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Gold medalist dead

by a | 9:49 AM in |

Gold medalist dead, Training on the San Francisco Bay turned deadly for an America's Cup racing team from Sweden. The Artemis Racing catamaran capsized near Alcatraz Thursday afternoon, killing one team member.Andrew Simpson, a two-time Olympic medalist from the U.K., died in the accident.
The highly experienced sailor was one of the 11-man crew aboard the Swedish team's AC72 catamaran that was sailing in winds blowing between 25 and 35 mph when it flipped over around 1 p.m.According to a statement posted on the Artemis Racing website, Simpson became trapped underneath the boat. Officials believe he was trapped underwater for several minutes.

"That person was submerged for 10 minutes and eventually rescued by crew members," said San Francisco Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White.According to Hayes-White, a San Francisco Police Department boat responded first. Simpson and another crew member were brought ashore and taken to the St. Francis Yacht Club in full view of joggers and sightseers. Rescuers spent about 20 minutes performing CPR on the 36-year-old sailor before pronouncing him dead at 1:43 p.m. Officials say the other person's injuries were minor.

"The entire Artemis Racing team is devastated by what happened," said Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard in a statement posted online. "Our heartfelt condolences are with Andrew's wife and family."

"You know, it's a tragic day, this is someone who was well known and well regarded as an expert racer," Hayes-White said. "Everyone worked really hard to not have this outcome. These are very difficult things to report. Our hearts go out to the family of the member of the racing team."

All the other crew members on board were safely rescued and transferred to a support boat. They were sent to the Artemis Racing team's home base in Alameda. The Italian team pulled up with gear and people to rescue the stricken yacht.

The Artemis team has been the subject of a lot of speculation over its decision not to go with foiling daggerboards that actually lift the yacht holes out of the water when the boat hits high speeds. The New Zealand team, the Italian team and the Oracle team have all gone with these foiling daggerboards.

But Cayard said his decision not to go with the boards was that he believes the yacht would be more stable in the water. In a recent email he told reporters that it doesn't matter how fast you go if you can't get your boat to go around the course safely. That statement is taking a lot more color following the fatal accident.

This is the third time one of these boats has capsized.

" I'm not a sailor, I know I wouldn't consider these extreme conditions. It's fairly windy out here today. I think any time there's a sport of any kind there's risks involved," Hayes-White siad.

They're risks that Stephan Sowash knows well. He's a captain on one of the race marker boats. Sowash says these accidents are no surprise, in a sport where part of the game means pushing a boat to its limits.

"Catamarans have an inherent problem, they're very stable until they're not," Sowash said. "As soon as you have a platform under you that is not able to lean with the wind, it has a point, and when you reach that point it's gone."

The wind range was dicey even for a stable boat. And these catamarans are hugely overpowered with hard wing sails that are 130 feet tall. The Coast Guard says it is unsure what caused the boat to capsize.

Sowash said the wind speeds were right on the limit of what makes it safe. It's also what makes the races exciting. Another sailor compared the America's Cup to NASCAR, saying they're beginning to get similar.

This isn't the first accident on the Bay during America's Cup training. Last October, the Oracle sailing team flipped over while putting their 72-foot catamaran to the test. Thirteen crew members were on the boat and all of them were rescued safely.

But the $8 million custom boat suffered major damage and took a month to repair. At the time, the crew said rough seas and strong winds capsized the catamaran.

Oracle issued a statement on its Facebook page. It reads, "Today is a sad day for all of us in the sailing community. Andrew Simpson was a great person, a terrific sailor, and a good friend to all of our team. Our thoughts are with his family and the entire Artemis team. He will be dearly missed."

Simpson won an Olympic silver medal in the London games last summer and a gold medal in Beijing in 2008. In addition to being an Artemis Racing crew member, he also had a furniture design company.

The British sailor leaves behind a wife and toddler son.Teacher fired over bikini photoFriday, May 10, 2013 9:28 PMTeacher fired over bikini photo, A Florida teacher got the ax after a racy photo of her from a past modeling gig was dug up by the school's principal.

Olivia Sprauer, a former English teacher at Martin County High School, was called in to principal Alfred Fabrizio's office in April to ask if the sexy shot he found was of her. After confirming, she was asked to resign the next day.

The 26-year-old model -- who works under the name Victoria James -- doesn't feel like she did anything wrong.

"I don't make pornography. I don't open my legs on camera. I take swimsuit glamour style photography," Sprauer told the Huffington Post

She also adds that she wouldn't pose nude though her modeling page reads "I am more than comfortable shooting TASTEFUL nudes for the right projects."

Sprauer wished she had closed out the years with her students because they respected her. "Lots of teachers get fired or asked to resign for the same things I did," she also said. "I knew I didn't want to come back next year and I knew I wanted to go to grad school so I decided if I made it to the end of the year I would be happy."

While Martin County High School would only confirm that she was no longer employed, Sprauer says that she will still attend her students' graduation.Noah Landfried life in prison marijuana distributionFriday, May 10, 2013 7:26 PMNoah Landfried life in prison marijuana distribution,  Two Pittsburgh-area brothers, Noah Adam Landfried, 26, and Ross Eugene Landfried, III, 28, both of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, have been sentenced to terms of life and 20 years, respectively, in federal prison, for having led a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of marijuana from Mexico to Pennsylvania along the Interstate-80 corridor in Henry County, Illinois. U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm sentenced the brothers on Jul. 30.

At sentencing, Judge Mihm found that the weight of the marijuana attributed to the brothers was approximately 2,400 kilograms and entered a final order of forfeiture for a personal money judgement in the amount of $1,000,000, holding the brothers jointly and severally liable. Both received enhancements to their respective sentences for being an organizer or leader of a criminal activity involving five or more participants or that was otherwise extensive. In addition, Ross Landfried received a sentencing enhancement for possessing a firearm during the commission of the offense.

On Mar. 30, 2010, Noah and Ross, also known as “Tall,” and “Old Boy,” Landfried entered pleas of guilty to leading a large-scale marijuana smuggling organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During plea hearings, the brothers admitted that proceeds from the sale of the marijuana was $1,000,000. Since at least 2002, the Landfried organization smuggled large quantities of marijuana from the Mexican border area to the Pittsburgh area using numerous couriers in privately-owned automobiles and residences along the I-80 corridor. From 2002 through 2009, the brothers, co-defendants and others admitted they conspired to transport multi-pound loads of marijuana from Arizona, through Henry County, Illinois, and ultimately to Pennsylvania, where it was distributed. On average, according to court documents, each load of marijuana was approximately 200 pounds.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Rock Island, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Youngstown, Ohio; the Pennsylvania Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigation, Butler Office; Illinois State Police; the Moon Township, Pennsylvania Police Department; the Columbiana County, Ohio Drug Task Force; the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Office Drug Enforcement Team; the Henry County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office; and, U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the Western District of Pennsylvania, Northern District of Ohio, Southern District of Iowa, and the Central District of Illinois. The case was prosecuted in the Central District of Illinois by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara L. Darrow.

Under the leadership of the Landfried brothers, couriers were recruited to transport marijuana from Arizona to Pennsylvania, and couriers were paid to transport cash from Pennsylvania for purchase of marijuana. Money was provided to individuals to purchase vehicles to transport the marijuana on behalf of the organization and to lease or purchase residences along the I-80 corridor to facilitate the transportation of marijuana.

In addition to the Landfried brothers, who were arrested and charged in April 2009, others charged and sentenced to federal prison terms for participating in the conspiracy include: Victor James Gaydos, 31, of Aliquippa, Penn. , sentenced on Apr. 23, 2010, to 57 months; Dwayne William Corrigan, 26, of Ambridge, Penn., sentenced on July 30 to serve five years; Philip Stephen Preda, 38, of Aliquippa, sentenced July 30 to 42 months; Daniel William Keitel, 26, of Bellevue, Penn., sentenced Apr. 23, 2010 to serve 10 years; Joshua Wayne Welling, 29, Ambridge, sentenced on July 30 to serve 20 years; Ronald J. Marusack, Jr., 25, of Pittsburgh, sentenced on July 18 to 10 years in prison; and, Richard J. Bedalota Jr., 30, of Aliquippa, sentenced on July 30 to 57 months. Two additional defendants are scheduled for sentencing: James Edward White II, 36, of Rogers, Ohio, on Aug. 20, and Frank J. Berardelli, 52, of Rochester, Pennsylvania on Sept. 30.

Adam Mitchell Ruppel, 38, of Glendale, Arizona, was charged in a separate indictment and was sentenced on June 21 to a term of 70 months in federal prison. Another defendant, Justin R. Seibert, 27, of Liverpool, Ohio, was charged with interstate travel in aid of a drug offense and was sentenced on Apr. 23, to 41 months in prison.

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