Southwest Airlines flight makes emergency landing due to cracked window

A Newark-bound Southwest Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Cleveland on Wednesday after a window cracked.

Photographs taken by a passenger on Southwest Airlines flight WN957, which took off from Chicago Midway International, show a broken window next to a row of passenger seats.

A portion of the window’s glass appeared to be missing.

Southwest issued a statement saying that the plane’s flight crew “made the decision to divert the plane to Cleveland for maintenance review of one of the multiple layers of a window pane.”

“The flight landed uneventfully in Cleveland,” the statement read.

An airline spokesperson said that the aircraft has since been taken out of service for a maintenance review.

The airline said it was working to re-accommodate the flight’s 76 passengers.

Another passenger reported that the cracked window, located at an emergency exit, shattered mid-air, according to Dans Deals.

Southwest has been embroiled in controversy since a woman was killed after one of its plane’s engines exploded, and shrapnel from the engine shattered a window.

Wells Fargo executive Jennifer Riordan, 43, died after she was partially sucked out of the broken window.

— New York Daily News

Homeless California couple no longer facing felony child abuse charges

LOS ANGELES — San Bernardino County prosecutors on Wednesday dropped felony charges against a homeless Joshua Tree couple accused of child abuse after they were found living with their children in a shack in the desert.

The couple now faces several misdemeanor charges.

Daniel Panico, 73, and Mona Kirk, 51, were charged with three felony counts of child abuse in March after sheriff’s deputies came across the family while on patrol. Authorities said the couple had been living for years with their three children in a desert shack with no access to running water, bathrooms or enough food.

Their children, ages 11, 13 and 14, were taken into custody by the county’s Department of Children and Family Services.

Friends of the family quickly rallied to their defense, saying they were being prosecuted for being homeless. They described a couple who cared deeply for their children and did the best they could in difficult circumstances.

Prosecutors said the new charges more specifically address the conduct of the couple. Kirk and Panico now face three misdemeanor charges of willful cruelty to a child and three misdemeanor charges of failure to address truancy.

Panico’s attorney, Michael Kennedy, said the move by prosecutors was a victory.

The felony charges were “probably not supportable, so they have opted for dismissing (them) and downgrading the case to misdemeanors,” Kennedy said in a written statement. “We remain distressed that there will still be delays in getting the family reunited, which has been our primary aim, but they no longer have the sword of felony Damocles hanging over their impoverished heads.”

The couple has been allowed to visit their children, but they have not yet been permanently reunited. A pretrial hearing in the case is scheduled for late June at the Joshua Tree courthouse.

— Los Angeles Times

Man fleeing police escapes through drainage pipe, caught coming out of manhole, police say

ELGIN, Ill. — An Elgin man who probably thought he made a fast escape from police Tuesday by jumping into the Fox River and fleeing through a drainage pipe was taken into custody when he popped out of a manhole, Elgin police said.

Bryant Torres, 26, of the 400 block of North Gifford Street, was charged with misdemeanor resisting/obstructing a peace officer for running from police who were attempting to arrest him on warrants, police department Public Information Officer Kristi Hilton said.

Officers attempted to stop Torres in the Elgin City Hall parking lot, 150 Dexter Court, about 9:40 a.m., but he took off toward the river and jumped in, Hilton said.

Firefighters were called in to do a water rescue and saw him go into the drainage pipe, battalion chief Terry Bruce said.

“As he got to the Chicago Street bridge, he saw a drain pipe and ran into there,” Bruce said. “That took him into the street sewer system. We pulled off a half-dozen manhole covers to look for him.”

Firefighters were preparing to enter the system, “never knowing what the gases are like in those spaces, when he popped up about 150 feet in front of us,” Bruce said. The sewer grate was in front of Eaton’s Redwood Inn, 118 W. Chicago St., Bruce said.

Torres was wanted on two counts of unlawful contact with street gang members and on a Kane County warrant, Hilton said.

— The Courier-News