Afternoon Briefing

Bus crash kills one, injures 11

SALT LAKE CITY — A Greyhound bus careened from a highway and plunged into a deep wash, killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring 11 other people on New Year’s Eve in rural Utah, state troopers said Monday.

Investigators were still trying to determine what caused the crash along Interstate 70 west of the city of Green River.

However, a passenger reported a possible medical issue with the driver, the Utah Highway Patrol said in a news release.

The bus was heading west across the desert from Green River to Las Vegas, Trooper Jared Cornia said.

It went off the shoulder of the highway around 11 p.m. and plunged into the wash, crashing about 200 feet from the highway.

The unidentified girl was killed and the bus driver and two passengers were taken by helicopters in serious condition to hospitals in Grand Junction, Colorado, and Provo, Utah.

Cornia did not have updates on their conditions.

Eight other injured passengers were taken by ambulances to hospitals, he said.

Annual Polar Bear plunge held

NEW YORK — Hundreds of people have participated in Coney Island’s annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge despite the temperature outside sitting at a frigid 17 degrees and the water temperature estimated at 37 degrees.

Hundreds more were on hand Monday to cheer the brave souls as they splashed into the Atlantic Ocean, a New York tradition since 1903.

Some people dressed in dinosaur or penguin outfits. Others donned underwear or bathing suits.

It was the seventh plunge for 65-year-old Louie Forte of Brooklyn. He said this was his coldest year yet.

Dennis Thomas is president of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club.

Carlson to chair Miss America group

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Former Fox News Channel anchor and 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson has been named chairwoman of the Miss America Organization’s board of directors.

The organization announced the selection of Carlson on Monday. It marks the first time a former pageant winner has served as the leader of the nearly 100-year-old organization.

The organization also announced that three other past Miss Americas are joining the board. The appointments of Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, Heather French Henry and Kate Shindle take effect immediately, as does Carlson’s.

The new leadership comes less than two weeks after leaked emails surfaced showing CEO Sam Haskell and others disparaging the appearance, intellect and sex lives of former Miss Americas. Haskell resigned Dec. 23

Most of the previous board members also have resigned.

W.Va. to capture elk in Arizona

CHARLESTON — West Virginia wildlife officials say 60 elk coming to the state from Arizona will be captured in January.

Division of Natural Resources wildlife chief Paul Johansen told The Gazette-Mail that a private company will capture the animals in Arizona over a 3-day period in late January and state workers will tag and microchip them and take blood samples.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission approved the capture and transport as part of West Virginia’s ongoing elk restoration project.

West Virginia elk project leader Randy Kelley said after the animals are captured, they will be held in quarantine for 30 days in Arizona, and then put on trucks for transport to the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area in Logan County, West Virginia.

Kelley said he was a little surprised when he was told capturing the elk would take only three days.

“I figured it would take about a week, but the company that will be doing the work is apparently really good at it,” he added.

By The Associated Press

“The Arizona folks said they were able to capture about 20 a day when they were helping Kentucky with their elk reintroduction project.”

Kelley said he’ll take a handful of workers who have experience with the large animals, which can weigh up to 700 pounds.

“If (the contractor is) able to capture the animals that fast, we’re going to have our work cut out for us,” he said. “That means we’ll be working up two to three of them every hour.”

He said Division of Natural Resources hopes to be able to release the animals in West Virginia in March. They will join nearly two dozen elk received in 2016.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.