APTOPIX Hotel Collapse

New Orleans hotel collapses

Workers are helped after a large portion of a hotel under construction suddenly collapsed in New Orleans on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. Several construction workers had to run to safety as the Hard Rock Hotel, which has been under construction for the last several months, came crashing down. It was not immediately clear what caused the collapse or if anyone was injured. 

Utah tech CEO reported missing in San Francisco Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The CEO of a Utah-based tech company has been reported missing during a business trip to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Family members say Erin Valenti, head of Tinker Ventures, was last seen in Palo Alto on Monday.

Her husband, Harrison Weinstein, wrote on Facebook that phone activity suggests Valenti may have been driving in San Jose. He says she never returned her rental car or made it on her flight back to Utah.

KRON-TV reported Friday that San Jose police are calling it a voluntary missing person case, meaning they think she left on purpose.

Valenti’s family disagrees and says the CEO seemed to be distraught on the night she disappeared.

Valenti is described as 5-foot-4 with blond hair. She was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and jeans.

Tinker Ventures is an app developer based in Salt Lake City.

4 dead in shooting at illegal gambling site Saturday in Brooklyn

NEW YORK (AP) — Gunfire broke out inside an illegal gambling club in Brooklyn early Saturday, police said, leaving four people dead, three wounded, and investigators trying to piece together what prompted the bloodshed.

The shooting inside the small, nondescript club started just before 7 a.m. as around 15 people were gambling with dice and cards, police said.

At a news conference hours later, Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said investigators were trying to determine if a gambling dispute, a robbery, or something else was to blame for the violence.

“A bit of a chaotic scene,” Shea said.

Two handguns were recovered. Multiple shots were fired and police didn’t immediately say how many people might have been shooting.

The victims, who have not been identified, ranged in age from 32 to 49, Shea said. Two may have lived out of state and the rest were from neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn.

All of the people shot were men, save for one wounded woman. The injured were expected to survive. One additional person was hurt fleeing.

No one was immediately charged in the shooting, but police were questioning survivors and reviewing security camera footage.

“We have some individuals back at the 77th Precinct and we’re trying to piece together exactly what transpired in that location,” Shea said.

The unlicensed club, adorned with a sign identifying it as the “Triple A Aces Private & Social Event Space,” was operating on the first floor of an older wood-frame townhouse on a block with some empty storefronts and boarded-up buildings.

Isaac Mickens, a community organizer, described the place as a “hole-in-the-wall gambling den” in an interview with The New York Times. “It was real tight, real small, casual, low-key,” Mickens said. “A little hangout spot.”

Gunman opens fire at church wedding, two people shot

PELHAM, N.H. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a wedding ceremony inside a New Hampshire church Saturday shooting two people before guests tackled the shooter and held him until police arrived, authorities said.

Pelham’s Police Chief Joseph Roark said no fatalities were reported in the shooting at New England Pentecostal church.

One of the people who helped subdue the suspect, who arrived and began shooting after the wedding began, suffered minor injuries, Roark said.

A man and a woman were shot, police said. It’s unknown if they were part of the ceremony or guests at the wedding.

“This does not seem to be a random event, at least at this point,” Roark said during a news conference Saturday afternoon outside the police department.

Three people were taken to hospitals but no update on their conditions was provided. Roark said he was not aware of any injuries to the shooter.

Roark did not offer a motive for the shooting. No charges have been announced.

Roark said the New Hampshire attorney general’s office would provide more details of the shooting later Saturday.

Police were called to the church shortly after 10 a.m. in Pelham, a town of about 13,000 on the border of Massachusetts.

Authorities: 3 deaths tied to Southern California wildfires

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three people have died at the scene of Southern California wildfires this week, authorities said Saturday, as firefighters aided by diminishing winds beat back a blaze on the edge of Los Angeles that damaged or destroyed more than 30 structures and sent a blanket of smoke across a swath of neighborhoods.

Los Angeles officials said the fire in the city’s San Fernando Valley area hadn’t grown significantly since Friday, and ground crews were tamping down lingering hotspots. Evacuation orders were being gradually lifted in parts of Los Angeles and in Riverside County, where a second blaze was burning. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti urged residents to be cautious returning home to neighborhoods where fire crews could still be operating.

In Los Angeles, one man who tried to fight the blaze died of a heart attack, and one firefighter reported a minor eye injury.

The fire’s cause is under investigation, and authorities warned that the threat of flare-ups remained.

At the site of the second blaze east of Los Angeles, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said a second body was found at a mobile home park where 74 structures were destroyed Thursday in Calimesa. Officials previously reported one death at the community east of Los Angeles.

The department said one of the Calimesa victims has been identified as 89-year-old Lois Arvikson. Her son Don Turner said she had called him to say she was evacuating, but he never heard from her again. Authorities are working to identify the other victim.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said the bulk of the fire at the city’s edge had moved away from homes and into rugged hillsides and canyons where firefighters were making steady progress slowing its advance. Television footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the area but no walls of towering flame, as a water-dropping helicopter moved in to dump another cascade on the blaze.

“The bulk of the fire has moved toward wildland,” Humphrey said.

Firefighters worked under sunny skies, but air quality was poor as smoke dispersed over much of greater Los Angeles. Air quality officials urged people to limit outdoor activities.