• SC investigators find weather caused fire that destroyed predominantly black church

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    GREELEYVILLE, S.C. (AP) — SC investigators find weather caused fire that destroyed predominantly black church.

  • Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard weds in Idaho

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tyler Hubbard of the country duo Florida Georgia Line has tied the knot. A representative for the band confirmed the Wednesday nuptials to Idaho native Hayley Stommel. The wedding was first reported by People.com. The Georgia-born singer and his wife, both 28, were married in an outdoor ceremony in Sun Valley that also included Hubbard's bandmate, Brian Kelley, as the best man. Florida Georgia Line broke into stardom with their multiplatinum hit "Cruise," a remix with rapper Nelly. They are currently touring on their latest album, "Anything Goes," and opening up for country star Luke Bryan.

  • New president at women's college saved from brink of closure

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    SWEET BRIAR, Va. (AP) — A new president and governing board took command of Sweet Briar College on Thursday under a mediated settlement that rescued the 114-year-old women's college from the brink of closure. Phillip C. Stone was named president by a new board of directors, which convened its first meeting by conference call linking members from around the country, the nonprofit Saving Sweet Briar Inc. said in a statement. The change of guard was put into motion June 20 after now former college leaders, alumnae and others agreed to a settlement that would keep the school running with millions in donations and a loosening of restrictions on its endowment. A judge approved the settlement two days later.

  • John Smoltz the 1st HOFer following Tommy John surgery

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    When John Smoltz is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in three weeks he'll be the first player enshrined following Tommy John surgery. "That's pretty doubtful that he would be the last," said renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who performed Smoltz's surgery. "You can't believe how many are out there now that are pitching very successfully. "It's quite an accomplishment to go through that and make the Hall of Fame," Andrews said. "It's not going to be the easiest thing to reproduce, but I'm sure somebody will come along and duplicate that." There will be plenty of candidates. In a four-year span alone (2004-07), Andrews performed the surgery on 588 pitchers, nearly one-fourth of high school age or young

  • Ocean City retains title as New Jersey's most popular beach

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) — The winner and still champion of New Jersey's Top Ten Beaches contest is ... Ocean City! The southern New Jersey beach town that bills itself as "America's Greatest Family Resort" was named the state's most popular beach for the second straight year Thursday. It also won in 2009. Ocean City is known for its popular boardwalk, amusement rides and mini golf courses, restaurants and bayfront boating and water sports. This year, Ocean City won the online vote for best beach; best day-trip beach; best family vacation beach; and top beach for ecotourism. It is a dry town, where the sale of alcohol is prohibited. Many residents and vacationers say that contributes to the family friendly reputati

  • John Whitman, husband of former New Jersey governor, dies

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    MORRISTOWN, N.J. (AP) — John Whitman, the husband of former Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and the state's first-ever first gentleman, died Thursday. He was 71. He died at Morristown Medical Center after suffering a catastrophic brain injury in mid-June, said Heather Grizzle, a spokeswoman for Todd Whitman. John Whitman was an investment banker who served as a managing partner at Princeton-based Sycamore Ventures. He served as New Jersey's first gentleman from 1994 to 2001. "He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, and we are heartbroken to lose his presence in our lives," Todd Whitman said in a statement. "I am so grateful for the thoughts and prayers of so many who have showered our family with t

  • North Carolina shark attack victim says fortunate to survive

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The latest survivor in a record-breaking string of seven North Carolina shark attacks said Thursday he's very fortunate to be alive and thankful for the emergency help he received after struggling ashore. The shark attack was frightening and painful, said Andrew Costello. Now he's focused on recovering. "I feel very fortunate to have survived thanks to the incredible assistance I received from medical personnel on the beach, both those on duty and vacation," Costello, 68, said in a statement issued by the hospital where he is recovering. Costello received a major, but non-lethal shark bite to his thigh at midday Wednesday and underwent emergency treatment at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, sa

  • Judge rejects ex-Goldman board member's bid for exoneration

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — An ex-Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble board member was told Thursday that he can't use a court's ruling in another case to nullify his insider-trading conviction. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan rejected Rajat Gupta's request that he be allowed to piggyback on a federal appeals court's ruling that wiped out the insider-trading convictions of two financiers in December. He called the request "both too late and too little." Gupta, 66, of Westport, Connecticut, is serving a two-year prison term after his 2012 conviction on conspiracy and securities fraud charges.

  • 'Citizen of the year' gets 14 years in California fraud case

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former California real estate developer once honored as his city's citizen of the year was sentenced Thursday to the maximum 14 years in prison for bilking investors who poured millions of dollars into failed development projects. Federal Los Angeles Judge Otis Wright handed down a harsher sentence than the government had requested for Kelly Gearhart, 53, who pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud and money laundering. Gearhart, who now lives in northeastern Ohio, apologized through tears Thursday to the mostly elderly people he cheated. "I'm so sorry for all the heartache I caused," Gearhart said with a quavering voice. "I've lost everything I had.

  • Ex-firefighter who responded on Sept. 11 wins $5M in lottery

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — A former firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, has won $5 million on a lottery scratch-off ticket. Carmelo Mercado was presented with an oversized check Thursday. The 63-year-old, who's retired, gets $3.3 million in a lump-sum payment after taxes are taken out. Mercado was among the members of Queens Battalion 49 who went to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. He now lives in Orange County, north of New York City. He was at a Queens store in May when he decided to play the Cash X100 game. His first ticket didn't get him anything, so he decided to buy another, which was the winning ticket. "I was in shock when I realized I won," Mercado said. "It's a blessing.

  • The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee

    Updated: 19 hr ago

    MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 6 p.m. An official in eastern Tennessee says smoke has stopped rising from the site where a CSX train car derailed and caught fire, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents. Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell said shortly before 6 p.m. that he and others had visited the site and the smoke had stopped. Earlier, officials said firefighters had been unable to get close to the site because of the heat. Mitchell said there were also concerns that the fumes contained cyanide, a byproduct of burning the chemical acrylonitrile, which was leaking from the train car. Firefighters had been hosing down neighboring train cars to cool them and trying to move them away from the flames.

  • Yellowstone loses radio frequencies used to track wildlife

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Researchers at Yellowstone National Park have lost their license for a set of radio frequencies used to track more than 100 radio-collared wolves and elk. But park officials said Thursday their scientific work has continued with the cooperation of the new license holder. Yellowstone biologist Doug Smith said new licensee NorthWestern Energy is letting researchers share the frequencies, meaning the park can avoid more than $450,000 in estimated costs to restart the program. Restarting the program would have required researchers to capture the wolves and elk already wearing collars and replace the devices with ones that operate on a different frequency. The frequency license used by the park

  • Image released of girl found dead in bag in Boston Harbor

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    BOSTON (AP) — Authorities have released a computer-generated image of a young girl found dead last week inside a plastic bag along a Boston Harbor shoreline and are hoping it generates clues about her identity. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said at a news conference Thursday on Deer Island that the girl's identity and how she died remain mysteries. Officials believe the brown-haired, brown-eyed girl was about 4 years old. Her body was found June 25 inside a bag that also contained a black and white zebra-print blanket. Conley says he hopes someone recognizes the image that was created by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and alerts authorities.

  • APNewsBreak: New details on alleged Emile Hirsch assault

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — A studio executive who authorities say was assaulted by actor Emile Hirsch during the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year described the incident as being "insanely painful and absolutely terrifying," according to public records obtained by The Associated Press. Daniele Bernfeld, an executive for the Paramount Pictures subsidiary Insurge Pictures, told police that Hirsch put her in a chokehold from behind, dragged her across a table and body slammed her to the floor, investigative documents obtained Thursday through a public records request showed. Hirsch said he didn't remember exactly what happened, saying only that she came at him and he was defending himself.

  • Sex offenders sue, cite Indiana's religious objections law

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two registered sex offenders say in a lawsuit that they should be allowed to attend church services even when they are held on the same property as schools under Indiana's new religious objections law. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana on behalf of a sex offender who belongs to a Fort Wayne church and another who has attended an Elkhart church. ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk says the state's sex offender ban places a substantial burden on the men's ability to worship that goes beyond what is allowed under the religious objections law that took effect Wednesday. The lawsuit names the prosecutors and sheriffs of Allen and Elkhart counties as def

  • Washington woman's measles death is first in US since 2003

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    SEATTLE (AP) — Measles killed a Washington woman in the spring — the first such death in the U.S. in 12 years and the first in the state in 25, health officials said Thursday. The case wasn't related to a recent measles outbreak that started at Disneyland and triggered a national debate about vaccinations, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Officials said it was a different strain. The Washington woman lacked some of the measles' common symptoms, such as a rash, so the infection wasn't discovered until an autopsy, department spokesman Donn Moyer said. It was the 11th case of measles in Washington — and the sixth in Clallam County — this year, he said.

  • Summer is sizzling: Heat records fall across US West

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    From Seattle to Salt Lake City, the West is baking under record heat. Temperatures reaching the triple digits have made fire conditions extreme and sent folks looking for relief heading into the Fourth of July weekend. Unfortunately, the forecast in many areas calls for more sun and sweat. ___ WASHINGTON Seattle, not accustomed to prolonged hot weather, saw its hottest June ever. The average high temperature each day in June was a record 78.9 degrees, breaking the 1992 record by more than 3 degrees, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Seattle. "Our high is supposed to be in the low to mid 70s at this time and lows in the mid-50s," he said. Instead, the Seattle area is s

  • Body of prison escapee released to New York funeral home

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The body of a convicted murderer who broke out of prison and was fatally shot after three weeks on the run was released to a funeral home Thursday as his fellow escapee continued his recovery at a hospital under heavy guard. Richard Matt's body was being transported from a northern New York hospital to a funeral home before being taken about six hours away to Tonawanda, in western New York, said the director of the Heald Funeral Home in Plattsburgh. Matt's estranged son in the Buffalo area had said he would claim the body. He could not be reached for comment Thursday. Matt escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora on June 6 with David Sweat, another convicted killer. Matt was shot

  • Former California tribal head sentenced in casino takeover

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    COARSEGOLD, Calif. (AP) — The former head of a California Native American tribe accused in an armed takeover of the tribe's casino has been sentenced to more than a year behind bars. The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1HzuHmf) that Tex McDonald, however, was expected to be released from jail on Friday after receiving credit for time he has already served. McDonald was accused of leading a security team that stormed the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino northeast of Fresno last year with firearms and stun guns. The takeover was part of a dispute between rival factions of the Picayune Rancheria of the Chukchansi Indians. McDonald pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. The casino remains closed.

  • Obama draws sharp contrasts with 'mean' Republicans

    Updated: 20 hr ago

    LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Wading into presidential politics, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his brand of middle-class economics by drawing sharp contrasts with "mean" Republicans in the state where the GOP governor was preparing to enter the vast 2016 presidential field. "They're good people," Obama said of Republicans. "It's just their ideas are bad." Obama leveled some of his sharpest criticism of Republicans, who disagree with him on most matters, on the issue of health care exactly one week after the Supreme Court upheld a key component of the law and Obama declared it "here to stay." Republicans in Congress have cast dozens of votes to repeal the law, and they have vowed to keep trying.




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