BOSTON (AP) — A speedy winter storm that blew through parts of the Great Lakes and East on Tuesday is expected to leave a trail of warmer weather and rain that should provide a respite for residents weary of weeks of bitter cold but create the potential for flooding and collapsing roofs in some areas.
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Three Los Angeles City Council members have launched a bid to nearly double the minimum wage for hotel workers in the U.S.'s second-largest metropolis to $15.37 an hour, among the highest rates proposed for any of the country's private-sector workers. The "living wage" proposal would apply to about 11,000 workers at hotels in Los Angeles with more than 100 rooms, helping to lift employees out of poverty and spur the city economy, supporters of the proposal said. The hotel sector immediately voiced opposition to the proposed wage hike, saying it unfairly singles out one industry for mandatory pay rises and would likely force some hotels to scale back operations or the number of workers they hire. Employers in other sectors and hotel owners in neighboring jurisdictions are generally required to pay their workers no more than $8 an hour, the current state minimum wage in California which is set to rise to $9 this summer.
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona could spend $30 million to construct a "virtual fence" to ensure the federal government is securing the U.S.-Mexico border from drug smugglers and illegal immigrants under a measure that has narrowly advanced in the state legislature. State Senator Bob Worsley has proposed putting 300 watch towers, complete with the latest technology, to put what he called extra "eyes on the ground" capable of watching over the roughly 350 miles of border Arizona shares with Mexico. "People in my state don't trust what the federal government is telling us when it comes to border security," said Worsley, a Republican. "I'm not sure that it's a good, wise use of money just to tell the federal government, ‘ha ha we can see what you're doing and we don't agree with what you're doing,'" Republican Senator Chester Crandell said during committee debate.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Police haven't substantiated a newlywed woman's claims that she killed more than 20 people in four states before the killing she's now charged with committing with her husband, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
A Montana judge, under fire for suggesting a 14-year-old girl was partly to blame for being raped by a teacher, admitted on Tuesday that he violated judicial standards and invited censure from the state's highest court, documents show. Judge G. Todd Baugh drew fierce public criticism last year when he sentenced the former teacher, 54-year-old Stacey Rambold, to just a month in prison for the 2007 sexual assault of his student, Cherice Moralez, who later killed herself. In a complaint filed with the Montana Supreme Court earlier this month, a Montana panel that oversees jurists sought to discipline him over the sentence as well as for saying the girl appeared "older than her chronological age," and "as much in control of the situation" as her teacher. The Montana Judicial Standards Commission said Baugh undermined public confidence in the judiciary, created an appearance of impropriety and "justified the unlawful sentence by blaming the child victim," according to papers from the commission.
By Victoria Cavaliere NEW YORK (Reuters) - Successive winter storms led to critical shortages of rock salt in the U.S. Northeast on Tuesday including Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania, while New Jersey scrambled to secure a huge shipment stuck at a port in Maine. The scarcity hit as the East Coast was slammed by a third winter storm system in a single week, leaving many states over-budget for snow removal and running low on supplies like rock salt, which is used to help melt ice and snow on roads and public areas. A 40,000-ton shipment of rock salt was stuck on a foreign ship in Searsport, Maine, days after New Jersey was denied a waiver of federal shipping rules that would have allowed it to travel to a Newark port. Instead, efforts to get the salt to New Jersey remained stymied by the 1920 Maritime Act, also known as the Jones Act, enacted to protect the U.S. shipping industry from foreign competition.