SEATTLE (AP) — A fossilized mammoth tusk discovered in a Seattle construction site was retrieved Friday evening from a 30-foot-deep pit to the sound of cheers and clicking from people taking pictures.
By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. East Coast was blasted by the end of a four-day winter storm on Friday, freezing sales of Valentine's Day flowers and sweets but revving up snowmobiles and ski areas desperate to salvage a lackluster season. As the storm blew out with a last salvo of thunder snow and lightning, the death toll rose to at least 20, including a 36-year-old pregnant woman killed by a snow plow in a Brooklyn parking lot. Her baby boy remained in critical but stable condition, a New York City Police spokeswoman said. Snowfall measured 28.5 inches in Pilot, Virginia, about 200 miles west of Richmond, said Chris Vaccaro, spokesman for the National Weather Service.
By Susan Cooper Eastman JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - A north Florida jury ended a third day of deliberations on Friday in the trial of a middle-aged man who shot and killed a black teenager in an argument over rap music that was blaring from the youth's car. Defense attorneys have said Michael Dunn, 47, who is white, acted in self-defense when he fired 10 rounds at an SUV carrying four teens, killing Jordan Davis, 17, while it was parked in a Jacksonville gas station. The trial has drawn international attention because of racial overtones and claims of self-defense. "We have reached a wall for this evening," the jury announced shortly before 7 p.m. Earlier on Friday in response to a question from the jury, Judge Russell Healey told them they were allowed to reach a partial verdict, agreeing to some counts but not all.
OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A jury began deliberating Friday night whether a Utah man is guilty of child abuse homicide in the death of a teenage baby sitter who prosecutors say died as the result the man giving her a lethal dose of drugs.
(Reuters) - A former New Jersey prosecutor has asked state lawmakers to investigate the dismissal of an indictment against a sheriff who had ties to Governor Chris Christie's administration. The letter was sent to a legislative committee currently investigating lane closures at the George Washington Bridge connecting northern New Jersey and New York City, which caused four days of traffic jams and was allegedly an act of political retaliation against a Democratic mayor who didn't endorse Republican Christie's re-election. That scandal, along with an accusation by Hoboken's Democratic mayor that the governor's office linked Superstorm Sandy financial aid to the mayor's support of a development project, has dogged the governor. The letter from former Hunterdon County prosecutor Charles Ouslander is dated Tuesday and was first reported on Friday by the online news publication NJ Spotlight.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Yosemite National Park will cap visitors at current levels in its most popular areas, but it will add campsites and maintain bike and raft rentals under a plan announced Friday to protect the river that runs through its heart.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Brandi Craig awoke before dawn Friday to a desperate scene as firefighters smashed their way into a duplex that was engulfed in flames across the street in her north Minneapolis neighborhood while tenants, including a family with seven young children, shouted for help.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors charged former NFL safety Darren Sharper on Friday with raping and drugging two women in California and disclosed he is under investigation in connection with five more drug-related rapes in three other states.
By Dana Feldman and Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former professional football player Darren Sharper, a star defensive back turned television sports analyst, was charged on Friday with drugging four women and raping two of them in a Los Angeles area hotel, prosecutors said. Sharper, 38, appeared briefly in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday in connection with the alleged incidents, which prosecutors said occurred in October and January, but he did not enter a plea. His arraignment was postponed until February 20, and a judge allowed Sharper to remain free on $200,000 bail. Representing Sharper was Blair Berk, a high-profile celebrity defense lawyer whose past clients include Kiefer Sutherland, Mel Gibson and Queen Latifah.
A vote by workers in Tennessee that could yield the first labor union victory at a foreign-owned auto plant in the U.S. South will be difficult to challenge, no matter the outcome, despite growing controversy over the election. Volkswagen AG employees at the German company's Chattanooga plant on Friday will complete three days of voting that has seen intense political infighting between anti-union forces and the United Auto Workers (UAW) over unionizing the plant. Once the result is announced, the parties will have seven days to file an objection with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that oversees union elections and polices unfair labor practices in the private sector. The fight in Chattanooga has been unusual because of the deep involvement of anti-union political groups from outside Tennessee, and any legal basis that they might have to challenge the election's outcome was uncertain, lawyers said.