Thursday, May 15, 2014
The Hearst News Service will file or has filed these news and feature stories for Friday. If you have questions, please call Dan Freedman or David McCumber at 202-263-6400. After 8 p.m. EDT, call Dan Freedman at 240-461-5405.
WASHINGTON ("w'' category)
VETERANS-HEALTH-SCANDAL (Washington) — Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, but he is expected to limit his remarks substantially because of advice from the agency's inspector general not to compromise the VA investigation into the growing health-care scandal. Recent reports from multiple locations have chronicled long waiting periods for care, elaborate VA schemes for concealing the waiting lists, and multiple deaths allegedly resulting from lack of care. By STEWART M. POWELL.
MAYOR-RAIL (Washington) — Stamford, Conn., Mayor David Martin will testify at a hearing held by a U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation subcommittee on the need for investments in rail infrastructure and the importance of rail to Stamford and the state. The New Haven rail line is the single busiest rail line in North America. By WILL BROWN.
FEINSTEIN-DROUGHT (Washington) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said she plans to "hotline" her emergency drought bill in the Senate next week, a parliamentary move to flush out opponents, as she lashed out against environmental groups for contributing nothing to her efforts to adapt California water policy to a burgeoning population. By CAROLYN LOCHHEAD.
NATIONAL ("a'' category)
SPERM-HEALTH (Undated) — Men who are infertile because of problems with their sperm — low counts, poor mobility, odd shapes — are likely to die earlier than fertile men with normal sperm, according to Stanford researchers. By ERIN ALLDAY.
BAY-BRIDGE (Undated) — Yet another problem has arisen on the new Bay Bridge eastern span, one that could take as long as a year to fix: The cable that wraps around the single tower suspension span doesn't fit right in the anchor holes at the eastern end of that section of the bridge, and officials fear it could be damaged by rubbing against steel plates. By JAXON VAN DERBEKEN.
CRASH-MEMORIES (Bridgeport, Conn.) — The one-year anniversary of the Metro-North derailment is Saturday. We talk to the people who were on those trains, look at where the victims of the crash are now and summarize resulting lawsuits against the railroad. By DANIEL TEPFER.
GRADUATE (Houston) — Like many retirees, 68-year-old Philip Karam spends his time working on his bucket list. He recently saw Disneyland and went on an Alaskan cruise. He still wants to learn piano and he wants a part in a movie, TV show or national TV commercial. Saturday he's checking off his latest accomplishment. Karam is graduating from college — exactly 50 years after he walked the stage at his high school. Karam, a Vietnam veteran who until a few years ago was working at the ship channel, is typical of the University of Houston Downtown's atypical student body, which features many part-time commuter students, whittling away at their college degree, many of them older than the average college student. By BENJAMIN WERMUND. (Already filed)
VENTURE (Houston) — University of Houston officials hope a deal worth up to $25 million will transform its Energy Research Park into a regional startup hub that eventually will pump hundreds of jobs into Houston's economy and attract venture capital that state leaders crave. By BENJAMIN WERMUND.
DOME (Houston) — The looming designation of the Astrodome as a "state antiquities landmark" would not bar its demolition or result in any significant grants to redevelop the deteriorating stadium, preservation officials said this week. That reality came into focus at a meeting of Astrodome stakeholders convened by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who said he wanted everyone to be "on the same page" about where things stand with the iconic stadium after voters last fall rejected a $217 million redevelopment proposal, and a few months before the commission decides whether to deem the dome an antiquities landmark. By KIAH COLLIER.
BRUNO (Albany, N.Y) — Closing arguments and jury deliberations are expected on Thursday. By ROBERT GAVIN.
NYGOP (Albany, N.Y.) — Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino rallied the crowd at the state GOP convention to "join the fight to save New York" Thursday morning as he accepted his party's nod to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. By JORDAN CARLEO EVANGELIST.
BUSINESS/FINANCIAL NEWS ("f'' category)
VYSK-SA (San Antonio) — A fledgling San Antonio company that has developed smartphone cases designed to prevent eavesdropping and hacking plans to announce a major expansion Thursday. Vysk Communications Inc. expects to employ 350 people in its manufacturing, distribution and headquarter operations here within 18 months, CEO Victor E. Cocchia said. By PATRICK DANNER. (Already filed)
HOMES-SALES (Houston) — Countless families are unable to catch a break in Houston's housing market where demand for homes continues to grow, depleting inventory and pushing prices to new highs. The median price for a single-family home in April hit another new high of $195,000, a five percent jump over this time last year, new data from the Houston Association of Realtors show. By NANCY SARNOFF.
CRAZYRAIN (Albany, N.Y.) — New Yorkers can expect to see more intense rains from so-called tropical cyclone storms, like Sandy, Irene and Lee, that battered the state in recent years, a national climate science expert told a conference at the University of Albany. By BRIAN NEARING.
WORKING (Houston) — How companies are focused on trying to build trust and employee engagement to drive productivity, retention. By L.M. SIXEL.
ENTERTAINMENT ("e'' category)
MOVIEREVIEW-GODZILLA (Undated) — Movie review of "Godzilla." The monster returns. Bryan Cranston tries to channel his inner Walter White to conquer the big lizard. By MICK LaSALLE. (Already filed)
TV-PLIMPTON-REVIEW (Undated) — Review of new documentary on "George Plimpton," airing 5/16 on PBS (check local listings). With rating. By DAVID WIEGAND. (Already filed)
COMMENTARY ("k'' category)
LLEWELLYN-KING (Undated) — No diagnosis strikes fear into people as thoroughly as cancer. It is the sum of all fears when it comes to health. Cancer deserves its position as the most feared disease, even if it is not as lethal as it once was and many cancers can be treated. To know someone in the throes of cancer is to know something terrible. Heart disease kills more of us, but cancer is enthroned as the ultimate horror. By LLEWELLYN KING. (Already filed)