NATION IN BRIEF: Obama says little short-term help for gas prices

Obama says little short-term help for gas prices

FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. -- Pitching the promise of energy independence, President Barack Obama cautioned Wednesday that it's going to be tough to transition from America's oil-dependent economy and acknowledged there's little he can do to lower gas prices over the short term.

"I'm just going to be honest with you. There's not much we can do next week or two weeks from now," the president told workers at a wind turbine plant. It's a theme Obama's struck before as he tries to show voters he's attuned to a top economic concern with gas prices pushing toward $4 a gallon.

Navy: Fighter jet crashes in Central Calif. field

LEMOORE, Calif. -- Navy officials said a fighter jet has crashed in a field near a Central California air base. There's no immediate word on any possible injuries.

Officials from the Naval Air Station in Lemoore say the F/A-18 aircraft went down shortly after noon Wednesday.

They say emergency crews are at the scene, but gave no other details.

F/18 Hornets are single-seat jets that are used by the military for combat operations and also in the Navy's Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron, which performs aerial shows.

Southwest Airlines patches hole in jet in Ariz.

PHOENIX -- Southwest Airlines is patching a large hole in a Boeing 737 that made an emergency landing in southwestern Arizona last week, but the company won't say when or if it will be back in service.

Engineers with Boeing are working with the airline on the fix.

Federal investigators cut out a large section of the roof surrounding the 5-foot by 1-foot tear so they can analyze why a rivet line failed.

Teams of Southwest mechanics have placed a large green patch on the plane as it sits on a runway in Yuma. An airport official says she expects the plane to fly out within days.

Police arrest 2 suspects in teen's death

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Two 18-year-olds from a Phoenix suburb were arrested in the dragging death of a 16-year-old girl.

Police in Glendale arrested Lino Chavez and Jose Solis Apodaca in the investigation of the death of Independence High School student Anita Munoz.

Court paperwork says Chavez was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder. The court ordered him held on $500,000 bond.

Apodaca is being held without bond. He faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and trafficking in stolen property.

US charges 17 in South Beach alcohol scam

MIAMI -- Seventeen people have been charged in an alleged scheme to defraud out-of-town visitors by using so-called "B-Girls" to lure them to shady South Beach private clubs where they are charged exorbitant prices for liquor, champagne and other alcoholic beverages, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The "B-Girls" -- short for "Bar Girls" -- troll legitimate Miami Beach nightspots for businessmen and tourists who appear wealthy based on such accessories as expensive watches and nice shoes, according to an FBI affidavit. The women, most of them brought into the scheme from Eastern Europe and Russia, then invite the men to private clubs and begin pouring the booze, racking up huge charges on the victims' credit cards.

The operators also sometimes took pictures of the victims with bottles of alcohol to use as proof of the purchase, which sometimes ran $6,000 a pop or more, and one victim lost $43,000. The FBI affidavit says the "B-Girls" kept 20 percent of the business they brought in, with the owners getting 10 percent.

Ariz. woman, 81, recovering from bee attack

YUMA, Ariz. -- An 81-year-old Arizona woman is recovering after being attacked by hundreds of bees.

A spokesman for the Yuma Fire Department said when paramedics arrived Monday, they found the woman sitting on a sidewalk covered in the insects. The department says she was stung multiple times on her face and body.

Firefighters sprayed the woman with a foam mixture to remove most of the bees and keep them back while moving the victim. Paramedics began treating her immediately and she was transported to a hospital.