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  • Michigan to designate veterans on driver's license

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is letting its 680,000 military veterans get a special designation on their driver's licenses. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and other officials plan to promote and give details about the option during a news conference Wednesday at the state Veterans Affairs Agency. She says a 2013 law creating the designation allows veterans to take advantage of discounts at stores and hotels more easily without having to carry their discharge papers. Johnson's office also has been partnering with the year-old Veterans Affairs Agency to get information about government benefits into the hands of veterans who may be unaware of resources available to them.

  • Obama: US-Japan treaty applies to disputed islands

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama confirmed Wednesday that America's mutual security treaty with Japan applies to the islands at the center of a territorial dispute between China and Japan. "The policy of the United States is clear," he said in a written response to questions published in Japan's Yomiuri newspaper before his arrival in Tokyo at the start of a four-country Asia tour. "The Senkaku islands are administered by Japan" and therefore fall under the U.S.-Japan treaty, he wrote. "And we oppose any unilateral attempts to undermine Japan's administration of these islands." His statement seems aimed at reassuring Japan that the U.S. would come to its defense if China were to seize the islands, known as Diayou i

  • Victoria resident refuses to remove renegade driveway

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    A Victoria homeowner could be fined $1,000 a day for a driveway that city leaders dubbed "illegal." After Victoria City Council turned down a variance that would bend local policies on driveways, Ben Commerson, the man behind the concrete patch, says he has no plans to tear it out. "I don't want to be an outlaw, but I'm not going to break that driveway," said Commerson, who lives on Brooks Road. During the April 15 meeting, council members struggled with their unanimous decision to turn down the man's request, stemming from a driveway he built six months ago. "If this had come to us (initially) as a variance, I probably would have supported it because it makes sense," said Mayor Paul Polasek. "Right across the str

  • Victoria officials weigh cutting back road projects with increasing tax rate

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Victoria leaders face more than 375 million reasons to repair the city's neglected streets and utilities. During the first work session to prioritize a decade of infrastructure projects, the City Council took a look Tuesday at the political tightrope they could soon walk, claiming their positions on balancing much-needed infrastructure projects with limited resources. City staff is recommending the council approve a five-year plan that funds $149.8 million in projects by tax increases and debt. The plan also postpones a $13.5 million expansion of Mallette Drive, which Councilman Tom Halepaska championed last year.

  • Former Beeville dispatcher accused of molesting a child

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    A former Beeville Police Department dispatcher is charged with four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Martin Garcia, 47, was in the Victoria County Jail on Wednesday. He was arrested April 17, and his bail was set at $75,000. Garcia also is ordered that if he posts bail, he cannot have contact with his alleged victim, her parents or siblings by any means and to not come within 200 yards of her residence, employment or school. Garcia allegedly sexually assaulted the girl when she was 4 or 5 years old on or about Jan. 1, 2005; Feb. 1, 2005; March 1, 2005; and April 1, 2005. The girl would stay with him and his then-wife off and on when they lived in Victoria, according to a Victoria Police Depart

  • Minn. lawmakers seek to enhance privacy protection

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are on the verge of cracking down on public employees who abuse their access to citizen data. A measure being negotiated in a House-Senate conference committee would do more to expose and punish data snoopers who improperly use government databases. The bill would also specify that only certain government employees would be able to see people's private information -- those who need it to do their jobs. State officials would have to notify the person whose data has been compromised and allow that person to request a copy of the investigative report.

  • BC-GA--Georgia Daybook, GA

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    Associated Press Georgia Daybook for Wednesday, April 23. The daybook is for planning purposes only and is not intended for publication or broadcast. You should verify any event you plan to cover. Please keep the AP in mind when news develops. Contact the Atlanta bureau at 404-522-8971 or apatlanta@ap.org. For daybook items please contact the South Regional Desk in Atlanta at 404-653-8460 or southdaybook@ap.org. April 23. 11:15 a.m. MOVING WALL TOUR — The DeKalb County Police Department along with the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club of Georgia and Concerns of Police Survivors pay tribute to Officer Ivorie G. Klusmann on the Fallen Heroes Memorial Wall Tour.

  • Phoenix City Council votes on water measures

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix City Council has approved three measures aimed at better securing drinking water resources for the future. The council voted unanimously Tuesday to form a partnership with Tucson water providers that would allow for storage and recovery of Central Arizona Project water between the two regions. The council also opted to remain engaged in continuing discussions about water shortages on the Colorado River. As the largest municipal user of CAP water, the city has a large stake in the future of the Colorado River. The city will also encourage a review of Arizona's groundwater laws to ensure development is sustainable over the long term.

  • Wisconsin GAB to certify spring election results

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin election officials are set to certify results from the 2014 spring election. The state Government Accountability Board is set to meet on Thursday morning in Madison to certify the results in races for appellate and circuit judges. No statewide or legislative offices were on the ballot. Municipal and county canvassing boards are responsible for certifying results in local government races. A GAB spokesman says most of those bodies have completed their work by now.

  • Michigan daybook

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Assignment desks, editors: The following events are for planning purposes. Listing does not indicate AP coverage. Scheduled events are subject to change. Contact numbers are not for publication. Wednesday, April 23: LANSING — Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, the Michigan Retailers Association and veterans launch veteran driver's license designation. 10:30 a.m. Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, Phoenix Building, 5th Floor, 222 N. Washington Square. Contact: Gisgie Davila Gendreau, 517-373-2520. LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder tours Career and Technical Education Showcase. 11:10 a.m. Michigan Capitol, first floor, North and West Wings. Contact: Sara Wurfel or Dave Murray, 517-335-6397

  • Missouri exceeding target for reducing energy use

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Gov. Jay Nixon's administration says it has exceeded a goal to reduce Missouri's energy consumption. Nixon signed an executive order in 2009 setting a target of a 2 percent annual reduction in state energy use for each of the next 10 years for state buildings under the direction of the Office of Administration. The administration office says Missouri already has reduced its energy use by 22.5 percent, which it says equals an annualized decline of 4.45 percent. The office says those figures include a greater than 16 percent reduction in electricity use since 2008 and a nearly 33 percent reduction in propane and natural gas use since that time.

  • Sen. Baldwin to discuss politics at Marquette

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is scheduled to talk politics during an hour-long forum at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Baldwin's office says she'll discuss health care reform, immigration, minimum wage and Washington's political divide at Wednesday's event. The 52-year-old was elected to the Senate in 2012. She previously spent 14 years in Congress, and before that was in the state Assembly for six years. She serves on the Senate's budget committee, as well as committees involving homeland security, health, aging and natural resources. A Marquette Law School poll last month said her favorable and unfavorable ratings were both 35 percent. Another 27 percent said they didn't know enough

  • AP-IL--Illinois Daybook, IL

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Assignment Desks, Editors: The following events are for planning purposes. Listing does not indicate AP coverage. Scheduled events are subject to change. Contact numbers are not for publication. Wednesday, April 23 GOV. PAT QUINN No public events announced. CHICAGO MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL No public events announced. GENERAL EVENTS-CHICAGO CHICAGO — Texas A&M Transportation Institute releases report on NAFTA at NAFTA NEXT Summit, 7:30 a.m. Palmer House Hilton Hotel, 17 E. Monroe St., State Ballroom, 4th floor. Contact: Jeff Agnew or Elaine Nessle, 703-203-8720. CHICAGO — Forum on Digital Lab for Manufacturing, 8 a.m. Engineered Glass Products, 929 W. Exchange Ave.

  • Texas Daybook

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Assignment Desks, Editors: The following events are for planning purposes. Listing does not indicate AP coverage. Scheduled events are subject to change. All times are DCT. Contact numbers are not for publication. Wednesday, April 23: HOUSTON — Mayor Annise Parker participates in a news conference to mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month. After Houston City Council meeting (about 10:30 a.m. CST). Houston City Hall, 1st floor, Rotunda, 901 Bagby St. Contact: Janice Evans, 832-393-0800 office, 713-376-0525 cell, janice.evans@houstontx.gov; Darian Ward, 832-393-0804 office, 713-834-7127 cell, darian.ward@houstontx.gov.

  • BC-MS--Daybook, MS

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    Associated Press Mississippi Daybook for Wednesday, April 23 April 23-25. COSEBOC — Jackson State University and Mississippi Center for Education Innovation to host the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color Annual Gathering 2014. Location: Jackson State University in Jackson. Contact: Shelia Hardwell-Byrd (JSU) at 601-979-1483 or visit http://www.coseboc.org.annual-gathering April 23. INDUSTRY CONFERENCE — Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves to be the keynote speaker at the 2014 Manufacturing Summit: The Road Ahead. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Reeves to speak at 11:15 a.m. Location: Franklin Furniture Institute on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville. Contact: Patricia West at pwest@ahfa.us or 336-884-5000 or Amy Garr

  • Senate to vote on added job protections for women

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A package of workplace protections for women is primed for a Minnesota Senate vote. The bill that supporters have dubbed the Women's Economic Security Act was to be debated Wednesday. It would require many companies with government contracts to certify they pay men and women similarly. It would prevent any company from preventing employees from discussing their wages. And it provides longer leave time and more workplace accommodations for new and expectant mothers. The Minnesota House easily passed its version earlier this month. Unless House members embrace the Senate bill, a conference committee will try to negotiate a bill that will ultimately reach Gov. Mark Dayton. The Democratic governor h

  • Mo. House panel to consider impeaching governor

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Republican-led Missouri House committee plans to hold a hearing on measures seeking to impeach Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. The Wednesday hearing on three separate impeachment resolutions includes one citing Nixon's decision to allow same-sex couples who married legally in other states to file joint tax returns in Missouri. Another measure criticizes the governor for the amount of time he took to call a special election to fill legislative vacancies. The final measure to be considered by the Judiciary Committee would impeach Nixon for his refusal to fire state officials involved with the Revenue Department's decision last year to scan driver's license applicants' personal documents into a computer

  • Luxury automakers scramble to woo young Chinese

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    BEIJING (AP) — At age 32, Jason Jia already is the kind of customer luxury automakers are seeking as competition grows in China's lucrative but crowded market. The energy industry consultant has traded up from a Volkswagen Polo to a VW GTI. Now, as he stood looking at a Cadillac CTS at the Beijing auto show, he said he wants a Mercedes Benz or a BMW. "The engine needs to be turbo," said Jia, who has a budget of 500,000 yuan ($80,000). "Is that a lot of money? Cars over 300,000 yuan ($48,000) are everywhere." A few years ago, Jia's options might have been limited to cars designed for an older American or European. But now, luxury brands from Mercedes and Infiniti Audi to Lincoln are racing to create smaller, sportier m

  • Second Republican NC Senate debate is Wednesday

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    DAVIDSON, N.C. (AP) — The four leading candidates for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in North Carolina are back on television for a second straight night. Thom Tillis, Mark Harris, Heather Grant and Greg Brannon were slated to participate in a debate Wednesday night at the WRAL-TV studios in Raleigh. They attended a TV debate Tuesday night on the Davidson College campus, aired by Time Warner Cable News. There are eight GOP candidates in all who want to take on Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in November. The primary is May 6 and in-person early voting begins Thursday. Tuesday's debate featured Tillis highlighting his legislative record as the state House speaker.

  • Dole draws appreciative crowd for Kansas tour stop

    Updated: 2 hr ago

    TROY, Kan. — Bob Dole, then the minority leader of the U.S. Senate, came to Troy in August 1989 and said he saw little activity in Washington to address the “whopping” national budget deficit. In the same community 25 years later, the Kansas icon offered a familiar, if updated, assessment. “I think the biggest concern I have is (we’re) spending our way into bankruptcy,” Mr. Dole said Tuesday night. About 60 people turned out at the Leonard L. Clary Community Building in Troy to greet the longtime Kansas senator and former presidential candidate. Mr. Dole, who turns 91 this summer, has embarked on a tour of Kansas towns to thank residents for their votes during his career. Appreciation went both ways as