YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — Officials say the pilot of a small helicopter was killed in a crash in southeastern South Dakota. The Federal Aviation Administration said the AG-915 Spartan helicopter went down Tuesday morning near the Chan Gurney Municipal Airport in Yankton. Officials say only the pilot was on board. Yankton Assistant Fire Chief Larry Nickels tells WNAX radio the aircraft was destroyed upon impact. Nickels says the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board have been called to investigate because a fatality is involved.

A 2009 planning exercise dubbed Project Phoenix eerily anticipated the potential damage the Tampa Bay area is facing from Hurricane Ian. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Department of Emergency Management sponsored the simulation to address the challenges of responding to and recovering from a Category 5 hurricane. The simulation, including a fictional documentary, envisioned more than 160 deaths, 30,000 missing people, upwards of 300,000 people seeking shelter and as much as $200 billion in building damage. The simulation was updated in 2020 with Project Phoenix 2.0 focusing on small business recovery.

NASA’s moon rocket is safely back inside its hangar as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, its launch now unlikely before mid-November. Instead of attempting to blast off Tuesday on its first test flight, the 322-foot rocket was moved off its launch pad at Kennedy Space Center. A NASA official says it will be difficult to upgrade the rocket and get it back to the pad for an October launch attempt. The next shot would be Nov. 12. Fuel leaks and engine issues foiled the first two tries a month ago.

HAVANA (AP) — Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday and left 1 million people without electricity. Now it’s on a collision course with Florida over warm Gulf waters expected to strengthen it into a catastrophic Category 4 storm. Ian made landfall early Tuesday in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, where officials set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people, rushed in emergency personnel and took steps to protect crops in the nation’s main tobacco-growing region. Ian was expected to get even stronger over the warm Gulf of Mexico. In Florida, 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate.

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time in a decade, Americans will pay less next year on monthly premiums for Medicare’s Part B plan, which covers routine doctors’ visits and other outpatient care. The rare 3% decrease in monthly premiums — a savings of $5.20 for most — comes after millions of Medicare beneficiaries endured a tough year of high inflation and a dramatic increase in those premiums this year. Most people on Medicare will pay $164.90 monthly for Part B coverage starting next year. The decrease in Medicare fees comes as many older people await news about big increases next year to their Social Security checks, which are often used to pay for Medicare premiums.

Kremlin announces vote, paves way to annex part of Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Moscow officials say that residents in three of the four occupied areas of Ukraine voted to join Russia. The Kremlin-orchestrated votes have been dismissed by the U.S. and its Western allies as illegitimate. According to Russia-installed election officials, 93% of the ballots case in the Zaporizhzhia region were in support of annexation, as were 87% of ballots in the southern Kherson region and 98% in Luhansk. The preordained outcome sets the stage for a dangerous new phase in Russia’s seven-month war in Ukraine because it is expected to serve as a pretext for Moscow to annex the four areas. That could happen as soon as Friday.

Jan. 6 panel delays hearing as Hurricane Ian aims at Florida

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Jan. 6 committee has postponed a hearing scheduled for Wednesday as a hurricane hurtles toward the Florida coast. The committee had planned to hold what was likely to be its final investigative hearing Wednesday afternoon. But lawmakers decided at the last minute to delay it as it became clear that Hurricane Ian was churning on a collision course toward Florida, where it is expected to strengthen into a catastrophic Category 4 storm. The committee had not yet provided a specific agenda for the Wednesday hearing, but Rep. Adam Schiff said over the weekend it would “tell the story about a key element of Donald Trump’s plot to overturn the election.”

Senators push to reform police’s cellphone tracking tools

NEW YORK (AP) — Civil rights lawyers and Democratic senators are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. law enforcement agencies’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time, and sometimes without a search warrant. Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal” raised in an investigation by The Associated Press published earlier this month also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago. Police agencies have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life,” according to thousands of pages of records about the company.

Jan. 6 sedition trial underway for Oath Keepers leader

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jury selection is underway in one of the most serious cases to emerge from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates are charged with seditious conspiracy. Stewart Rhodes and the others are the first Jan. 6 defendants charged with the the rare Civil War-era offense to stand trial. The judge began winnowing the pool of potential jurors after denying another bid from defense attorneys to have the case moved out of Washington. Lawyers for the Oath Keepers say they can’t get a fair trial in the capital city.

UN General Assembly meeting of world leaders, by the numbers

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly is over. While the parade of world leaders flocking to New York seemed endless, data shows it indeed wasn’t. Over six days and dozens of hours, 195 leaders spoke about the rather dire state of the world. That figure includes two U.N. officials, three permanent observers, and the heads of government, heads of state, ministers and permanent representatives from 190 countries. Of those speakers, 22 were women. The longest speech was nearly three times the recommended limit of 15 minutes, while the jauntiest was less than half that.

Funds to aid Jackson’s water system held up as governor rose

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Years before he became Mississippi governor, Tate Reeves served as the state’s treasurer and had a hand in delaying funds for water system repairs in the capital city of Jackson. He also claimed to have blocked funds. The Republican was part of the state Bond Commission, which in 2010 delayed voting on issuing bonds for the city to make repairs after a breakdown despite state legislators authorizing the debt. Reeves ultimately voted to approve the bonds. But as he faced attacks from a primary opponent questioning his fiscal conservatism, he said the commission refused to vote on bonds for Jackson’s water system. Jackson continues to have water system problems. Residents were recently left without running water for days.

Records: Texas attorney general fled home to avoid subpoena

DALLAS (AP) — Court documents say Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ran out of his house and jumped into a truck driven by his wife, a state senator, to avoid being served a subpoena in an abortion access case. A process server wrote in an affidavit that on Monday he was attempting to deliver the subpoena at Paxton’s home for the Republican to testify Tuesday in a federal court hearing. Ernesto Martin Herrera says he was forced to leave the document on the ground. He said Paxton avoided him for more than an hour and fled. Paxton suggested he ducked the server out of safety concerns.

US stocks end mixed a day after Dow entered a bear market

Stocks ended a wobbly day with mixed results on Wall Street as markets continue to be unstable amid worries about a possible recession. The volatile trading came a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average followed other major U.S. indexes into a bear market. The S&P 500 slipped 0.2%, the Dow fell a bit more and the Nasdaq composite wound up with a gain of 0.2%. With just a few days left in September, stocks are heading for another losing month as markets fear that the higher interest rates being used to fight inflation could help knock the economy into a downturn.