west virginia

Democrat elected after weeks of GOP attack ads

Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin overcame weeks of Republican attack ads to win the West Virginia governor's race Tuesday, successfully distancing himself from the Obama administration and the president's health care plan.

Tomblin, who has been acting governor for the past year, will finish the final year of a term left vacant by Joe Manchin, a well-liked governor who stepped down after he won a U.S. Senate seat.

The race was fraught with negative ads from both sides and narrowed in the final weeks. The national parties spent millions of dollars on each campaign.

New York

Woman on birthday visit dies in helicopter crash

A helicopter carrying five people on a private tour for a birthday celebration sputtered and crashed into the East River on Tuesday afternoon shortly after takeoff from a riverbank heliport, killing one passenger and injuring three others.

The victim, visiting the city with her family to celebrate her 40th birthday, apparently was trapped inside as the helicopter sank about 50 feet below the surface of the swift-moving water, police said. New York Police Department divers pulled her from the water about 90 minutes after the Bell 206 Jet Ranger went down at around 3 p.m.


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Emergency crews arrived within seconds of the crash to find the helicopter upside-down in the murky water with just its skids showing on the surface.

The pilot, Paul Dudley, and three passengers were bobbing, and witnesses reported a man diving down, possibly in an attempt to rescue the remaining passenger.

Arizona

Man killed as interstate engulfed by dust storm

A blinding dust storm rolled across the Arizona desert Tuesday, causing three pileups involving dozens of vehicles on a major interstate. A 70-year-old man was killed and at least 15 other people were injured, authorities said.

The first two crashes occurred just after noon as a dust storm suddenly covered Interstate 10 near Picacho, about midway between Phoenix and Tucson. Those collisions involved 16 vehicles and led to the fatality.

In other news

A northeastern Pennsylvania couple accused of making a 7-year-old boy sleep in a coffin were arraigned Tuesday on endangerment and unlawful restraint charges. The boy's 26-year-old mother and stepfather, 31, were ordered taken to Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $60,000 bail each.

Associated Press