No Bachmann, no race: Now that Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has announced she would not seek reelection, her political rival, Democrat Jim Graves, is pulling out of the race for her congressional seat, too. “Basically, after all that’s gone on, and with Michele Bachmann now stepping down, I’ve been talking to my friends and family and frankly, the feeling is ‘Mission Accomplished,’” Graves told MinnPost. Graves goal apparently was not to represent the people of Minnesota’s 6th District in Congress, but instead was to make sure Tea Party-favorite Bachmann didn’t.
More storms on tap: A night after storms and floods killed at least three people in the Midwest, forecasters have issued warnings for more of the same today in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri, with the possibility of tornadoes and large hail. Close to a dozen twisters touched down in Arkansas yesterday, while three were confirmed in Oklahoma and one in Illinois.
California wildfire: More than 1,400 acres have burned in Southern California’s Angeles National Forest and in the town of Santa Clarita. The Los Angeles County Fire Department reports that 15 percent of the blaze has been contained. The fire broke out around 4 p.m. yesterday near a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power station in San Francisquito Canyon. High heat and wind have complicated firefighting efforts, as airplanes were to resume dropping flame-retardant chemicals this morning.
“K-N-A-I-D-E-L”: Arvind Mahankali won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night, spelling “knaidel,” a German-Yiddish word for a type of dumpling (think matzo ball), correctly. The 13-year-old from Bayside Hills, N.Y., who has finished third the past two years, had previously stumbled on words with a German origin, but not this time. “The German curse has turned into a German blessing,” he said. Mahankali, who won more than $30,000 in cash and prizes and a trophy, is the sixth straight Indian-American to win the competition and the 11th in the last 15 years.