May 5th, 2014
05:52 AM ET

9 Performers Injured in Circus Accident

Nine performers were injured Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island, said Steve Payne, spokesman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Eight performers fell when the hair-hang apparatus – which holds performers by their hair – failed, Payne said. Another performer was injured on the ground, he added.

Officials said the performers fell from between 25 to 35 feet and many of those injured suffered broken bones, and no spectators were hurt.


March 10th, 2014
09:57 AM ET

Plane Hits Parachute

A Cessna collided with a parachute at a small airport in Polk County, Florida, on Saturday, CNN's Nick Valencia reports.

The plane took a nose-dive and the skydiver was thrown to the ground.

Neither the pilot nor the skydiver were seriously injured when they fell about 75 feet, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Sharon Trembley, 87, was doing what are called "touch and goes" with the Cessna, a maneuver in which the plane touches the ground and ascends again. The Polk County Sheriff's Department initially identified the pilot as Shannon Trembley.

On his third time up, one wing became tangled in the strings of the parachute that held 49-year-old John Frost, officials said.

Both men were taken to a hospital. Frost was treated and released and Trembley was being held for observation on Saturday night.

Officials said the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were notified and responded to the scene.

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March 10th, 2014
09:34 AM ET

Winner Declared in Rematch of Marathon Spelling Bee

The D-E-F-I-N-I-T-I-O-N of a good spelling bee may have forever changed in Missouri.

It took seventh grader Kush Sharma more than 90 rounds and two days - separated by about two weeks - to finally get the winning word.

He beat fifth grader Sophia Hoffman, who went out on the word "stifling," earning a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, CNN's George Howell reports.

The two met February 22 at the Kansas City Public Library for the regularly scheduled competition, where they exhausted all the words on a list provided to the judges.

After more than 60 rounds, the match was halted without a winner.

"We didn't want to just go through the dictionary and give them more words," Mary Olive Thompson, outreach coordinator for Kansas City Public Library, said at the time. "We feared that someone would get a word that was too easy while the other would get an extremely difficult word. We wanted to be a bit more calculated and neutral, and we wanted to give each an equal opportunity."

But soon, Kush and Sophia were more than two young, ace spellers from Kansas City. They were national celebrities, appearing on CNN and ABC's "Good Morning America."

That made Saturday's rematch all that much bigger. The library couldn't contain those who came to watch and ended up setting up a live video stream so that about 100 spectators could watch from the lobby, Thompson said.

And this might not be the last time Kush and Sophia duel in the spelling arena.

As Thompson noted, "both students are young enough - they could face each other again" next year.

Until then, the event's organizers are celebrating what was a riveting, historic and - in the end - emotional edition of this year's bee.

"We got to know the kids; they are both great kids," Thompson said. "This is not the last we are going to see of Sophia."

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