VIRGINIA

Fire and oil spill follow derailment

About 15 train tanker cars carrying crude oil derailed Wednesday afternoon in Lynchburg, Va., plunging several into the James River, sparking a fire and spilling oil.

The derailment prompted evacuations downtown near the railway for hours until the fire was extinguished. There were no reports of injuries or damage to nearby buildings.

Downstream more than 100 miles, a spokeswoman for the city of Richmond said utility officials stopped capturing water from the river as a precaution until the extent of environmental damage was clear. Amid concerns over the spill and weather-related flooding, Richmond is relying on a backup canal for water. Lynchburg said the spill did not affect its water supply.

CSX, which operated the train, said the fire erupted from three punctured cars after the 2:30 derailment. The fire is the latest involving trains carrying crude. - L.A. Times
OHIO

Execution is halted

Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich has granted clemency to an inmate set to die this month after being convicted of killing a Cleveland produce vendor in 1983. The decision follows a recommendation by the Parole Board in favor of mercy for Arthur Tyler, 54, whose attorneys argue he is innocent. Kasich reduced the sentence to life with no chance for parole. - AP

NEW YORK

The pick of the Ivies

Rwasi Enin is taking his brains to Yale. The suburban New York student, who hit a rare jackpot in being accepted to all eight Ivy League schools, said Wednesday before a phalanx of national media cameras that he had decided to be a member of Yale's Class of 2018. Enin, 17, whose parents emigrated from Ghana in the 1980s, scored 2,250 out of 2,400 on his SAT. He said the clincher was last week's visit to the campus, where "I met geniuses from all across the world." - AP