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POSTED February 13, 2013 9:28 p.m.

PILOT OF SMALL PLANE DEAD AFTER PLANE LOSES WING: WINTERS . (AP) — Authorities say one person is dead after a small plane lost a wing and crashed just feet from a Northern California freeway.

California Highway Patrol Officer Chris Parker says witnesses told authorities that after the single-engine plane lost the wing, the rest of the plane went into a spiral.

Parker says the plane crashed about 30 feet off the side of Interstate 505, while the wing of the plane landed in the center divider of the freeway.

The pilot — the only person on board — was killed in the crash. The pilot's name has not been released.

There were no injuries to anyone on the ground.

The crash took place around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday near Winters, a rural community on the Solano County-Yolo County line, about 30 miles west of Sacramento.

PITTSBURGH PASTOR WANTS SOCIAL MEDIA FAST FOR LENT: PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pittsburgh pastor is all a Twitter with a new idea for a Lenten fast: No social media.

KDKA-TV reports the Rev. William Curtis has asked members of his church to give up social media sites like Facebook and Twitter for Lent, which began Wednesday and runs through Easter.

Curtis says he's not even asking his members for a full 40-day fast, just three or four days.

And, Curtis confesses, "It's going to be hard for me because I practically live on Twitter."

The pastor doesn't want to police his congregation's compliance, but confesses he might have a peek on the Internet now and then to see how many of his members are trying to cut back on social media, saying "Let's say I might every now and then go on and just see."

LBJ AND LADY BIRD COURTSHIP LOVE LETTERS RELEASED: AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The entire collection of nearly 100 love letters written between Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson during their 2½-month courtship in 1934 is being made available to the public for the first time beginning on Valentine's Day.

The letters at the LBJ Presidential Library at the University of Texas show an impatient Johnson, then a 26-year-old congressional aide, eager to marry 21-year-old Claudia Alta Taylor. She was known as "Bird," was a recent graduate of the university, and the future president had asked her to marry him a day after they met in September 1934. She wrote she loved him but "don't know how everlastingly."

They would tie the knot 10 weeks later in San Antonio and were married for 39 years. LBJ died 1973, Lady Bird in 2007.

LADY GAGA CANCELS REST OF TOUR DUE TO INJURED HIP: NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Lady Gaga has canceled the rest of her tour dates due to a hip injury.

Live Nation Global Touring said in a news release Wednesday that Lady Gaga has a tear in her right hip that will require surgery, followed by a recovery period.

The pop star's website showed 21 dates through March 20 remaining on her "Born This Way Ball" tour schedule. Fans who have already bought tickets will receive a refund beginning Thursday.

Lady Gaga postponed four dates on Tuesday after experiencing difficulties Monday during her concert in Montreal. The singer's show is high energy with non-stop dancing. She explained to fans on Twitter that she'd hurt herself while performing some time ago.

LANDOWNER ASKS $3.9M FOR PART OF WOUNDED KNEE SITE: SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — One of the country's poorest Native American tribes wants to buy a historically significant piece of land where 300 of their ancestors were killed, but tribal leaders say the nearly $4 million price tag for a property appraised at less than $7,000 is just too much.

James Czywczynski is trying to sell a 40-acre fraction of the Wounded Knee National Historic Landmark on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The land sits adjacent to a gravesite where about 150 of the 300 Lakota men, women and children killed by the 7th Cavalry in 1890 are buried.

Czywczynski, whose family has owned the property since 1968, recently gave the tribe an ultimatum: purchase the land for $3.9 million or he will open up bidding to non-Native Americans. He said he has been trying to sell the land to the tribe for years.

The ultimatum comes right before the tribe is poised to receive about $20 million from the Cobell lawsuit— a $3.4 billion settlement stemming from a class-action lawsuit filed over American Indian land royalties mismanaged by the government for more than a century.

Obama again nominates pair to labor board

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has again nominated two members of the National Labor Relations Board whose appointments last year were disputed by a federal appeals court.

On Wednesday, Obama sent to the Senate the nominations of Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, both of whom he placed on the labor board by bypassing the Senate last year. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled last month Obama violated the Constitution by using a so-called "recess appointment" to place them on the board.

Obama also re-nominated Richard Cordray as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray was also a recess appointment last year. The court ruling raised questions about the legitimacy of Cordray's appointment. Republicans, who oppose the consumer bureau, have said they would continue to block Cordray's confirmation.

KY. PASTOR WANTS SNAKES CONFISCATED IN TENN.: LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Pastor Jamie Coots insists he wasn't trying to wriggle out of anything or rattle anyone's cage when he drove five snakes through Tennessee. He just wanted to get the serpents to church in Kentucky.

Coots handles snakes as part of worship services at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro. In this case, the five snakes confiscated last month by Tennessee wildlife officials were bought in Alabama for $800 and intended for use at the religious service. Now, in addition to fighting a police citation, Coots wants the state to return the three rattlesnakes and two copperheads he purchased in Eastaboga, Ala., along with the boxes used to transport the venomous creatures.

 

 

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