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Five killed in helicopter crash near Las Vegas

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by Sarah See

A pilot and four passengers on a tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam were killed Wednesday evening in a helicopter crash, according to federal authorities.

The aircraft slammed into a mountainside about 4.5 miles west of Southern Nevada Water Authority around 5 p.m., National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz said.

Numerous witnesses heard the crash and reported seeing smoke near the edge of Lake Mead, Munoz said.

Recovery and investigative teams headed to the scene, a remote site in the River Mountains of Lake Mead Recreational Park, about 30 miles east from the Las Vegas Strip, according to CNN and the Associated Press.

The initial rescue was slowed and later delayed by officials until early Thursday, due to inaccessibility to the area by road, according to the Associated Press.

All five people on board were confirmed dead by the Las Vegas police search and rescue team, which reached the scene by helicopter, Munoz said.

No information about the victims' identities was released by authorities, according to the Associated Press.

The Sundance Helicopters aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said to CNN.

There were no notable weather conditions that might have caused the accident, Munoz said.

A 12-member team will investigate the crash, according to the National Transportation Board.

Sundance Helicopters has been in business since 1985 and has had previous accidents, according to state records.

Tibetan nun burns to death in China

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by Sarah See

A Buddhist nun died Thursday after setting herself on fire in southwest China, according to CNN and the Associated Press.

The nun, identified as Qiu Xiang, 35, is the second nun and 11th Tibetan to self-immolate since March, according to the news reports.

Xiang set herself on fire at a road crossing in Dawu County, in the Ganzi region of Sichuan Province, according to the official state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Her death was reported by Xinhua and confirmed by exile groups, according to CNN.

It was unclear why the woman killed herself. Tibetan campaign groups say it was in protest against Chinese rule, but China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims the incident is related to "pro-Tibetan independence forces" overseas, according to CNN.

The local government was investigating, Xinhua said.

Xiang, whose Tibetan name was Palden Choetso, called for freedom and the Dalai Lama's return from exile when she was burning, according to the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT).

Xiang's body was taken by fellow nuns to the Ganden Choeling nunnery in Tawu, the ICT said.

The nine men and one woman, aged in their late teens and twenties, who set themselves on fire since March, were seen as acting in protest to Chinese restrictions on the Tibetan religion and culture, according to the Associated Press.

At least six died of injuries, while the conditions of the others are unknown, according to the Associated Press.

China rejects accusations of oppressing Tibetans, saying it has greatly improved the people's living standards, according to CNN.

Student shot at North Carolina high school

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by Sarah See

A 15-year-old girl was shot Monday outside her North Carolina high school, a spokeswoman for the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said.

Catilyn Abercrombie was shot in the neck after walking out of the cafeteria around 1:30 p.m. during a lunch period at Cape Fear High School, according to CNN and the Associated Press.

The high school and nearby Mac Williams Middle School were put on lockdown for hours, and police escorted students out of one school in a single file line with their hands up, according to the news reports.

Police arrested two teenagers after viewing the school's surveillance video that showed them carrying a rifle inside, according to the Associated Press.

A 15-year-old, whose name has not been released because he is a minor, faces charges of attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, according to the Associated Press.

Ta'Von McLaurin, 18, who was assigned a public defender at a brief hearing Tuesday, is charged with felony aiding and abetting, according to the Associated Press.

Investigators do not think Abercrombie was the intended target, and no motive has been established, Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said.

Abercrombie, who is being treated at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and using a ventilator to breathe, went from stable to critical condition Tuesday, detectives said.

Abercrombie may need a second surgery to repair the bullet's damage, Cumberland County police spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said.

The school district called parents to notify them of the incident, according to CNN.

The high school has metal detectors, but Butler did not know if they are in daily use, according to the Associated Press.

Salmonella cases linked to Minnesota organic egg farm

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by Sarah See

At least six people in the Twin Cities have gotten sick from salmonella linked to a Minnesota organic egg farm, agriculture and health officials said Thursday.

The Minnesota Agriculture Department traced the salmonella to eggs in several thousand cartons produced or packaged at the Larry Schultz Organic Farm in Owatonna, according to the Star Tribune and Associated Press.

Three of six people, children and adults, who fell ill from Aug. 12 to Sept. 14 were hospitalized but have since recovered, health officials said.

The farm distributed eggs under the brands Lunds & Byerly's Organic and Kowalski's Organic in cartons of six, 12 and 18 to restaurants, grocery stores, food wholesalers and food-service companies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, state officials said.

The farm also sold to other markets and co-ops across the metro area, according to the Star Tribune.

Farmer Larry Schultz voluntarily recalled the eggs, and stores quickly removed them, after the trace-back evidence from an investigation by state and federal agencies was strong enough, linking the eggs to his operation, according to the Star Tribune.

Environmental tests conducted last Friday at Schultz's barn, where approximately 4,000 free-range hens lay eggs and the farm's processing and packaging line is located, revealed two positive salmonella samples, according to the Star Tribune.

Consumers who may have purchased the recalled eggs can return them to the stores where they were purchased for a refund, state officials said.

Consumers are urged to cook eggs thoroughly before eating to destroy salmonella or other bacteria, health officials said.

by Sarah See

A petroleum company delivered gasoline containing too much ethanol to 38 gas stations and 10 secondary distributors in southern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce Friday.

The company is replacing the gas that contained above-regulation concentrations of ethanol that was delivered over the weekend to 21 communities, according to the Associated Press.

An investigation was underway to find the gas stations and immediately replace the ethanol-rich fuel, the department said to CBS Minnesota.

"An operational issue" caused the gas from the Magellan Midstream Partners Petroleum plant in Mankato to contain more than 10 percent ethanol, Magellan spokesman Bruce Heine said.

Magellan has been "reclaiming" the ethanol-heavy gas and replacing it with gas from other terminals in the area, Heine said to KARE-TV.

Two consumer complaints about vehicle problems were reported, the department said.

Nurse admits stealing drugs from hospital

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by Sarah See

A 45-year-old nurse admitted Friday to stealing narcotics from an east metro hospital where she worked, according to the Star Tribune.

Della R. Thalin, of New Richmond, Wis., pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Minneapolis to one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, according to the Pioneer Press.

Thalin admitted in her plea agreement to stealing hydromorphone--a derivative of morphine--from secure drug storage cabinets that were accessed with her unique user identification and password from Feb. 25 to March 19, according to the Star Tribune.

She stole them from Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater for her personal use, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Thalin no longer works at Lakeview, Jeff Shelman, a hospital spokesman, said.

Hospital officials "continue to review and update our security policies to prevent similar incidents from occurring," Shelman said in August when Thalin was charged.

Thalin faces up to four years in prison, and her sentencing date has not been scheduled, according to the Pioneer Press.

Car struck by train, but no driver found

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by Sarah See

A car was struck Tuesday night by a train in Andover, but no driver was found, the Anoka County Sheriff's Department said.

A vehicle driving on the railroad tracks was reported around 9:20 p.m. near 181st Avenue Northwest and Tamarack Street Northwest, authorities said.

An unoccupied vehicle was found hit by a northbound train and pushed about a quarter-mile south when they arrived, deputies said.

Authorities searched for the car's registered owner, a 28-year-old Oak Grove man, who was nowhere around, according to the Pioneer Press.

Physical evidence indicated that the vehicle was occupied during the collision, the Sheriff's Office said to CBS Minnesota.

No blood or other DNA evidence was left behind, so it is believed the driver got out of the car before it was hit, Cmdr. Paul Sommer, a Sheriff's Office spokesman, said.

An extensive ground search was conducted by deputies, the Andover Fire Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, and several other Anoka County agencies, the Pioneer Press said.

Center City man dies in motorcycle crash

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by Sarah See

A 51-year-old motorcyclist died Saturday night when he was traveling west on County Highway 37 and ran off the road in Shafer Township, according to reports by the Star Tribune and CBS Minnesota.

Officials responded to a report received around 7:12 p.m. regarding the motorcycle crash, the Chisago County Sheriff's Office said.

Jay Carl Tromburg, of Center City, Minn., was the only person on the motorcycle, investigators said.

He was dead as a result of the crash when they arrived at the scene, deputies said.

Tromburg lost control of his cycle in Taylors Falls and left the road, according to CBS Minnesota.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, and speed may be a factor, authorities said.

Tromburg was the second person to die in a motorcycle crash in Minnesota this weekend, according to the Star Tribune.

Minnesota forest fire spreads quickly

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by Sarah See

A forest fire in the northeastern Minnesota wilderness spread Tuesday, burning more than 60,000 acres, according to reports by CNN and the Star Tribune.

A lightning strike started the fire on Aug. 18, and smoke stretched hundreds of miles from the Canadian border to southern Wisconsin, according to both reports.

Strong 40 mph winds blew the fire to grow 16 miles east on Monday, Jean Bergerson, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center, told the Star Tribune.

In addition to the 200 firefighters assigned to the fire, about 25 National Guard troops, four Black Hawk helicopters and Air National Guard members were called to assist them, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton announced.

Although people were evacuated, no injuries were reported, and no structures were destroyed, Lisa Radosevich-Craig, a spokeswoman for the fire command, told CNN.

Because of the haze that extended 500 miles from the fire, baseball's Milwaukee Brewers decided to close the retractable roof of the stadium for the night's game against the Colorado Rockies, Tyler Barnes, a spokeman for the team, told CNN.

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