• New Yuma courthouse named for judge unveiled

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    YUMA, Ariz. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as well as several current Arizona lawmakers have dedicated a new federal courthouse named for the judge killed in the 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson. The U.S. General Services Administration says Giffords, U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake were among those who spoke at a ceremony Thursday afternoon outside the John M. Roll U.S. Courthouse. Roll was one of six people killed in the January 2011 mass shooting. Giffords and 12 others were wounded. Roll, who served as chief federal judge in Arizona, signed off on the design of the new courthouse days before his death. The $33.4 million courthouse includes a solar panel canopy, two courtrooms, judges' cha

  • Governor appoints Justin Fawson to open House seat

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed North Ogden city council member Justin Fawson to fill a House seat vacated by Ogden Republican Ryan Wilcox. Herbert announced the appointment Thursday after Fawson was recommended by state Republican Party delegates. Fawson is a director of marketing at security company Mountain Alarm and has served as a councilman since 2012. Fawson is also running in an election for Wilcox's seat this November. He faces a June 24 primary race against Dan Duel for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Democrat Camille Neider and Libertarian Roger Condie in November's general race. Wilcox resigned his seat in House District 7 in mid-March to work for U.S.

  • Czech man faces fine after near miss with train

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) — Czech police say a man faces a fine after having a near miss with a train while walking over a level crossing. In a video provided by police, a car dropped off the unidentified man and he walked toward the crossing as the gates came down. He walked around the gates, but didn't start crossing the five sets of tracks until about 10 seconds later. The man appeared to see the train approaching, because he broke into a jog while looking to his left. A train traveling at 120 kph (75 mph) then clipped his left foot and the force of the impact took off a shoe and knocked him to the ground. He struggled to get up, and when he did, he was hobbling and in a shock.

  • 2 men end federal lawsuit over Kansas voter ID law

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two elderly northeast Kansas men have dropped a federal lawsuit challenging a state law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls. Attorney Jim Lawing said Thursday that Arthur Spry and Charles Hamner asked to have the case dismissed because a trial wasn't set until next year and they found requests for personal information intrusive. The two men live in a retirement home in Overbrook. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil in Kansas City, Kan., granted their request Wednesday for a dismissal. Spry and Hamner sued Secretary of State Kris Kobach after their votes in the November 2012 election weren't counted because they couldn't produce valid photo ID.

  • Brighton wins Supreme Court appeal over demolition

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BRIGHTON, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court has unanimously upheld an ordinance in a Livingston County community that can require the demolition of buildings if the cost to repair them exceeds the value. The court says Leon and Marilyn Bonner don't have a constitutional right to repair unsafe structures in Brighton. The justices say the ordinance is reasonably related to the city's interest in promoting the health, safety and welfare of residents. The opinion was released Thursday. It overturns a 2012 decision by the state appeals court. The Bonners own two homes and a garage in downtown Brighton that have been unoccupied for decades. In 2009, the city informed them that the buildings were unsafe and considered

  • Nation and world news briefs

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WORLD Lots of pomp but no trade deal in Obama’s visit to Japan TOKYO — President Barack Obama spent his first full day of a weeklong Asia trip aimed at renewing U.S. ties to the region with the red-carpeted pomp of a state dinner, a visit to a shrine — where he left a prayer card — and the “full trust” of Japan’s prime minister that the U.S. will back it in a tiff over disputed land with China. Obama isn’t leaving here with a long-sought agreement on opening up Asia to trade with the United States, but he heads Friday to South Korea with a measure of support from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who repeatedly called him “Barack” during a joint news conference.

  • Oregon gets ready to jettison health care exchange after website woes

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    DURHAM, Ore. — Oregon officials are poised to vote Friday on whether to jettison their troubled health insurance exchange and become the first state in the country to switch to the federal version, which had its own rocky start before righting itself. At a Thursday meeting, Cover Oregon’s technology advisory committee announced that it had recommended that the agency scrap its local exchange because there is neither the time nor the money available to fix it. The Cover Oregon board will vote Friday. If the board accepts the recommendation, “we won’t use the technology for the local exchange,” said Clyde Hamstreet, Cover Oregon’s interim executive director. “We’ll be using federal technology for the applicants

  • House panel to vote in May on Hall impeachment

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas House panel will vote next month whether to recommend the impeachment of University of Texas System Regent Wallace Hall for his efforts to oust the president of the system's flagship Austin campus. The House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations has been investigating Hall for months. It met Thursday to review a report of his efforts to have UT Austin President Bill Powers fired. The report had said that Hall leaked confidential student information in apparent violation of state and federal laws. The committee met in private for about three hours before announcing it would vote on May 12. A vote to recommend impeachment would be the first step toward potentially removing Ha

  • Miss. probing death of infant whose parents fled

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi authorities say it could be weeks before they know what caused the death of 7-month-old Alyssa Harris, whose parents fled to Georgia after the grandfather called emergency workers to try to help the unresponsive baby. Police captured the parents — 34-year-old Donald Boyd Harris and 31-year-old Allison Studdard — early Thursday in Sylvester, Ga., about 170 miles south of Atlanta. Authorities say Harris and Studdard are being held on felony drug warrants, and deputies are heading Friday to Georgia to bring them back to Mississippi. Mississippi issued an Amber Alert on Wednesday for the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Maliah Harris, after Donald Harris and Studdard fled with her. She w

  • 5 Things to Know about Colorado pot revenue

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    DENVER (AP) — Some Colorado lawmakers want to use $3.5 million in recreational pot tax revenue to seek a matching Medicaid grant from the federal government, which considers pot illegal. Here are five things to know about the state's marijuana income: — HOW IT'S GOING: Recreational pot sales began Jan. 1. Legislative economists estimate Colorado will sell nearly 2 million ounces of recreational pot next fiscal year. At an estimated $200 an ounce, Colorado would sell nearly $395 million worth. — HOW MUCH POT COSTS: Marijuana is like alcohol, the price isn't set by the state and it fluctuates wildly based on potency and quality. Pre-rolled joints at some dispensaries sell for roughly $4.

  • Lawsuit filed to stop Idaho gold-mine exploration

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A conservation group and the Nez Perce Tribe have filed a lawsuit against three federal agencies seeking to stop a central Idaho gold-mine exploration project by a Canadian company. The tribe and the Idaho Conservation League filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Idaho against the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service. The lawsuit contends the agencies didn't adhere to federal environmental laws in approving the three-year Golden Meadows Exploration Project proposed by Midas Gold Inc., a Boise-based branch of Midas Gold Corp., headquartered in Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

  • Severe storms loom across central US this weekend

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Forecasters are predicting a significant chance of strong tornadoes this weekend across a large part of the nation's mid-section, an outbreak that could stretch from the Great Plains to the Midwest and South. It's been a quiet year for tornadoes so far, but that doesn't mean the placid weather won't take an abrupt turn, forecasters said Thursday. "Our run of relatively quiet weather may be about to come to an end," Bill Bunting, operations chief for the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., said. Bunting said the coming system will start Saturday in the Plains — Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and a sliver of South Dakota — and move eastward into Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana on S

  • Federal jury finds ex-Hawaii soldier guilty of murder in beating death of 5-year-old daughter

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Federal jury finds ex-Hawaii soldier guilty of murder in beating death of 5-year-old daughter.

  • Getting Ready for Hillary in 2016 a costly deal

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    (c) 2014, Bloomberg News. Getting Ready for Hillary isn't cheap. The super political action committee by that name is averaging roughly $500,000 a month in expenses — nearly as much as it's bringing in — as it builds a database of supporters and donors ahead of a possible 2016 presidential bid by the former U.S. secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady, disclosure records show. Fundraising costs — from online advertising to printing, from postage to airline flights and town car rentals — are the group's biggest expenses, generating revenue for selected vendors. "We're doing something different that has never been done before," said Seth Bringman, the super-PAC's spokesman. "We are looking t

  • Trade deal eludes Obama in Japan; more talks planned

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    WASHINGTON — While failing to seal a deal on his ambitious plan to expand trade in the Pacific Rim, President Barack Obama on Thursday said a long-stalled trade pact still can be finalized if Japan opens its markets and accepts more U.S. exports of everything from cars to farm goods. “That’s my bottom line, and I can’t accept anything else,” Obama said at a news conference in Tokyo. After meeting privately with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the president said that “important progress” had been made in trying to wrap up the deal, adding: “I continue to believe we can get this done.

  • Port Authority at crossroads as World Trade funds draw scrutiny

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    (c) 2014, Bloomberg News. NEW YORK — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's failure to agree to a loan guarantee for World Trade Center site developer Larry Silverstein shows agency leaders are wrestling over its direction as they seek to fix the dysfunction exposed by the George Washington Bridge scandal. The agency's nine commissioners Wednesday postponed until May a vote on a $1.2 billion backstop for a third skyscraper at the 16-acre site it owns in Lower Manhattan.

  • Expert testifies suspect in USS Cole bombing was tortured

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    The Saudi prisoner awaiting death-penalty trial for the USS Cole bombing was tortured physically, mentally and sexually, an expert in torture treatment testified Thursday in a war court defense effort to get the captive better health care. Dr. Sondra Crosby offered the diagnosis in open court in carefully choreographed testimony that never once mentioned that the accused Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 49, got to Guantanamo from four years of CIA captivity, during which he was interrogated with waterboarding and threats to his mother and was threatened by a revving power drill. “I believe that Mr. al-Nashiri has suffered torture — physical, psychological and sexual torture,” Crosby said before the judge, Army Col. James L. Poh

  • Holder plans to remain as attorney general through the mid-term elections

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    (c) 2014, The Washington Post. WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder has decided he will stay in his job through the fall mid-term elections, but he will not commit beyond the end of the year, according to Justice Department officials familiar with his plans. After Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation earlier this month, some Washington insiders speculated that Holder would also resign before the mid-term elections, because it would be more difficult to confirm a new attorney general if the Democrats lost control of the Senate. A medical scare in February also added to the sense that Holder's departure might be imminent.

  • Doctor: Slain Minnesota teen was intoxicated

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — An 18-year-old woman who was fatally shot by a Minnesota homeowner was intoxicated on cough syrup when she and her cousin broke into the man's home, a medical examiner testified Thursday at the homeowner's murder trial. Byron Smith, of Little Falls, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of Haile Kifer and Kifer's cousin, 17-year-old Nick Brady, on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Smith, 65, claimed he was defending himself and feared for his life after several break-ins at his home. Under cross-examination by the defense, Dr. Kelly Mills with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office said Kifer had an ingredient from cough medicine in her system at a level that would make her into

  • Stocks close mostly higher on earnings; Apple up

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market closed mostly higher Thursday, helped by positive earnings out of several large U.S. companies including Apple and construction equipment maker Caterpillar. The markets gains were modest, however, as investors turned their eyes back to Russia and Ukraine, where geopolitical tensions were heating up once again. Some earnings reports, such as 3M and Facebook, also failed to impress investors. It was the seventh time in the last eight days that the S&P 500 has closed higher. Despite the recent upward momentum, traders remain nervous.