SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Officials say half of a warehouse where a huge weekend fire burned at the Port of Savannah in Georgia, sending smoke over its historic district, is a dangerous tangle of twisted metal and collapsed walls that is slowing the work of investigators.
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The most powerful winter storm to hit California in more than a year dumped several feet of snow in the high Sierras and soaked lower elevations with rain over the weekend, easing drought conditions but leaving the state thirsting for more, officials said on Monday. The Pacific storm doubled the moisture content of the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, a key gauge of the state's principal source of surface water, said Dave Rizzardo, the chief of snow surveys for the state Department of Water Resources. But the 3 inches of additional water content measured on Monday still leaves California at just 20 percent of where the state's snowpack should be by Apri1 1, the traditional end of the winter rainy season, Rizzardo said. Neither Rizzardo nor other experts would venture to say precisely how much more precipitation the state needs to substantially relieve the drought.
By Susan Cooper Eastman JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - Florida prosecutors wrapped up their case on Monday against a middle-aged white man accused in the shooting death of a black teenager during an argument over loud rap music, a case that has reignited debate over the state's self-defense laws. Jurors on Monday were shown photos of the body of the dead teen, Jordan Davis, as the prosecution sought to show he was in a defensive position when he was shot and never represented a threat. Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old software engineer, is being tried in state court on one count of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of firing a deadly missile into an occupied vehicle for the shooting death of Jordan Davis, 17, on November 23, 2012.
By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Former New Orleans mayor C. Ray Nagin was called a politician on the take in closing arguments by prosecutors at his graft trial on Monday while defense attorneys questioned the credibility of those who had cut deals to testify against him. With Nagin and several members of his family seated in the packed courtroom, prosecutor Richard Pickens painted a picture of a mayor who was nearly broke from financing his sons' struggling granite countertop business and turned for help to contractors who needed his assistance to get city business. During the 10-day trial, the jury heard from some 30 prosecution witnesses, including a city hall insider and contractors who earlier pleaded guilty to bribing public officials and are awaiting sentencing. "You saw how (Nagin) used the power and authority of a high public office to extract payoffs from contractors," Pickens told the jury.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — At least a dozen new subpoenas were authorized Monday by a New Jersey legislative committee investigating a plot by aides to Gov. Chris Christie to create traffic gridlock on the George Washington Bridge, apparently for political retribution.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A jury deliberated the corruption case against former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the city's chief executive when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, for more than three hours Monday before breaking for the evening.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Colorado woman charged with kidnapping a newborn baby who was found alive after being left outside in freezing temperatures last week is being jailed away from the general population for safety reasons, an Iowa sheriff said Monday.
WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — A 23-year-old newlywed who died after being punched and kicked outside a California nightclub had bleeding across most of her brain, bruised eyes and legs and had been struck at least five times on her head and face, a forensic pathologist testified Monday at a preliminary hearing to determine whether two women should stand trial in the case.
By Jennifer Dobner SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - More than a dozen Utah gay rights activists were arrested on Monday at the state Capitol, where they staged a sit-in to demand lawmakers hear a bill that would bar housing and job discrimination based on sexual orientation, authorities said. About 20 activists, buoyed by a court ruling that briefly legalized same-sex marriage in the conservative state, had blocked access to part of the Capitol and said they would not leave unless the Utah Senate president ensured the bill would get a hearing. "For five years, the Utah legislature has refused to hear a non-discrimination bill. We're tired of their excuses, we're tired of the delays," organizer Troy Williams said as the protest started outside the governor's office.
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — At least a dozen new subpoenas have been authorized by a New Jersey legislative committee investigating a plot by aides to Gov. Chris Christie to create gridlock by blocking traffic lanes near the George Washington Bridge.