NEVADA: Tour helicopter crashes, killing 5

A helicopter taking people on a luxury sunset tour of the Las Vegas Strip and Hoover Dam crashed Wednesday, killing the pilot and the four passengers, federal authorities said. It crashed into the River Mountains surrounding Lake Mead just before 5 p.m., said National Park Service spokesman Andrew Munoz. A security guard from Lake Mead National Recreation Area heard the crash and reported seeing smoke about 4 miles west of the lake's edge, Munoz said. The crash site, about 30 miles from the Las Vegas Strip, is not accessible by road. A spokesman for Sundance Helicopters told The Associated Press that the helicopter, an Aerospatiale AS350, had been giving a local tour when it went missing.

TEXAS: Shot by mother, girl, 12, dies

A 12-year-old girl shot by her mother during a standoff at a welfare office has died, authorities said. Police spokesman Joe Baeza said Ramie Grimmer died Wednesday in a San Antonio hospital. Her 10-year-old brother, who authorities say was also shot by their mother, Rachelle Grimmer, is in critical condition. Rachelle Grimmer, 38, was found dead Monday inside a state welfare office in Laredo. Authorities say she killed herself after shooting her children during a seven-hour standoff with police. The family lived in a trailer park and had been denied food stamps because her application did not submit enough information. The family moved to Texas from Ohio.

WASHINGTON STATE: Wealthy couple reaped welfare

A Seattle chiropractor and his wife live in a $1.2 million waterfront home and have spent the past eight years flying to Moscow, Paris, Israel, Turkey, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. All the while, federal authorities say, they were collecting more than $100,000 in welfare. Now, the U.S. attorney's office is suing David Silverstein and Lyudmila Shimonova, accusing them of filing false claims and demanding that the couple pay back $135,000 in federal housing assistance received since 2003. Prosecutors are also seeking thousands of dollars in fines. Gaining Section 8 housing assistance, Shimonova represented that she lived alone with her two children and that her household assets were less than $5,000. Silverstein received the monthly benefits of $1,272 as Shimonova's purported landlord, they said.

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