WASHINGTON

Stopgap spending bill goes to Obama

The House voted for a stopgap measure on Friday that avoids a potential U.S. government shutdown this weekend, as talks continue on a $1.1 trillion spending plan and a separate measure to revive dozens of tax breaks.

The House passed the temporary spending bill by voice vote, sending it to President Obama for his signature hours before current funding was set to expire at midnight. The Senate voted a day earlier for the measure, which will finance the government through Dec. 16.

"Negotiations are at a snail's pace," Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R., Ky.) told reporters. He said dozens of disputes remain, and it's unlikely he will be able to release the text of a bill before Monday.

Lawmakers are aiming to leave for the holidays by Dec. 18. - Bloomberg
CALIFORNIA

Copter crash kills 4

A medical helicopter carrying a patient to a hospital crashed amid heavy rain and fog in California's San Joaquin Valley, killing all four people aboard, officials said. The SkyLife air ambulance had a pilot, a nurse, a paramedic, and a patient aboard when it went down in a remote field about halfway through its planned 50-mile trip Thursday night, American Ambulance president Todd Valeri said at a news conference. The names of the dead were withheld until family members were informed. - AP
MISSISSIPPI

B.B. King marker

A black granite slab now marks the gravesite of B.B. King, the blues icon who died nearly seven months ago in Las Vegas but was returned for burial in his native Mississippi. Family, friends, and fans gathered Friday to dedicate the stone, engraved with King's signature, that will become the centerpiece of a memorial garden in Indianola, Miss. - AP