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story.lead_photo.caption Smoke billows at the site where a military jet crashed Friday in Beaufort, S.C., near its base.

Marine pilot ejects before crash in S.C.

BEAUFORT, S.C. -- A military jet crashed a short distance from its base in South Carolina on Friday with the pilot ejecting safely and no one on the ground injured, authorities said.

The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing F-35B, known as a Lightning II, crashed about 11:45 a.m. into an uninhabited marsh island near the Grays Hill community, authorities said.

The jet was based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort about 4 miles west of the crash site at Little Barnwell Island, the station said in a news release.

The Marine pilot ejected before the crash and was being checked for injuries, authorities said.

Military officials and local police secured the island and asked people to stay away from the area.

The Marine F-35B fighter jet was on a routine training mission.

The Marine version of the jet is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. One flew its first combat mission Thursday in Afghanistan.

This is the first time the military has suffered a full-blown crash of an F-35 involving the ejection of a pilot.

Judge blocks Kentucky abortion law

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A federal judge Friday struck down a Kentucky law requiring abortion clinics to have written agreements with a hospital and an ambulance service in case of medical emergencies.

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers ruled that the law requiring the so-called transfer agreements violates constitutional protections. The ruling is a victory for Kentucky's last abortion clinic.

The Louisville clinic argued that Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration used the law to try to shut it down.

The clinic filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the state from revoking its license. A trial on the suit was held a year ago.

Planned Parenthood joined the suit, saying Bevin's administration had used the transfer agreements to block its request for a license to provide abortions in Louisville.

Oklahoma OKs emergency teachers

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Board of Education is approving hundreds of emergency teacher certificates as schools across the state struggle with a teacher shortage.

The board approved more than 400 certificates Thursday to school districts that lack qualified candidates to fill vacancies, The Oklahoman reported. The certificates allow people without a state teaching license to teach in a classroom for two years while they complete training.

Requests included 30 certificates for Tulsa Public Schools and 23 for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Moore, Western Heights, Midwest City-Del City, Putnam City, Norman, Yukon and Mustang districts also requested emergency certificates.

About 13 percent of teachers in the Oklahoma City district, or 328, have emergency certificates. The board has approved more than 2,500 certificates since June, up from 590 certificates issued over the previous year.

"We continue to feel the full brunt of the teacher shortage," state schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said. "Districts still have certified positions open without qualified applicants to fill them."

Two-thirds of school districts that responded to an August survey by the Oklahoma State School Boards Association said that they anticipated needing emergency certified teachers to fill vacancies. The survey found nearly 500 teaching vacancies across the state.

Man acquitted of killing in womb case

FARGO, N.D. -- A North Dakota man was acquitted Friday of helping to kill a pregnant neighbor by tightening a rope around the woman's neck after his girlfriend cut the baby from her womb.

William Hoehn, 33, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in the August 2017 death of 22-year-old Savanna Greywind of Fargo. He would have faced life in prison if convicted of the charge.

Hoehn's former partner, Brooke Crews, admitted earlier this year to cutting Greywind's baby from her body and is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Hoehn pleaded guilty this month to helping cover up the crime, but denied knowing anything about Crews' plan to kill Greywind and take her baby. He faces a maximum 20-year sentence for conspiring to commit kidnapping, but the jurors in this trial were not informed of his earlier conviction.

The trial turned on dramatic testimony from Crews, who told the court she concocted a phony pregnancy because she was afraid of losing Hoehn, and that when he figured out she was lying, he told her she needed "to produce a baby."

Greywind's body was found several days after she was killed, shrouded in plastic and dumped in the Red River.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

Photo by AP/The Daily Press/ROB OSTERMAIER
The lower bow section of the USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier, which will be christened next year, is lifted into place Friday at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va.

A Section on 09/29/2018

Print Headline: Marine pilot ejects before crash in S.C. Judge blocks Kentucky abortion law Oklahoma issues emergency teacher OKs N.D. man acquitted in killing, baby theft

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