5 MEMBERS OF 'TEXAS' MUSICAL KILLED IN AUTO WRECK: LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Five members of a popular summer musical production, including three West Texas A&M University theater students, have been killed in a car accident in the Texas Panhandle, officials said Tuesday.
Four of the dead were dancers in the production of "Texas" — a musical that has been performed every summer at the Palo Duro Canyon State Park south of Amarillo for 48 years — while the fifth worked in the box office, according to Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation Executive Director Kris Miller.
Eric Harrison, 21, and Clinton Diaz, 20, were juniors and Andrew Duncan, 20, of Wichita Falls, was a senior at the school in Canyon, said Royal Brantley, director of West Texas A&M's theater program.
The five were returning from an end-of-the-year party Monday night when the accident occurred, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Christopher Ray said. Diaz, the driver, disregarded a stop sign and as the vehicle was attempting to turn onto U.S. 287 near Dumas, about 40 miles north of Amarillo, when it pulled in front of a southbound 18-wheeler and was hit broadside on the passenger's side, a news release late Tuesday said.
3 HOSTAGES BEING HELD AT LA. BANK BELIEVED SAFE: ST. JOSEPH, La. (AP) — A man whose family owns a store across the street from a bank branch in rural Louisiana took three bank employees hostage Tuesday, and authorities talking with all four have no reason to believe any captive has been hurt, police said.
The man — described by police as a 20-year-old local resident — has been calm and has made some demands, Louisiana State Police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson said Tuesday evening. He would not describe the demands or further identify the gunman.
"We're still working with him to determine exactly what his intent is," Edmonson said.
The bank's employees are two female tellers and a man, Mayor Edward Brown said.
The gunman, carrying at least a handgun, took them captive about 12:30 p.m. at the Tensas State Bank branch in St. Joseph, and the negotiator talked with him throughout the afternoon, said state police spokesman Trooper Albert Paxton.
HASAN: 'I WOULD STILL BE A MARTYR' IF EXECUTED: FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The Army psychiatrist on trial for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood told mental health experts shortly after the attack that he "would still be a martyr" if convicted and executed by the government, according to newly released documents.
The remarks by Maj. Nidal Hasan were published Tuesday by the New York Times, as military lawyers ordered to help Hasan insist that he wants jurors to sentence him to death. Hasan is representing himself during the trial, which continued Tuesday at the Texas military base with FBI agents testifying about a gruesome, bullet-riddled crime scene.
Hasan told a panel of mental health experts that he wished he had been killed in the attack because it would have meant God had chosen him for martyrdom, according to documents given to the newspaper by Hasan's former lead attorney, John Galligan.
Hasan, an American-born Muslim, was left paralyzed from the waist down after Fort Hood police officers ended the rampage by shooting him in the back.
"I'm paraplegic and could be in jail for the rest of my life," Hasan told the panel, according to the documents. "However, if I died by lethal injection, I would still be a martyr."
GRANDMA SEEKS CHILD SUPPORT FROM MURDER SUSPECT: PITTSBURGH (AP) — The maternal grandmother of a 6-year-old girl is seeking child support from a University of Pittsburgh researcher jailed on charges he fatally poisoned his neurologist wife with cyanide.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that Lois Klein of Towson, Md., filed the court petition. Klein was granted custody of granddaughter Cianna Ferrante last week.
Cianna's father, 64-year-old Robert Ferrante, is charged in the death of his wife and the child's mother, Dr. Autumn Klein.
A court previously froze Ferrante's assets, except for a $280,000 bank account from which he can pay his legal expenses. The frozen assets can be used for restitution if he is convicted or further legal expenses.
SAILOR PROPOSES TO HIS BOYFRIEND AS SUB RETURNS: GROTON, Conn. (AP) — A Navy sailor returning from a six-month deployment emerged from his submarine, dropped to one knee and proposed to his boyfriend during the homecoming celebration in Connecticut for USS New Mexico.
About 200 people were gathered at the dock of the Naval Submarine Base New London where Machinist's Mate Jerrel Revels proposed to Dylan Kirchner. Kirchner said he had thought about getting married but the proposal Monday came as a surprise.
"I didn't really care if everybody was around. It felt just like the two of us," Kirchner told The Day of New London.
The couple has not set a wedding date.
The repeal of the ban on openly gay military service took effect in 2011.
Defense officials estimate there are 18,000 same-sex couples in the active-duty military, National Guard and Reserves. It's unclear how many of those are married.
OPRAH 'SORRY' FOR SWITZERLAND'S FLAP : LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says she's "sorry" that a media frenzy emerged after saying she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.
"I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland," Winfrey said Monday night at the Los Angeles premiere of "Lee Daniels: The Butler."
"I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don't expect that you would be able to be there," she continued.
In a recent interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse.
"I'm in a store and the person doesn't obviously know that I carry the black card and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am," said Winfrey, who earned $77 million in the year ending in June, according to Forbes magazine.
"I didn't have anything that said 'I have money.' I wasn't wearing a diamond stud. I didn't have a pocketbook. I didn't wear Louboutin shoes. I didn't have anything," said Winfrey on the red carpet. "You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say, 'I'd like to see this.' That didn't happen."
1 DEAD AS SMALL PLANE CRASHES IN REMOTE NORCAL LCOATION: PARADISE (AP) — Officials say one person has died after a small plane crashed in Butte County about 90 miles north of Sacramento.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane crashed at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday about five miles east of Chico.
Gregor says firefighters were heading to the remote site on all-terrain vehicles and local authorities have confirmed one death.
The crash caused a small brush fire that burned about 15 acres before it was extinguished.
The type of plane, number of people aboard and other details were not immediately available.