• Deadly 1924 Christmas Eve fire in Oklahoma brought reform

    Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    A 1924 Christmas Eve fire in the rural Oklahoma hamlet of Babbs Switch killed 36 people, many of them children, and helped spark safety reforms. The fire during a Christmas program is considered among the most devastating fires in Oklahoma’s history.


  • Key developments in case of 2 slain NYPD officers

    Updated: 4 min ago

    Two New York police officers were ambushed last weekend by Ismaaiyl Brinsley after he had made threatening posts online, including references to high-profile cases of white police officers killing unarmed black men and a vow to put "wings on pigs." After shooting the officers, Brinsley ran into a Brooklyn subway station and committed suicide. The killings of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos have raised concerns in the already tense nationwide debate surrounding police conduct. Some key developments since the officers' killings: ___ POLICE ON ALERT BEFORE OFFICER'S WAKE, FUNERAL New York police officers remained vigilant against any threats on Thursday as the city readied itself for a wake and a funeral for Ra

  • Crashes kill four in Oklahoma

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    Three people, whose names have not been released, died Wednesday after a two-vehicle collision in Norman, and Morris Eugene Rimes, 62, of Hobart, died after a single-vehicle crash in Jackson County, authorities said.

  • Comanche first out of Sydney Harbour in annual Hobart race

    Updated: 41 min ago

    SYDNEY (AP) — American super maxi Comanche took the lead at the start line and was the first to leave Sydney Harbour in the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race Friday. Comanche, launched in October and being tested for the first time in tough ocean race conditions, held a slender lead over seven-time and defending champion Wild Oats XI. They are two of five super maxis in the 117-yacht fleet that will sail down the New South Wales coast and across Bass Strait to the island state of Tasmania, a total of 628 nautical miles. Comanche, skippered by former America's Cup yachtsman Ken Read, and the rest of the fleet were expected to face 30-knot southerly winds later Friday. Wild Oats set the race record of 1 day, 18 h

  • 'Christmas Vacation' prank: Clark Griswold exit

    Updated: 42 min ago

    CLARK, N.J. (AP) — At least one "Christmas Vacation" fan was driving on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway Thursday. Someone changed a sign for the highway's exit for Clark and Westfield to read "Clark Griswold." Griswold is the father's character played by Chevy Chase in the Christmas cult classic. State Police spokesman Sgt. Gregory Williams confirms photos of the sign posted on social media are real. Williams says the taped-on Griswold sign at the highway's exit 135 later was removed by the Turnpike Authority.

  • Asia marks 10 years since Indian Ocean tsunami

    Updated: 42 min ago

    KHAO LAK, Thailand (AP) — Beachside memorials and religious services were planned across Asia on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that left more than a quarter million people dead in one of modern history's worst natural disasters. The devastating Dec. 26, 2004, tsunami struck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean rim. It eradicated entire coastal communities, decimated families and crashed over tourist-filled beaches the morning after Christmas. Survivors waded through a horror show of corpse-filled waters. As part of Friday's solemn commemorations, survivors, government officials, diplomats and families of victims will gather in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India and elsewhere.

  • On Christmas, Obama marks end of Afghan combat

    Updated: 46 min ago

    KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) — President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America's military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11. At an oceanfront Marine Corps base in Hawaii, Obama told troops that while tough challenges remain for the U.S. military in hotspots like Iraq and West Africa, the world as a whole is better off because American troops put country first and served with distinction. He said Americans and their president could not be more thankful.

  • Capacity crowds pack screenings of 'The Interview'

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Critics and early viewers agree that "The Interview" is less than a masterpiece. But thanks to threats from hackers that nearly derailed its release, it has become an event. Hundreds of theaters Thursday, from The Edge 8 in Greenville, Alabama, to Michael Moore's Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan, made special holiday arrangements for the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures had initially called off the release after major theater chains dropped the movie that was to have opened on as many as 3,000 screens. But with President Obama among others criticizing the decision, Sony officials changed their minds.

  • Nevada goats help eat, recycle Christmas trees

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Goats are known to eat just about anything, but it didn't dawn on Vince Thomas until recently that the menu might include Christmas trees. "They'll eat the pine needles and leave the skeleton of the tree," said Thomas, a longtime volunteer firefighter who has come up with a new use for his family-owned goat herding business, "Goat Grazers." "It basically looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas with a scrawny tree that has nothing but the branches," he told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://tinyurl.com/kctx67s). Thomas is launching a new program with the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District on Friday to use his 40 goats to help recycle Christmas trees.

  • Father of pilot captured by IS pleads for release

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The father of a Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State group in Syria pleaded for his son's release on Thursday, asking the group to treat him well in captivity as a fellow Muslim. So far, there has been silence from the extremists about the fate of their captive, 1st Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh, since gunmen from the group dragged him away following his crash Wednesday morning. Al-Kaseasbeh was carrying out air strikes against the militants when his warplane crashed near the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the Islamic State group's de facto capital. The group has executed captured Iraqi and Syrian Muslim soldiers in the past — it follows an extremist version of Islam that considers rivals, even som

  • Thousands pour into Cox Convention Center for Red Andrews Christmas Dinner

    By Robert Medley, Staff Writer | Updated: 2 hr ago

    A large donation of toys just before Christmas ended any worries there would not be enough to go around for children at the Red Andrews Christmas Dinner in Oklahoma City. About 7,500 people were served by the end of the dinner Thursday.

  • Police in Kosovo stop driver with explosives

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo police say they have foiled an apparent attempt to detonate a car filled with explosive material in the capital Pristina. Police spokesman Baki Kelani said the driver of the car has been arrested and questioned. He said police acted on intelligence and stopped the suspect late Thursday as he drove toward an area where most Western embassies are located, including the United States Embassy. Kelani said the car had Serbia-issued license plates and that the driver has a Serbian passport, but did not disclose his ethnicity or religion. Kosovo's ethnic Albanians are overwhelmingly Muslim.

  • Key developments in case of 2 slain NYPD officers

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    Two New York police officers were ambushed last weekend by Ismaaiyl Brinsley after he had made threatening posts online, including references to high-profile cases of white police officers killing unarmed black men and a vow to put "wings on pigs." After shooting the officers, Brinsley ran into a Brooklyn subway station and committed suicide. The killings of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos have raised concerns in the already tense nationwide debate surrounding police conduct. Some key developments since the officers' killings: ___ POLICE ON ALERT BEFORE OFFICER'S WAKE, FUNERAL New York police officers remained vigilant against any threats on Thursday as the city readied itself for a wake and a funeral for Ra

  • UCF, NC State all business in the Bitcoin Bowl

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Central Florida can finish with at least 10 wins for the fourth time in five years, while North Carolina State hopes to take another step forward under second-year coach Dave Doeren. So for the Knights and Wolfpack, the Bitcoin Bowl on Friday night is much more than just another game. They want to make a strong statement about their programs and where they're headed. "This is just another opportunity to go out there and prove to everyone that UCF is on the map," senior offensive lineman Torrian Wilson said. "We are a great team that works hard and fights hard. We always want to leave an impression on people, and this is just another opportunity to do that.

  • Spokesman: George H.W. Bush remains in hospital

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    HOUSTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush will remain hospitalized through Christmas Day after experiencing shortness of breath two days ago. Family spokesman Jim McGrath said Thursday evening that the 90-year-old Bush remained at Houston Methodist Hospital. McGrath said Bush "had another terrific day and is in great spirits." He said Bush was visited by his wife, Barbara Bush, as well as son Neil Bush. Bush was hospitalized Tuesday night in what was reported as a precaution. Bush is the oldest living former American president. He suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that has forced him to rely on a motorized scooter or wheelchair.

  • Paws by Claus: Santa delivers for animal shelter

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    MADISON, N.J. (AP) — Santa Claus went to work on Christmas Day for an animal shelter. Santa delivered dogs and cats as presents for the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ.com reported (http://bit.ly/1zkOeii). Shelter staffer Melissa Morgan donned the costume to deliver pets adopted this week by parents to doubly surprised children in the area. She took a box to the door of the Crescenzi family in Union, and 4-year-old Angelo ripped the wrapping paper off to reveal a black kitten inside. "The only thing you have to do is love him forever," Morgan told him. "Can you do that?" "Yeah!" yelled Angelo's 2-year-old brother, Giovanni.

  • Power returns to Mississippi town after twister

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    COLUMBIA, Miss. (AP) — Workers restored power Thursday to tornado-scarred Columbia, while volunteers helped clear rubble, cover roofs and do whatever else they could to help the Mississippi town recover. "We figured, what better time to show the love of Jesus than on his birthday?" Ed Brashier, minister of a church in Gardendale Alabama, told WDAM-TV (http://bit.ly/1thrm6V ) on Christmas. Tornadoes killed four people in southwest Mississippi on Tuesday as a storm system kicked off twisters across the region. Marion County coroner Norma Williamson identified one of those killed as Amber Sumrall, 33, of Sandy Hook. Sumrall died after being trapped in the Head-to-Toe beauty salon where she worked, Williamson told The Hat

  • Parties assess variables looking at 2016 map

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    A look at some key factors as the 2016 presidential race begins to take shape: ___ DEMOCRATS' ELECTORAL COLLEGE BASELINE: Democrats have won the same group of states worth 242 electoral votes for every election since 1992. A Democratic nominee who holds those states and adds Florida (29 electoral votes) wins, no matter what the rest of the map looks like. But it's worth noting that Democrats haven't won three consecutive elections since Harry Truman claimed the party's fifth straight in 1948. SAME OLD SWING STATES: Obama's easy wins came because he twice won an additional seven states. Besides Florida, the list includes Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire. Democrats insist that North Carolina and

  • Man shot with stun gun dies at border crossing

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — A 40-year-old U.S. citizen died after a border inspector shot him with a stun gun at the nation's busiest crossing, authorities said Thursday. San Diego police said the man jumped over a counter and attacked an inspector after being taken to a separate area for questioning at the San Ysidro port of entry connecting San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. A records check showed he was wanted on a felony charge. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said the man attacked two inspectors and described him as "combative" in a statement. It said officers found heroin during a body search. The man attempted to enter the U.S. on foot Wednesday afternoon, about four hours before the shooting, according to Custo

  • Silver Alert issued for Oklahoma City man

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Dec 25, 2014

    Clifford Scroggins, 53, walked away from Aspen Way Apartments, 1000 NW 88, and hasn’t been seen since about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, police reported.

  • Swollen streams strand 62 hikers, some for days

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    KAPAA, Hawaii (AP) — Firefighters in Hawaii rescued more than 60 hikers, including some who were stranded for days, when heavy rain made streams too swollen to cross on the island of Kauai. The Kauai Fire Department was notified Wednesday that some hikers were stranded in a valley for several days with dwindling supplies. The county says a total of 62 people were airlifted by the end of the day. Officials say one male hiker suffered a non-life-threatening injury. The rescue came after about 10 people were stranded Monday on the Kalalau (cah-lah-low) Trail but could cross the Hanakapiai (hah-na-cah-pee-eye) Stream without help when the water receded the next day.