National

Murkowski wins Senate race

JUNEAU, Alaska — Sen. Lisa Murkowski was officially named the winner of Alaska's U.S. Senate race Thursday, following a period of legal fights and limbo that lasted longer than the write-in campaign she waged to keep her job.

Gov. Sean Parnell and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who oversees elections, signed the paperwork certifying her win in the hotly contested race.

With certification, Murkowski becomes the first U.S. Senate candidate since Strom Thurmond in 1954 to win a write-in campaign.

Flu season picking up steam, CDC says

ATLANTA — Flu season appears to be picking up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says five states had widespread reports of flu last week, up from zero two weeks earlier.

A CDC report released Thursday says four of the states were in the South — Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Virginia. The other was New York.

The report also says that tests of about 120 virus samples show the circulating flu strains seem to be well-matched to this season's flu vaccine.

Hard Rock Hotel pays to settle complaint

LAS VEGAS — The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a complaint from state gambling regulators that security guards and VIP hosts sold cocaine and ecstasy to patrons and let them use private nightclub bathrooms for sex and drugs.

The hotel agreed Wednesday to pay the settlement without admitting or denying allegations, avoiding a hearing before Nevada regulators who have the power to revoke the casino's gambling license.

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