The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River at Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed Thursday, leaving an unknown number of people and vehicles in the water.
The Skagit Valley Herald reports: "Rescue crews have swarmed to the area to redirect traffic around the site and look for people still in the river. Traffic is reportedly backed up at several roadways and authorities are in the area attempting to help people out of the water."
The newspaper reported that three rescue boats and several private vessels are on the river, trying to reach people sitting on their cars in the water.
Trooper Mark Francis told The Associated Press that the bridge collapsed at 7 p.m., but did not why.
Update at 11:59 p.m. ET. More Details
NPR's Martin Kaste just spoke to our Newscast team. Here's his initial report:
"From what we're hearing from initial reports, a steel bridge going over the Skagit River, this is an interstate bridge between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., collapsed right around 7 p.m. Pacific. There are sketchy initial reports that perhaps an oversized truck may have struck part of the bridge although that's unconfirmed."
We also have more links to coverage of the collapse:
Queens of the Stone Age's first album in six years follows an unusually chaotic stretch for the band: Lineup and label changes, frontman Josh Homme's lengthy stint in the hit supergroup Them Crooked Vultures, and what Homme calls "a manic year" all inform the brooding, stormy sound of ...Like Clockwork. But QOTSA has always worn storminess well, as Homme presides over a dense, textured, unpredictable sound that's equal parts mystery, intensity, beauty and bluster.
The band's sixth album, out June 4 on Matador Records, ...Like Clockwork features guest performances by Dave Grohl (one of three drummers onboard), Elton John, Trent Reznor, Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, Mark Lanegan and more. But look for QOTSA to streamline its lineup when it performs the album in its entirety — in sequence — live at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 23. The entire sold-out show, for which QOTSA will also trot out a generous assortment of older material, is set to appear on this page as a video and audio webcast, starting at 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. PT).
Listen for more exclusive performances by Queens Of The Stone Age from NPR affiliate KCRW at 89.9 FM in Los Angeles or KCRW.com.
For gearhead purists, the Fast and the Furious franchise is an ongoing heresy, the sins adding up with each new sequel. The appeal of the genre has always been its simplicity: Greasers racing for pink slips, their muscle cars grinding and screeching and speeding into the horizon.
The Fast and the Furious has moved the genre into the digital era, replacing the force of metal against metal with the unreal bobbing and weaving of an arcade game. And now at five sequels and counting, it's become freighted with the mythology of a George R.R. Martin series, with characters and incidents cobbled together like so many spare parts under a giant chassis.
The 2011 entry, Fast Five, intelligently accommodated the bloat by bringing the gang together for an Ocean's Eleven-style heist in Rio. The streamlined plot had the effect of channeling the series' excesses into a handful of giddily over-the-top action set pieces. The CGI ballet of flying sports cars and twisted wreckage may insult the physics of gearhead classics — to say nothing of the laws of Isaac Newton — but no one could say director Justin Lin doesn't go full throttle.
Now, with the series' lovable rogues dispersed to various tropical locales, each living high off their share of $100 million in ill-gotten money, Fast & Furious 6 has to find a new reason to bring them all together — and it's not nearly so graceful with the heavy lifting.
Porting over a plot from some generic spy thriller, Furious 6 opens with Dwayne Johnson's DDS agent from Fast Five coaxing Dominic (Vin Diesel), Brian (Paul Walker), and the rest of their crew (Tyrese Gibson, Chris Bridges, Sung Kang and Gal Gadot, among others) out of early retirement to stop a powerful mercenary with terrorist designs.
Former British Special Forces operative Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), now an underground operator with deep connections, seeks a computer chip that could lead to mass destruction in the wrong hands. The authorities, naturally, are are too weak and/or corrupt to bring him to justice.
Dominic and Brian have no interest in risking their necks for Johnny Law, but when it's revealed that Dominic's deceased former girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) is actually alive and running with Shaw's gang, they're eager to rescue her and bring her back into the family. (Fans will recall that Letty died in Fast & Furious, the fourth of the series, and the groundwork for her return was laid at the end of the last entry; death has about as much finality in Fast times as it does in a daytime soap.)
Fast 6 pits Shaw's crew against Dominic's in a high-tech battle royale, but it has a devil of a time explaining why everyone should hop into their cars. The obligatory underground racing sequence here — in a London that looks no different from the scenes in Miami or Rio — is such an afterthought that the big race has no finish line and no winner. Lin peppers the film with action beats, including a good piece of hand-to-hand combat in a subway station, but the fact is that the surveillance work necessary to track down Shaw is more practically accomplished on foot.
That leaves Fast & Furious 6 to invest the lion's share of its resources in a highway duel that's as cheerfully ridiculous as any sequence in the series. (One word: tank!) For a 15-minute stretch, Lin and his effects team cut loose with high-speed jousting, massive explosions and countless feats of derring-do no actual human could survive.
It's glorious while it lasts, but then the film goes back to figuring out how to keep its oversized vessel from taking on water. And that's more hard work than it's worth.
A jury considering a sentence for Jodi Arias, convicted earlier this month in the brutal murder of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander.
Arias, 32, faces a possible death sentence on her first-degree murder conviction.
According to The Associated Press "a new panel likely will be seated to try again to reach a decision on a sentence — unless the prosecutor takes death off the table [and] agrees to a life sentence."
Most of us are used to thinking that the evolution of living organisms takes millions of years. But in the case of cockroaches, scientists say the resilient pests have a developed a fast-forward mechanism to save their own exoskeleton.
In a newly published study in the journal Science, a group of researchers conclude that cockroaches have evolved to avoid sweet-tasting poisons by making a subtle change in their body chemistry that makes the bait taste bitter to them.
Cockroaches don't have taste buds, but instead taste hairs. According to The New York Times the researchers:
"... concentrated on those [hairs] around the mouth area and on two types of nerve cells that sense tastes and respond by firing electrical signals to the brain. One responds only to sugars and other sweet substances; the other responds only to bitter substances. Whenever a molecule of something sweet attaches to a sweet detector, it fires electrical impulses and the roach brain senses sweetness, which makes it want to eat whatever it is tasting. Whenever a molecule of something bitter attaches to the bitter detector, that cell fires and the brain senses bitterness, which makes the roach want to avoid that substance.
But somehow the roaches had changed so that the glucose made the bitter detector fire."
How long did it take for cockroaches with a sweet hair to go sour on glucose?
The cockroach glucose aversion "first appeared in the early '90s," Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist at the National Pest Management Association, was quoted by The Times as saying. That's shortly after exterminators started using poison baits instead of spraying as the main method of battling roaches, the newspaper says.