• $250M solar power project gets OK from Minnesota regulators

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A $250 million solar power project that's expected to become the largest of its kind in Minnesota received approval Thursday from state regulators. Edina-based Geronimo Energy plans to install solar panels at as many as 21 sites across the state as part of its Aurora Solar Project. Geronimo officials plan to spread out the sites to make sure cloudy weather doesn't affect the system. The utility's project would increase Minnesota's solar output sevenfold. Plans call for its completion next year and for the power to be sold to Xcel Energy.

  • Neverland, former home of Michael Jackson, on sale for $100M

    Updated: 3 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Neverland Ranch is up for sale. The California property that once served as Michael Jackson's home and personal fantasyland is being listed at $100 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The 2,700-acre ranch in Santa Ynez Valley features such amenities as a train station, six-bedroom house, 50-seat movie theater and a pair of lakes, It has been in limbo since Jackson's death in 2009. Jackson originally paid $19.5 million for the oak- and sycamore-studded property in 1988 and rechristened it Neverland after Peter Pan's island dwelling. He soon added such over-the-top amenities as a zoo and small amusement park, which have since been removed.

  • Physicist's Nobel Prize sells for $765,000 in online auction

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A 1988 Nobel Prize put up for auction by a retired experimental physicist has sold for $765,002. The online auction went into overtime Thursday evening until a final bid went unchallenged for half an hour. Nate D. Sanders Auctions spokesman Sam Heller says the final amount is the fourth-highest ever paid among the 10 Nobel Prizes that have been sold at auction. The Los Angeles company declined to identify the buyer. Leon Lederman won the Nobel Prize in physics with two other scientists for discovering a subatomic particle called the muon neutrino. He retired from Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, in June 2012 and moved to Idaho.

  • Xcel Energy files 2016 rate increase request

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Xcel Energy has asked Wisconsin regulators for permission to raise electric and natural gas rates next year. The utility filed an application Friday with the Public Service Commission seeking to raise electric rates by $27.4 million. According to the utility, that would translate to about $4.73 more per month for a typical residential customer. The application also seeks to raise natural gas rates by $5.9 million, which would mean about $3.02 more per month for a typical residential natural gas rates. The utility says it needs the money to construction additional wind generation, rebuild power lines and upgrade generation facilities. The PSC is expected to hold hearings on the application th

  • Stocks open slightly lower after economic data disappoints

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks were moderately lower in early morning trading Friday after the government reported that the U.S. economy contracted in the first three months of the year. The revised data, published early Friday, showed that U.S. gross domestic product contracted 0.7 percent in the first quarter. That was worse than the government's initial estimate of growth of 0.2 percent in the period. KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 71 points, or 0.4 percent, to 18,054 as of 10:04 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost six points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,116 and the Nasdaq composite lost six points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,094.

  • Walgreens Boots Alliance chief information officer resigns

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.'s global chief information officer, Tim Theriault, is resigning for personal reasons. The company, formerly called Walgreen Co., was formed when the drugstore operator completed its purchase of U.K. pharmacy operator Boots Alliance at the end of 2014. Anthony Roberts, who had served as senior vice president and international chief information officer, will assume the role of senior vice president and global chief information officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance. The company's portfolio includes Walgreens, Duane Reade, Boots and Alliance Healthcare. It has more than 13,000 stores and 350 pharmaceutical distribution centers.

  • In Ohio pepper-spray assault case, victim gets to fire back

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An assault suspect who pepper-sprayed someone in the face at a fast-food restaurant received similar treatment in court as punishment from a Cleveland-area judge embracing the principle of "an eye for an eye." Painesville Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti on Thursday told Diamond Gaston she could serve 30 days in jail or be pepper-sprayed by her victim, and she chose the second option. Cicconetti said he couldn't really allow pepper spray, so harmless saline spray was substituted without Gaston knowing. "He goes, 'I'd really like to use pepper spray,' and I said, 'No, no, we can't do that!" Cicconetti told WEWS-TV. He said what mattered was that the punishment sting emotionally, if not physic

  • Gunman in North Dakota Wal-Mart shooting used personal gun

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Police say a U.S. airman who fatally shot one worker and injured another at a Grand Forks Wal-Mart before killing himself did not use a military-issued weapon. Lt. Derik Zimmel says 21-year-old Marcell Willis personally owned the Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Zimmel says Willis legally bought the gun, though the officer didn't provide details on when and where. The gun was found near Willis at the scene. Willis was a senior airman stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base. Police say he walked into the store about 1 a.m. Tuesday and shot and killed 70-year-old overnight cashier Gregory Weiland. Willis then shot and wounded 47-year-old overnight grocery general manager Lisa Bra

  • Man with 1st name 'God' settles with credit rating agency

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man whose first name is God has settled a lawsuit with a credit reporting agency that had refused to recognize his name as legitimate. Under the agreement reached in Brooklyn federal court this week, Equifax will enter God Gazarov's name into its database. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Gazarov now has a robust 820 credit score. He says he was shocked by Equifax's refusal to acknowledge his moniker. The Russian native is a Brooklyn jewelry store owner who is named after his grandfather. He says it's a relatively common name in his native country. He told the New York Post he's relieved the matter has been settled and plans to buy a new BMW. Lawyers for

  • Ruble rebound threatens 'Made in Russia' industry revival

    Updated: 4 hr ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's ruble is on a roller-coaster. After being the world's second worst-performing currency against the dollar last year, it is among the best in 2015. That will help keep a leash on inflation, to the relief of millions of Russians. But it is worrying one part of the economy — the local industry that had seen demand grow for its Russian-made goods when the falling ruble made imports hugely expensive. Russian sectors, from building materials to craft beer, took advantage of the ruble's drop to undercut better-known imported rivals and gain a bigger domestic market share. Nikita Filippov, co-owner of a St. Petersburg-based craft brewery, says it was a godsend.

  • Comer concedes governor's race, Bevin is Republican nominee

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — James Comer has conceded the governor's race in Kentucky, ending a tumultuous Republican primary and handing the nomination to Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. In a news release Friday morning, Comer said he called Bevin and conceded minutes after a Thursday review of the May 19 primary results showed Bevin maintained his 83-vote lead in one of the closest elections in state history. Comer delayed conceding publicly until the morning to give him time to contact some of his most important supporters. Bevin has scheduled a news conference at the Republican Party of Kentucky's headquarters for 10 a.m. Friday along with the other Republican nominees in November's general election.

  • James Comer concedes Republican primary for governor in Kentucky; Matt Bevin is nominee

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — James Comer concedes Republican primary for governor in Kentucky; Matt Bevin is nominee .

  • Gordon-Levitt has high hopes for impact of 'Snowden'

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joseph Gordon-Levitt has big expectations for the impact of "Snowden." The 34-year-old actor wrapped filming earlier this month on the Oliver Stone thriller about former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, whose 2013 leaks to the media revealed the government's bulk collection of American calling records. Congress is set for an unusual weekend session to debate the records collection and two other surveillance laws. "The laws are all in flux. ... I'm really curious what's going to happen. And I love the idea that we made the movie when we did so that it can participate in that conversation," Gordon-Levitt said in an interview Thursday. He noted a May 7 federal appeals court ruling that the

  • B.B. King viewing being held before funeral in Mississippi

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Friends and fans are getting a chance to file past B.B. King's coffin during a public viewing Friday in the Mississippi Delta, the land that gave birth to the blues. The visitation comes a day before the funeral for the man who influenced generations of singers and guitarists. King was 89 when he died May 14 at his home in Las Vegas. A public viewing and invitation-only memorial service were held in that city before his body was flown to Memphis, Tennessee, for a tribute Wednesday. Hundreds of people lined the roads to catch a glimpse of the hearse that drove his coffin from Memphis to his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi. He will be buried on the grounds of the B.B. King Museum and Delta

  • Image of Asia: Sleeping outside to beat the heat

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    In this photo by Tsering Topgyal, a family sleeps on the roof of a house to beat the heat in New Delhi. Sleeping outside is common for people who live in neighborhoods with irregular electric supply or in buildings that are crowded or made of heat-trapping concrete. A baking heat wave this month has killed hundreds of people, mainly in southern India, but the rest of the country has not escaped the high temperatures. New Delhi's high on Friday exceeded 41 degrees Celsius (about 106 Fahrenheit) and were expected to be equal or higher through Monday.

  • New Jersey police ask parents to curb threats

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    WILDWOOD, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey police department is asking parents to stop threatening their kids that they'll be arrested if they are bad. Wildwood Police Chief Robert Regalbuto says officers do not want children to be scared of police when they need help. Regalbuto says police want kids to know they are their friends. Visitors to the city's boardwalk will notice signs this summer featuring a smiling police officer that say "Parents: Please stop telling your children we will haul them off to jail if they are bad. We want them to run TO us if they are scared, NOT be scared of US.

  • USS Arizona Memorial dock repairs expected to take a week

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    HONOLULU (AP) — The National Park Service and the Navy aim to resume taking visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial in a week, after a dock damaged by a wayward vessel is repaired. An attachment point between the floating dock and its anchors came loose in the incident, park service spokeswoman Abby Wines said Thursday. Anchors will need to be reset and chains retightened, she said. The dock's ramp and handrails were also mangled. The incident occurred when two tugboats were maneuvering the hospital ship USNS Mercy from a pier in Pearl Harbor out to sea, the two agencies said in joint statement issued along with the Coast Guard and the Military Sealift Command. The Mercy may have hit the memorial's floating dock, the sta

  • Timeline of the career of ex-US House Speaker Dennis Hastert

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    CHICAGO (AP) — A federal grand jury has accused former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of agreeing to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep an unidentified person silent about "prior misconduct" by the Illinois Republican. Before the indictment was handed down Thursday, Hastert was remarkable for being a little-known state lawmaker from suburban Chicago who rose to the third-highest office in the land. ___ 1965: Hastert begins teaching history at Yorkville High School and coaching wrestling team. 1976: Hastert named Illinois Coach of the Year after leading Yorkville to state wrestling championship. 1980: Hastert comes in third in Illinois state House of Representatives primary.

  • New lab can create hurricane conditions on demand

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    MIAMI (AP) — Researchers at the University of Miami have a new lab where they can whip up hurricane conditions at any time. The lab at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science features a clear acrylic tank 75 feet (23 meters) long and 6.5 feet (2 meters) high. Inside, 38,000 gallons of seawater can be blown into white-capped waves by a 1,400-horsepower fan that can create conditions as frenzied as a Category 5 hurricane. Researchers will use the lab to improve real-time tropical storm observations made by satellites, ocean buoys and drones and other sensors launched from "hurricane hunter" aircraft. The lab is known the Surge-Structure-Atmosphere Interaction, or SUSTAIN. The Atlantic hurricane season st

  • Prosecutor to review report on Washington police shooting

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The Franklin County prosecutor's office will thoroughly review a massive report on the February killing of an unarmed Mexican man who was shot by police in Pasco, Washington, the head prosecutor says. The report submitted Thursday by a police special investigative unit contains thousands of pages, 1,500 slides from cellphone videos of the shooting and more than 80 witness interviews, Prosecutor Shawn Sant said. The Tri-City Herald says the report is expected to be released to the public in the next couple of weeks. Sant said his office will decide whether criminal charges are warranted against any police officers, a process likely to take months.




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