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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / January 6, 2009



Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine will take over the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee, according to media reports that President-elect Obama will formally announce Kaine's selection later in the week. Although current DNC chairman Howard Dean will step down Jan. 21, Kaine will remain in his current job and work only part-time at the DNC until 2010, when his term as governor is up. Virginia law prohibits incumbent governors from running for reelection.

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Officials investigating the fatal crash of a helicopter bound for an offshore oil platform in Louisiana's marshlands arrived Monday in the Bayou Penchant area about 100 miles from New Orleans. The PHI Inc. chopper crashed shortly after takeoff Sunday afternoon, killing eight people and critically injuring the lone survivor.

President-elect Obama "choked up a bit" upon leaving his home in Chicago, he said Sunday in heading to Washington to begin final preparations for his Jan. 20 inauguration. The rest of his family relocated the day before in to get settled before daughters Malia and Sasha began classes at private Sidwell Friends School Monday. Until moving into the White House, the Obamas are staying at a hotel across the street.

Construction contractor William Rapetti has been indicted on homicide charges stemming from a crane collapse in mid-Manhattan that killed seven people last year, the district attorney said Monday. Improper use of slings to stabilize the crane allegedly was the cause of the crash.

Former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, whose name has been mentioned as a potential Tennessee GOP gubernatorial candidate in 2010, said he won't run and doesn't have his eye on a potential presidential bid either.

Apple Inc. founder and CEO Steve Jobs will remain head of the company after he undergoes a "relatively simple" medical procedure, he said Monday in an effort to dispel rumors.

In Associated Press balloting for National Football League Coach of the Year, Mike Smith of the Atlanta Falcons edged fellow rookie head coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins by one vote. Both coaches led their teams from last-place finishes in 2007 to playoff berths this year, before each team lost its first-round playoff game over the weekend.

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