2 HURT WHEN BALLOON HITS POWER LINE IN NEW MEXICO: RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — A balloon flying in Albuquerque's International Balloon Fiesta hit a power line as it tried to land Wednesday, sending two men to the hospital with burns and injuries from a 40-foot fall, officials said.
Police in Rio Rancho, a northwest Albuquerque suburb, said the balloon got tangled in the line at about 8:30 a.m. When the passenger reached out to free the balloon, he was shocked, festival spokesman Tom Garrity said.
The balloon was freed, but the gondola crashed to the ground.
Rio Rancho police identified the pilot as Mark Kilgore, 59, of Albuquerque, and the passenger as Daniel Lovato, his 66-year-old crew chief.
KOB-TV reported that Lovato suffered serious burns on his face, chest and arms and underwent surgery at the University of New Mexico Hospital while Kilgore was treated for burns to the side of his face.
Although photos from the scene showed flames, Garrity said it was unclear if the gondola caught fire.
"We know there was arcing of electricity," he said. "We are still trying to figure out the specifics."
MCCARTNEY CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY AT NY HIGH SCHOOL: NEW YORK (AP) — Paul McCartney celebrated his second wedding anniversary with his wife and a few hundred high school students on Wednesday.
The 71-year-old performed at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, which was opened by Tony Bennett.
McCartney said, "Happy anniversary, Baby," to Nancy Shevell before going into his latest song, called "New." He said the song was inspired by his wife as the students turned to her and gushed.
The event with iHeartRadio was to celebrate McCartney's album, also called "New," out next week.
One student asked McCartney when he felt he officially made it in the music industry. McCartney said when the Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do."
The students cheered, and McCartney said: "You shouldn't know about that."
The crowd, which included some adults, was feverish as McCartney performed a 13-song set from his Beatles, Wings and solo catalogue, including "Hey Jude," ''Eight Days a Week" and "Jet."
TEXAS EXECUTES LUBBOCK MAN WHO KILLED PARENTS: HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas man was put to death Wednesday evening for killing his parents at their Lubbock home 15 years ago during a drug-influenced rampage that also left his 89-year-old grandmother dead.
Michael Yowell, 43, told witnesses, including his daughters and his ex-wife, that he loved them.
"Punch the button," he told the warden.
He took several deep breaths, then began snoring. Within about 30 seconds, all movement stopped.
His daughters and ex-wife hugged as they watched through a window in the death chamber.
Yowell tried to delay his execution, the 14th this year in the nation's most active death penalty state, by joining a lawsuit with two other condemned prisoners that challenged Texas prison officials' recent purchase of a new supply of pentobarbital for his scheduled lethal injection.
The punishment was delayed briefly until the U.S. Supreme Court, in a brief ruling, rejected the appeal.
SEATTLE MAYOR WOULD SUPPORT MINIMUM WAGE ABOVE $15: SEATTLE (AP) — The idea of a $15 minimum wage continues to build momentum in the Seattle area, with Mayor Mike McGinn saying he would support an effort to set the standard even higher.
In an interview with The Associated Press, McGinn said he thought $15 was a "fair starting point" for the minimum wage discussion. He cautioned that the issue was best handled legislatively and that the actual number would be determined by city councilmembers.
"If the council proposed a higher number, I'd support that," said McGinn, who is seeking re-election next month.
He added later: "I would expect that, if re-elected, we would put together a coalition to figure out how far we could go on the minimum wage."
McGinn challenger Ed Murray recently announced that he would push for a $15 minimum wage but planned to proceed with a phased-in approach. Washington already has the nation's highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour, while San Francisco is the local jurisdiction with the highest hourly standard at $10.55.
SC MAN GETS 30 YEARS FOR 2008 HALLOWEEN KILLING: SUMTER, S.C. (AP) — A 27-year-old South Carolina man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing a trick-or-treater who came to his door on Halloween 2008.
Quentin Patrick was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to murder in the death of T.J. Darrisaw.
Prosecutors say the 12-year-old boy was shot at least a dozen times as he stood on the porch of Patrick's home in Sumter. The boy's stepfather and a brother were wounded.
Patrick is a convicted drug dealer and said he fired his AK-47 because he thought a rival drug dealer was back to shoot him again. Patrick has already been sentenced to more than 16 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a weapon.
MAN GUILTY OF BEATING WIFE FOR NOT CALLING HIM SIR: LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A central Pennsylvania man has been convicted for beating his wife when she didn't address him as "sir" in front of their kids.
Lancaster County prosecutors say 49-year-old Dan Kirby Kopp of Ephrata routinely beat his wife with a wooden paddle or his hand when he believed she was disrespectful.
Kopp's wife used an iPhone to videotape a September 2012 beating that was shown to jurors. The video shows the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Kopp beating her with a paddle for not addressing him with "yes, sir."
Kopp was convicted of misdemeanor stalking and harassment. He was sentenced Tuesday to one to 23 months in prison and one year of parole and has been ordered to stay away from his now-estranged wife.