• Teams assess damage as California wildfire burns

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (AP) — Assessment teams sought Saturday to find out just how many structures have been damaged or destroyed by a massive wildfire that threatens thousands of homes in Northern California. While officials confirmed that several structures have been lost in what is being called the King Fire, dangerous conditions have prevented them from determining an exact number or how many of them were homes, fire spokesman Mike McMillian said. The blaze began one week ago, and a man accused of starting the blaze is being held on $10 million bail.

  • Last stretch of New York's High Line to open

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — The last stretch of New York's High Line opens Sunday, completing one of the nation's most distinctive urban transformations: abandoned elevated rails that have been turned into a linear oasis of flowers, grasses and trees. That last, half-mile section finishes the 22-block walkway that over five years has helped drive the hip gentrification of the Chelsea neighborhood on Manhattan's West Side. Luxury condos, galleries, restaurants and boutiques have all but pushed out the industrial grime around the old freight route that once delivered goods to warehouses, meatpacking and manufacturing plants.

  • Pope chooses a moderate for Chicago archbishop

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    As the leader of two American dioceses, Roman Catholic Bishop Blase Cupich has staked out a firm position in the middle of the road. He has spoken out against same-sex marriage and against conservative hostility toward gay rights advocates. He has opposed abortion, while urging parishioners and priests to have patience, not disdain, for those who disagree. And he has criticized fellow U.S. bishops who threatened to shut down religious charities instead of pursuing a compromise with the White House over health care policies that go against Catholic teaching. On Saturday, Pope Francis named Cupich as the next archbishop of Chicago, sending a strong signal about the direction that the pontiff is taking the church.

  • Doug E Fresh highlights BET Hip-Hop awards

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    ATLANTA (AP) — With a picture of his mother on a large screen behind him, Doug E Fresh struggled to complete his sentence. The rapper dubbed "The Human Beat Box" choked up and shed tears as he received the "I Am Hip-Hop Award" at the ninth BET Hip-Hop Awards on Saturday. Fresh eventually told the crowd that his mother, who had Alzheimer's disease, died five months ago. "I have to acknowledge her," Fresh said at the taped award show at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center. "I want to thank this woman and hip-hop. If it wasn't for hip-hop, I don't know where I would be." He also thanked those who helped him throughout his career, from Slick Rick to his group the Get Fresh Crew. The show airs Oct. 14.

  • Pomp, little action expected at UN climate summit

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — New York City will be full of planet-saving pomp this coming week, but short on action to rescue the world. More than 120 world leaders convene Tuesday for a U.N. summit aimed at galvanizing political will for a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015. Environmentalists will take to the streets Sunday in what is being billed as the largest march ever on global warming. Celebrities, CEOs and climatologists will appear at a string of events as part of New York's annual climate week. "Titanic" star Leonardo DiCaprio will talk about what causes rising seas. The hope is to recapture the momentum lost after the disappointing 2009 climate summit in Copenhagen, when world leaders left without a binding

  • Turkish hostages freed, but questions linger

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities say they have freed 49 hostages from one of the world's most ruthless militant groups without firing a shot, paying a ransom or offering a quid pro quo. But as the well-dressed men and women captured by the Islamic State group more than three months ago clasped their families Saturday on the tarmac of the Turkish capital's airport, experts had doubts about the government's story. The official explanation "sounds a bit too good to be true," said Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat who chairs the Istanbul-based Centre for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies. "There are some very legitimate and unanswered questions about how this happened.

  • More than 1K people search for missing UVa student

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Nearly 1,000 volunteers, some driven by worry for the safety of their own families, fanned out from the University of Virginia campus Saturday to search for a sophomore who disappeared a week ago. Volunteers met at the university's basketball arena before going out in teams throughout Charlottesville to search for 18-year-old Hannah Graham. "I have two daughters of my own and I would hope that if one of them was missing, everyone would come out as well," said Marci Stewart, a volunteer searcher. Police said Friday they have spoken with a man they believe was with her in a bar on the night she went missing, but did not have enough information to arrest or detain him after searching his car a

  • Hawaii lava flow approaching homes slows down

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — Scientists say lava creeping toward rural communities on Hawaii's Big Island is slowing down. The U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said on its website Saturday that the flow front has slowed considerably over the past day and there has been a reduction in smoke. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1tHXWfr) reports that the flow is about 1.4 miles upslope from the outskirts of the Pahoa community and has advanced more than 10 miles from its source at Pu'u 'O'o crater. The lava emerged from a vent on June 27.

  • Ruby Dee memorialized in NYC with song and dance

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee was memorialized Saturday in poetry, dance and song at a packed Harlem cathedral where Alicia Keys sang her song "Superwoman," Wynton Marsalis performed a stirring trumpet solo, and well-wishes were sent from Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and the White House. The three-hour celebration of Lee's life was held at the cavernous Riverside Church in New York on Saturday. Dee died June 11 at age 91 and was called everything from a "small but mighty lady," to a "street-fighter" to the "voice of our humanity." Her beloved husband Ossie Davis, whom she married in 1948, died in 2005. The Rev. James A. Forbes Jr. in his remarks said Davis had likely been waiting for her outs

  • $70M grant for biofuels plant planned east of Reno

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — A California-based biofuel company building a plant east of Reno has been awarded a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to help speed delivery of its high-tech process that converts household garbage into jet fuel. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the grant announced Friday is in addition to a $105 million loan guarantee U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack confirmed Sept. 4 for Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels. Company CEO E. James Macias said construction will begin by the end of the year at the same Tahoe Reno Industrial Park where Tesla Motors has broken ground for its gigafactory to manufacture electric car batteries just south of Interstate 80 about 15 miles east of Sparks.

  • Tour ship runs aground by NYC's Statue of Liberty

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A 120-foot-tall schooner ran aground and got stuck in shallow waters near the Statue of Liberty on Saturday afternoon, officials said. No injuries were reported and the 121 tourists on board were ferried in small boats to a lower Manhattan marina. The Clipper City, a 158-foot-long steel-hulled boat that has six sails, two topsails and two steel masts, "hit something soft, like mud or a shoal" and ran aground off Liberty Island just after 1 p.m., said Thomas Berton, owner of Manhattan by Sail, which operates the tall tourist ship. The ship was anchored in the harbor near the Statue of Liberty and was to be brought back to port by a tugboat after high tide, Berton said. He said the vessel was not damaged

  • 5 killed in Pennsylvania car crash, including kids

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    EFFORT, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say five people, including children, have died in a multi-vehicle crash in northeastern Pennsylvania. The crash happened Saturday on Route 115 in Effort, in Monroe County, about 35 miles north of Allentown. It's the same county where authorities are searching for the suspect in last week's deadly ambush at a state police barracks. Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen tells Pocono Record (http://bit.ly/1qkcagy) that the victims were all riding in the same car and that a high rate of speed played a role in the crash. Four vehicles were reportedly involved. Authorities haven't released any names or further details, but part of Route 115 was closed.

  • GM recalls 221,558 sedans for fire risk

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling 221,558 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala sedans because the brake pads can stay partially engaged even when they're not needed, increasing the risk of a fire. The recall involves Cadillacs from the 2013-2015 model years and Impalas from the 2014 and 2015 model years. There are 205,309 vehicles affected in the U.S.; the rest of the vehicles are in Canada and elsewhere. GM says the electronic parking brake arm that applies pressure to the back of the brake pads may not fully retract after use. If the brake pads stay partially engaged with the rotor, excessive brake heat may result in a fire. GM says it knows of no accidents or injuries related to the defect. GM will noti

  • NATO chief: Ukraine has cease-fire 'in name only'

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — NATO's top general said Saturday the two-week-old truce between Ukraine and pro-Russian militants fighting in the country's east is a "cease-fire in name only," and he said that by enabling a free flow of weapons and fighters across the border Russia has made it nearly impossible to determine how many of its troops are operating inside Ukraine. U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, told a news conference after meeting with NATO military chiefs that he is hopeful about Saturday's announced agreement for creation of a buffer zone between Ukrainian and pro-Russian forces.

  • Colorado officers take scores of cats from trailer

    Updated: 12 hr ago

    BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say they have seized at least 69 cats from the deplorable conditions of a Brighton trailer. KMGH-TV (http://bit.ly/XSfA3H ) reports Saturday that animal control officers arrived after neighbors complained about the horrible conditions at the trailer and noticed at least a dozen cats in a window. Police say they found cats and kittens in poor conditions and surrounded by feces. Police say the woman has lived there for 10 years but has been out of state. They did not identify her. Police say there were eviction notices on the trailer. Animal control officers were working to trap some cats that escaped through a hole in a wall.

  • Emergency response adapts to remote ND oil patch

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    MANDAREE, N.D. (AP) — Troy Easton traded his career as a flight paramedic for a drilling rig job in Wyoming six years ago, pulling in three times what he used to make. From Texas to Wyoming's hilly gas patch, he noticed that much of the nation's resurgent oil and gas industry's activity was taking place in remote areas. That worried the paramedic in him. "I started thinking what if I get hurt? Where's the ambulance?" he said. One day he had to drive himself to the hospital — an hour away — with symptoms of a heart attack. It turned out to be an arrhythmia from which he recovered. It was an inspiration for his current position as owner of Easton Health and Safety, whose paramedics serve remote oil facilities.

  • News Guide: Steyer writes $15M to his super PAC

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The political parties, their campaign committees and some of their super PACs faced a Saturday deadline to disclose how much donors gave and how much operatives spent in August. Highlights from the filings: ___ BILLIONAIRES STILL OPENING WALLETS Hedge fund executive Tom Steyer continued to funnel cash from his personal fortune to his pro-environment super PAC, NextGen Climate Action. Steyer in August wrote his federal committee a $15 million check as it ramps up a political operation to help candidates who pledge to back legislation fighting climate change. Steyer has now given $26.6 million this cycle to his efforts, bankrolling it almost entirely on his own.

  • House campaign committees sitting on $100M in bank

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The two party committees tasked with electing House members are sitting on a combined $100 million pile of cash, suggesting voters in the handful of competitive districts will face an onslaught of late political advertising. The National Republican Congressional Committee on Saturday reported raising more than $4 million last month and banking almost $46 million. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last week announced it raised more than $10 million and has almost $55 million ready to help its candidates. Democrats have now outraised the Republicans in 18 of the last 20 months despite long odds of tipping control of the chamber away from Republicans.

  • Ex-Utah teacher to trial on student sex charges

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) — A 35-year-old former Utah high school teacher accused of having sexual relationships with two of her former students has been ordered to stand trial on additional charges of rape and forcible sodomy. One of the teenage boys offered graphic details during his testimony at a preliminary hearing on Friday about how he went from being Brianne Altice's English student to allegedly having sex with her in his Farmington home. The teen testified that he was 17 years old when a relationship with Altice took place between April and June of last year, according to The Salt Lake Tribune (http://tinyurl.com/l2wleze ). He says it began with kissing between class periods and eventually led to intercourse.

  • AP PHOTOS: Refugees stream into Turkey from Syria

    Updated: 13 hr ago

    SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Lugging sacks of belongings, hobbling on crutches, carrying children on their hip, more than 60,000 mostly Kurdish refugees in Syria have streamed across the dusty and barren border into Turkey, desperately seeking safety after Islamic State militants attacked their villages. The large-scale displacement of so many and the movement of the Kurdish fighters into Syria reflected the ferocity of the fighting in the northern Kobani area, which borders Turkey, prompted hundreds of Kurdish fighters to rush to the area and Kurdish leaders to plead for international help. Civilians began massing on the Turkish border on Thursday. Turkey did not let them in at first, saying it would provide them with aid on the S