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Yahoo! National News

Maine group seeks ballot initiative to legalize recreational pot

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:26
By Dave Sherwood PORTLAND, Maine (Reuters) - Marijuana advocates have filed paperwork in Maine seeking a 2016 ballot initiative that would legalize recreational use of the drug in the northeastern-most U.S. state, officials said on Tuesday. The move comes amid a broader, nationwide push for marijuana legalization following 2014 ballot victories in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, which joined Colorado and Washington in allowing adults to use the drug without a prescription. Some 23 states and the District of Columbia also permit medical marijuana use, though the drug remains illegal under federal law. Legalize Maine, a local organization with no ties to national pro-pot groups, said legalizing marijuana would help the state’s ailing, largely rural economy.

Ex-boyfriend of murdered Connecticut actress made threats from jail, family says

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:23
By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A Connecticut actress beaten and stabbed to death in her home in 2006 was repeatedly threatened by her former boyfriend from prison, the victim's mother and brother testified on Tuesday at his murder trial. Matthew Pugh, 42, is being tried in Superior Court in Milford in the 2006 killing of Alexandra Ducsay, 26, who had acting roles that included an appearance on the popular television crime drama "Law and Order." Pugh, who was in prison in 2004 on a drugs charge, has pleaded not guilty in the murder case. "He called her on the phone every day, most times twice a day," Ducsay's mother, Linda Ducsay, told the 12-member jury Tuesday. Linda Ducsay said she was the one who found her daughter's dead body in 2006 in their shared home in Milford, about 50 miles south of the capital Hartford.

Man tied to abduction of UVa student now charged with murder

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:22

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2014 file photo Jesse Matthew Jr., right, looks toward the gallery while appearing in court in Fairfax, Va. New information is coming in the case against Matthew Jr., linked to two Virginia college students who disappeared and were later found dead. Matthew, 33, is charged with abduction with intent to defile in the case of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. (AP Photo/The Washington Post, Bill O'Leary, Pool)CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Nearly four months after his arrest in the disappearance of a missing University of Virginia student, Jesse Matthew Jr. has been indicted on a murder count in the case — but he won't face the death penalty and still has not been charged in the death of another student.


Lawyer: Guardsman was trying to commit suicide in armory

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:21
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee National Guard recruiter charged in an armory shooting brought a loaded pistol into the building intending to kill himself, not shoot his fellow Guard members, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Nitrogen gas death penalty bills clear Oklahoma panels

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:21

In this Oct. 9, 2014 file photo, Department of Corrections officials are pictured in the witness room at right, outside the newly renovated death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. With executions in Oklahoma on hold amid a constitutional review of its lethal injection formula, Republican legislators are pushing to make Oklahoma the first state in the nation to allow the use of nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma could become the first state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates under a proposal to reinstate a method of execution that hasn't been used in the U.S. in decades but which supporters say would be painless and foolproof.


Upper Darby police officer suspected of stealing evidence

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:19

Upper Darby police officer suspected of stealing evidenceA 15 year veteran of the Upper Darby Police force is suspected of stealing drugs and cash from the evidence room, and now the Delaware County District Attorney has launched a probe into the alleged theft.


Missouri execution planned, questions over lethal drugs persist

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:19
Missouri prepared for its first execution of the year on Tuesday amid continued scrutiny of the secrecy surrounding its lethal injection protocols. Walter Storey, 47, is scheduled for execution at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Storey's attorneys have filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of Missouri's lethal injection practices and arguing there are concerns similar to those raised by Oklahoma inmates for whom the justices recently issued stays of execution. Nine current and former Missouri state legislators filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Tuesday supporting a stay of execution for Storey because of what they said are "serious questions about the constitutionality" of the state's execution protocol.

Police say Idaho woman used her shoe in dance floor attack

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:15
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — An eastern Idaho woman faces charges after being accused of using her high-heeled shoe to attack someone who bumped into her on the dance floor.

Hearings starting on governor's tactics for Ferguson unrest

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:14

FILE - In this Monday Nov. 24, 2014 file photo, people walk away from a storage facility on fire after the grand jury decision was announced in Ferguson, Mo. More than 700 National Guard troops were stationed preemptively throughout the St. Louis region. But Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was inundated with criticism for not deploying the Guard outside businesses along a prominent Ferguson road where looting and arson had occurred after Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 shooting. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — As businesses were burned and looted in Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was inundated with messages from the public criticizing him for not using the National Guard to prevent the civil unrest that followed a grand jury's decision in the Michael Brown case.


Police: Speeding driver's wife killed in Bear, Delaware crash

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:09

 Speeding driver's wife killed in Bear, Delaware crashDelaware State Police say a woman was killed when the car she was riding in hit several vehicles on U.S. Route 13 in Bear.


Jail boss upset hundreds of guards called in sick in storm

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:08
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City's jails commissioner says it's "disappointing" hundreds of guards called in sick during a snowstorm last month.

Jury sentences Texas man to 40 years for burning boy

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:04
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — Jurors imposed a 40-year prison sentence Tuesday on a Texas man convicted in a childhood arson attack on a boy who died as a result nearly 13 years later.

Man faces murder trial in hammer deaths of dad, 87, mom, 85

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 06:00

This undated booking photo released by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department shows Jeffrey B. Maurer. A Rochester Hills, Mich., district judge ruled Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 that there's enough evidence to try the 53-year-old Maurer in Oakland County Circuit Court on first-degree murder charges in the beating deaths of his 87-year-old father and 85-year-old mother. (AP Photo/Oakland County Sheriffs Department)ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit man with a history of mental illness who is accused of beating his 87-year-old father and 85-year-old mother to death with a hammer has been ordered to stand trial in their slayings.


Family of Sandy Hook victim moves to trademark her name

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 05:57

FILE - In a Thursday, June 13, 2013 file photo, Jillian Soto, center, with sister Carlee Soto, left and brother Carlos Soto, the siblings of Victoria Soto, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on the sixth month anniversary of the Newtown, Conn. shootings. The family of Victoria Soto, who was killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre, has applied to trademark her name in an attempt to stop others from misusing it on social media. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The family of a teacher killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre has applied to trademark her name in an attempt to stop others from misusing it on social media.


Mormon who runs website for doubting church members ousted

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 05:52

John Dehlin arrives with his wife Margi at the North Logan Stake Center for a disciplinary council in North Logan, Utah, on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Dehlin, a Mormon who gained notoriety over the past decade for running a website that offers doubting Latter-day Saints a forum to chat has been kicked out of the religion. He announced the decision from regional church leaders Tuesday. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Rick Egan) DESERET NEWS OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; MAGS OUTSALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Mormon man who gained notoriety over the past decade for running a website that offers doubting Latter-day Saints a forum to chat has been kicked out of the religion.


Woman who claims she flew without airline ticket arrested

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 05:48
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A woman with a history of boarding airplanes without a ticket was in jail Tuesday while authorities investigated whether she stowed away on a flight from Minnesota to Florida.

Maryland governor moves to repeal 'rain tax'

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 05:45
(Reuters) - Maryland's "rain tax" on stormwater runoff designed to protect the ailing Chesapeake Bay would be repealed under legislation Republican Governor Larry Hogan unveiled on Tuesday. Hogan said in a statement that the stormwater management measure would allow nine counties and the city of Baltimore alternative ways to pay for cleaning up fouled runoff that flows into the Chesapeake Bay, the largest U.S. estuary. The Maryland legislature established the stormwater levy, commonly called the "rain tax," in 2012. In a statement, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that it was up to Maryland and other watershed states to decide how to meet pollution goals for the bay.

FDA Commissioner says measles outbreak 'alarming'

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 05:42

Measles vaccine is seen at Venice Family Clinic in Los AngelesDescribing the latest measles outbreak as "alarming," Dr. Margaret Hamburg, outgoing commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said on Tuesday that the measles vaccine "should be used by everyone who has not been vaccinated." Her comments, published in a blog post on the FDA's website, come as the United States battles a resurgence of the disease, driven by fears among some parents of an association between vaccines and autism - fears that experts say have no basis in science. Hamburg said vaccination is the single best way to prevent the spread of the disease. This year more than 120 people across 17 states have been infected with measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, 644 cases were reported, the highest number since the disease was effectively eliminated from the United States in 2000.


Senate panel backs Carter for Secretary for Defense

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 05:39

U.S. defense secretary-nominee Carter testifies at Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in WashingtonThe U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee voted 25-0 on Tuesday to back Ashton Carter as President Barack Obama's next Secretary of Defense, paving the way for what is expected to be an easy confirmation in the full Senate as soon as Wednesday. Carter, 60, a former Pentagon No. 2 seen as a technocrat, was nominated to be Obama's fourth defense secretary after Chuck Hagel resigned under pressure last year. Although many Senate Republicans are sharply critical of Obama's defense policies, Carter's confirmation has gone far more smoothly than Hagel's two years ago.


Prison health provider agrees to changes in California

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 02/11/2015 - 05:15
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - One of the largest U.S. for-profit prison healthcare providers has agreed to change how it staffs California jails, part of a settlement announced on Tuesday that ends a wrongful death lawsuit against the company. Corizon Health, a privately held firm which services more than 345,000 inmates in 27 states, was sued in 2011 after an inmate in Alameda County, California, outside San Francisco, died in jail. California's statewide prison health system has been run by a court appointed receiver for several years, and complaints about unsafe conditions in county jails are also common. For every LVN that did the work of an RN, Corizon saved 35 percent in costs, attorneys Michael Haddad and Julia Sherwin said in a statement.