Nation Briefs

Idaho senator pleads guilty to DWI charge in Va.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – U.S. Sen. Michael Crapo pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of driving while intoxicated and then apologized for his actions and asked forgiveness from his constituents.

The Idaho Republican said nothing during a brief appearance in Alexandria General District Court, where he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and was ordered to pay a $250 fine and complete an alcohol safety program. He also agreed to a 12-month suspension of his driver’s license. The sentence is typical for first-time drunken-driving offenders in Virginia.

But outside of court and in a subsequent conference call with reporters in his home state, Crapo apologized and said he’d been drinking alcohol a few nights a week, in violation of the tenants of his Mormon faith.

Gabby Giffords meets with Newtown families

NEWTOWN, Conn. – Nearly two years after being critically wounded in a mass shooting, former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on Friday met with families of victims in last month’s shooting that left 26 people dead inside a Connecticut elementary school.

Giffords was accompanied by her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, at the private meeting in Newtown that also was attended by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

“As always, I was deeply impressed by the strength and courage and resolve of the families and the extraordinary caring and generosity of Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly in visiting with them,” Blumenthal said.

American Eagle pilot arrested at Minn. airport

MINNEAPOLIS – An American Eagle pilot was suspended after failing a blood-alcohol test as he prepared to fly Friday from Minneapolis to New York City, authorities said.

Police at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport said officers and a Transportation Security Administration agent smelled alcohol as they passed the pilot waiting to get on an elevator. The pilot was conducting preflight checks at about 6 a.m. when police boarded the aircraft, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said.

Officers made him take a breath test and arrested him on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol, Hogan said.

Associated Press