CHICAGO — The Obama administration may buy a near-empty prison in rural northwestern Illinois to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay along with federal inmates, a White House official said Saturday.
The maximum-security Thomson Correctional Facility, about 150 miles west of Chicago, was one of several evaluated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and emerged as a leading option to house the detainees, the official told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because a decision has not been made.
President Obama wants detainees from the controversial military-run detention center in Cuba to be transferred to U.S. soil so they can be prosecuted for their suspected crimes.
Helicopter crashes near Reno; 3 dead
RENO, Nev. —Investigators said the pilot of a medical helicopter issued a mayday moments before the aircraft crashed into a hilly area north of Reno near the Nevada-California state line early Saturday.
All three crew members — the pilot, flight nurse and paramedic — died.
The helicopter, an Aerospatiale AS350, had dropped off a patient at a Reno hospital and was returning to its base in Susanville, Calif., when it crashed around 2 a.m. Saturday, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
A witness driving on a nearby road told authorities he saw nothing unusual about the helicopter's flight before it fell rapidly from the sky. The witness said he saw a fireball when the helicopter hit the ground, according to Gregor.
Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board spent Saturday combing the wreckage about 29 miles northwest of Reno in Lassen County as they searched for clues about the cause of the crash.
Eight rescued from capsized boat
SAN DIEGO — Seven men and a pregnant woman clinging to a capsized boat have been rescued in Mexican waters off the coast of Tijuana.
The Coast Guard says the eight were picked up by a Canadian sailing vessel, the Island Princess, and taken to Shelter Island in San Diego.
U.S. Customs spokeswoman Jacqueline Dizdul says five of the men were taken to a hospital and treated for hypothermia. One also had a cut on his arm.
They claimed to be Mexican citizens, but authorities are working to confirm their statements.