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  • NBA ref Violet Palmer to marry longtime partner

    Updated: 18 min ago

    Violet Palmer made her biggest call yet: The NBA referee will marry her partner of 20 years on Friday. In an interview with The Associated Press, Palmer says she came out to her fellow NBA referees in 2007. She has not tried to keep her sexuality a secret from the league since that time. "This is actually the big formal coming out," Palmer said. "We are saying to the world, to everyone, here's my wife of 20 years. This is the big coming out." Palmer will marry celebrity hair stylist Tanya Stine in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be officiated by "Basketball Wives LA" star Tanya Young Williams, the ex-wife of former NBA All-Star Jayson Williams. Palmer broke barriers in 1997 when she became the first female to refer

  • Investigators reach Ukraine jet crash site

    Updated: 38 min ago

    ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) — As fighting continued to rage in eastern Ukraine, an international team of investigators on Thursday managed to reach the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for the first time since it was brought down by a missile two weeks ago. Clashes along routes to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had kept the delegation from reaching the area to retrieve bodies that have been lying in open fields. But the investigators were allowed through a checkpoint leading to the crash site at the village of Rozsypne early Thursday afternoon by a rifle-toting militiaman who then fired a warning shot to prevent reporters from accompanying the convoy.

  • Tweet derails Cassidy DWI plea deal hearing

    Updated: 41 min ago

    SCHODACK, N.Y. (AP) — A horse racing tweet prompted prosecutors to halt a court hearing at which a lawyer for seventies heartthrob David Cassidy was supposed to accept a plea deal on the singer's behalf. Cassidy was charged last summer with driving while intoxicated in the town of Schodack (SKOH'-dak), near Albany. Because he lives in Florida, prosecutors agreed to let his lawyer appear in court for him Wednesday. But a tweet by the New York Racing Association said Cassidy was at Saratoga Race Course, 40 miles north of Schodack. A prosecutor told The Daily Gazette of Schenectady that officials were "disturbed" to learn Cassidy was nearby but apparently unable to appear. Cassidy's lawyer said his client may not have kn

  • As US job market strengthens, many don't feel it

    Updated: 42 min ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate has plunged since the start of last year to a five-year low of 6.1 percent. And the July jobs report being released Friday will likely show a sixth straight month of healthy 200,000-plus gains. Yet for Douglas Hunter and millions like him, happy days aren't quite here again. Hunter earned $14 an hour cleaning oil drums before the Great Recession seized the economy and his job was axed. At 53, Hunter now works three days a week for $9.25 an hour, mopping floors and fixing fryers at two McDonald's restaurants in Chicago. "If the economy is getting better, I'm not sure for whom," he said. "It certainly hasn't trickled down to me.

  • Water bottle company moves production to Oklahoma

    BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | Published: Thu, Jul 31, 2014

    The CEO of a bottled water business has bought a multimillion-dollar machine to produce the company’s entire inventory in Oklahoma. A local business newspaper reports Ozarka Water CEO Steve Raupe has bought the 5,000-square-foot production line to fill, cap, label and package water bottles. It can produce 360 bottles per minute. The addition means Ozarka’s entire stock will be bottled in-house. Ozarka Water had previously outsourced some of its production to another company. The new equipment in Oklahoma will create four employee positions, bringing the company’s total worker count to 100. Raupe says the production line will help the company save money, but didn’t disclose exact figures.

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the 2011 law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers, sparked massive protests and led to Republican Gov. Scott Walker's recall election and rise to national prominence. The 5-2 ruling upholding the law in its entirety is a victory for Walker, who is considering a 2016 run for president and is seeking re-election this year. It also marks the end of the three-year legal fight over the union rights law, which prohibits public worker unions for collectively bargaining for anything beyond base wage increases based on inflation. A federal appeals court twice upheld the law as constitutional.

  • UPDATE: Flash flood warning in eastern Oklahoma Thursday morning

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Heavy rain is reported in eastern Oklahoma as storms move east, southeast. A flash flood warning has been issued for Latimer and Pushmataha counties.

  • Workers Comp Commission spending includes $1,600 chairs, PR contract

    By ZIVA BRANSTETTER -- Tulsa World | Updated: 1 hr ago

    Since it began operations in February, the Workers Compensation Commission has spent $30,000 furnishing its commissioners’ offices and signed a $4,500 contract with a consultant for a “communications strategy” at the same time it employed a full-time public information officer, a Tulsa World analysis shows. Also, the commission has hired more administrators than counselors to assist injured workers, records show. Executive Director Rick Farmer said that because the commission is a new agency, it is expected to have one-time costs such as furniture. Changes the commission plans, such as an electronic-filing system, will ultimately save the state money, he said.

  • As US economy accelerates, Fed remains cautious

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — After a grim start to 2014, the U.S. economy has rebounded with vigor and should show renewed strength into next year. That was the general view of analysts Wednesday after the government estimated that the economy grew at a fast 4 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. Consumers, businesses and governments combined to fuel the expansion. The government also said growth was more robust last year than previously estimated. Whether the healthier expansion will lead the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates sooner than expected is unclear. The Fed offered a mixed message on the economy Wednesday: Growth is strengthening, and the unemployment rate is steadily falling. Yet by some measures, it suggest

  • Investigators reach Ukraine crash site

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) — An international team of investigators in eastern Ukraine on Thursday reached the crash site of the Malaysia Airline Flight 17 for the first time. Fighting along the route to the wreckage site between government troops and pro-Russian separatist rebels had for several days kept the delegation from reaching the area. An AP journalist at the scene Thursday said it appeared to be under the control of separatist rebel fighters. Police and forensic experts from the Netherlands and Australia are expected to initially focus their efforts on retrieving bodies still on the site and collect victims' belongings. It remains unclear exactly how many bodies remain and what condition they are in after

  • AP Exclusive: Study blames lost calves on panthers

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    IMMOKALEE, Fla. (AP) — Since Florida's frontier days when cattlemen drove their herds through the state's vast fields and forests, ranchers and native panthers have been natural enemies. The ranchers seek to nurture and protect their calves, while the panthers see them as prey. Human development won the battle, driving the large, tawny, cats to the brink of extinction before successful efforts to restore them began decades ago. But with Florida's panther population recovering, some farmers complain the protected 6-to-7-foot long predators are once again killing their calves. Now, university research supports that claim, at least in one part of southwest Florida.

  • UPDATE: Fatal crash reported in northwest Oklahoma City early Thursday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: 3 hr ago

    Police are investigating a traffic fatality early Thursday. A pickup crashed near Memorial Road and N Portland Avenue.

  • Israel vows to destroy Hamas tunnels

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that Israel will destroy the Hamas tunnel network in the Gaza Strip "with or without a cease-fire," as the military called up another 16,000 reservists to pursue its campaign in the densely-populated territory. Netanyahu's vow came as international efforts to end the 23-day-old conflict seemed to sputter despite concern over the mounting death toll, with more than 1,300 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and more than 50 Israelis, almost all of them soldiers, killed since July 8. "We have neutralized dozens of terror tunnels and we are committed to complete this mission, with or without a cease-fire," Netanyahu said.

  • Century-old pipe break points to national problem

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The rupture of a nearly century-old water main that ripped a 15-foot hole through Sunset Boulevard and turned a swath of the University of California, Los Angeles, into a mucky mess points to the risks and expense many cities face with miles of water lines installed generations ago. The flooding sent more than 20 million gallons of water cascading from a water main in the midst of California's worst drought in decades and as tough new state fines took effect for residents who waste water by hosing down driveways or using a hose without a nozzle to wash their car. Much of the piping that carries drinking water in the country dates to the first half of the 20th century, with some installed before Theodore R

  • Oklahoma City metro has one of the wettest Julys on record

    By Graham Lee Brewer, Staff Writer | Updated: 9 hr ago

    State weather experts say this July has not only been cooler than average, it has been one of the wettest on state record, giving some parts of the state much needed rain.

  • Suing Obama: GOP-led House gives the go-ahead

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided House approved a Republican plan Wednesday to launch a campaign-season lawsuit against President Barack Obama, accusing him of exceeding the bounds of his constitutional authority. Obama and other Democrats derided the effort as a stunt aimed at tossing political red meat to conservative voters. Just a day before lawmakers were to begin a five-week summer recess, debate over the proposed lawsuit underscored the harshly partisan tone that has dominated the current Congress almost from its start in January 2013. The vote to sue Obama was 225 to 201. Five conservative Republicans voted with Democrats in opposing the lawsuit. No Democrats voted for it.

  • 3 people killed, deputies wounded in NC shootout

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — An angry husband sprayed his father-in-law's house with bullets from two 30-round magazines, killing two people, after his wife ran to the home during an argument Wednesday. The man later exchanged gunfire with authorities and died of a gunshot wound after hitting several deputies and a state trooper, Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler said. "He just went wild," Butler said of the shooter. "I mean, shooting at random. He just turned it loose, that automatic. He unloaded it every time I think he pulled up there" in front of the victims' house. The violence began before 7 a.m., when 41-year-old Valerie Michaelis called 911 for help, authorities said.

  • House GOP scrambles for votes on border bill

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans, scrambling to win conservative support for a bill addressing the immigration crisis on the border, have scheduled a companion vote on legislation to block President Barack Obama from extending deportation relief to any more immigrants here illegally. The late-night maneuvering Wednesday came ahead of a planned vote Thursday on a $659 million bill to send resources to the border and to speed the return back home of unaccompanied Central American minors who've been arriving by the tens of thousands. Conservative support was lacking with time running short before lawmakers' annual August recess begins Friday. To answer conservative desires to block Obama on immigration, GOP leadership agree

  • Obama takes tougher line against Gaza casualties

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration condemned the deadly shelling of a United Nations school in Gaza Wednesday, using tough, yet carefully worded language that reflects growing White House irritation with Israel and the mounting civilian casualties stemming from its ground and air war against Hamas. The U.S. frustrations were compounded by a flurry of Israeli media reports this week that appeared aimed at discrediting President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, who spent days trying to negotiate an unsuccessful cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. In unusually blunt language, a State Department spokeswoman on Wednesday repeatedly described one of the reports as "complete crap.

  • House approves VA health care overhaul

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The House overwhelmingly approved a landmark bill Wednesday to help veterans avoid long waits for health care that have plagued the Veterans Affairs Department for years. The $16.3 billion measure also would allow the VA to hire thousands of doctors and nurses and rewrite employment rules to make it easier to fire senior executives judged to be negligent or performing poorly. The 420-5 vote sends the bill to the Senate, where approval is expected Thursday. The bill includes $10 billion in emergency spending to help veterans who can't get prompt appointments with VA doctors to obtain outside care; $5 billion to hire doctors, nurses and other medical staff and about $1.3 billion to lease 27 new clinics