• Timeline of Baker's 1st 100 days as Massachusetts governor

    Updated: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    A timeline of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's first 100 days in office: ___ Jan. 8 — Putting his hand on the family Bible, Baker takes the oath of office. He says in his inaugural address that state government has ignored or put off tough challenges "because they're not politically convenient or easy to fix." In one of his first official acts, Baker makes good on a campaign promise by releasing $100 million in transportation funds for cities and towns withheld by the previous administration. The United States Olympic Committee names Boston the U.S. bid city for 2024 Olympics. Baker calls the bid a "significant opportunity" for Massachusetts but promises "robust" public debate on it. Jan.

  • In 1st 100 days, Baker weathers record snow, budget deficit

    Updated: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    BOSTON (AP) — The state's new governor, Charlie Baker, glanced out the window of a briefing room at the bare ground outside and remarked that while he had plenty of other fiscal problems to deal with, at least he was "not that worried about the snow and ice budget." That was Jan. 20. Within days, Baker's misplaced optimism would lie buried under the first of a bruising series of winter storms that shattered snowfall records, collapsed roofs, brought public transportation to a near standstill and quickly exhausted snow removal budgets for the state and its cities and towns.

  • 2nd day of winds brings fire danger to Southern California

    Updated: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A second day of gusty Santa Ana winds and low relative humidity levels means increased fire danger for much of Southern California. Motorists are urged to use caution Thursday in mountain areas, where gusts could top 60 mph. The National Weather Service says red flag warnings for wildfire risk will remain in effect until through the evening. Additional crews are stationed in danger areas across the region in case fires are sparked. Humidity levels slipped into the low teens and single digits on Wednesday as temperatures rose into the 80s. Winds are expected to calm down on Friday.

  • US home construction off to weak March start

    Updated: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. homebuilders opened the spring buying season in March at a slower pace than last year, a warning that recent hiring gains have failed to translate into a stronger real estate market. Construction firms broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 926,000 homes last month, a 2.5 percent decline from the pace in March 2014, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Steady job growth, low mortgage rates and cheaper gasoline have given consumers more flexibility. But the improved economy has yet to significantly boost sales and construction, even as economists say that the gains should soon flow into housing.

  • Statewide tornado drill taking place across Michigan

    Updated: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan residents are participating in a statewide tornado drill. The drill is scheduled to take place on Thursday afternoon. State police and emergency management officials are encouraging businesses, organizations, schools, families and individuals to participate, but they're not required to do so. Tornadoes are common in Michigan during late spring and early summer. The drill comes amid the state's Severe Weather Awareness Week. Michigan says its drill is scheduled to take place at the same time as drills in at least two other Midwest states. During storms last week, the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-0 tornado on a scale of zero to 5 touched down in a field in Hillsdale County's Mo

  • Chances for severe thunderstorms continue Thursday in western Oklahoma

    By Silas Allen, Staff Writer | Published: Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The National Weather Service predicts a slight chance for severe weather Thursday afternoon and evening in far western Oklahoma, including Woodward and Altus.

  • Forecasters: Storm to increase avalanche danger in mountains

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — Forecasters say a strong storm that is expected to dump more than 2 feet of snow in parts of Colorado's mountains on Thursday and Friday will increase the danger of avalanches. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says conditions could quickly become dangerous in the Northern Mountains, as well as in the Sawatch and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. The Denver Post reports a winter storm warning has been issued for Jackson, Larimer, Grand, Boulder, Gilpin, Clear Creek, Summit, Park and Douglas counties from Thursday evening through late Friday. The National Weather Service says high altitude areas could see between 1 and 2 feet of snow, and some areas could even get up to 3 feet.

  • Dayton authorizes National Guard to help fight wildfires

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is authorizing the Minnesota National Guard to help fight wildfires in the state. Dayton on Wednesday signed an executive order to provide emergency assistance to the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center. In his order, Dayton notes that the center was fighting more than 35 wildfires on Wednesday. The National Weather Service has issued red flag fire warnings for all of Minnesota, due to dry conditions, high temperatures, low humidity and strong winds. Fire conditions are expected to remain extreme for the next several days.

  • Gov. Baker seeks resignation of board that oversees MBTA

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker is calling on members of the board that oversees the MBTA to resign. Baker's request to the state transportation board on Wednesday follows a recommendation from a panel he convened to study the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority after a series of punishing winter snowstorms slowed the Boston-area public transit system to a crawl. The panel's report called on Baker to request the resignation of all board members. The request doesn't apply to Baker's Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. The panel recommended other major changes at the T including higher fares, a plan to reduce the absenteeism rate among employees, and the creation of a financial control board.

  • Snow falls behind in Colorado, but rain, snow in forecast

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    DENVER (AP) — Snow pack is well below normal, but close watchers of water, weather and fire in Colorado are heartened by healthy reservoir levels and short- and long-term forecasts of precipitation. Justin Whitesell of the state's Division of Fire Prevention and Control told other members of Colorado's Water Availability Task Force at a regular meeting Wednesday that he expects the coming fire season to be normal. About 3,000 wildfires break out in a normal year, but Whitesell said they may be easier to put out this year because of moisture in the ground.

  • Smoke closes I-29 from Grand Forks to Canadian border

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — Smoke from multiple grass fires in North Dakota has prompted transportation officials to close Interstate 29 from Grand Forks to the Canadian border. The North Dakota Department of Transportation says the area north of Grand Forks along I-29 is experiencing near-zero visibility conditions because of smoke. The National Weather Service says dangerous fire weather is in store for much of the northern Plains over the next several days, with gusty winds and low humidity levels. A blaze south of Bismarck led some homes to be evacuated earlier this week and prompted classes to be canceled at the University of Mary. However, the evacuation order has been lifted and classes resumed Wednesday.

  • Vulnerable New Orleans East gets levees approved by FEMA

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Levee officials say the Federal Emergency Management Agency has certified non-federal levees in New Orleans East, a step that should help spur economic development in a part of the city lagging in its comeback from Hurricane Katrina. FEMA officials certified two levee segments that fall inside the larger flood protection system built by the Army Corps of Engineers for New Orleans East. The agency was reviewing whether the levees would handle flooding that might happen inside the federal system from heavy rains. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East announced FEMA's accreditation on Tuesday. The certification will help keep flood insurance rates from spiking in the area.

  • Utah storm leaves 1 dead, largest Salt Lake City snow fall

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A vicious 24-hour spring storm in Utah is winding down after closing the interstate and leaving one dead, more than a dozen injured, a wildfire and the largest snow fall of the year for Salt Lake City. After what was noted as a particularly calm winter, Tuesday's storm started with wind gusts as high as 80 mph in the afternoon. Rain and snow hit in parts of the state by the evening, which continued into the next day. As of midday Wednesday, 5 inches of snow had fallen at Salt Lake City International Airport. It brought the total to just less than 15 inches since October 1, making it the largest single snow event of the season in the least snowy winter on record, according to the National Weather

  • Crews recover man's body from swollen creek

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    BEREA, Ky. (AP) — Rescue crews have recovered a body from a flooded creek in Madison County. Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison told media on Tuesday night that the man's body was being recovered from Paint Lick Creek along Kentucky 21 near Berea. He was identified on Wednesday morning as 42-year-old Eugene Paul Wren. An autopsy was to be performed to determine his cause of death. First responders from several communities responded Tuesday afternoon to a call about a vehicle sticking out of the water. After determining that it was empty, they searched up and down the creek until finding the body. They recovered it about 11:30 p.m. The National Weather Service had issued flood warnings for much of central and east

  • National Weather Service issues spring fire warnings

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The National Weather Service is warning about the dangers of brush and forest fires throughout parts of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The Red Flag Warnings in effect Wednesday for western Vermont runs from 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. In other areas, it runs through 7 p.m. The weather service says the combination of gusty winds, low relative humidity and dry fuels means that any fires that develop could get out of control quickly and be difficult to contain. Areas that will be especially susceptible to fire are those without snow cover.

  • Strong winds bring fire danger to Southern California

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Red flag warnings for fire danger are in effect for a broad swath of Southern California due to gusty Santa Ana winds and low relative humidity levels. The National Weather Service says northeast winds will blow at sustained speeds of around 30 mph in some areas on Wednesday, with gusts topping 60 mph in the mountains. High pressure over the Great Basin will affect the region broadly from San Diego to Los Angeles, where additional crews are stationed in danger areas to deal with increased fire risk. Humidity levels are predicted to slip into the low teens and single digits as temperatures rise into the 80s.

  • Rauner extends tax return deadline for tornado victims

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has extended tax return deadlines for residents affected by last week's tornado and severe weather in parts of DeKalb and Ogle counties. Victims of the tornado will now have until October 31 to file tax returns that are due Wednesday. The extension is meant to provide relief to individuals and local businesses trying to file returns or payments while recovering from the storms. Rauner says the devastated communities should be focusing on recovery instead of deadlines. He says the affected families and businesses should file and pay taxes after they've had time to recuperate.

  • Pittsburgh parking wharf partially reopening after flooding

    Updated: Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    PITTSBURGH (AP) — A riverfront parking lot in Pittsburgh is partially reopening after it was closed since Friday due to flooding. The city's parking authority says 275 of the 458 spaces at the Monongahela River Parking Wharf will be available Wednesday. They say parking is accessible from Stanwix Street but not Wood Street. The Pittsburgh Parking Authority closed the wharf on Friday as the Ohio River approached flood stage. It remained closed Monday and Tuesday for cleanup of mud and debris. The river crested Saturday morning at 22.2 feet, covering the parking lot in about three feet of water. The Monongahela Wharf is located next to Point State Park under Fort Pitt Boulevard on the Monongahela River

  • 2 in Jeep briefly lifted into air by small tornado in Eugene

    Updated: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A small tornado that touched down Tuesday afternoon in the parking lot of a community college campus briefly lifted two people in a Jeep Cherokee into the air, then slammed the vehicle back down on its tires, witnesses said. Student Josh Hollowell was between classes at Lane Community College's main campus when he saw the twister touch down, hitting four vehicles in the parking lot. The man in the Jeep told Hollowell he and his female companion were unhurt. A short time later they drove off. No one was hurt, college spokeswoman Joan Aschim said. "No injuries at all. We were very lucky," she said. Both Hollowell and a campus safety officer, Sgt. Lisa Rupp, estimated the Jeep was lifted about 8

  • Strong winds forecast for parts of California

    Updated: Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The National Weather Service says some areas of Southern California will experience an extended period of strong and potentially damaging winds. Forecasters say northwesterly winds began Tuesday across the Antelope Valley and Interstate 5 corridor north of Los Angeles. By evening, northerly winds gusting to 60 mph will begin blowing across southern Santa Barbara County and below the Santa Ynez Mountains, especially near Montecito. By early Wednesday, high pressure over the Great Basin will cause the winds to shift to the northeast, affecting the region broadly from San Diego to Los Angeles, where additional firefighters will be stationed in danger areas starting Wednesday morning to deal with increa




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