Eight people have been hurt, two critically, after more than three dozen vehicles were involved in an early-evening pileup on an Interstate 64 bridge.
Amy Shuler Goodwin, a spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, said the wrecks occurred Thursday evening on a bridge crossing the Kanawha River at St. Albans, near Charleston.
She said eight people were taken to area hospitals. While authorities were still trying to determine the cause, a sudden rain squall had hit the area at the time of the accident.
The westbound lane reopened to traffic, but workers were still clearing vehicles from the eastbound passing lane.
Goodwin said those stranded included a group of Winfield High School seniors heading to graduation. A transit authority bus took them to the ceremony.
State highway spokesman Brent Walker said two of those injured were in critical condition.
A Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy could hardly believe the call when he heard two women were spotted near a Lancaster intersection, one of them holding an alligator.
The Los Angeles Times reports (http://lat.ms/13IVx4U ) Deputy Michael Rust investigated the report Tuesday and found the offending reptile, along with a kangaroo and a monkey inside a van.
The menagerie is part of the "Zoo to You" program in Paso Robles that introduces kids to animals.
The animals had just visited with students at Quartz Hill Elementary when the alligator soiled its cage.
Rust says the driver decided to pull over because the alligator urine odor would be unpleasant during the hours-long drive to Paso Robles.
Rust says he's gotten calls about animals like bulls, bears and mountain lions before, but an alligator is unusual.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com
An American Indian student says she's being fined $1,000 for wearing a feather on her mortarboard when she graduated from high school in south Alabama in late May.
Chelsey Ramer tells WPMI-TV (http://bit.ly/14iZ0WA) that she feels like she's being discriminated against by her alma mater, Escambia Academy in Atmore.
The 17-year-old is part of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and she says she wore a feather at graduation last month to honor her heritage.
The school now is making Ramer pay a $1,000 fine to get her diploma and official transcript. She's accused of violating school policy.
A school contract says students and staff are not allowed to wear extra items during graduation unless they're approved in advance by the administration.
The school headmaster didn't return a message seeking comment Thursday.
On a radio show they hosted called "The Pursuit of Happiness," John Littig and Lynne Rosen urged listeners to embrace spontaneity.
"So much about life is about impulse," Littig said on a broadcast this year on an FM station in New York, WBAI. "It's about doing it right now."
A shocking decision the couple made together appeared more methodical: Police say they killed themselves side by side as part of a suicide pact.
Autopsies found that both Littig, 47, and Rosen, 45, died from asphyxiation after inhaling helium, a spokeswoman for medical examiner's office said Thursday.
The bodies were discovered Wednesday on a couch in the couple's brownstone in Brooklyn.
In separate suicide notes, Lettig indicated that they were determined to die together, while Rosen apologized to her family, police said. But beyond that, why two people who made a living giving advice on how to lead more fulfilling lives decided to cut short their own wasn't clear.
There was no immediate response to a message left Thursday at WBAI.
"RIP Lynne Rosen + John Littig. Partners on the air and in life," the station wrote in a tweet.
The victims were partners in self-help venture called "Why Not Now," according to their website. The site describes Littig as a motivational speaker, workshop facilitator and personal life coach, and Rosen as a life coach, speaker and consultant.
Rosen also was the host of "The Pursuit of Happiness," a once-a-month, hour-long show on the left-leaning WBAI. She was often joined in the Manhattan studio by Littig.
The pair's breezy banter about life's lessons is on display in YouTube postings of the broadcasts. In one, they mull a famous quote, "Do one thing every day that scares you," attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.
"People get scared to make changes and step outside of that comfort zone, right, John?" she says.
"Stepping outside your comfort zone is very important. Or alternatively you can start to get comfortable with change," he responds.
"Yeah! I like that!" she says. "That's great."
And while pondering Albert Einstein's observation, "Imagination is more important than knowledge," Littig espouses the virtues of acting on impulse.
"Intuition, impulse are extraordinarily important things in life," he says. "You will not be well-served if the impulse is shut down or you think about everything too much. Sometimes you just do it."