CINCINNATI (AP) — Four legally married gay couples filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday seeking a court order to force Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages on birth certificates despite a statewide ban, echoing arguments in a similar successful lawsuit concerning death certificates.
The Obama administration on Monday relaxed final rules for businesses that must comply with the Affordable Care Act in 2015, sparing businesses with 99 employers or fewer the tax penalty until 2016. In final regulations to be published on Monday by the Treasury Department, businesses with between 50 and 99 employees will not face a penalty until 2016 for not providing healthcare. For businesses with 100 or more employees, the final rules reduce to 70 percent the number of full-time workers to whom an employer must offer coverage in 2015.
By Eric Beech WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The sinking of the tall ship Bounty off the North Carolina coast in 2012 was likely caused by the captain's "reckless decision" to sail the vessel into the path of Hurricane Sandy, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Monday. Captain Robin Walbridge, 63, and a crew member were killed when the 108-foot-long (33-meter) ship, built for the 1962 movie "Mutiny on the Bounty," sank before dawn on October 29, 2012, about 130 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, after being battered by Sandy's 30-foot (9-meter) seas and 100-mile-per-hour (161 km-per-hour) wind gusts. "The probable cause of the sinking of tall ship Bounty was the captain's reckless decision to sail the vessel into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy, which subjected the aging vessel and the inexperienced crew to conditions from which the vessel could not recover," the report concluded. The NTSB accident report said several crew members had expressed their concerns to the captain about sailing into the storm prior to leaving port at New London, Connecticut, on October 25, 2012, bound for St. Petersburg, Florida.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man serving life in prison for the 2009 killings of his wife and their two young sons in southwestern Illinois has asked a state appellate court to toss out his convictions, claiming decisions by the trial judge fanned juror bias against him.
A sudden change in the weather means real money for Paul Falavolito. When a snowstorm rolls in, the chief of a small, non-profit ambulance service in White Oak, Pa., has to keep paramedics in ambulance bays longer. If there's a break in the weather, he can let idling crews go home rather than paying them overtime.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot is climbing again, though it will take some time before it breaks any major record.
(Reuters) - Two women were shot and a man was arrested on Monday after an apparent confrontation at a Georgia grocery store packed with shoppers buying supplies ahead of a winter storm that has prompted the governor to declare a state of emergency, police said. Authorities said they did not know what sparked the lunchtime shooting at a crowded Kroger supermarket in suburban Atlanta or whether the two customers knew each other or the suspect. Residents flocked to grocery stores on Monday for bread, milk and other essentials. As a result, Lawrenceville Police Captain Greg Vaughn said, the store "was a very chaotic scene" at the time the shooting happened.
HOUSTON (AP) — A federal agency is granting $20 million to a rural Central Texas town to help rebuild two schools destroyed in last year's deadly fertilizer plant explosion, town and federal officials said Monday.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Federal judges on Monday gave California two more years to meet a court-ordered prison population cap, the latest step in a long-running lawsuit aimed at improving inmate medical care.
The Obama administration on Monday said people hoping to enroll in health coverage for March 1 may have trouble applying by Saturday's deadline because of a planned 62-hour maintenance shutdown of a Social Security Administration computer system. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the lead Obamacare agency, said the shutdown will prevent applicants from verifying their Social Security numbers and other data through the federal website, HealthCare.gov.
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Officials across the southeastern United States braced on Monday for a blast of freezing rain, snow and ice, with Georgia's governor advising "extreme caution" and declaring a state of emergency across almost one-third of the state. The storm is expected to bring a wintry mix to a broad swath of the country stretching from Texas to North Carolina, according to the National Weather Service. "Ice is the big danger here," Georgia Governor Nathan Deal told reporters.
PHOENIX (AP) — A Yavapai County prosecutor says evidence will show that Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne was in constant communication with an aide who was running an independent group backing him in the 2010 election, and she passed on his suggestions on campaign ads attacking his Democratic rival to her campaign consultant.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Police say two women have been shot inside a suburban Atlanta supermarket.
By Keith Coffman DENVER, Feb 10 (Reuters) - A 16-year-old Colorado boy who set himself ablaze in a suicide attempt last month in the cafeteria of his suburban Denver high school in front of 60 classmates has died from his injuries, police said on Monday. Vincent Nett, a student at Standley Lake High School in the suburb of Westminster, walked into the school about 7 a.m. on Jan. 27, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself alight. He died on Sunday at a local hospital, Westminster Police Investigator Cheri Spottke said. Nett suffered severe burns over 80 percent of his body, the Westminster Fire Department said.
California won two additional years to reduce overcrowding in its massive prison system under an order issued on Monday by a panel of federal judges, in the latest twist in a decades-long dispute over prison conditions and medical care for inmates. The court-appointed panel, which oversees ongoing prison crowding cases in California, said it was granting the extension, to February 2016, because the state had promised to develop comprehensive reforms to its prison system, which currently houses about 120,000 inmates in facilities designed to hold about 80,000. California prisons have been in the national spotlight for the past year as officials wrestled with crowding and concerns about the use of long-term solitary confinement for prisoners with suspected gang ties, which led to a hunger strike last year. Under the order, the state must reduce the prison population to no more than 137.5 percent of capacity, or roughly 110,000 inmates.
(Reuters) - A Utah newlywed who went BASE jumping in Zion National Park with her husband of two weeks was killed at the weekend when her parachute failed to open properly and she plunged to her death, a park official said on Monday. Amber Bellows, 28, plummeted about 2,000 feet during a jump off of Mount Kinesava on Saturday afternoon, the National Parks Service said in a statement. After landing, 29-year-old husband Clayton Butler hiked for more than two hours before reaching park officials at sundown to notify them of the incident. The couple were experienced with BASE jumping, a form of skydiving where a person free-falls off a fixed surface before activating a parachute, the Parks Service said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The American Medical Association says it strongly supports legislation that would change the way Medicare pays doctors, to emphasize quality care and not just sheer volume of services.
U.S. commercial air carriers have landed or started to land at the wrong airports at least 150 times since the early 1990s, according to a search by The Associated Press of government safety databases and media reports. And the problem isn't limited to airlines — military pilots have made similar blunders.
WASHINGTON (AP) — At a time when a cellphone can guide you to your driveway, commercial pilots attempt to land at the wrong airport more often than most passengers realize or government officials admit, according to an Associated Press search of government safety data and news reports since the early 1990s.
By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A conservative organization in Wisconsin filed a federal lawsuit against state investigators on Monday, saying its members' civil rights were violated during an ongoing secret probe into campaign financing, court documents showed. The Wisconsin Club for Growth filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, accusing investigators of violating its members' freedom of speech and association and equal protection rights. The organization is asking the court to halt the 17-month probe into what the Wall Street Journal has described as claims of illegal coordination between conservative special interest groups and political campaigns. The group contends in the complaint that investigators have infringed on its members' civil rights by sidelining them from political activities during the 2014 legislative and election cycles due to the probe.