• Mourners gather for Fairdale tornado victim

    Updated: Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — Family and friends remembered the life of Geraldine Schultz, one of two women killed when tornadoes swept the northern Illinois town of Fairdale on April 9. A memorial service Saturday drew about 125 people to Schultz's daughter's church, Westminster Presbyterian in Rockford. Daughter Tanya Robinson says the family spent the past week combing through the debris of Schultz's home. "We spent the week cleaning up until the lot was clear," Robinson said. "We just had to take a moment to say goodbye, to make it seem real." Robinson will return to Fairdale next week to work more on the lot. Son Tony Poden said in a eulogy that a quilt found in the rubble will be a reminder of his mother's skills.

  • Environmentalists re-establishing Barnegat Bay oyster colony

    Updated: Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — A century ago, oysters were so plentiful in New Jersey's Barnegat Bay that visitors would clamber off trains, wade into the water and pluck handfuls to roast for dinner. But decades of pollution, accelerated by rampant development along the bay's shores, have reduced the oyster population to a small fraction of what it once was. The American Littoral Society is re-establishing an oyster colony about a quarter-mile off a section of Berkeley Township called Good Luck Point. The goal is to help improve water quality in the struggling bay; the shellfish naturally filter out pollutants and impurities. But there's another benefit as well: hardening the shoreline against devastating storms like

  • More than 50 Georgia counties under tornado watch

    Updated: Sun, Apr 19, 2015

    ATLANTA (AP) — A large part of south and central Georgia remained under a tornado watch as severe thunderstorms fired up across the region. The watch, scheduled to be in effect until 3 p.m. Sunday, included more than 50 counties and included most of metro Atlanta. Cities included in the watch included Atlanta, LaGrange, Columbus, Americus, Macon and Dublin. National Weather Service forecasters were tracking a storm west of Atlanta that held the potential for a tornado, but there were no immediate reports of any tornadoes touching down in the area. Severe thunderstorm warnings were also issued for areas west of Atlanta Sunday morning.

  • Thunderstorms cause power outages, flight delays in Texas

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    HOUSTON (AP) — Storms packing winds approaching 90 mph are sweeping across parts of Texas and Oklahoma, causing widespread power outages in the Dallas area — including at a professional soccer game. FC Dallas tweeted that its game against Toronto was being delayed Saturday night because the storm had knocked out half the lights at Toyota Stadium. The Dallas Morning News reports the storm also delayed the Academy of Country Music's Party for a Cause festival in Arlington. All flights at Dallas Love Field were halted until the storm passed. Oncor spokesman Kris Spears tells the Morning News tens of thousands of power outages were reported across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

  • Officials: Plane crashes after being caught in storm

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    SMITH COUNTY, Mississippi (AP) — A small plane crashed Saturday evening near Mize in Smith County after being caught in a storm. According to WLBT.com (http://bit.ly/1HkLQPO) Smith County Sheriff Charlie Crumpton said Mississippi Highway Patrol Officials along with Smith County authorities responded to the 6 p.m. crash. That area had been under a tornado warning when the crash happened. Crumpton said the single-engine aircraft landed on Highway 28 and flipped over onto its roof. Law enforcement officials at the scene said the male pilot was taken to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel with minor injuries. Officials said the plane was flying from Atlanta to Houston when it got caught in the storm.

  • Severe thunderstorm watch issued for Oklahoma City metro

    FROM STAFF REPORTS | Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    A severe thunderstorm watch issued for central Oklahoma includes Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian, Logan, Pottawatomie and Payne counties.

  • California water-saving mandate shrinks cuts for some cities

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Water use must plummet in each California community under Gov. Jerry Brown's sweeping plan to get through a relentless drought, but regulators on Saturday offered some cities relief from drastic cuts. Brown this month ordered a 25 percent cutback in statewide urban water use. The agencies expected to make the steepest cuts have said the state's demands are unreasonable and unfair. Regulators are facing backlash as they try to figure out how to distribute the burden of conservation. It's not feasible to expect coastal cities with few lawns like San Francisco to make cuts on the same magnitude as resort towns in the desert. But the state also risks flaring up regional tensions surrounding how water i

  • I-80 in Wyoming reopened Saturday

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — All of Interstate 80 in southern Wyoming has reopened after sections of it were closed for most of the last two days because of severe winter conditions and crashes. A 50-mile stretch between Cheyenne and Laramie had closed late Thursday morning when a blinding snowstorm caused dozens of wrecks, including several large pileups that took much of Thursday and Friday to clear. While the highway was open, snowfall continued to cause difficult driving conditions on parts of I-80 and other highways in southeast Wyoming on Saturday.

  • Ice jams cause minor flooding

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    WASHBURN, Maine (AP) — The National Weather Service says ice jams on the Aroostook River are causing minor road flooding in parts of northern Maine. Flooding occurred Friday night in and around the town of Washburn in Aroostook County. The Weather Service says the ice was continuing to move on Saturday allowing the river to recede a bit. There's also an ice jam near Fort Fairfield, which has caused one road to be closed. A forecaster says the Weather Service is watching the ice on the rivers very closely.

  • Wisconsin officials warn of good wildfire conditions

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    MADISON, Wis. (AP) — State officials say there is an extremely good chance of wildfires in central Wisconsin. The National Weather Service and the Department of Natural Resources has issued a Red Flag Warning for Saturday for Wood, Adams, Juneau, Monroe and Jackson counties through 7 p.m. Officials say warm temperatures, low humidity and high winds are anticipated and can cause fires. The DNR is prohibiting all burning and is asking the public to be especially careful with activities that could lead to a fire. The DNR says similar conditions are throughout much the state and many areas have a very high threat of wildfires. The weather forecast has some precipitation expected Saturday night and officials ho

  • Weather service issues brush fire warning for NYC

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    NEW YORK (AP) — The National Weather Service has issued a fire warning for the New York City area because of dry brush and gusty winds. Authorities say to exercise caution when using outdoor grills. They add that smokers should never carelessly discard cigarettes. The brush fire warning is in effect from noon until 8 p.m. Saturday.

  • Thunderstorms batter wide areas of Texas

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    HOUSTON (AP) — New thunderstorms were forecast for parts of Texas Saturday, a day after wide areas of the state were pounded with high winds and heavy rains, knocking down trees and utility poles and causing some minor property damage. In Houston, some creeks and bayous filled to their banks Friday evening and drivers in scattered areas found water reaching nearly to car bumpers. In South Texas, funnel clouds were reported near Victoria and Beeville. Karnes County Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva blamed lightning for an explosion Friday at an oil tank in Karnes City, south of San Antonio, sending flames more than 100 feet into the air. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, nearly 3 inches of rain was measured in Parker County

  • Severe weather possible over weekend in Alabama

    Updated: Sat, Apr 18, 2015

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Forecasters say severe weather is possible this weekend in Alabama. Extreme southwestern Alabama already has had more than a foot of rain this week, and the National Weather Service says still more precipitation is possible across much of the state on Saturday and Sunday. The weather service says severe storms could develop across central and south Alabama late Saturday with wind gusts as strong as 60 mph. Conditions could be even worse on Sunday night, with isolated tornadoes, 70 mph wind gusts and hail the size of golf balls. Forecasters say rain chances are less in north Alabama. Weather service reports show that most of south Alabama already has received from 2 inches to 6 inche

  • Storm diverts Oklahoma-bound Seattle elephants to San Diego

    Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    SEATTLE (AP) — Two aging female elephants that a Seattle zoo dispatched earlier this week on a 2,000-mile road trip to a new home at an Oklahoma zoo have been diverted by a storm — and are now resting at the San Diego Zoo, the Woodland Park Zoo said Friday. The elephant caravan had to change course in Salt Lake City because of a storm in Colorado and Wyoming that was expected to grow worse, the Seattle zoo said in an email. "Because the reroute would have extended the trip a day longer, a decision was made for veterinary precautions to go to San Diego Zoo and allow the elephants to rest," the Seattle zoo said. Bamboo, 48, and Chai, 36, arrived Friday afternoon at the California zoo, which has an elephant herd of its

  • Gov. Inslee expands drought emergency declaration

    Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Citing projections that say this summer will have the least snowmelt in 64 years, Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday expanded the state's month-old drought emergency declaration to cover 44 percent of the state. Inslee's announcement more than doubles the number of Washington watershed areas officially considered to be suffering from drought. In March, the governor identified 11 watersheds as drought-afflicted — six west of the Cascades and five on the east side. Thirteen more river basins were added Friday to the drought list. "We've never experienced a drought like this before," state Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon said in a conference call with reporters. "It's not for lack of rain, but l

  • Crews struggle to clear I-80 wreckage in southeast Wyoming

    Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The interstate highway between Cheyenne and Laramie will likely remain closed until Saturday as clean up continues from the massive pileups in Thursday's snowstorm, the Wyoming Department of Transportation warned late Friday afternoon. The department said I-80 was closed across much of the state, with the exception of a short section between Rawlins and Sinclair. Two of the semitrailers involved in Thursday's chain reaction crashes that involved dozens of vehicles west of Cheyenne were split in half and spilled their cargo onto the highway, it said. Efforts were still underway Friday to remove that cargo and the truck wreckage. "It's a battle out there," said Ross Doman, spokesman for the Wyoming Depar

  • Oklahoma's drought likely to improve in coming months, climate scientists say

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Some areas in central and northern Oklahoma and the Panhandle are expected to see drought relief over the next three months, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center reports.

  • 12 hurt in Denver-area crash involving tour buses amid fog

    Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — A dozen people were injured in a crash involving tour buses for two different bands and two trucks on a foggy stretch of Interstate 70 east of Denver on Friday, as a spring storm made driving dangerous across Colorado and Wyoming. A bus carrying crew members for the Brooklyn-based performer Twin Shadow rear-ended a semi-trailer stopped on the highway, seriously injuring 41-year-old bus driver John Crawford, the Colorado State Patrol said. Eleven other people on that bus suffered minor to moderate injuries. The Twin Shadow bus then hit another truck and a tour bus carrying crew members of the country band Thompson Square. No one in those vehicles was injured. Both bands were headed to Denver for shows Fr

  • Global temperatures set record in March, climate scientists report

    Silas Allen | Published: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Last month was the warmest March on record worldwide, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Friday. The first three months of the year also made up the warmest first quarter on record, the agency reported. NOAA’s temperature records date back to 1880. Last month, the average temperature across land and ocean surfaces […]

  • FEMA aid urged for winter blizzard in Washington County

    Updated: Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine's congressional delegation is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency to add Washington County to a winter storm disaster declaration. In the letter, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King and Rep. Bruce Poliquin pointed out that Washington County was hit especially hard by winter storms but was let off a disaster declaration that included York, Androscoggin and Cumberland counties. The disaster declaration applies to the first big blizzard of the season in late January. The lawmakers said that a preliminary damage estimate indicates the storm that walloped Eastport with more than 2 feet of snow should qualify for disaster relief. They said in their letter that they "are hopeful that FEM