four of them. That would go a long way in helping the party take control of the House. Nationwide, Democrats need to flip 24 seats to take a majority. Kaine and Stewart are set to face off Saturday in their first debate. While 136,000 primary voters have made Stewart his party's de facto state standard bearer, Stewart's in-your-face style is too politically toxic for much of the state's congressional GOP caucus. Rep. Rob Wittman said his schedule is so full he can't find time to run with Stewart. Rep. Barbara Comstock has all but ignored Stewart. And Rep. Scott Taylor has told media outlets that Stewart has 'no way in hell' of winning the general election without a campaign makeover and that he 'doesn't give a (expletive) about Corey Stewart.' But if Stewart is offended, he's not showing it. Stewart said such snubs are all part of politics. All he cares about is whether Republican candidates succeed in turning out GOP voters. 'I want him to win, I want him to generate the most votes possible, and if that means bashing me, I don't care,' Stewart said of Taylor's remarks. The treatment Stewart is getting from fellow GOP candidates is similar to how some Virginia Republicans have treated Trump. Comstock and Taylor have both at times criticized the president and sought to amplify their own political identity. Comstock is viewed as one of the most vulnerable Republicans in the country, as Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam won her Northern Virginia district by 9 percentage points. Northam also won Taylor's Hampton Roads district by more than 4 percentage points. . Ed Gillespie, the GOP nominee for governor in 2017, never sought to campaign with Trump and rarely mentioned his name. But Gillespie actively tried to court Trump voters by embracing the president's rhetoric supporting Confederate monuments and condemning NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. The strategy, which former Trump strategist Steve Bannon dubbed 'Trumpism without Trump,' failed miserably and Gillespie was easily defeated by Northam. The mood on the other side is noticeably different, where Democrats are eager to campaign with Kaine. This year will be Kaine's first at top of the ticket since his successful 2005 gubernatorial bid. His campaign plans to manage a coordinated statewide effort that will help down-ballot Democrats identify voters and get them to the polls. During a recent 41-stop campaign swing, Kaine said he campaigned with a Democratic congressional candidate in 25 of those events. 'We do want to run as a team,' Kaine said at a recent campaign stop in Arlington. 'That's a real contrast with the other side.' Kaine's high visibility as Hillary Clinton's 2016 running mate has helped him raise heaps of cash. And he can use those funds to help down-ballot Democrats. One of his political committees has already donated more than $1 million to the state party this year. Stewart has struggled to raise serious money and national GOP groups have also indicated they don't expect to spend money helping him. With a growing urban and suburban population that trends more liberal, Virginia has increasingly become a tough sell for statewide GOP candidates. Republicans haven't won a statewide election since 2009. Virginia was the only Southern state Trump lost. Stewart said he's planning a more subdued approach in the general election, with promises to focus more on economic issues and less on social ones. He said his previous promises to run a 'vicious' campaign against Kaine means he'll be 'brutally honest' about Kaine's record, and not attack him personally. 'I'm not trying to be over the top,' Stewart said.
  • A Florida online publication asked a federal appeals court to order a trial be held on its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking FBI documents that may reveal a U.S.-based support network for the 9/11 hijackers. The case heard Thursday before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals centers on reporting published by the Florida Bulldog about the FBI investigation into a Saudi Arabian family that abruptly left a Sarasota home two weeks before the 2001 terror attacks. One FBI document that was released said that agents had found 'many connections' in 2002 between the family and some hijackers who took flying lessons at a nearby airport, including ringleader Mohamed Atta. Florida Bulldog attorney Thomas Julin told a three-judge panel of the court that the FBI has been dragging its heels on releasing more FBI documents about the Sarasota case submitted to the 9/11 Review Commission, improperly redacted more material and claimed too much was exempt from FOIA release. Julin wants a lower court to hold a full FOIA trial on the dispute. 'Obviously, we don't know what is in those documents. We think there is severe over-classification,' Julin said. 'All of that is a huge deterrent to people using the Freedom of Information Act.' The judges did not immediately issue a ruling. Media organizations including The Associated Press filed briefs in support of the Florida Bulldog, as did former Florida U.S. Sen. Bob Graham — a former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham, who attended the hearing, said in an interview that the public needs the full picture of how the hijackers pulled off attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. 'The government's conclusion is that there is no evidence linking the Saudi government to a facilitation of the hijackers,' said Graham, also a former Florida governor. 'Our feeling, to the contrary, is that there is abundant evidence.' The former Sarasota residents, Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji, have denied having any connections with or supporting the hijackers. They now live overseas. The FBI has discounted the accuracy of its own 2002 'many connections' memo but won't explain why. Justice Department attorney Thomas Byron told the judges Thursday that a lower court judge made the correct ruling for the government and that the FBI search for documents sought by the Florida Bulldog was reasonable. 'Reporters are not entitled to a perfect search. They are entitled to a reasonable search. We went way beyond that,' Byron said. 'It was above and beyond what was required.' The FBI has also asserted seven exemptions to the release of some material under FOIA, including that some would endanger national security and expose sensitive law enforcement techniques and sources. Previous stories on the al-Hijjis have reported on how the family left behind cars, clothes, furniture and even a refrigerator full of food when they left their Sarasota home before the 9/11 attacks. Possible connections to hijackers include records at the neighborhood's gate indicating some had visited the home as well as telephone calls involving them, authorities have said. Circuit Judge William Pryor suggested the best course might be to send the case back to Miami U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga for a full FOIA trial so that the documents and the FBI claims could be fully evaluated. 'Why am I not right about that?' Pryor asked Byron. 'I don't think you need to do that. The (lower) court did not abuse its discretion,' Byron replied. Separately, the Florida Bulldog is awaiting a different Florida federal judge's decision on whether some or all of the 80,000 pages of FBI files on the Sarasota investigation should be made public. That case has been pending for six years. ___ Follow Curt Anderson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Miamicurt
  • The All-Star break is over. It's right about now when the Chicago Cubs usually take off. Jason Heyward had three hits and two RBIs, Ian Happ belted a two-run homer and the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-6 on Thursday night for their fourth consecutive victory. Chicago and St. Louis returned a day earlier than the rest of the majors, but it sure looked like business as usual for the NL Central leaders. The Cubs improved 150-73 after the All-Star break since 2015, baseball's best such record over that stretch. 'I just feel like the biggest thing for us is a positive mindset throughout,' Heyward said. 'Not getting too high, not getting too low.' Anthony Rizzo added two doubles from the leadoff spot as Chicago moved a season-high 18 games over .500. Victor Caratini had three hits and scored three times in the opener of a five-game series, and Ben Zobrist delivered a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the Cubs' five-run fifth inning. 'Just really good at-bats,' manager Joe Maddon said. With the abbreviated break, Maddon held All-Stars Willson Contreras and Javier Baez out of the starting lineup. Caratini and Zobrist picked up the slack quite nicely as Chicago increased its advantage to a season-high three games over idle Milwaukee. Yadier Molina matched a career high with four hits for St. Louis, but interim manager Mike Shildt was handed his first loss in his second game in charge after Mike Matheny was fired Saturday night. Tommy Pham and Matt Carpenter each hit a solo homer. 'When you're facing a team like Chicago, you have to bring your 'A' game,' Molina said. 'We didn't bring our 'A' game with the pitching and defense.' The Cardinals had a 3-1 lead before the Cubs started teeing off on Carlos Martinez (6-6) in the fifth. Caratini singled, advanced to second on shortstop Paul DeJong's throwing error and scored on Rizzo's stinging double into the gap in right-center. Heyward hit a tying RBI single and Zobrist followed with a fly ball to center, driving in Kris Bryant for a 4-3 lead. Happ then hit a drive deep to right-center for his 12th homer. He also went deep in his previous game, connecting for a solo shot in Saturday night's 11-6 victory at San Diego. 'We didn't make some plays tonight, and it hurt us,' Shildt said. Brian Duensing (3-0) got the last out of the fifth for the win. Pedro Strop got one out for his third save after the Cubs placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled list as part of a flurry of pregame moves. Martinez allowed six runs, five earned, and seven hits in five innings. The right-hander went 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA in his previous four starts. Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks also struggled, yielding nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. But he wiggled out of a couple jams while limiting the Cardinals to three runs. WATCH OUT Umpire Kerwin Danley staggered away from the plate after taking Bryant's foul ball off his mask in the eighth. Molina helped steady Danley while a Cubs trainer came out of the dugout. Danley stayed in the game after the trainer checked him out. A LITTLE RELIEF The Cubs acquired right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez from Texas for minor league pitcher Tyler Thomas in a deal announced after the game. Chavez is 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA this season. 'Good arm. Versatile. Can start and relieve,' Maddon said. MAKING MOVES Morrow is dealing with right biceps inflammation. The DL stint is retroactive to Monday. The Cubs also activated outfielder Albert Almora Jr. and relievers Carl Edwards Jr. and Anthony Bass. Almora was placed on the family medical emergency list Sunday. Edwards was on the paternity list, and Bass was sidelined by an illness. Infielder David Bote and reliever Rob Zastryzny were sent down to Triple-A Iowa. TRAINER'S ROOM Cardinals: OF Harrison Bader was available off the bench after leaving Sunday's 6-4 victory over Cincinnati with a hyperextended left knee. Cubs: SS Nico Hoerner, Chicago's first-round pick in last month's draft, hurt his left elbow diving for a ball in his fourth game with Class A South Bend. He will miss the rest of the season with the ligament injury, but he said he doesn't think he will need surgery and could play again in the fall. UP NEXT Cubs ace Jon Lester and Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty get the ball on Friday afternoon. Lester (12-2, 2.58 ERA) is 8-0 with a 2.80 ERA in his last nine starts. Flaherty (3-4, 3.24 ERA) pitched five shutout innings in a no-decision against Cincinnati in his previous start on Saturday. ___ Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Paramount says it has fired the head of its television division for making unspecified comments that drew complaints from employees. Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos wrote in a memo Thursday that Amy Powell had been fired for making comments that were 'inconsistent with company values.' The memo did not elaborate on the nature of the statements or where they were made, beyond stating they were said in a 'professional setting.' The memo said numerous employees complained about Powell's behavior, and the decision to fire her was made in agreement with the company's legal and human resources departments. A message sent to Powell was not immediately returned. She joined Paramount in 2004 and became president of its television division five years ago. Under her leadership, Paramount supplied shows including '13 Reasons Why' and 'The Alienist' to cable and streaming outlets.
  • North Korea said Friday that an August reunion of Korean families separated by war may not happen if South Korea doesn't immediately return some of its citizens who arrived in the South in recent years. The 2016 arrival of a group of 12 female employees from a North Korean-run restaurant in China has been a source of contention between the rival Koreas. North Korea has accused South Korea of kidnapping them, while South Korea says they decided to resettle on their own will. North Korea has often used the women as a reason to rebuff South Korea's repeated request to allow elderly citizens split during the 1950-53 Korean War to reunite with each other briefly. But Friday's statement is the North's first attempt to link the fate of the women to the August reunion and comes amid worries that a global diplomacy to push the North to give up its nuclear weapons is making little headway after a detente of the past several months. The North's state-run Uriminzokkiri website said that the reunion and overall inter-Korean ties will face 'obstacles' if Seoul doesn't send back the women. Seoul's Unification Ministry said it has no comment on the Uriminzokkiri dispatch. There has been mounting speculation that some of the 12 North Korean women might have been truly duped into coming to South Korea. After meeting some of the women earlier this month, Tomas Ojea Quintana, the United Nations' independent investigator on human rights in North Korea, told reporters in Seoul that they told him they did not know they were heading to South Korea when they departed China. 'Some of them, they were taken to the Republic of Korea without knowing that they were coming here,' Quintana said, referring to South Korea by its formal name. 'If they were taken against their will, that may (be) considered a crime. It is the duty and responsibility of the government of the Republic of Korea to investigate.' South Korean media had earlier carried a similar report, citing interviews with some of the women and their North Korean male manager who came to South Korea with them. The women's arrival happened when South Korea was governed by a conservative government, which took a tough stance on the North's nuclear program. South Korea's current liberal President Moon Jae-in wants to expand ties with North Korea, but repatriating any of the women would be a delicate matter, with many experts saying relatives of those who decide to stay in the South will certainly face reprisals by the North Korean government. Since the end of the Korean War, both Koreas have banned ordinary citizens from visiting relatives on the other side of the border or contacting them without permission. Nearly 20,000 Koreans had participated in 20 rounds of face-to-face reunions since 2000.The last reunion was held in 2015. According to Seoul's Unification Ministry, more than 75,000 of the 132,000 South Koreans who have applied to attend a reunion have died. None of the past participants has had a second reunion. South Korea uses a computerized lottery to pick participants for the reunions, while North Korea is believed to choose them based on loyalty to its authoritarian leadership. While the South wants more reunions, analysts say North Korea allows only infrequent meetings for the fear of wasting what it sees as an important diplomatic bargaining chip. The North's government may also worry about increasing North Koreans' awareness of the outside world. ___ Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyung contributed to this report.
  • U.S. officials say the United States is finalizing plans to evacuate several hundred Syrian civil defense workers and their families from southwest Syria as Russian-backed government forces close in on the area. Two officials familiar with the plans said Thursday that the U.S., Britain and Canada are spearheading the evacuation that would transport members of the White Helmets group to transit camps in neighboring countries. From there, they will be sent to third countries, including Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and possibly Canada, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter. The officials, and a member of the White Helmets who is due to be evacuated from Quneitra province, said the operation appears to be imminent as the Syrian army continues to gain ground in its latest offensive. The White Helmets, who have enjoyed backing from the U.S. and other Western nations for years, are likely to be targeted by Syrian forces as they retake control of the southwest, according to the officials. The officials said planning for the evacuation has been taking place for some time but accelerated after last week's NATO summit in Brussels. 'These are hard hours and minutes,' the White Helmets volunteer in Quneitra said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear for his life. 'This is the worst day of my life. I hope they rescue us before it is too late.' The evacuation is expected to take place from Quneitra, which straddles the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and where the civil defense team is trapped. It is the last sliver of land still outside government control in the region. Since the government offensive began in June, the area along the frontier with the Golan Heights has been the safest in the southwestern region, attracting hundreds of displaced people because is along the disengagement line with Israel demarcated in 1974 after a war. The Syrian government is unlikely to fire there or carry out airstrikes. Negotiations are also ongoing to evacuate armed rebels and their families who don't want to accept the return of the rule of Bashar Assad's government to Quneitra, which the rebels have controlled for years. The fighters will be evacuated to the northern part of Syria, where the opposition still holds sway. Except for that sliver of land, the southern tip of the southwestern region lies along the border with Jordan and the Golan Heights and is occupied by an Islamic State-affiliated group. The area is expected to be the target of the next government advances and the civil defense teams don't operate there. The White Helmets are not without controversy. They only operate in opposition-held areas, where government services are almost non-existent and aerial bombings are recurrent. Syrian government supporters accuse them of being politically affiliated with the rebel groups. Russia and the Syrian government have repeatedly accused them of staging chemical attacks in opposition areas, a charge that has never been proven. They have continued to receive U.S. support even as President Donald Trump presses ahead with his plans to withdraw all American forces from Syria as soon as Islamic State forces are routed. In June, the State Department freed up a small portion — $6.6 million out of some $200 million — in frozen funding for Syria stabilization programs to keep the White Helmets operating through the end of this year. In other parts of Syria, where government control has been restored, civil defense volunteers have almost always evacuated to other opposition-controlled areas. It is not clear why this time they will be evacuated out of the country. __ El Deeb reported from Beirut.
  • Brewers general manager David Stearns wants reliever Josh Hader to 're-earn the trust' of his teammates when he rejoins the team Friday. Milwaukee is set to resume its season following the All-Star break, the first time the club will assemble since Hader's years-old racist and homophobic tweets surfaced during the All-Star Game. 'He's going to have to work very hard to re-earn the trust of some people who may question who he is right now,' Stearns said. 'I think I know who Josh Hader is, and I personally do not believe that these comments represent who he is as a person.' The 24-year-old Hader apologized and took responsibility for the tweets after the game, saying they did not reflect his values or the person he is now. He'll return to a conflicted clubhouse, though teammates seem eager to accept Hader's apologies. 'It's a lot to deal with. I can't really defend anything he said. I know it was a long time ago but at the same time, those tweets are wrong. It's a lot,' third baseman Travis Shaw said before an optional workout Thursday at Miller Park. The team's five All-Stars, including Hader, did not take part. 'I can defend the person he is now. I would have never guessed that something like that would come from him,' Shaw added. 'He's a good kid now. I'd never in a 100 years guess that he'd say something like that.' Hader may address the team collectively. At the least, he'll have questions to answer. 'We want to be there and support him, we want to hear what he has to say,' veteran Ryan Braun said. 'And ultimately as a team, you want to be able to move on from it.' Until Tuesday, Hader was best known as the hard-throwing left-hander in the Brewers' strong bullpen. He has been a lights-out reliever since coming up to the majors in June 2017. Hader's 6-foot-3 frame, long hair and glasses gave him a unique look on the mound. Hitters often flail at his fastball and buckle when he throws a slider. The filthy stuff allowed Hader to strike out 89 in just 48 innings. Several of Hader's tweets from 2011 and 2012 came to light Tuesday while Hader was pitching in the All-Star Game. Hader learned of the situation when he left the game. He said he did not 'vividly' remember the tweets. 'Being 17 years old, you make stupid decisions and mistakes,' Hader said Tuesday night. 'I was in high school. We're still learning who we are in high school. You live and you learn. This mistake won't happen again.' MLB announced Wednesday the commissioner's office would require Hader to participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives in addition to the sensitivity training. Stearns said the Brewers followed the league's lead in not disciplining Hader. 'Josh is going to be here (Friday). He's a part of this team. We care about him as a teammate and we can do that at the same time as being offended and really, disappointed in the comments that came out the other day,' Stearns said. A similar sentiment was echoed by nearly everyone else in the clubhouse Thursday. Team chemistry that has been a strength of the club that won 55 games before the break will be tested. 'I love the kid, I love him. A lot of those tweets were song lyrics that I recognized,' outfielder Keon Broxton said. 'I know it's just him being a young kid. Not saying it was right, but I do forgive him and can definitely look past it.' Notes: LHP Wade Miley (1-1) will open the three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, followed by Chase Anderson and Brent Suter. Manny Machado is expected to make his Dodgers debut after Los Angeles acquired the All-Star from Baltimore in exchange for five prospects. The Brewers were one of the other suitors for Machado. ... C Manny Pina (left biceps strain) has started a rehab assignment at Class A Wisconsin. ... Braun (back strain) said that he might return from the 10-day disabled list if he got through his workout OK on Thursday. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • The Latest on severe weather and tornadoes in Iowa (all times local): 8 p.m. Seven people inside a Pella manufacturing plant when it was struck by a tornado have been treated for injuries at the local hospital and released. Pella Regional Health Center spokeswoman Billie Rhamy confirmed Thursday evening injuries were minor and all patients had been discharged. The factory, which has about 2,800 employees manufacturing industrial and agricultural equipment, was hit by a tornado around 4 p.m.  Vice President of Operations Vince Newendorp says the east half of the company's campus, which includes seven manufacturing buildings, sustained extensive damage. He says the plant activated its storm warning system and workers were in shelters when the storm hit. ___ 7:50 p.m. An official says four or five homes are destroyed on the northeast edge of the city of Bondurant. Fire Chief Aaron Kreuder says several other homes in the city just northeast of Des Moines have significant damage but appear to be repairable. A collapsed wall in one of the damaged homes ruptured, causing a major gas leak for more than an hour until a hole could be dug in the yard to shut off the line. Kreuder says a tornado dropped to the ground, rose back up and then dropped again. He said minor injuries were reported but nothing requiring emergency transportation to the hospital. ___ 7:45 p.m. The tornado hit Marshalltown just as clothing shop owner Stephanie Moz, her husband and their 2-month-old baby were taking a late lunch break. She says the storm broke out the shop's window, ruined the clothing and hats they had on display and destroyed her husband's vehicle, but she's relieved. She says, 'We went through a tornado and survived. I'm happy.' Moz says she heard a storm siren and her mother texted her to seek shelter, so she and her 2-month-old son, Fredy Jr., rushed to the basement. Her husband looked outside and then ran back, shouting 'Get in the basement. It's right over us.' They could hear booms and crashes, and a gust of wind blew through the basement, but they emerged safely. Moz says, 'We're OK. Not a scratch.' The baby? He barely noticed. Moz says, 'It didn't really bother him. He wanted to sleep.' ___ 7:15 p.m. A tornado has caused brick walls to collapse into streets, ripped roofs off buildings and blown a cupola off the top of a historic court house in the central Iowa city of Marshalltown. The damage from the Thursday afternoon tornado severely damaged many of the buildings in the city of 27,000, about 50 miles northeast of Des Moines. There were no reports of deaths from the tornado that slammed into the city, but the brick buildings that surround the 132-year-old courthouse were severely damaged. The city's wide streets were littered with bricks and downed trees. The courthouse also was hit hard, as the tornado caused its cupola to tumble about 175 feet to the ground. ___ 7 p.m. A spokeswoman for UnityPoint Health says that 40 patients are being evacuated from its hospital damaged by a tornado. UnityPoint Health spokeswoman Amy Varcoe, who is based in Des Moines, says it was unclear how severely the UnityPoint hospital in Marshalltown was damaged, but all of its patients are being transferred to the health system's hospitals in Waterloo and Grundy Center. ___ 6:50 p.m. A spokeswoman says a tornado has damaged a hospital in Marshalltown, Iowa, and 40 patients will be moved to other hospitals. UnityPoint Health spokeswoman Amy Varcoe, who is based in Des Moines, says it was unclear how severely the UnityPoint hospital in Marshalltown was damaged, but all of its patients are being transferred to the health system's hospitals in Waterloo and Grundy Center. ___ 6 p.m. Police say people have been taken to a local hospital after a tornado hit a factory in Pella where some people were working. Pella Police Lt. Shane Cox told KCCI-TV some people from Vermeer Manufacturing were taken to a hospital, but he didn't know the extent of injuries or the number of people. He says emergency responders are attempting to get inside the damaged building to see if anyone is trapped inside. One of the factory's several manufacturing buildings sustained extensive damage with metal strewn across the parking lot and across the street into a cornfield. Vehicles were overturned and piled onto others. ___ 5:40 p.m. Several buildings are reported damaged by a tornado in the main business district in Marshalltown, including the historic courthouse. Initial reports to the National Weather Service indicated the historic Marshall County Courthouse's tower was damaged in a Thursday afternoon tornado, and a weather service spotter reported vehicles overturned and numerous trees down. A woman working at Hammer Medical Supply in the city's downtown says her building has minor damage. She says other nearby buildings including The Orpheum, a theater built in 1948, also are damaged. Another nearby brick building is missing one side leaving the interior living quarters visible to the outside. Marshalltown is a city of 27,000 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines. ___ 5:10 p.m. A large factory in the central Iowa city of Pella has sustained damage from a tornado strike. Vermeer Manufacturing spokeswoman Liz Sporrer confirmed by email the company was hit. She says they were assessing the damage. The company makes agricultural machinery including hay balers and mowers and equipment for the pipeline and forestry management industries. Video from KCCI-TV showed damage to the building and cars stacked atop each other in a parking lot. ___ 3:50 p.m. A storm system moving eastward across central Iowa is generating several tornadoes. Several funnel clouds developed Thursday from the thunderstorm as it moved north of Des Moines near Bondurant. Additional funnels were reported as the storm moved east of Des Moines past Altoona, Prairie City and Colfax. National Weather Service Meteorologist Jeff Johnson in Des Moines says several tornadoes were confirmed but no serious damage was immediately reported. There were no reports of injuries by midafternoon Thursday. He says the funnel clouds are weak and smaller in scale. The weather service is continuing to issue tornado warnings as the storms move eastward. Additional funnel clouds were reported further north near Iowa Falls.
  • Breaking Bad' is gone, but Walter White may be coming back to television. 'Breaking Bad' creator Vince Gilligan said Thursday at Comic-Con that there is an excellent chance that the Bryan Cranston character and Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman will be in the show's spinoff 'Better Call Saul' at some point. Gilligan, Cranston and Paul were joined by many of their fellow 'Breaking Bad' castmates in the 6,500-seat Hall H to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. Gilligan said the characters will not appear in season 4 of 'Better Call Saul' when it picks up in August. 'We don't want to jerk folks around,' Gilligan said. 'But we would be sorely remiss if these characters didn't appear in the show before it ended.' 'Better Call Saul' is a prequel spinoff of 'Breaking Bad' that tracks the rise of a struggling lawyer played by Bob Odenkirk into the go-to attorney for top criminals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 'Breaking Bad' aired for five seasons on AMC, earning Cranston four outstanding drama actor Emmy Awards for his role as White. Paul won three supporting actor Emmys. Paul brought his infant daughter onstage wearing a yellow hazmat suit and respirator like the one his character donned on the show while making meth. 'I miss you all, I miss the show,' he told his former co-stars at one point. Cranston also said that 'Breaking Bad' will never be a feature film, but Gilligan countered not to rule it out.