Senate OKs storm aid
The Senate on Friday approved a $60.4 billion emergency spending aid package for victims of Hurricane Sandy that had been backed by Senate Democrats. The measure passed on a 62-32 vote, with 12 Republicans supporting the bill. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., was the only Democrat to vote against the bill, but he later switched his vote to support the measure. The bill faces uncertain prospects in the House, where GOP leaders appear reluctant to move quickly on a big spending bill in the final days of a lame duck session.
Girl’s body identified
The weeklong search for a Las Vegas girl ended Friday afternoon when officials confirmed that a small body found in an undeveloped housing tract belonged to the missing child. The Clark County coroner’s office said a body discovered Thursday belongs to 10-year-old Jade Morris, who police had been searching for since Christmas Day. She died of multiple stab wounds, the coroner’s office said. Jade was last seen Dec. 21 with family friend Brenda Stokes Wilson, who picked her up to go Christmas shopping. Wilson, 50, returned the car she had borrowed for the outing to a friend two hours later. Jade never came back. Later that night, Wilson was wrestled to the ground with razors in each hand after allegedly slashing the face of a female co-worker at the Bellagio casino. A judge raised her bail to from $60,000 to $600,000 on Friday morning after she was identified as the suspect in the child’s killing.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK.
Thousands still in dark
A cold rain fell across Arkansas on Friday, washing away some of the Christmas Day ice and snow that knocked out power to 194,000 customers — including businesses that rely on post-holiday sales — of the state’s largest electric utility. Entergy Arkansas said it had completed about 40 percent of its repairs by Friday, but that just under 100,000 were still without electricity. The pace of repairs has slowed, the utility said, because crews are going into areas with more significant damage. Many in Little Rock, Hot Springs and Malvern won’t have their lights and heat back until Tuesday.
Compiled from wire reports.