9 KILLED IN TOUR BUS CRASH ALONG OREGON HIGHWAY: PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — A tour bus careened through a guardrail along an icy Oregon highway and several hundred feet down a steep embankment Sunday, killing nine people and injuring more than 20 others, authorities said.
The charter bus carrying about 40 people lost control around 10:30 a.m. on the snow- and ice-covered lanes of Interstate 84, according to the Oregon State Police.
The bus came to rest at the bottom of a snowy slope. More than a dozen rescue workers descended the hill and used ropes to help retrieve people from the wreckage in freezing weather. The bus driver was among the survivors, but had not yet spoken to police because of the severity of the injuries the driver had suffered.
Lt. Greg Hastings said the bus crashed along the west end of the Blue Mountains, and west of an area called Deadman Pass. Stretches of highway in the rural and agricultural area of east Oregon tend to be icy in winter months.
The bus slid down the hill and landed upright, with little or no debris visible around the crash site.
St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton treated 26 people from the accident, including some who were treated and then transported to other medical facilities, said hospital spokesman Larry Blanc.
PSYCHIATRIC TEST FOR SUSPECT IN NYC SUBWAY DEATH: NEW YORK (AP) — A 31-year-old woman accused of shoving a man to his death in front of a subway train because she believed he was Muslim laughed and smiled during a court hearing where she was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
Erika Menendez, 31, was charged Saturday night with murder as a hate crime after she told police she spontaneously pushed Sunando Sen, according to prosecutors.
"There is no reason. I just pushed him in front of the train because I thought it would be cool," she said, according to the Queens district attorney's office.
She laughed so hard during her arraignment in Queens criminal court that Judge Gia Morris told her lawyer: "You're going to have to have your client stop laughing."
Queens prosecutors said she pushed the 46-year-old India native to his death because she blamed "Muslims, Hindus and Egyptians" for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
MAINE MAN, 74, HELD IN DEATHS OF TEENAGE TENANTS: PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A 74-year-old Maine man was charged in the shooting deaths of two tenants inside an apartment he rented out at his home, possibly over a dispute about where they parked their cars during a snowstorm, state police said Sunday.
James Pak was arrested at about 10 p.m. Saturday following a standoff at his suburban neighborhood home in Biddeford, about 15 miles south of Portland, police said. He is charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Derrick Thompson, 19, and Thompson's girlfriend, 18-year-old Alivia Welch.
Thompson's mother, Susan Johnson, 44, called police to report the shootings at about 7 p.m. She and her 6-year-old son also live in the apartment, which is attached to the main house where Pak lived.
Before the shootings, Biddeford police were called to Pak's home regarding a dispute between Pak and his tenants over their cars being parked in his driveway during the snowstorm, said state police spokesman Steve McCausland. Biddeford banned street parking during the night so city crews could plow the streets.
PA. BEAUTY QUEEN SAYS SHE'S SHOCKED BY $5M RULING: PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Pennsylvania beauty queen who resigned after alleging that the Miss USA pageant had been fixed says she is stunned by an arbitrator's ruling that she must pay the pageant organization $5 million for defamation.
Former Miss Pennsylvania USA Sheena Monnin said that the "most logical course" would be to contest the ruling, but she's considering her options.
Arbitrator Theodore Katz says Monnin's allegations that finalists had been selected in advance were false, harmful and malicious and cost the pageant a $5 million fee from a potential 2013 sponsor.