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  • Chance of rain Thursday, Friday in central Oklahoma

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    There is a 30 percent chance of rain Thursday afternoon in central Oklahoma. Friday there is a 60 percent chance of rain.

  • USM to honor donors to tornado recovery

    Updated: Thu, Aug 28, 2014

    HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — The University of Southern Mississippi will unveil a Tornado Relief and Landscape Restoration Honor Wall on Sept. 5, recognizing donors who made significant contributions to the restoration campaign. The ceremony also will feature a grand reopening of the Ogletree House, the home of the University's Alumni Association that suffered extensive damage from the Feb. 10, 2013 storm. The event will also include recognition of major restoration projects involving the front campus landscape and arts facilities. Gov. Phil Bryant, a USM graduate, is expected to attend the 10 a.m. ceremony. The EF-4 tornado that tore through the Hattiesburg area 17 months ago caused heavy damage to the southern edge of

  • Cowabunga! Storm sends big waves to California

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Thundering surf spawned by a Pacific hurricane pounded the Southern California coast Wednesday, causing minor flooding in a low-lying beach town while drawing daredevil surfers and body-boarders into churning, 20-foot waves as crowds of spectators lined the shore. Despite the danger, surfers, body-boarders and body-surfers flocked to favorite spots such as the notorious Wedge at Newport Beach, where the interaction of swells and a jetty produced huge waves, and cars were backed up for miles along the only road to the narrow peninsula. Big crowds watched surfers in the morning, while bodysurfers took on the surf in the afternoon.

  • 30,000 of 174,000 customers still blacked out

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    DETROIT (AP) — DTE Energy Co. says about 30,000 homes and businesses remain without power a day after severe thunderstorms struck parts of southern Michigan, blacking out 174,000 utility customers. Tuesday's storms brought 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts that knocked down trees and power lines across a stretch of southern Michigan. DTE says about 30,000 of its 165,000 affected customers remain powerless at 9 p.m. Wednesday, the majority in Wayne County. It says mature trees knocked down some major power lines, slowing the restoration process. DTE says the "vast majority" of those still affected will be back on line by late Thursday. CMS Energy Corp. says it's restored power to 9,000 blacked-out customers.

  • AP PHOTOS: Storm-roiled waves hit beach towns

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    SEAL BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Massive waves turned into floodwaters Wednesday along the Southern California shore as Hurricane Marie stirred up the surf from afar. Beachfront properties were inundated with saltwater, and the storm-roiled Pacific knocked out pilings at Malibu Pier. The sea breached oceanfront walls to flood streets and homes. Both Tuesday and Wednesday, beachgoers reveled in the towering surf at The Wedge in Newport Beach, with crowds egging on surfers and body-boarders brave enough to take on waves surging up to 20 feet. Lifeguards on both sea and shore kept a watchful eye on the crowd, making multiple rescues. Here is a collection of photos of the storm's shoreline impact.

  • Some facts about Tropical Storm Irene in Vermont

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    Tropical Storm Irene settled over Vermont on Aug. 28, 2011. Here are some facts about flooding and other damage from the storm, the state's worst natural disaster in almost 100 years: — Some parts of the state got up to 11 inches of rain in 24 hours. — More than 500 miles of roads and 200 bridges were damaged or destroyed. — Six people were killed. — More than a dozen communities were cut off from the outside world, some for several days. Some funding highlights of the Irene recovery: — The Federal Highway Administration provided $129.6 million to help repair roads and bridges. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided about $166.9 million. — State emergency relief fu

  • 3 years after Irene, new office complex rising

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — Three years after flooding from Tropical Storm Irene made most of the state office complex in Waterbury unusable, its replacement is rising out of what was a sodden mess that reeked of the nearby Winooski River. An 86,000-square-foot office building is being constructed above the level of any expected flooding, and many of the historic buildings that are being preserved are being flood-proofed by filling in what had been their lowest levels. The $125 million project, the largest state building project in Vermont history, is on track for completion at the end of 2015, when the first of 800 Agency of Human Services employees who will work there are scheduled to move in.

  • Correction: Police Militarization-New Jersey story

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — In a story Aug. 25 about New Jersey police departments receiving military equipment, The Associated Press erroneously reported the value of the equipment currently in the state. It is $43.7 million, according to the Defense Logistics Agency, not nearly $32 million. A corrected version of the story is below: New Jersey lawmakers question police military gear Some New Jersey lawmakers question local police departments' use of military equipment By JILL COLVIN Associated Press NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Some New Jersey lawmakers are calling for a review of a program that has delivered millions of dollars in surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies following violent cla

  • Nebraska emergency fund solid despite storms

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Officials say a state emergency response fund is financially solid despite a year of heavy storms that caused millions of dollars in damage in Nebraska. State officials said Wednesday that the governor's emergency fund has $7 million available for future disasters. The fund is used to reimburse local governments for some of their emergency expenses. It was nearly depleted in 2012 after wildfires swept through central and western Nebraska. This year, the state has experienced severe storms and tornadoes that caused millions of dollars in damage, but many of the affected areas qualified for federal disaster aid or were covered by private insurance. Gov.

  • 9 years later, Ala coast still changed by Katrina

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    CODEN, Ala. (AP) — It's more about looking forward than looking back for Kenny and Brenda Heaton as the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches. But what happened then has shaped their today. To look at the bayou in their backyard, you wouldn't think it could be the bearer of destruction. It's only about 15 feet wide, but Katrina's power swelled the bayou well beyond its banks and into the Heaton's home. "The water reached the Chevrolet sign hanging there," Kenny Heaton said as he pointed to a shed at the front of their property. The Chevrolet sign hangs about 6 feet off the ground. Kenny said the only belongings they had left after Katrina was what they had packed in their truck to stay with friends in Irvi

  • Earthquakes rock Iceland volcano

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    LONDON (AP) — Earthquakes are rocking Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, adding to concerns that magma movements may trigger an eruption that could hinder air traffic. Iceland's Met Office says two earthquakes measuring over magnitude 5 shook the volcano under the vast Vatnajokull glacier on Wednesday. Some 500 quakes have hit the area since midnight. Iceland's aviation alert level remains at orange, the second highest. On Sunday, the Met Office lowered the alert level, saying there was no sign of an imminent eruption at Bardarbunga. In 2010, Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano erupted and sparked off a week of international aviation chaos.

  • Winter blackouts could hit Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, regional grid operator warns

    Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    A repeat of last winter's deep freeze could lead to electricity blackouts in a clutch of states spanning the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic as proposed environmental regulations propel a switch toward natural gas -fired power, the Washington Examiner reports. PJM Interconnection, a regional grid operator, proposed new measures aimed at ensuring it doesn't again flirt with losing 22 percent of its electricity capacity as it did during the "polar vortex" in early January. Echoing the concerns of Republicans and some centrist Democrats who have admonished the Obama administration for rules that would restrain the use of coal-fired power, PJM noted the situation could become more dire under a "rapid transition" from coal to natural gas.

  • Flood advisory in Oklahoma Panhandle Wednesday

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Published: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    A flood advisory is in effect until 6:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Oklahoma Panhandle. A hot day in central Oklahoma is ahead.

  • Hurricane Cristobal heads toward Bermuda

    Updated: Wed, Aug 27, 2014

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Cristobal moved slowly toward Bermuda after drenching Atlantic and Caribbean islands with heavy rains, causing flooding that officials blamed for at least five deaths. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the hurricane would likely avoid a collision with the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, but it was generating life-threatening surf and rip current conditions from central Florida to North Carolina. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph), and it was expected to pass northwest of Bermuda on Wednesday, and strengthen slightly by Thursday. Early Wednesday, it was centered 430 miles (690 kilometers) west of Bermuda and was moving north near 12 mph (19 kph).

  • Thunderstorms spawn 60 mph wind, black out 169,000

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Severe thunderstorms have hit parts of southern Michigan, 60 mile-per-hour wind gusts that knocked down trees and power lines and blacked out about 169,000 electricity customers. The National Weather Service says winds reaching 60 mph in Wayne County's Canton Township near Detroit and in Washtenaw County's Pittsfield Township. It says a 2-foot-diameter tree fell in Redford, near Detroit. DTE Energy Co. says 120,000 of 160,000 affected customers remained powerless Tuesday night. CMS. Energy Corp. says 3,000 of 9,000 affected customers remained out. Flooding closed parts of some Detroit-area expressways Tuesday evening. WXYZ-TV says lightning is suspected in a fire that heavily damage

  • Southern California prepares for big storm surf

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Sand bags and surfers populated Southern California beaches Tuesday in anticipation of potentially damaging surf spawned by Hurricane Marie spinning off Mexico's Pacific coast. While workers hurried to fortify beaches and protect low-lying areas against flooding from the waves, crowds gathered to watch the swells roll in. At The Wedge in Newport Beach, a famous surfing spot, dozens of gawkers lined the beach and watched bodysurfers get pounded by storm-driven waves up to 10 feet high. People took photos and video and clapped, whistled, and cheered when a bodysurfer caught one of the swells.

  • Hurricane Cristobal gains, heads toward Bermuda

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Hurricane Cristobal hurled heavy rains across Atlantic and Caribbean islands on Tuesday as it headed toward Bermuda, and officials said the storm had caused at least five deaths. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the hurricane would likely avoid a collision with the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, but it was generating life-threatening surf and rip current conditions from central Florida to North Carolina. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph), and it was expected pass northwest of Bermuda on Wednesday, and strengthen slightly by Thursday. On Tuesday night, it was centered 435 miles (700 kilometers) west-southwest of Bermuda and was moving north at 16 mph (26 kph).

  • Kentucky leader pleads guilty in kickbacks scheme

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    WEST LIBERTY, Ky. (AP) — Circular saws squealed and construction workers hammered away on buildings, part of this Appalachian area's painstaking recovery from a deadly 2012 tornado. About 60 miles away, inside in a federal courtroom Tuesday in Lexington, the elected official who led the reconstruction in Morgan County sobbed as he pleaded guilty to a fraud charge stemming from a kickback scheme. Judge-Executive Tim Conley, the county's top official, received $120,000 to $200,000 to steer work to a contractor in a scheme that started three years before the tornado and continued while the town struggled to rebuild, prosecutors said. Conley could spend years in prison. His supporters had a hard time believing the three-t

  • UN panel: Global warming human-caused, dangerous

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn't in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.

  • Soggy start: Burning Man crews stuck at Wal-Mart

    Updated: Tue, Aug 26, 2014

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Ah, Burning Man, the annual weeklong rave that draws thousands of free-thinkers to a remote spot in the Nevada desert. It's a festival so remote and bizarre that the only limit to free expression is imagination ... and that dust that always gets into the electronics. Except when it rains. That's when the "Burners" end up in the parking lot of the Reno Wal-Mart. Turned back at the gate to the Black Rock Desert after rare showers on Monday turned the ancient lake bottom to a muddy quagmire, hundreds of "Burners" were forced to overnight on the Wal-Mart blacktop. Nearly a hundred other RVs pulled into the parking lot of the Grand Sierra Resort casino, across the street.