National

Hostage-taking ends peacefully

WYTHEVILLE, Va. —State police say a daylong standoff at a small-town Virginia post office has ended with three hostages being released and a suspect in custody.

Authorities late Wednesday ordered the suspect to let the hostages go and come out with his hands up.

Soon after, the four left the building in Wytheville, including a man in a wheelchair. State police Sgt. Michael Conroy says that man is the suspect.

Earlier, state police said the man holding the hostages had entered the building pushing a wheelchair.

Conroy says authorities think all the hostages are out. Officers are still checking the building in western Virginia.

Electrical malfunction halts Amtrak trains

NEWARK, N.J. —An electrical malfunction outside New York City brought train service to a standstill Wednesday and spotlighted problems on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor that persist despite a long-term effort to upgrade its aging power supply system.

Trains from Boston to Washington were delayed for about three hours after a low voltage reading was detected near a substation in North Bergen, N.J., where trains go under the Hudson River en route to Manhattan. Thousands of commuters and holiday travelers were stranded or left scrambling for alternative transportation.

"It's pretty awful," said Nick Fesette, 22, whose duffel bag rested on the floor of New York's Penn Station next to two white garbage bags full of wrapped gifts for his family in upstate New York.

Service was restored at about 11:30 a.m., and trains were running at or close to schedule by about 4 p.m.

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