Joe Miller drops Senate claims

JUNEAU, Alaska — Republican Joe Miller is ending his fight over Alaska's U.S. Senate seat, conceding the race to his bitter rival, incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Miller's decision, announced Friday at a news conference in Anchorage, comes one day after the state certified Murkowski as the winner.

He had the option of appealing a federal judge's ruling or lodging a formal contest to the election results. While he said he believes he is right about the law, he said it was "very unlikely" an appeals court would side with him and that he had to accept "practical realities."

Three courts ruled against Miller, who argued the state's handling of the election and vote count for Murkowski was not in line with the law.

Plane collides with medical helicopter

WEYERS CAVE, Va. —A small aircraft collided with a medical helicopter in the air Friday afternoon in rural western Virginia, killing two people on the plane, federal aviation officials said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters said the collision occurred at about 2:30 p.m., a half-mile north of the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in Weyers Cave. The airport is about 30 miles northwest of Charlottesville.

The two people killed were aboard a Cessna 172 plane. Their names weren't immediately released. Peters said the helicopter was damaged but landed safely with three people aboard. He said the occupants of the helicopter walked away, and he was not aware of any injuries on the ground.

Peters said it appeared the helicopter was attempting to land and the Cessna was taking off when they collided.