RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (AP) — Billboards and TV commercials, living room visits, guess-your-water-use booths, and awards for water stinginess — a wealthy swath of Orange County that once had one of the worst records for water conservation in drought-stricken California is turning things around, proving it's possible to get people to change their ways.
Federal law enforcement officials have found no links among any of several recent fires at African American churches in the U.S. South and have determined that two were started by natural causes and one was due to an electrical fire. The investigation into the fires follows the June 17 shootings at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in which nine black people were killed and a white man linked to racist views was charged in their deaths. A federal law enforcement team including the FBI and the Justice Department's civil rights division are investigating several church fires across five states over the past two weeks, Newman said.
The Mormon Church has made its first-ever donation to the Utah Pride Center, a Salt Lake City organization that works with poor and homeless gay young people, in what center officials said on Thursday was a significant moment in the Church's relationship with the gay community. Relations between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the gay community were strained by Mormon support for California's Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that stripped same-sex couples there of the right to marry until it was ruled unconstitutional in 2010.
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Stooped with age but still smiling and joking, three Colorado veterans who were taken prisoner by the German military in World War II got their medals Thursday, more than 70 years after they were liberated.
Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.
The large contribution underscores a national outpouring of grief and support for Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church, site of the racially motivated shooting spree on June 17. The scholarship fund will be named after one of the victims, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, the church's leader and a state senator. The scholarships are intended for the church's extended community, including the victims' relatives.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced the creation of a new agency on Thursday to oversee short-term rentals like those arranged by Airbnb, which matches people wishing to rent out all or part of their homes to temporary guests. The new department, the Office of Short-Term Rental Administration and Enforcement, will manage rental applications as well as coordinate efforts to pursue violators of the city's laws and complaints.
A man who prosecutors allege torched a drugstore that came to symbolize the rioting in Baltimore in April was charged on Thursday with federal arson violations that carry the possibility of a 20-year prison sentence. Violence broke out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. Nearly 400 businesses across Baltimore were damaged or destroyed in the hours following Gray's funeral, authorities have said.
Connecticut prosecutors can conduct further genetic testing before deciding whether to retry a mentally disabled man who spent a quarter century in prison until his conviction for rape and murder was overturned, a judge ruled on Thursday. Although the conviction was overturned in March, prosecutors say they believe Richard Lapointe is linked to the 1987 rape and murder of his wife's grandmother.