In the Nation

Posted: November 18, 2012

Ex-Giffords aide wins seat

Democrats celebrated a victory Saturday in Gabrielle Giffords' former congressional district in Arizona, while a recount of early voting ballots began in a House race in Florida.

The two races were in the few remaining districts where winners were still undecided after the Nov. 6 election.

The former chief of staff for Giffords, Ron Barber, had enough votes Saturday to win the race for Arizona's Second District. Barber won a special election to fill Giffords' seat in June. But Nov. 6, he barely eked out a victory over Republican Martha McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, in an election for a full two-year term.

By Saturday, it became clear that McSally could not overtake Barber's 1,402-vote lead. Barber said McSally called him to concede.

Meanwhile, in Florida's 18th District, a recount of early voting ballots began Saturday. The St. Lucie County Canvassing Board voted 2-1 late Friday to order the recount after Rep. Allen B. West, a Republican, complained of tabulation errors in his contest against Democrat Patrick Murphy. - N.Y. Times News Service

Plane hit truck before crashing

OWLS HEAD, Maine - A small plane that crashed shortly after takeoff, killing three, first struck a pickup truck crossing the runway to pick up a pilot who had parked in a hangar, authorities said Saturday.

The Cessna 172 was heading north on the Knox County Regional Airport runway Friday when it hit the truck, which was authorized to be on airport grounds, County Chief Deputy Sheriff Tim Carroll said. The plane kept climbing and as it turned to the east, spiraled about 200 to 300 yards into the woods and burst into flames, the sheriff's office said.

Because the plane's ID numbers had been burned off, "we don't have verification that this aircraft is what we think it is," airport manager Jeff Northgraves said. That means the state medical examiner will have to identify the badly burned bodies, and "we don't expect it will be today," Northgraves said Saturday. - AP

Gun now tied to three killings

NEW YORK - A New York City boutique owner was fatally shot in the head with the same gun that killed two shopkeepers over the summer.

The shop owner was behind the counter of She She in Brooklyn when he was shot Friday, the Daily News reported. The gunman dragged his body toward the back of the store and covered it with clothing, the newspaper reported.

Police said Rahmatollah Vahidipour, 78, of Long Island, had gunshot wounds to the head and torso.

No one has been arrested in the three shootings, which happened in a five-mile radius. - AP

Elsewhere:

Authorities are investigating several attacks on dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico after some were found with gunshot wounds, cuts, and missing jaws.

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